Dubai: Six Gulf Motorsport federations jointly launch new Gulf Challenge desert series for 2017
Dubai, – 8 th October 2016 – The six GCC motorsport federations have launched an ambitious new motorsport series that will allow for bikes, cars and buggies compete in the Gulf Challenge to start in 2017.
The new series which follows a year of research is designed to reduce the costs for competitors, in particular novice drivers and to exploit the natural terrain of the Arabian Gulf region.
The launch hosted at ATCUAE was attended by Bahrain Motor Federation, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Issa Al Khalifa, Kuwait International Automobile Club, Sheikh Ali Al Fawaz Al Sabah, Oman Automobile Association, Jamal Al Ta’ai, Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation, Abdulrahman AL Mannai, , Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation Abudullah Bakashab and Automobile and Touring club of UAE, Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
“This is the biggest development for the GCC motorsport community since rallying was started in the region thirty years ago, we are confident that via our collective efforts this will add real value to the motorsport community and indeed society in general ‘’ the group statement said.
The inaugural cross country rally series in 2017 will feature rounds in Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar. In what has been termed a catch all approach, cars, motorcycles and buggies will be permitted to take part with separate Championships for each.
“We see this as the perfect proving ground for the next generation of Arab Champions and the natural route for those who want to progress on to compete in the three World Cup Cross Country events held in this region,”said the group statement.
In addition, each individual Federation has also undertaken to examine the creation of individual feeder National Championships in the respective countries for novice competitors with an annual budget ceiling of USD 12,000 for a motorcycle and 34,000 for a buggy. The six Federations also stressed that they see this Championship as a platform for local engineers and preparation companies to develop vehicles for the series and so provide added value to Society. The series will be promoted mainly via Social media which the research has shown as the global trend in sport. Each round will be one day in duration and run over approximately 150 kms of desert terrain. Each round of the Gulf Challenge will be promoted and managed by the host Federation with collective management of time keeping, safety regulations and marketing by the six founding GCC Federations.