CC Saudi Baja receives financial boost from HRH Sultan Bin Fahd

SAUDI ARABIA HAIL BAJA  (Hail Rally 2008…The Great Nufud Challenge), February 11th-14th, 2008
2008 FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 1 of 6

For immediate release
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008





Czech, Hungarian, Russian and Dutch teams enter Saudi Arabian event

Defending Hail Baja champion Rajeh Al-Shammeri set to return in 2008

RIYADH (Saudi Arabia): Officials organising the Saudi Arabia Hail Baja, round one of this year’s FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, have received a welcome financial bonus from His Royal Highness Sultan Bin Fahd, President of Youth Welfare, who has agreed to boost the event’s budget to cover increased costs now that the event has become a round of the prestigious FIA series for the first time.


The all-desert Baja takes place on February 11th-14th in the north-central region of the Kingdom under the patronage of HRH Prince Saud Bin Abdul Mohsen Bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Hail, President of the Supreme Commission for Hail Development and the Head of the Supreme Commission of the Hail Rally.


Four of the most competitive Baja drivers in the world have entered the event and Saudi officials are waiting for confirmation that two factory teams will also be taking part in next month’s Baja. Dutchman Toni van Deijne looks set to enter for the first time at the wheel of his Mitsubishi L200 with co-driver Wouter Rosegaar and Boris Gadasin is confirmed on the list in an Overdrive Racing Nissan Pick-Up with co-driver Alexander Mironenko.


Hungarian Laszlo Palik wheels out his Palik Racing Team Nissan Pick-Up with co-driver Gabor Darazsi and the Czech driver Miroslav Zaplatel – winner of last year’s Baja GB – will make the journey to Saudi Arabia with co-driver Miloslav Janacek in a Mitsubishi to join a plethora of crews from the host country and other parts of the GCC.


Saudi Arabian driver Rajeh Al-Shammeri will defend the Hail Baja title he won in February 2007, after joining the Middle East Racing Team that was founded by His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Bander bin Abdul Aziz.


Al-Shammeri is looking forward to competing against the international field in Hail next month and also to tackling all six rounds of this year’s FIA Baja Championship. The other five Bajas will take place in Italy, Spain, Hungary, Wales and Portugal later this year and Al-Shammeri will be the first Saudi driver to tackle a full programme of FIA off-road events.


Officials at the Saudi Motor Sports Committee are working against the clock to ensure that nothing is left to chance for the start of the biggest motorsport event ever to take place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Prince Abdullah bin Khalid, the Chairman of the Executive Committee responsible for supervising and coordinating government agencies supporting the rally, visited the event’s headquarters in Hail last week and met with representatives from various government agencies.


“This was an ideal opportunity for Prince Abdullah to oversee the progress that has been made so far and to ensure the smooth running of the rally and the full support for the organising committee,” said Mishaal Al-Sudairy, chairman of the organising committee.


Scrutineering and documentation will take place on Monday, February 11th and this will be followed by the ceremonial start at the Prince Sultan Center in Hail on Tuesday, February 12th at 2pm. Competitors will then head straight into a timed super special stage at 15.30hrs.


The first desert leg will take place between 07.00hrs and 15.00hrs on Wednesday, February 13th, while the second and final leg of the 2008 Hail Baja will start at 09.00hrs on Thursday, February 14th and reach a conclusion at 15.30hrs. The ceremonial finish will take place at Maghwat from 6pm.


More information about the event is available from the Saudi Motor Sport Committee, PO Box 87881, Riyadh 11652, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Tel: + 9661 477 1034, Fax: + 9661 477 1050 and from Rami Atwa, E-mail: ram_atwa@yahoo.com, www.saudimotorsport.com



Neil Perkins, 2008 Hail Saudi Baja International Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).



Date issued: 23/01/2008

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