Qatar: New stages and format announced for 2013 Qatar International Rally
Jan 3rd, Doha: The 2013 Qatar International Rally will use new stages, a brand new service park and a revised route, when it gets an exciting new era of FIA Middle East Rally Championship underway on January 24th-26th.
Officials at the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) have been piecing together a new format and route for the event under the presidency of Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah.
Clerk of the course Elie Semaan has now issued the first details of the changes. Rally headquarters and operations will continue to be based at the QMMF, but the event will now use a brand new service area in Qatar’s Aqua Park at Abu Nakhla on the Salwa Road. This water theme park was opened in September 2010. Semaan has also confirmed that three stages will be completely new and other sections of the desert route have been modified.
“This year we have three completely new stages with undulating, twisty and challenging terrain,” enthused Semaan. “The other three stages feature changes. Two have been modified up to 70% of their total distance and the approximate total length of the stages is 260km. The whole rally is concentrated off the Salwa Road to the north of Doha.”
Last year, the QMMF used the Al-Wakra sports complex for the headquarters and service park and ran special stages to the south of the capital. The QMMF is offering an assistance package to international entrants. Crews will be offered six nights’ free accommodation for the driver and co-driver (room and breakfast) at the Swiss Bel hotel, Old Salata – the event’s new headquarters Doha.