Dubai: Stage is set for classic desert battle in Dubai International Baja

Dubai: Stage is set for classic desert battle in Dubai International Baja

Sam Sunderland speaks at the Press conference

Dubai, UAE, 9 March, 2017: The stage is set for a fascinating battle of power and tactical duelling when the  Dubai International Baja powered by AW Rostamani and Nissan launches the UAE’s second World Cup cross country rally across the dunes and plains of the Al Qudra desert this weekend.

Taking place under the patronage of H.H.Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, the event is the second round of this year’s FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars and buggies and the opening round of the FIM Bajas World Cup for bikes and quads.

Joining next month’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge on the FIA World Cup calendar, the inaugural event has attracted an impressive line-up of 67 drivers and riders from across the Middle East and overseas.

They include Dubai-based Sam Sunderland who makes a first competitive appearance since his brilliant Dakar Rally bikes victory in January. The cars, buggies, bikes and quads will be flagged away from the ceremonial start at the Bab Al Shams Arena at 7pm tonight (Thursday).

“We’re very pleased with the size and quality of the entry in the first year, and we look forward to some classic cross country rallying in the Al Qudra desert,” said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the rally organisers, and the Emirates Motor Sport Federation.

Speaking at an official press conference today at the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa today, Sulayem added: “This event and the baja format shows way ahead for rallying in the UAE and the Middle East as a whole, and we’re confident it will go from strength to strength.

Salah Yamout, Director of Sales & Marketing for Arabian Automobiles, the flagship company of AW Rostamani Group, said: “We’re excited to be supporting the launch of an event which is part of the ATCUAE’s initiative to make the sport more affordable and therefore more sustainable by attracting many more local-based competitors.”

Samir Cherfan, Managing Director, Nissan Middle East, said: “We are especially happy to be joining hands with our business partner in Dubai and the Northern Emirate to give our support to the Dubai International Baja which is truly exciting addition to the UAE’s motor sport calendar and gives us fresh opportunities to showcase the qualities of the Nissan Patrol.”

The Nissan Patrol is the official car for the event, and eight Patrols entered include one driven by Qatar’s reigning FIA World Cup T2 production class champion Adel Hussain Abdulla who is backed by Nissan Middle East and partnered by French co-driver Sebastien Delaunay.

The rally is supported by Dubai Sport Council, Dubai Police, Dubai Civil Defence, Al Ain Water and AssetCo Fire and Rescue. With the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa providing a luxurious setting, the event’s operational HQ and technical parc ferme is located at the nearby Bab Al Shams Arena.

Poland’s Aron Domzala and co-driver Szymon Gospodarczyk, who lead the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies after last week’s opening round victory in Russia in an Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux, are among 31 crews representing 15 nations who will battle for honours in the cars category through the dunes and sabkha plains of the Al Qudra Desert.

Among his biggest rivals for the cars title are Qatar’s reigning FIA World Cup champion and two-times Dakar Rally winner Nasser Al Attiyah partnered by Mathieu Baumel in a Toyota Hilux, and the UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi with Emirati co-driver Khalid Al Kendi in an Abu Dhabi Racing Peugeot 208 DKR.

Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal in a Hummer H3 Evo, Dutchman Erik Van Loon, the 2015 Desert Challenge runner up, and Frenchman Ronan Chabot – both driving a Toyota Hilux – are among 10 drivers entering T1 prototype vehicles.

The 14 Emirati and UAE-based drivers competing include Ahmed Al Maqoodi who won the candidate event staged in Dubai in December that led to the rally being added to this year’s World Cup calendar. He will be partnered in a T3 Polaris buggy by 2012 Desert Challenge quads champion Obaid Al Kitbe.

New Dakar bikes champion Sam Sunderland heads a line-up of 36 riders and drivers tackling the new event, making a welcome return to action in the deserts of Dubai where so much of his development into the sport’s top rider has taken place in recent years.

Among his main challengers will be top Emirati rider Mohammd Al Balooshi, while another locally-based British contender Dave McBride returns to the scene of his victory in the December’s World Cup candidate event.

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24H Series

Last Saturday we had a wonderful 1st edition of the virtual 12H MONZA! 🏎️💨

In case you missed it, you can re-watch the full race now on our YouTube channel here: ow.ly/KKeS50zS9LZ

Did you enjoy the race? 😀

#thisisendurance #24hseries #24hseries2020 #motorsport #12hmonza #racing #iracing #esports
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Last Saturday we had a wonderful 1st edition of the virtual 12H MONZA! 🏎️💨

In case you missed it, you can re-watch the full race now on our YouTube channel here: http://ow.ly/KKeS50zS9LZ

Did you enjoy the race? 😀

#thisisendurance #24HSERIES #24HSERIES2020 #motorsport #12HMONZA #racing #iracing #esports

2 hrs ago

MotoGP

If Valentino Rossi goes to PETRONAS it's not for a farewell tour...

"I will go to them if I think I can be competitive, I can try to win races and fight for the podium" 💬

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can you see the irony. if he cant even win in factory yamaha, could he even win on satelite team? he only win 10 times in 10 years, 3 years without one. only 1 or 2 podium a year.

Welcoming VR46 to PETRONAS Yamaha, we wish you luck as team test rider.

Thats all i want to hear from him.. still continue and i also still want to watch motogp for sure!

É sensato. A Yamaha oficial nao pode manter um piloto com posições abaixo do 4°lugar. Porém a PETRONAS vai evoluir com a experiência dele para uma moto mais competitiva.

Can’t wait to order the new skin YAMAHA-PETRONAS for my R1 😜😎

Awwww I hope he doesn’t retire soon 😢

Vale will be always the number 1...... Go Vale goooooo!!!

He should stop wasting time and get SKY46 into MotoGP.

He can do whatever he needs to. Retire or ride those who criticize him will never truly appreciate what hes done career wise. haters gonna hate

His move to Petronas will be 2 secure his future , when he switches to car racing

"If still can competitive for race and podium, why not"

Grow up you bunch of fannys Most of the grid is full of no hopers just filling the gaps , never will win a race or a very rare podium 😱 Rossi has done it all and still has the balls to race others a lot younger than the 40 yr old he is . Respect to the Doctor 46

Stay to the Yamaha rossi

Sei un grande... Ma con l'inglese levati proprio 🤣🤣🤣 #DonLurio

It’s great 👍

No matter which way you go vale you are the top man .the goat 😉🏍🏍🏍🏍

That's crazy shit coming from him. 😂

#ForzaVale46!!!💪

MOTO GP KING VR/46

On t aime t ai le meilleur et pour tjs. Marquez et compagnie t arrive pas a la cheville

Anthony Whittle

I Love VR46. Selalu.

Luis Lopez

Fallimento totale per Valentino

Vai in Aprilia 💛

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3 hrs ago

F1

Sergio Perez has been on 50% of the podiums in Azerbaijan - here's why he and BWT Racing Point F1 Team are so strong there 🇦🇿💪 ... See Less

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You can listen to the full podcast episode here ⬇️ f1.com/BTGAndrewGreen

50% of the podiums, because it’s only been on the calendar since 2016. Hard to believe that he’s had an F1 career since 2011, that’s gone quick. Only blip was that season with McLaren in 2013, didn’t exactly work out for him

because all other drivers crashed ...

"when can I have the drink", Kimi's thought at this moment.

Because Sergio Perez is a great driver and his results warrant him being on a top notch team.

Well-worth the listen, I really enjoyed it!

Good to see Perez get a perfect car this season.

All the cars should be similar. Put Lewis in Force India's car, Sergio in Lewis's Mercedes and see what happens.

The most underrated driver, of the grill

The most underrated driver on the grill. He could win a tittle with a little better car.

Any hint of a podium, he can sniff it out.

Talentoso na condução 👏🏻

Cuz he puts his teammate into the wall?

You guys are desperate for content, you just post unnecessary.

come on Sergio !!!

Também merece...🇧🇷🇵🇹🇦🇴

Alonso p7 💗

❤️🇲🇽

🏎🇲🇽

Crystal Atlaschi 🇲🇽

Do you know that you can use $500 to make $4500 online without sending your money to me or anyone else

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5 hrs ago

F1

That first F1 win feeling for Jordan 🎉🥳🍾 ... See Less

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Hill was a very good driver. He was the Champion of 1996. Has nearly won the Hungarian GP of 1997 with an Arrows (!!!) and took the first win for Jordan. Not much drivers came so close to win with three different Teams.

What a race that was. 13 cars crashed, Schumacher's World championship ruined by David Coulthard and finally a well fought win by a great driver with underdog team.

That was my favourite Damon Hill win although it would've been better if Ralf was allowed to race him.

Daman was in another class to Ralf , by clearly showing that with the Win 👌

More team orders for hill to win

First win because schumacher crash with Coulthard.

Damon drove like a demon that day. Commanded the race and his message to Eddie was the right call.

Such a great race. Love it when the rain kicks in and changes the field of drivers. And who didnt love the look of the Jordan cars

EJ couldn’t have R Schumacher ploughing into Hill, like he did with Fisichella at Argentina 1997. That was probably the very first thing he thought of, when making the decision

"1994 World Champion Damon Hill"- Murray Walker

I can remember the emotions that day, was always a Jordan fan and finally we got that win.

Team Jordan was the GP team for the people. The team that let us fans see the real F1 behind the scenes. Thanks Eddie!

If no team orders ralf won that race

A great moment for Hill and Jordan. I was happy for both.

Even this race proved that there wasnt much racing in those days too. For me this was very dull race with alot of accidents and accidents dont make a race exciting

Jordan were the only team to have both races and the spare car intact after this race, every other team had at least one or two wrecked cars 🏁

The assumption's always been that EJ gave Damon preferential treatment, fact is interviews with both have shown that if anything, their professional relationship was always strained for various reasons.

Well, team orders were clear but clearly Ralf wasn't happy about this.

The GP that DC trashed 10+ cars. In 2 accidents. Yes, double kill

Frankly it’s hilarious that any Schumacher can feel hard done by when it comes to team orders.

It’s you that needs to grow up and only you that’s the clown, everyone has an opinion but I notice your jumping on anyone that’s saying that the win was gifted, why not just agree to disagree instead of being rude to people.

Back when everyone had a chance, imagine these days, you have a budget of 100M$ and your best aim is 5th

First win with team orders, what a shame 👎🏼

One of the best underdog moments in F1

That Jordan was one hell of a good looking motor! 🏎️

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