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MERC Jordan event officials prepare to receive VIP guests in Amman

Jordan Rally 2006
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 4 of 8
Official WRC candidate event 2006

For immediate release
Sunday, May 21st, 2006

EVENT OFFICIALS PREPARE TO RECEIVE STAR-
STUDDED LIST OF GUESTS FOR JORDAN RALLY

Multiple WRC champion Tommi Mäkinen to visit Jordan Rally;
Jordan organisers put finishing touches to week’s itinerary

DEAD SEA (Jordan): Jordan Motorsport officials are looking forward to welcoming a star-studded line-up of drivers, officials, VIPs and former rally stars to the Hashemite Kingdom this weekend, as event organisers put the finishing touches to the country’s most prestigious ever international rally.

The three-day event starts on Thursday afternoon at the Citadel, overlooking downtown Amman, and the competitive action takes place over 18 timed special stages on Friday (May 26th) and Saturday May 27th) in the Dead Sea and Rumman areas.

Heading the list of invited VIPs is the multiple former FIA World Rally Champion Tommi Mäkinen. The legendary Finn started his career driving farm tractors and went on to win the Finnish national ploughing title in 1982 and 1985! He tackled his first rally in 1985 and his first WRC event two years later. By 1989 he was winning European Championship rallies and his career took a giant leap forwards in 1990 when he teamed up with the experienced Finnish co-driver Seppo Harjanne.

After a spell of rallying in two-wheel drive cars in Europe, Tommi switched to four-wheel drive in the WRC and, on two occasions, he finished inside the top 10 and won Group N three times in a Mitsubishi Galant VR-4. He went on to win the Mantta Rally and the 1000 Lakes with Ford the following season, before joining the Mitsubishi Ralliart team for an assault at the WRC. Over the course of the next four years, the Finn dominated the world of WRC rallying and won the FIA World Drivers’ Championship in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. In just four seasons he won a staggering 18 WRC rallies.

Tommi and his former co-driver Kai Lindström will arrive in Amman on Wednesday evening and will be guests of Jordan Motorsport officials for the duration of the event. “It is a fantastic honour for us to be welcoming Tommi and Kai to Jordan for this event,” said Clerk of the Course Ziad Louza. “He is one of the most famous stars of the modern era of world rallying and we will be looking forward to hear his feedback on our event this year.”

Joining Mäkinen and Lindström as guests of Jordan Motorsport will be the Spaniard Luis Moya, himself a veteran of numerous WRC rallies spanning a 14-year co-driving career. Moya is now Sporting Director of the Subaru World Rally Team and will be joined in Jordan by Subaru’s Operations Director Paul Howarth, the FIA Manufacturer’s Commissioner Gabriele Cadringher, FIA Sporting Delegate Charles Reynolds, FIA Technical Delegate Rab McDonald and Medical Delegate Phil Rayner.

Moya’s co-driving career began in 1988 when he teamed up with Spaniard Carlos Sainz to establish one of the WRC’s most successful ever partnerships. Together the pair won a pair of WRC titles – in 1990 and 1992 – and they were runners-up on four occasions. Moya won 24 WRC rallies as a co-driver in his professional career.

Heading the list of FIA officials appointed to assess the progress and standard of this year’s Jordan Rally will be the FIA Observer Chris Mehmel, from Germany, Chairman of the Stewards Lars Osterlind, from Sweden, and Cypriot Takis Kyriakides. The local ASN will be represented on the panel of Stewards by Suhail Marar.

International drivers and co-drivers from the United Kingdom, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain will also be arriving in Jordan over the next 24 hours. Each team will then be permitted to carry out a full reconnaissance of the route for this weekend’s Jordan Rally in a timed and controlled exercise on Tuesday and Wednesday,

While teams ready themselves for the special stages, event officials will be working on final preparations for the official pre-event press conference, taking place at 7pm in the Dead Sea Hall within the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre, near the Dead Sea, on Wednesday evening and the official ceremonial start at the Citadel from 4pm on Thursday afternoon.

The three-day Jordan Rally has received gold sponsorship from Saraya Jordan and Chery Automobile and further support from Mecca Mail, Convention Centre, the Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea, Fastlink, Sawt El Ghad, Red Bull and Royal Jordanian. Jordan Motorsport has also received the full support of the Ministry of Housing and Public Works, the Tourism Board and Mawared to make this week’s event possible.

Ends

For further media information:
Neil Perkins, 2006 Jordan Rally Press Officer, Media Centre, King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre, Dead Sea, Jordan, Tel: + (962) 7 95047329, Fax: + (962) 5 3560836, UK Mobile: + 44 7831 123153 E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)

www.jordanrally.com


Date issued: 21/05/2006

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NDP Publicity Services
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Shropshire TF10 7EN United Kingdom

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