|Abu Dhabi DC: 434 kilometers of world’s toughest terrain on SS02 Tuesday.|
If day one of the "Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge" was an eye-opening introduction to the world’s ultimate desert rally for many of the visiting competitors, then Leg 2 (Tuesday, April 3) will really push them to their limits, as the world-class field of drivers and riders heads deep into the famed Rub Al Khali, or Empty Quarter desert.
The 434 kilometre long stage will test the competitors from over 30 countries to the max, as they get to grips with the towering sand dunes that help make the rally one of sport’s most demanding competitions.
The second leg of the rally is again named after ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company), the company that has played such a crucial role in the development of the Desert Challenge and motorsport in the UAE over the past 20 years.
One of the world’s leading oil companies, ADNOC is also integrally involved with the development of the Western Region of Al Gharbia, through which most of the rally passes.
"This is where the action really hots up, as the competitors learn all about the technical demands of racing among some of the world’s biggest sand dunes," said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Desert Challenge founder and president of rally organisers, the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE).
"It is fitting that such an important stage is named after such a key partner, ADNOC, which has contributed so much to the rally’s success over the past two decades."
Day two of competition proper starts at 08.00, just west of the E45 MZ road, around 36km north of Mezaira’a. The drivers and riders will race over 100km west, across the E15, before swinging back round and heading into the huge sand dunes south of Liwa.
They finish back at the event’s bivouac desert base, which is located next to the luxurious Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, making it an easily accessible, uniquely beautiful location for fans wanting to experience the unique Desert Challenge atmosphere first hand.
The competitive stages of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge got underway on Monday with Leg 1 of the rally departing Al Dhafrah, outside the capital.
In the cars category, Russian Boris Gadasin started the day in first place in his G-Force Proto, ahead of the Team X-Raid duo of Emirati Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei and Ilya Kusnetsov in their MINI All4 Racing and BMW X3 CC cars respectively.
In 2011, Jakub Przygonski finished third on his KTM 450 bike, and this year two of his Polish team mates took first and second place on the day one starting grid, following Sunday’s Super Special Stage.
Riding for Team Orlen, Jacek Czachor and Marek Dabrowski were followed by Italian Manuel Lucchese. In the quads category, UAE residents Sebastian Husseini and Nicholas Black started in first and place, ahead of Andrea Mayer from Germany.
This year, the rally has again been designed to allow spectators to access key viewpoints along the route, where they can take in the breath-taking sight of the cars, trucks, quads and bikes taking on the toughest terrain the world has to offer at high-speed. After five days of competitive stages, the remaining participants will cross the finishing line in Abu Dhabi on Friday, 6th April.
2012/04/03 | 19:44 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/DRINKWATER/AZIZ