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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 Desert Challenge: Stage set for World-Class show in Abu Dhabi



The stage is set for a big week of world-class rally action in the "Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge", which starts on Saturday under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region.

The 24th edition of the Middle East’s first world championship motor sport event begins with a power-packed super special spectator stage sending 108 drivers and riders from 32 countries into action over a twisting 2 km circuit on Yas Island starting at 3pm.

The following morning the mighty international procession of cars, bikes and quads set off on the 290-km Yas Marina Circuit special stage, the first of five demanding desert sections which carve a spectacular route among the giant dunes of the UAE’s Western Region of Al Garbia.

The next three days bring the ADNOC (269 km), Qasr Al Sarab (256 km) and Nissan Patrol (239 km) special stages, all centred on the desert bivouac, before the 244 km Abu Dhabi Aviation stage takes the survivors back to the finish on Yas Island next Thursday (10 April).

The Desert Challenge is the third round of the 2014 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars, and the opening round of this year’s FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship for bikes, and the size and quality of the entry list underlines the event’s status in the world of off road rallying.

"This is an event that everyone in the sport wants to win," said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the rally organisers, and FIA Vice President, at today’s official press conference. "The desert of the Western Region has some of the most spectacular terrain on earth, and everyone who takes part has a fantastic experience. To finish the event is an achievement, and this is a true test even for the top professional drivers and riders."

Twelve months ago, Spain’s Nani Roma scored his first Desert Challenge success when he won the cars class for the first time, while fellow-countryman Marc Coma captured his seventh bikes crown. Both have returned to the UAE as reigning Dakar Rally champions and will be looking to write their names into the record books again next week.

Since the Desert Challenge was launched in 1991, Jean-Louis Schlesser is the only driver to have scored back-to-back victories in the event with a Dakar Rally win sandwiched in between, managing the feat in 1999 and 2000. Coma achieved the same distinction on his KTM in 2010 and 2011.

The defending champions both face fierce opposition on this occasion. The biggest threat to Roma could be posed by Saudi Arabia’s top seeded driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi, partnered by German Timo Gottschalk in a Hummer Prototype, who leads the FIA World Cup series after winning the first two rounds in Russia and Italy.

Among the other leading challengers are Russian driver Vladimir Vasilyev, Dutchman Erik Van Loon, and Poland’s Martin Kaczmarksi, all driving Minis, as well as Poland’s Marek Dabrowski and Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela, both driving a Toyota Hilux,

The top-ranked UAE driver is Yahya Al Helei, seeded tenth in a powerful Nissan Pick up, one of 16 Nissans in the field. His son Mansour drives one of 12 Nissan Patrols entered, as do fellow Emiratis Nabil Al Shamsi, Nooh Buhamid, Matar Al Mansoori and Ali Al Kitbi, Lebanon’s Emil Khneisser, and Saudi’s Ibrahim Al Muhana.

Heading the 61 seeded riders is Portugal’s Paulo Goncalves, the reigning FIM world champion, while second seed Coma could also come under pressure from new KTM team-mate Sam Sunderland, the talented young Dubai-based rider who came close to winning last year.

2014/04/03 | 19:53 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/TONY LEWIS











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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