Kuwait: Challenging desert route set to test competitors in forthcoming Kuwait Rally

Meshari Al-Thafiri in action in Kuwait last season

Meshari Al-Thafiri in action in Kuwait last season

February 24th, 2015- KUWAIT CITY (Kuwait): The clock is ticking to the start of the Kuwait Rally, the second round of the 2015 FIA Middle East Rally Championship, and entries officially close today (Tuesday) for the event being staged by the Basil Salem Al-Sabah Motor Racing Club (BMRC), in conjunction with the Kuwait International Automobile Club (KIAC), on March 12-14.

Held under the chairmanship of Sheikh Athbi Nayef Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the event takes place less than a week after the finish of Rally Mexico, round three of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Qatar’s regional series leader Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and rival Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari and Al-Attiyah’s French co-driver Matthieu Baumel will be joined by several mechanics, team management and members of the media in a tense commute across nine time zones from Mexico to the Middle East to be ready for the start of the Kuwait Rally and pre-event preparations.

“When you have a busy rally programme like we do this year, date clashes and tight deadlines to get flights are inevitable,” said Al-Attiyah. “Rally Mexico finishes on Sunday afternoon local time and that is already around midnight and nearly Monday morning in Kuwait. We just have to rely on on-time flight connections and accurate planning to make sure that we reach Kuwait on time and manage to see a little of the recce and the pre-race formalities.”

Kuwait Rally officials have laid on two days of desert rallying for their MERC round, with 250.46km of competitive action in a total route of 557.93km getting underway on Friday, March 13th with the first of two passes through the 13.82km of a stage at Nuwaiseeb.

This precedes special stages at Kheiran (23.25km) and Al-Zour (23.47km) and the midday regroup and service stop at the Seashell Julai’a Hotel and Resort, south of Kuwait City. The three specials are then repeated on Friday afternoon before crews tackle a seventh Al-Basil timed test of 23.64km.

The remaining six special stages take place on Saturday, March 14th and comprise two loops of three desert tests. The first run through the 24.60km of Bneider precedes Arifjan (15.36km) and Julai’a (12.91km) and the three are repeated in the afternoon before the podium finish outside the Safir Hotel and Residences in Fintas takes centre stage from 17.00hrs.

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