MERC Syrian organisers announce revised third round of MERC

2008 Syrian International Rally
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 3

For immediate release
Wednesday, May 14th, 2008



New gravel special stages and new service park for Syrian event

SEDNAYA (Syria): Officials at the Syrian Automobile Club in Damascus have announced details of the revised 8th Syrian International Rally, round three of the 2008 FIA Middle East Rally Championship, which takes place on June 5th-7th.


Syria’s premier motorsport event will be based in Sednaya, north of Damascus, for the fourth time and is likely to attract the cream of the Middle East’s rally fraternity, who look set to tackle a challenging new selection of gravel special stages. The event was based in Damascus between 2000 and 2003.


According to Syrian clerk of the course Hani Shaban, around 40% of the rally will feature new terrain. “A few of the special stages have been completely changed,” said Shaban, who is working as clerk of the course for a second successive year. “We will also have a completely new service park in Dair Ateyah city. It will be expansive and will use a tarmac surface. We will also have a facility for live results and hospitality areas for VIP guests and an area for the working media.”


The Syrian event ran for the first time in 2000 as a candidate rally and has been a popular round of the regional championship ever since, although it was cancelled in 2006 because of regional unrest. It always attracts strong support from the Levant and the usual GCC registered drivers. Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah won in 2007 and is sure to return again to defend his title in a Subaru Impreza STi.


Syrian organisers have also attracted sponsorship from private companies for the event, which again runs under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism. Jupeter rent-a-car, the Sheraton Ma’aret Sednaya, Honda, Nissan and Radio Syria Alghad have all offered support to the event.

The timetable gets underway with the ceremonial start in Damascus on Thursday, June 5th and the special stages take place over the following two days. The podium finish will be in the grounds of the Sheraton Ma'aret Sednaya on Saturday, June 7th.

This year's Syrian International Rally will also feature live tracking technology for a second time, as the Syrian Automobile Club bids to police stage safety and security more accurately.

Regulations and further information about entries and concessions are available from Hani Shaban, Vice President of the SAC and Chairman of the Sporting Committee of the SAC, PO Box 36256, Damascus, Syria, Tel: 963 11 2323706, Fax: + 963 11 2312785 and Mobile: + 963 94 336465. Further information is also available from www.syrianrally.com.


For further media information:
Lutfi Estwani, Arabic Press Officer, Tel: + 963 11 232 3706, Fax: + 963 11 231 2785, Mobile: + 963 93234445
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, International Press Officer, Syrian International Rally, NCH Building, Upper Bar, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 7EH, Tel: + (44) 1952 825078, Fax: + (44) 1952 825001, UK Mobile: + 44 7831 123153 E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)



Date issued: 14/05/2008

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