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MERC Jordan makes final preparations for spectacular motorsport weekend

Jordan Rally 2006
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 4 of 8

For immediate release
Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

JORDAN MAKES FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR
SPECTACULAR MOTORSPORT WEEKEND

International teams carry out detailed recce of new stages;
Bustami sets sights high in Jordan; Farrah unveils challenge

DEAD SEA (Jordan): The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is bracing itself for a spectacular weekend of international rallying, which could well catapult the country into the upper echelons of world motorsport. Jordan Motorsport officials are putting the finishing touches to this year’s Jordan Rally, which is now an official candidate event for the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

Event organisers have pledged to leave no stone unturned in their bid to achieve WRC status and become the first ever Middle East country to join the world’s most prestigious rally championship, alongside world famous events like the Monte Carlo Rally, Rally Finland and Rally Australia.

Legendary names such as Finland’s Marcus Grönholm, Frenchman Sébastien Loeb and Norway’s Petter Solberg and professional factory teams from Citroën, Ford, Subaru and Mitsubishi could well become a reality in Jordan if the organisers can run an event to exacting WRC standards this weekend.

“It is my dream to take part in the Jordan Rally when it is a round of the WRC and I cannot wait for the start now,” enthused the defending local national champion Faris Bustami. “It is important that we concentrate hard during the recce of the stages. We only get time for two chances to see them and outlining any difficult corners or potentially dangerous areas are critical if we are to be competitive when we run through them against the clock over the weekend. I was on the podium in Dubai last December and I am quietly confident that I can do it again on Saturday.”

Amjad Farrah, the winner of the Jordan Rally in 2004, launched his event challenge at a spectacular press reception at the Royal Automobile Club Museum in Amman on Tuesday evening. Partnered by former championship-winning co-driver Khaled Zakaria, Farrah will be looking to steal a win in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution from the fleet of Subaru Impreza WRX STIs he faces on the entry list.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the second day of reconnaissance for the 29 teams from eight countries who look set to take part in the weekend’s action. That will be followed by the official pre-event press conference in the Media Centre at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre on Wednesday evening.

Clerk of the Course Ziad Louza and Jordan Motorsport’s CEO Khalid Kurdi will be joined by two of Jordan’s top drivers and three of the leading overseas contingent to answer media questions about the new-look WRC candidate event. This year the event has moved to the Dead Sea area and the entire rally headquarters and media facilities have been centralised at the Convention Centre, within 60 kms of all the new and revamped special stages.

Jordan Motorsport officials have also been praising the invaluable support of their team of marshals and assistants, without whom the event would not be possible. “Our team of marshals are the unsung heroes of the Jordan Rally and absolutely key to its future success,” said HRH Prince Feisal Al-Hussein, Chairman of Jordan Motorsport.

“I would like to thank them for their invaluable support as we bid to become a round of the WRC. We have promised the FIA that no stone will be left unturned in our bid to join the FIA World Rally Championship and we will deliver on that promise.”

Independence Day’s (Thursday) action-packed timetable of events will begin at 14.30 hrs with a parade of His late Majesty King Hussein’s collection of priceless automobiles. Around 10 of his museum pieces will be driven around a set route with FIA delegates seated inside.

Escorted by the Bedouin police, the cars will start out from the Royal Automobile Museum and head to the Citadel in Amman, via the eighth, seventh, sixth and fifth circles. the Abdoun Valley circle, the Greater Amman Municipality, the Roman Amphitheatre, the entrance to the Royal Palaces and on to the Citadel. The cars will include a stunning 1940 Buick Convertible, a 1970 3.5-litre-Mercedes 280 SE, a 1949 Chrysler Town and Country and a rare 1980 BMW Z1 sports car.

At 16.00 hrs the Jordan Armed Forces Band will lead His Majesty’s cars into the Citadel and this will be the cue for the Amman Municipality Troupe for Folkloric Arts to perform several acts. At 16.30 hrs on Thursday afternoon the famous Jordanian folk Omar Abdulat will sing several famous songs and there will be an aerobatic display by the Flying Bulls before the ceremonial start at 17.00 hrs.

The three-day Jordan Rally has received valuable 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 backing of the Ministry of Housing and Public Works, the Tourism Board and Mawared.

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: 23/05/2006

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