|AD Desert Challenge: X-Raid BMW eyes Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Podium.|
Team X-Raid, winner of last year’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, has entered this month’s 2,000 kilometre cross-country rally, upbeat that it is well placed for a repeat victory. Russia’s Leonid Novitskiy will take the driver’s seat with German Andreas Schulz at his side. The duo finished 11th overall in their BMW X3 CC at the recent Dakar rally, which has placed them early favourite to defend the BMW X-Raid team’s 2009 title clinched by Guerlain Chicherit and Tina Thorner.
X-Raid’s team manager, Sven Quandt said that the last 12 months have been great for the for this year’s title contenders. "Novitskiy and Schulz smack of a winning team. They finished second overall in Morocco and did really well at the Dakar. They finished 11th, and achieved the 11th faster overall time in the 16-day, 9,030 kilometre run, and they are in tip-top condition to take on Abu Dhabi's Western Region’s gruelling terrain."
"Compared to the Dakar’s long straight run, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is 2,000 kilometres, however the dust, heat and the un-known element that belongs to the desert sands alone is a tough challenge for even the most experienced drivers. I believe that our team has what it takes to emerge winner in tough terrain."
The five-day competitive section of the cross-country motor sport spectacular, organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) with the full backing of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, opens in Abu Dhabi on March 27.
The desert section runs from March 28-April 1, 2010 and is open to competitors driving cars and trucks complying with FIA T1, T2 and T4 technical regulations and motorcyclists and quads running under the auspices of the FIM. Once again the event will be the season-opening round of both the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship.
2010/03/19 | 18:24 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/PERKINS