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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5 hrs ago

MotoGP

The duel of the season? 🤔

The World Champion and the rookie went head to head in what was one of our first looks into the future. The last few laps in Thailand were UNREAL to watch and it still gives us goosebumps now! 🙌

#ThaiGP 🇹🇭
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Battle of the year is austria

Sorry but these are just kids, have you ever seen last Lap duel between Gibernau and Rossi ? That was much more thrilling every time, and they both had good bikes not like Marquez who is clearly on the better bike.

Yes the duel of the season.....wow

Surelly 93 😎🏍️🥇 He is the best, everybody must see that fact

MM and Dovi was a much better last lap!

2020 no mistake on the last corner. Fabio will win!

Oh wow that is incredible racing

Marquez was only playing with him he could have passed him any lap FFS 😂😂😂😂

Marquez is just phenomenal.

That was awesome... Marquez is the greatest ever

Nope, Mugello was the duel of the season.

The duel of the century would have been in 2015, if he pushed with Rossi for Lorenzo and Pedrosa, instead of the crap that he saw.

Fabio ... the Champion Killer in 2020 💪🏻👍🏻

Fabio can’t wait to watch you this year

Was really really hoping for #ElDiablo to pull this off

So beautiful

Cant wait for a different ending

A puissance égale, Marquez ne l'aurait pas doublé dans la ligne droite

🤣😂🤣 . yes winner

Superbe

Silverstone was better in my opinion

Much prefer the commentary on BT sport.

Pour moi le plus beau Grand Prix de la saison et en direct

J'y étais, souvenir impérissable

Rear wheel on the air

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5 hrs ago

Dakar Rally

🇸🇦 Here are the best pictures of our Saudi fans during the Dakar 2020. Let's enjoy, comment and share it! #Dakar2019 💚
🇸🇦 أفضل صور المشجعين السعوديين خلال داكار ٢٠٢٠. تمتعوا وشاركوا هذه اللقطات! 💚 #داكار2020
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🇸🇦 Here are the best pictures of our Saudi fans during the Dakar 2020. Lets enjoy, comment and share it!  #Dakar2019 💚
🇸🇦 أفضل صور المشجعين السعوديين خلال داكار ٢٠٢٠. تمتعوا وشاركوا هذه اللقطات! 💚 #داكار2020

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Dakar sem Argentina, Chile, Bolívia e Peru é uma tremenda chateação..., monotonia do princípio ao fim e sem o entusiasmo das multidões de verdadeiros aficionados.

Pas beaucoup de femme libre dans vos photo pas beaucoup de femme au volant .... ASO avec le dakar encourage les inégalités de tt genres ..... on est loin des idées de Thierry Sabine. Le rallye Dakar 2020 a été particulièrement critiqué cette année, parce qu’il se déroule en Arabie saoudite, un pays où de nombreux opposants au royaume et militants des droits de l’homme sont en prison. La seconde critique est récurrente : les sports mécaniques polluent. C'est d'autant plus marquant lorsqu’ils se déroulent dans un décor féérique et que les concurrents se disent amoureux de la nature, voire des défenseurs de la planète comme l’aventurier à peine rentré d’Arctique, Mike Horn, dont la présence dans le bivouac a de quoi étonner.

Brill.... but there was a lack of spectators....... think i saw about 10 scattered around on all the eurosport coverage.

I agree! South America full of spectators. Here it proves it should move back. The track looked better in SA as well. Better still why not move it all over the world.

Super cool 😉😘♥️🇵🇪🌍✅👏🥳 amo el deporte y más la carrera de autos full lo máximo 👍🌟💫✨

Bravo aux photographes de cette édition 2020 !!! Les photos sont superbes !! 😍

Tolle Bilder super Fans 👍👏🙏💖

Nothing on this years coverage about the charity work supported by the event. Has there been any?

Wow! 7pictures and not even 25 people... Tells one hell of a story!

Fans is exactly what this years Dakar lacked...there was zero local support unless it wasn't televised...sad to see compared to the South Americans who brought so much energy and passion to the event

I miss the South American fans. Nothing like seeing some beat up old GMC parked up on a huge dune.

Incredible!!! Family fun!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

15 fans sûrement payé par un prince... Pour faire bonne figure. Qu'elle mascarade...

I'll take Latin American fans anyday!

Truly incredible

Hermosas foros gracias por compartir!!!!🤗saludos

Beautiful pictures

La mayoría fotos de hombres!

Lo que representa un Dakar hermandad y pasión al deporte☝🏽💪🏽🙌🏽🚚💨💨💨

Muy poca pasión veo en ese puñado de árabes. La pasión,el calor, la multitud, solo lo pusieron los espectadores sudamericanos y aún más los Argentinos

Gracias, bonitas fotos

Bellisimas!!

Should of been in Russia or all the stans, or Mongolia/China etc

Espectacular ¡¡¡

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6 hrs ago

MotoGP

The dead stop turn 12 is the perfect place for a last ditch victory attempt 💥

Two years in Thailand and two classics! More of the same this year! 🙌

#ThaiGP 🇹🇭
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Best of the best mm93

Marc Márquez N°1 Congratulations

Was soll man noch sagen: Ausdauer wird belohnt. 👍👍😍👍👍

Magnifique 😎👍

Não assistiremos no Brasil , sportrv '"" rede Globo' " não renovou e demitiu apresenta dores..

Horsepower circuit yet Yamaha always there.

you can clearly see the lines that 93 takes around the circuit

Toujours le meilleur MM93 ❤️❤️

K I N G . . . . ! ! ! 💪💪💪💪

Frio e calculista!!!

Alan Flores

Garoto show pilota muito 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

93 croise mais il aura le final 😊

Poutsa bala Kai trabala all the way!!!

Oliver Schubert

2020 = 20 🏆

Dominik Power

🤟🤪🏍️☁️

93

Bonito

93 go

93!!! 🥇🏍️😎

Mario Vesely Roos Vesely Lisa Vesely

Sama ya? Musuh marquest kurang belajar😄

93 👍👍👍

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7 hrs ago

F1

We followed Alex Albon Ansusinha around for a VERY eventful weekend in Brazil... check out what happened 👀 ... See Less

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So many harsh comments about Alex, I wonder if people know/remember that he got a very late call to drive in F1 and didn’t have anywhere near the normal prep and testing time that others have, plus the pressure of changing cars mid year into a top team notorious for dropping their drivers if they don’t perform... I think he’s done exceptionally well and his race craft has only gotten better and better, here’s to podiums in 2020! 👍🏁🏎

These behind the scenes are always so fascinating to watch. That head device is a neat neck trainer. It takes a lot to keep your head up and look during some of those high-g turns.

Just goes to show, you cant just get in a F1 car and put your foot down, the level of fitness these guys have to endure, to comfortably be able to drive the car is massive!

Seems a smashing young fella - best of luck to him I 2020 🏁

I hope to see him on the podium soon, if Hamilton doesn’t crash into him again 🤣. Really, I wish him an excellent 2020 even if Hamilton will be champ again!

The coolest quickest nerd. Such a nice kid. Should like to see him race for the brits, but I know why he's gone for his mum's Thailand.

Gets hammered by Max in every qualy session with at least half a second, crashes like an amateur every weekend. Wins rookie of the year. Amazing

Don't get why people are complaining about Alborn, there's worse drivers around. Think this video is very good for people to see behind the scenes of what drivers get up to and that it's not all money parties and bling

Albon has performed mediocre in his rookie year but all he needs is time, anyone remember Lewis Hamilton throwing away his first world championship in China by overshooting the corner of the pit entry? Now look at him.

Se é assim que ele se comporta enquanto piloto, me parece com um estagiário! Deveria buscar mais espaço na equipe!🏁👍👀

All the best tiger!

Everyone says give him time. Jesus, real champions dont need time.....this is formula one not bambino karting. Hes a really nice guy though, sports personality of the year maybe, rookie of the year definitely not

This is Formula Parade, a 7 year 2 car Mercedes race.

Marko looked like he didnt even want to shake his hand. Typical for his 2nd driver.

fascinating!

Very nice 🏎

When is drive to survive coming out

Better attitude than max and one of the top rookies 👍🏻

Very nice

F1 your sync calendar sync 2019 races... when will you update that?

Un gran fin de semana 🤘

Craig Shore I can not wait till F1 is back

Champ to be

i like videos like this..!

Thomas

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8 hrs ago

MotoGP

Do you want to enjoy the opening round of the 2020 #MotoGP season at the Losail International Circuit? 🤩

Buy your #QatarGP 🇶🇦 tickets before the 1st of February and save up to 25%!➡️http://bit.ly/QatarGP20Tickets
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Gutted to be missing Losail for the first time in 3 years! ☹️

Hey MotoGP, how are we gonna watch the races in Brazil 🇧🇷 if SporTV didn't get a new contract and fired the best broadcasters (Guto Nejaim and Mundomoto - Fausto Macieira) ??? Please help us urgently!

doha is a no go at moment 😕

Shyam Chengappa

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8 hrs ago

24H Series

NEW ENTRY!

Rinaldi Racing will be joining us this 24H SERIES 2020 Season! The German team will be participating with a Ferrari 488 GT3 at MONZA🇮🇹, SPA🇧🇪, PORTIMAO🇵🇹, PAUL RICARD🇫🇷 and BARCELONA🇪🇸.

Great news and a great competitor for the 24HSERIES EUROPE championship!

Ferrari#thisisendurance #24hseries #ferrari488 Ferrari
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NEW ENTRY!

Rinaldi Racing will be joining us this 24H SERIES 2020 Season! The German team will be participating with a Ferrari 488 GT3 at MONZA🇮🇹, SPA🇧🇪, PORTIMAO🇵🇹, PAUL RICARD🇫🇷 and BARCELONA🇪🇸. 

Great news and a great competitor for the 24HSERIES EUROPE championship!

#thisisendurance #24hseries #Ferrari488 Ferrari

12 hrs ago

F1

Happy Birthday, Jenson Button 🎉

Who remembers this moment? The Brit's first F1 victory 🤩🏆
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With a little bit of luck (double diffuser) and the greatest F1 engineer of all time, he won a championship with an almost defunct team who had no money at the end of the season. Happy birthday, Jenson.

I was actually at that GP on my honeymoon. We got soaked. Fantastic race though. Kimi crashed right in front of us.

My favourite memory of Jenson Button was when he became world champion at Brazil in 2009. It wasn't an easy championship as he went from winning 6 of the first 7 races to being utterly outclassed by the Red Bulls and on occasions Hamilton's McLaren towards the end of the season. The sheer joy, relief and release of winning the title was palpable

Happy Birthday Jenson! Pity Mclaren couldn't give him a decent, reliable car. Career ended too early. X

Happy birthday jenson really do miss him in f1 really do wish he didn't leave one of the great legends,

Like the guy, don't get me wrong but 2006 Hungarian F1 GP was a fantastic race, a true masterpiece driving by Alonso, the only reason why he did not win the race by a couple of laps difference to the 2nd place was that his engine gave up on him. Alonso fighting and overtaking Schumacher on the outside of the corner and in wet conditions is something trully special. Back to Jenson and the race his real "competition" in the race was Pedro de la Rosa(fininshed 2nd), a slow driver by any standards, we had 8 DNFs and 1 DQ drivers among them Alonso, Kimi, Rosberg,Webber, Kubica, seriously guys I like Jenson but who else could have one the race?

Remember it well but also remember his interview on top gear a few weeks before saying how it would mean everything to win a gp. Then he wins this and finds out before 2009 he might not have a seat as honda was gone only to come back as Braun and win championship. Jenson is a gentleman. Happy birthday xxx

Et qu'elle course incroyable un des meilleurs grands prix de la F1 🏎 moderne

Happy birthday! F1 hasn't been the same since Jenson retired.

One of my all time favourite drivers .. a true gentleman... Never a whiner .... absolutely loved his win on the last lap in Canada.. happy birthday Jenson

Happy Birthday Jense, hope you have a great one with your wonderful family!

An awesome British champion and made history that will never be forgotten Happy birthday JB

Happy birthday Jenson, I always remember watching this race

A perfect gentleman in a world of F1 drivers. Held his own against every world class teammate he had( Hamilton, barichello, Alonso). Sad that he never got a proper sendoff.

James Allen really was a great commentator. Much better than crofty. He brought alot of enthusiasm. That moment, kimis pass on fisi and the end of the 2008 brazil race his commentary is fantastic. Him and martin were great together

One of my favourite bits of commentary ever, always makes my hair stand on end. Also just one of the nicest guys in F1 🏎️

I remember it very well, JB has always been my fav British driver. Always worked hard to get his championship win. Almost lost everything when Honda pulled out. Have more respect for a driver who has had to work hard for his wins than one who is handed it by being in the best car

This moment was worth the long wait.What a driver and gentleman.My true hero, Happy birthday JB

Happy Birthday to my favourite driver 😘

My favorite driver with a birthday right before mine, which I just find sweet. Congrats on baby Hendrix and Happy Birthday

Lovely how the cars did look that time... "simple", pure and powerfull. No nonsense. Best Era of F1 ever in my opinion.

The best part of this clip is James Allen's commentary. One of the best.

I was there to witness this... the rain was horrendous but the sun shone on my man...amazing and so lucky to witness this live...🥰🥰🏁🏁

I was there on the main grandstand. A great race, historic victory. Was a great weekend to be there. I'd love to come back to that circuit again.

the thing i remember most about JB's first win is his eyes , brilliant!

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