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Sealine Rally Qatar: Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah to compete in a Mini All4 Racing. | 16.04.2014


Breslau Rally: Rally will be more International - new full Cross-Country class. | 15.04.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot unveiled first details of Peugeot 2008 DKR Proto. | 15.04.2014


FIM World Cup: Paulo Gonçalves - "It's not about luck - it’s about hard work". | 15.04.2014


Sealine Rally Qatar: QMMF announces route for Sealine Cross Country rally. | 14.04.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Czech Loprais Tatra team now together with Buggyra Tatra. | 14.04.2014


Pharaons Rally: X-raid back in Egypt, the stages of the Egyptian Rally 2014. | 14.04.2014













































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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











Hungarian CC: Second race, second win for Polish Chevrolet at Turkeve Cup | 16.04.2014 19:50 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah to compete in a Mini All4 Racing. | 16.04.2014 19:22 | NEW




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Breslau Rally: Rally will be more International - new full Cross-Country class. | 15.04.2014 20:06 | NEW




Dakar Rally 2015: Dakar Tour stopped in the Netherlands with Cyril Despres | 15.04.2014 19:24 | NEW




Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot unveiled first details of Peugeot 2008 DKR Proto. | 15.04.2014 19:05 | NEW




Hungarian CC VIDEO: Short impressions Turkeve Cup - Nissan Qashqai Proto | 15.04.2014 18:53 | NEW




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FIM World Cup: Paulo Gonçalves - "It's not about luck - it’s about hard work". | 15.04.2014 17:38 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: QMMF announces route for Sealine Cross Country rally. | 14.04.2014 17:43 | NEW




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Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Official video impression D5 in Abu Dhabi | 14.04.2014 16:24 | NEW




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Summary Vasilyev Mini All4 Racing Team | 14.04.2014 16:19 | NEW




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Kazakhstan Teams Interview Sven Quandt | 14.04.2014 16:13 | NEW




TORC 2014: Kleiman adds second Truck 2014 - keeps busy at Primm Valley | 14.04.2014 15:55 | NEW




TORC 2014: Canadian two-truck team Sle Co Race had a challenging weekend | 14.04.2014 15:47 | NEW




TORC 2014: Cenni wins season opener - Kvamme gets first career podium | 14.04.2014 14:26 | NEW




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Defender Challenge: Race2Recovery take top step on Defender Challenge RD2 | 14.04.2014 13:45 | NEW




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Four Overdrive Toyota in the final Top 10 | 14.04.2014 13:18 | NEW




Formula Off-Road: Robby Gordon wins round 3 in front of Venezuela´s EJ Viso | 14.04.2014 12:54 | NEW




Dakar Rally 2015: Czech Loprais Tatra team now together with Buggyra Tatra. | 14.04.2014 11:17 | NEW




Pharaons Rally: X-raid back in Egypt, the stages of the Egyptian Rally 2014. | 14.04.2014 10:41 | NEW




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Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Surprising ADDC victory for Paulo Goncalves. | 10.04.2014 14:59 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Official video impression D4 in Abu Dhabi | 10.04.2014 10:43 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of SS03 by Team Matzker | 10.04.2014 10:41 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: 1-2-3 for the X-raid Minis, 4-5-6 for the Toyotas. | 10.04.2014 10:14 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Coma leading, Sunderland mechanical problems. | 10.04.2014 08:38 |




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Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Vasilyev/Zhiltsov - with "support" of Schlesser | 09.04.2014 02:23 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: "Youngster" Ollie Lloyd climbed 13th pos overall | 09.04.2014 01:20 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Impressions SS03 of Kazakhstan Teams | 09.04.2014 00:47 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Official video impression D3 in Abu Dhabi | 09.04.2014 00:41 |




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