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Kuwait - 10-12 Mar 11

Posted: May 31, 2011 12:47 PM - 3697 Hits

Round 2 - 2011 Middle East Rally Championship

QATAR’S NASSER AL-ATTIYAH CONFIRMS 40TH MERC VICTORY IN ONE-SIDED KUWAIT INTERNATIONAL RALLY

Posted: May 31, 2011 12:47 PM

Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah secured his fourth outright rally victory of the season and his 40th career win on a round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC), when he and Italian co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini sealed a one-sided triumph in the rain-lashed Kuwait International Rally on Saturday.

At the wheel of an Autotek Ford Fiesta S2000, Al-Attiyah won 11 of the 12 desert special stages on the two-day rally to extend his advantage in the regional series to an unofficial 14 points. Bernacchini recorded his 11th victory in the MERC as the pair sealed a winning margin of 4m 26.4s.

“The conditions were difficult today and it was important not to make a mistake,” said Al-Attiyah. “The goal was the win and 25 championship points and I tried my best and it all went according to plan.”

The UAE’s Rashid Al-Ketbi and Khaled Al-Kendi upped their pace on day two in a new Skoda Fabia S2000 and finished in a comfortable second position. Kuwait’s Mufeed Mubarak was handed a 10-minute time penalty before the restart on Saturday morning and Sharjah’s Sheikh Abdullah Al-Qassimi and British co-driver Steve Lancaster were the main beneficiaries.

The Emirati, a multiple former regional Group N champion, maintained a steady pace over the closing six special stages to seal the final podium position and maintained second place in the Drivers’ Championship.

Mubarak climbed back to fourth on the second loop of three stages to push Jordan’s Mazan Tantash down to a career-best fifth position in his Subaru Impreza.

Ammar Hijazi slipped to sixth in his Skoda Fabia S2000 and maintained his good start to the season. Kuwaiti drivers Meshal Al-Nejadi, Essam Al-Nejadi and Meshari Al-Thafiri and Lebanon’s Michel Saleh rounded off the top 10. Meshal lost a substantial amount of time with suspension issues.

The event was organised by the Kuwait International Automobile Club (KIAC) in co-operation with the Kuwait Quarter Mile Club. It ran under the chairmanship of Sheikh Duaj Fahad Al-Duaj Al-Sabah, chairman of the higher organising committee of the KIAC, and the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the deputy prime minister for development affairs and chairman of the Kuwait Olympic Committee.

Results

Posted: May 31, 2011 12:46 PM

1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QA)/Giovanni Bernacchini (I) Ford Fiesta S2000 2h 11m 35.5s
2. Rashid Al-Ketbi (UAE)/Khaled Al-Kendi (UAE) Skoda Fabia S2000 2h 16m 01.9s
3. Abdullah Al-Qassimi (UAE)/Steve Lancaster (GB) Ford Fiesta S2000 2h 22m 46.4s
4. Mufeed Mubarak (KT)/Saad Al-Melaifi (KT) Mitsubishi Lancer 2h 27m 41.0s
5. Mazan Tantash (HKJ)/Zeid Abu Zeid (HKJ) Subaru Impreza 2h 29m 31.2s
6. Ammar Hijazi (HKJ)/Joseph Matar (RL) Skoda Fabia S2000 2h 31m 37.9s
7. Meshal Al-Nejadi (KT)/Ahmed Al-Khraas (KT) Mitsubishi Lancer 2h 42m 09.2s
8. Essam Al-Nejadi (KT)/Anwar Al-Sharrah (KT) Mitsubishi Lancer 2h 42m 28.0s
9. Meshari Al-Thafiri (KT)/Mubarak Al-Thafiri (KT) Mitsubishi Lancer 2h 49m 15.1s
10. Michel Saleh (RL)/Nancy Al-Majali (HKJ) Subaru Impreza 2h 52m 11.5s

2011 KUWAIT INTERNATIONAL RALLY - OFFICIAL PREVIEW

Posted: March 10, 2011 2:33 PM

Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Italian co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini head a provisional entry of 23 teams in this weekend’s Kuwait International Rally, the second round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, which takes place on Friday and Saturday.

The Kuwait International Rally returned to the regional calendar in 2009 for the first time since 1996 and was the 150th event in the history of the regional rally series.

Al-Attiyah won that historic event for the first time on that landmark occasion and will be bidding for his 40th career MERC win this weekend, as he hopes to put last weekend’s exclusion from victory in the SWRC category in Mexico firmly behind him.

“Mexico was bitterly disappointing,” said Al-Attiyah. “We drove a great rally and had a perfect strategy. It is something that we have to take on the chin and bounce back from quickly. What better way to do that than to win the rally in Kuwait and extend my lead in the Middle East Championship?”

The Qatari has a seven-point advantage over Sharjah’s Sheikh Abdullah Al-Qassimi in the regional rally series after the opening round in Qatar and is the firm favourite to claim a fourth outright event victory of the season.

Al-Qassimi teams up with British co-driver Steve Lancaster in a second Ford Fiesta S2000. The Briton won the Kuwait Rally in 2008 alongside Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi when it ran as a candidate for inclusion in the championship.

The UAE’s Rashid Al-Ketbi could well be Al-Attiyah’s closest rival over the 12 timed gravel special stages that make up the two-day event being organised by the Kuwait International Automobile Club (KIAC) in co-operation with the Kuwait Quarter Mile Club.

Al-Ketbi is one of the fastest drivers in the Middle East, but his pace seldom brings the rewards it deserves. He has never won a round of the regional rally series, despite leading several events, and will have one eye on a finish as well as the top three when he and co-driver Khaled Al-Kendi wheel out a brand new Fazza-backed Skoda Fabia S2000 at the ceremonial start outside the Holiday Inn Salmiya Hotel from 6pm on Thursday afternoon.

Thirteen Kuwaiti teams offer fierce resistance on their local event. No Kuwaiti has ever won a round of the regional championship and Essam Al-Nejadi, seeded at four, would dearly like to be the individual to erase that statistic. He and co-driver Anwar Al-Sharrah currently hold third position in the championship points’ standings.

The top 10 contains two of the most experienced rally drivers in the Middle East. Sheikh Hamed Bin Eid Al-Thani won the regional championship in 1993 and won the Jordan Rally the same year. The Qatari has entered his Subaru Impreza at number five, three places in front of Michel Saleh, the most experienced driver in the history of the 164 rallies that have constituted the championship to date.

Saleh was a regular on entry lists back in 1984 and was one of the individuals who brought rallying to Kuwait. He teamed up with Tony Samia to win the event in a Toyota Celica GT that year and drives a Subaru Impreza on this occasion.

This year’s rally runs under the chairmanship of Sheikh Duaj Fahad Al-Duaj Al-Sabah, chairman of the higher organising committee of the KIAC, and the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the deputy prime minister for development affairs and chairman of the Kuwait Olympic Committee.

Friday’s competitive action gets underway with the punishing 35.26km Al-Salmi special stage at 09.03hrs. Teams then tackle the 33.64km of Alatraff (10.26hrs) and a shorter 12.40km special at Kuwait shooting club (11.59hrs) before the main service and regrouping. The three special stages are repeated on Friday afternoon at 13.37hrs, 15.00hrs and 16.33hrs, respectively.

Provisional Entry List

Posted: March 3, 2011 1:07 PM

MEXICO-BOUND NASSER SALEH AL-ATTIYAH TOPS KUWAIT INTERNATIONAL RALLY ENTRY

Posted: March 1, 2011 12:04 PM

Six-time FIA Middle East rally champion Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah will start as the favourite to take his second victory in the Kuwait International Rally, round two of the regional series, which takes place on March 10-12.

Entries for the revised event, which is being organised by the Kuwait International Automobile Club (KIAC) and the Kuwait Quarter Mile Club, closed on Saturday with a provisional 23 cars set to start the rally.

The event runs under the chairmanship of Sheikh Duaj Fahad Al-Duaj Al-Sabah, chairman of the higher organising committee of the KIAC, and the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the deputy prime minister for development affairs and chairman of the Kuwait Olympic Committee.

Al-Attiyah and Italian co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini are taking part in Rally Mexico - the second round of the FIA World Rally Championship - this weekend and face a race against time to jet back from Central America to take their place on the start line of the Kuwait event four days later.

In that time they will also have to carry out their monitored reconnaissance of the special stages in the Kuwait desert before the start ceremony gets underway at the Holiday Inn Salmiya Hotel from 6pm on Thursday, March 10th.

Sharjah’s Sheikh Abdullah Al-Qassimi is another of the top international seeds to enter the Kuwait Rally in the Ford Fiesta S2000 in which he finished second overall behind Al-Attiyah in last month’s Qatar International Rally.

Rashid Al-Ketbi returns to the regional rally series after missing the opening round. The Emirati teams up with Khalid Al-Kendi to run a Skoda Fabia S2000 entered under the Fazza Team banner.

The experienced Qatar duo of Jaber Al-Marri and former regional champion Sheikh Hamed Bin Eid Al-Thani also represent the State of Qatar alongside Al-Attiyah and Abdullah Al-Rabban.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be represented by Ahmed Al-Sabban, Ammar Hijazi and Mazen Tantash have entered from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Lebanon’s Michel Saleh joins an impressive line-up of 13 drivers from the State of Kuwait.

KUWAIT INTERNATIONAL AUTOMOBILE CLUB (KIAC) ANNOUNCES REVISED 2011 KUWAIT RALLY

Posted: February 18, 2011 9:34 AM

The Kuwait International Automobile Club (KIAC) has announced initial details of the 2011 Kuwait International Rally, the second round of this year’s FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC), which takes place on March 10-12.

Kuwait’s premier off-road motor sport event will be organised with the cooperation of the KIAC, the ASN of Kuwait, and the newly-founded Kuwait Quarter Mile Club this year and has a new organising committee and team of senior officials working under the chairmanship of Sheikh Duaj Fahad Al-Duaj Al-Sabah, chairman of the higher organising committee of the KIAC.

The 2011 Kuwait International Rally will run under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the deputy prime minister for development affairs and chairman of the Kuwait Olympic Committee

It will be based at the Kuwait Shooting Club, as was the case for the previous three years. Crews will be permitted to carry out monitored reconnaissance of the special stages on Tuesday, March 8th and Wednesday, March 9th.

Scrutineering will take place at the Subaru workshop in the Al-Rai industrial area on Thursday, March 10th and the two days of competitive action in the Kuwait desert will take place on Friday, March 11th and Saturday, March 12th.

There will be a ceremonial start outside the Holiday Inn Salmiya Hotel on Gulf Street in Kuwait City from 18.00hrs on Thursday, March 10th and the finish podium is scheduled at the same location for 17.00hrs on Saturday, March 12th.

“Walid Mihyar will work as our clerk of the course again this year and is finalising the route and the timetable, as everyone puts in an extraordinary effort to arrange the rally in record time,” said Fuad Abu-Arja, vice-chairman of the organising committee.

“We have moved the base for the rally from Jahra into Kuwait City and this is where the start and finish podium will be located on Gulf Street. There will also be two new extraordinary special stages – which we hope will be a dream for the drivers - and three stages the same as last year.”

The KIAC was the first club to introduce motor sport to Kuwait and the region in the early 1970s and this year’s Kuwait International Rally marks the club’s return to organising motor sport events. The KIAC organised a round of the MERC from the start of the regional series in 1984 until the Iraq invasion in 1990 and two subsequent rallies after the liberation in 1995 and 1996.

Event Website / Details

Posted: January 2, 1990 3:00 PM






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