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This is the single-news section of the news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Baja GB: UK Baja set to join 2007 FIA Baja Cup.

Baja GB will become a round of the 2007 FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, following the World Motor Sport Council's decision to include the event in the FIA championship calendar on August 17th-19th next year. Baja Wales Limited promoted the inaugural Baja GB in August as an official candidate round and the event was well received by competitors, FIA and MSA officials and media alike. The upgrade to the FIA International Cup marks the first time that an event in Great Britain has become a round of a Cross-Country-type of motorsporting discipline and will mark a vital stepping stone for British drivers bidding to take part in future rounds of the FIA World Cup and the punishing Dakar Rally.

"I'm absolutely delighted that after all the organisers' hard work, they have been able to graduate to the FIA International Cup for Bajas," said Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of the Motor Sports Association (MSA). "This is a real leap forward for British motorsport and represents a major stepping stone for future drivers to be able to take part in events such as the Dakar Rally."

"We, at Baja Wales Limited, had a dream and that was to see Baja GB reach world status," said Chris Tomley, Chairman of the MSA's Off-Road Committee and one of the chief organisers. "We were overwhelmed by support for the inaugural event in August and are absolutely delighted that we have been accepted into the championship.

"Now the work really starts to make the necessary improvements and revisions to our event to ensure that we are a fitting round of the championship in 2007. I would like to thank everyone who made this dream possible. Sustainability will be a priority for us in devising and arranging the event and, in particular, bio fuels, already being used by some UK competitors, will be encouraged." Baja GB has received the full backing of the Motor Sports Association (MSA), the Forestry Commission Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government.

"Cross-country motor sport competitions are fast becoming major world events and I am delighted to hear of the FIA's decision," said Andrew Davies, Wales' Minister for Enterprise Innovation and Networks. "This event, alongside Wales Rally GB, will help raise the profile of Wales and assist the growth of a high value economy in an increasingly global market place - including further involvement of Welsh motorsport companies in specialist vehicle development."

"Great Britain has lagged behind the rest of the world in terms of Cross-Country rallying, but this is a very positive step for the sport on these shores," said Derek Ledger, FIA Vice President and Chairman of the FIA Cross-Country Commission. "There is enormous interest in this type of sport in the UK and Baja GB is sure to boost that still further."

More details about Baja GB 2007 will be issued prior to the Autosport Show at the NEC in the New Year, although organisers have confirmed that there will be T1 and T2 categories for competitors tackling the international status event, in addition to a National car category and additional sections for motorcycles and quads.

Other rounds of the 2007 FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas will take place in Italy, Spain and Portugal, although the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is running a candidate event in February 2007 for potential inclusion in the 2008 series. Meanwhile, a comprehensive and exclusive highlight programme of Baja GB 2006 will be shown within Sky Sports' World Motorsport programme on the Sky Sports 3 channel from 19.00 hrs on Tuesday, November 14th, with a repeat at 23.00 hrs and two further showings at 10.00 hrs and 15.00 hrs the following day.

2006/10/27 | 13:25 CET | Editor: mr/Neil Perkins

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