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Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014


Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014


Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014













































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Abu Dhabi DC: Emirati racers to demonstrate desert pedigree in the 2011 DC.





Looking to demonstrate their supreme understanding of the Western Region’s sands, which comes from generations of local knowledge, 22 UAE nationals are set to take on the world’s best rally drivers and riders when the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge begins next month.

"The Emiratis competing at this year’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge are credit to our nation," said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club for the UAE (ATCUAE) and vice-president of the FIA. "We have grown accustomed to seeing UAE nationals finishing in top five positions, and this is something which fills us with tremendous national pride every year."

Leading the charge on one of the world’s most spectacular cross-country rallies will be Yahya Bel Helei, who is among the most experienced off-road drivers in the UAE. He has a series of spectacular wins behind him in both bike and car categories and has competed at every Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge since 1990.

This year, Bel Helei will be partnered by compatriot Khalid Al Kendi, who can count on experience as a co-driver in the World Rally Championship. "Yahya is one of the most experienced drivers in the field," said Al Kendi. "We are racing here for national pride as much as for personal success."

Bel Helei’s son, Mansoor, will pilot a car in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge for the first time, having taken part in the competition for the first time last year as co-driver for his father. The pair had looked good to score a top 10 result, but, unfortunately, mechanical problems on day three took them out of the race.

But this year, father and son will be competing against each other for top honours, with Mansoor looking to outshine his father in the region’s toughest cross-country rally. Mansoor will be driving a Nissan Patrol, while his father will be in a Storm buggy by Powertec.

Another UAE national looking to place his country firmly in the limelight will be Matar Al Mansouri, the First Secretary at the Abu Dhabi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who has already excelled for his nation by coming third in class at last year’s rally. Mansouri is exceptionally familiar with the course’s terrain, having been brought up in the Liwa oasis of Al Khanza. He has travelled far and wide across the rolling red dunes of Al Gharbia, both by horse and in car, and will be looking to improve further on last year’s impressive performance.

Leading UAE biker, Mohamed Balooshi will be making his debut for the KTM UAE Rally Team at the Desert Challenge, riding a KTM 530 EXC, wwhile Dubai-based Khalid Al Falasi will compete with Team Al Yasi. Al Falasi has previously excelled in the race, having finished in sixth place in 2008, claiming the record of highest-ranking Arab rider since the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge was renamed to reflect the emirate. Aside from competing on home soil, Al Falasi has raced at numerous cross-country rallies abroad, and plans to race in the Baja 1000 in Mexico later on in 2011.

"I feel happy and lucky that I am the highest ranking Arab at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge," Al Falasi said. "This year I will be aiming to do well again. It makes me proud to represent my country at these world-class events."

Also representing the UAE and Team Al Yasi will be local quad biking champion Mohammed Al Shamsi, who secured eighth place in the quads category of last year’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

Last year Emirati competitors registered a number of successes, including Abdul Bari Bin Sugat, who gained a podium result having excelled in his Nissan Patrol over the gruelling five-day course. And in the bikes category, Emirati rider Obaid Echtibi secured first place in the quads category. The results reflected the growing presence of Emirati rally drivers on the world stage.

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is a world-class cross-country rally that attracts some of the most famous rally drivers and riders from across the globe. It will take place from April 1-7, and consists of four categories: bikes, quads, cars and trucks.

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of United Arab Emirates (ATCUAE) under the title sponsorship of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), and is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region.

The rally is backed by a high-profile line-up of sponsors and supporters that includes Al Gharbia Municipality, ADNOC, Rotana – Yas Island, Al Ain Water, TAG Heuer, Explorer and Nissan. Meanwhile, a landmark partnership with Eurosport TV will see daily global broadcasts of all the 2011 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge action.

2011/03/31 | 13:33 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/AL-SAFFAR











Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:24 |




Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014 02:40 |




Defender Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of the series by Bowler Rd 4 Wales | 29.08.2014 01:31 |




Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014 01:27 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014 00:47 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:10 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:08 |




Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014 16:33 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014 04:57 |




Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014 04:48 |




Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014 02:20 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 01:56 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 00:44 |




Rally dos Sertões: KTM’s Marc Coma hangs on to overall lead in dos Sertoes. | 27.08.2014 23:48 |




Rally dos Sertões: Paulo Gonçalves clinches victory in SS04 - the longest stage. | 27.08.2014 23:32 |




Desafío Inca: German manufacturer battle - X-Raid Mini vs SAM Mercedes CC | 27.08.2014 19:26 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:29 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 17:55 |




Rally dos Sertões: Both Ford Rangers reached top speeds above 175 km/h. | 27.08.2014 17:07 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Onboard with X-Rally Ford Ranger Baumgart / Cincea | 27.08.2014 16:35 |




Rally dos Sertões: Stagewin for Toyota´s Varela in S3 but Spinelli still leader. | 27.08.2014 16:19 |




Rally dos Sertões: Goncalves - "Hope to ride hard without making mistakes" | 27.08.2014 16:00 |




Rally dos Sertões: Marc Coma wins again in Bikes and remains the leadership. | 27.08.2014 15:35 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 19:14 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 18:57 |




Baja Poland: X-raid with four Mini All4 Racing - chase for World Cup continues. | 26.08.2014 17:21 |




Baja Poland: Overdrive Racing with five Toyota Hilux and Nasser Al Attiyah. | 26.08.2014 16:45 |




Rally dos Sertões: Mitsubishi´s Spinelli / Haddad the new leader in the cars. | 26.08.2014 05:17 |




Rally dos Sertões: Gonçalves wins SS2 in Bikes but Coma still overall leader. | 26.08.2014 05:02 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Nice impressions from the first days in Brazil (79) | 26.08.2014 04:53 |




Baja Poland VIDEO: Official trailer of the Baja Poland FIA CC World Cup 2014 | 26.08.2014 04:32 |




Donaldson CC: Test of character for the teams at South African Vryburg 450 | 26.08.2014 03:49 |




Rallyraid: Kamaz Master legend Ilgizar Mardeev tragically died in an accident. | 26.08.2014 03:09 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 02:30 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 01:59 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Driving onboard with Overdrive Toyota Hilux of Verala | 26.08.2014 01:46 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda´s Paulo Goncalves wins second stage in the bikes. | 26.08.2014 01:28 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment video of SS01 Sunday (crash) | 26.08.2014 00:56 |




















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