MERC Al Attiyah set to debut new Prodrive Subaru in Qatar

2008 Qatar International Rally
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 1

For immediate release
Monday, January 21st, 2008





New electronic features and chassis design for revised Group N Subaru

DOHA (Qatar): Defending FIA Middle East rally champion Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Ulster co-driver Chris Patterson will debut Prodrive’s latest specification Subaru Impreza WRX STi N14 in this weekend’s Qatar International Rally, round one of the 2008 FIA Middle East Rally Championship.


The Qatari is aiming to win his fifth regional rally title in the last six years in a car that was built by Autotek Motorsport mechanics and Prodrive technicians during the recent Autosport International Show at the NEC, near Birmingham, in the United Kingdom.


The car’s debut in the two-day Qatar International Rally gets underway on Friday (January 25th). The event is being organised by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) under the presidency of Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah.


The new five-door road-going version of the Subaru was first launched in Tokyo last June and features improved weight distribution, new strut-type front suspension, new cross members and newly-designed double-wishbone rear suspension. The latest version of the all-conquering Group N car will also be used by Frenchman Olivier Burri in the Monte Carlo Rally, round one of the FIA World Rally Championship, this weekend.


“We have carried out a little testing, but there is nothing like a run in the desert to give the car a good shakedown,” said Prodrive spokesman Adrian Bukmanis. “I don’t think we’ll see the car’s pace just yet, because Nasser needs to finish in Qatar.


“Basically the car is a whole new chassis design. The suspension is new, but we have carried over some of the drivetrain and brakes from the older model. The wheelbase is longer and wider – similar to a WRC car – but the standard car has more power and torque, although we are not expecting major gains with the restrictor.”


Al-Attiyah’s new car will also benefit from a fly-by-wire throttle, a WRC-style display screen and several other new electronic features that have been introduced by Prodrive.


“Nasser has proved that he has the pace to take on the best in the world over many different types of terrain,” said QMMF President Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah. “We are looking forward to seeing the new car in action in Qatar and are hopeful that Nasser will have another successful season of rallying.”


For further information about the 2008 Qatar International Rally, contact the Qatar Motor and Motor Cycle Federation, PO Box 8708, Doha, Qatar, Tel: + 974 437 9884/9885, Fax: + 974 437 9761, E-mail: info@qmmf.com and website: www.qmmf.com


Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, International Press Officer, 2008 Qatar International Rally, UK Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)





Date issued: 21/01/2008

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