MERC International teams support Kuwait Rally

KUWAIT INTERNATIONAL RALLY, February 28th-March 1st 2008

FIA Middle East Rally Championship, official candidate event

For immediate release
Thursday, February 21st, 2008




Senior Qatari and Saudi Arabian officials bolster Kuwait’s rally bid

KUWAIT CITY (Kuwait): Drivers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon, England, Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have pledged their support for the 2008 Kuwait International Rally, an official FIA sanctioned candidate event for the 2009 FIA Middle East Rally Championship, which takes place between February 28th and March 1st. 


The 2008 Kuwait International Rally is being organised by the Kuwait Motor Sports Club (KMSC) and will run under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait.


As officials at the KMSC put the finishing touches to the route for Kuwait’s three-day return to international rallying, entrants are preparing to travel to Kuwait. The event has attracted some of the most popular names in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, with Qatar sending four of its top drivers to support the rally.


Leading the way will be the recent Qatar Rally runner-up Misfer Al-Marri in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX. The Doha driver will be joined in Kuwait by Khalifa Saleh Al-Attiyah and his French co-driver Matthieu Baumel, who finished third in Qatar last month. Mohammed and Ali Al-Marri will drive a Mitsubishi and Khalid Al-Suwaidi and Rashid Al-Suwaidi complete the four-car Qatari line-up.


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be represented by the up and coming Yazeed Al-Rahji and his British co-driver Steve Lancaster. The Saudi could be one of the closest challengers for victory. Lebanon’s Michel Saleh intends to use the event to debut his new Subaru Impreza N14, but one of the biggest names on the entry list is Sheikh Suhail Bin Khalifa Al-Maktoum, the championship regular returning to the regional rallying scene after injury and a year-long lay-off.


Sheikh Suhail looks set to drive a Subaru Impreza WRX STi. He has been one of the fastest drivers in the region for many years and enjoyed a fascinating tussle with Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi a couple of years ago.


The international contingent is completed by British chemist David Scialom, the UAE’s Mohammed Tamjeed and Jordanian Ammar Hijazi, with Scialom driving a Subaru and the Emirati and the Jordanian wheeling out a pair of Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions. Kuwait will be represented by rally veteran Eid Falah and his co-driver Khalid Khalifa in a Subaru Impreza N10.


Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah, the President of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation, will be joined in Kuwait by Mishaal Al-Sudairy, the Chairman of the Saudi Motor Sports Committee. Both officials have offered their support to Kuwait’s bid to join the 2009 FIA Middle East Rally Championship. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the Chairman of the ATC of the UAE, will already be in Kuwait on course car duties.


“We are delighted that Nasser and Mishaal are joining us in Kuwait and are pleased that so many overseas drivers have pledged their support to the rally,” said Sheikh Ahmad Al-Dawood Al-Sabah, president of the Kuwait Motor Sports Club. “We all want to see the ongoing success of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship and it is important that the rally is a success this year and is granted its place in next year’s championship calendar.”


The event will be based at the Kuwait Shooting Club and competitive action gets underway with a timed super special stage at the Jaber Al Ahmad International Circuit on Thursday, February 28th.


For further information, please contact the Kuwait Motor Sport Club, PO Box 29, Salmiya, 22001 Kuwait, Tel: + (965) 535 5511/22, Fax: + (965) 535 5566, E-mail: manager@kmsc.net or admin@q8racing.com, www.q8racing.com


For further media information:
Neil Perkins, International Media Liaison Officer, 2008 Kuwait International Rally, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com, www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)








Date issued: 21/02/2008

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