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









Hail Saudi Baja: Hail Baja set to kick-start 2010 Baja-Cup.




The Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF) has confirmed an incentive package and initial details for the Saudi Arabia Ha’il Baja, the opening round of the 2010 FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, which will take place on February 16th-18th. Saudi Arabia’s premier off-road motor sport event will again be based in Ha’il, in the north-central region of the Kingdom and will run under the patronage of HRH Prince Saud Bin Abdul Mohsen Bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Ha’il, President of the Supreme Commission for Ha’il Development and the Head of the Supreme Commission of the Ha’il Rally.

Ha’il’s Baja ran as a candidate through the An Nafud desert for the first time in 2007 before joining the FIA Baja Cup in 2008. It took a one-year break from the series in 2009 and returns as the traditional opening round of the demanding Baja series for the second time in February, where it takes its place in the calendar two weeks ahead of the Northern Forest Baja in Russia.

Officials at the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF) in Riyadh are offering a generous assistance package to overseas entrants keen to experience one of the most challenging events in the global off-road calendar.

Each driver and co-driver will be offered five nights’ accommodation in a twin room, $2,500 USD towards expenses and assistance with their visa to enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Foreign visitors’ passport copies must reach SAMF staff no later than four weeks before the event.

"Everyone who has attended the Ha’il Baja in the past has been impressed with the beauty and challenge of the terrain and the format of the event," enthused Mishaal Al-Sudairy, President of the SAMF. "This will be our fifth year running the Ha’il Baja, as a candidate after the first year or as a round of the FIA Baja Cup. Our experienced team is currently working on the finishing touches to the challenging route through the An Nafud desert.

"We are delighted to have been chosen to get the 2010 Baja calendar year underway and welcome overseas competitors to come and sample our hospitality and the unique challenge that our beautiful country will provide in terms of a testing route and challenging special stages."

Local driver Rajeh Al-Shammeri won the 2007 Ha’il Baja in a Toyota Land Cruiser, before Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah took victory with the factory BMW X-raid team on his way to the FIA Baja Cup title in 2008. Saudi Arabian rally star Yazeed Al-Rajhi won the event last year in an Overdrive Racing Nissan Navara.

Experienced consultant Elie Semaan will again work as clerk of the course for the 2010 Ha’il Baja with a team that also includes Hamoud Al-Jabri. The team is currently finalising details of the timed Prologue stage, which will get the competitive action underway on Tuesday, February 16th.

Legs two and three will run through the An Nafud desert to the north and west of Ha’il on Wednesday, February 17th and Thursday, February 18th and event officials are planning a challenging mix of sand dunes, fast, winding desert trails and twisty and technical stages. "Many international competitors have complimented the terrain we have used in previous Ha’il Bajas and we are planning to maintain and improve our reputation for laying on challenging routes this year," added Semaan.

The 2010 Saudi Arabia Ha’il Baja will be based at the Maghwat conference facility on the outskirts of Ha’il and the official event timetable will get underway with scrutineering, documentation and the official pre-event press conference on Monday, February 15th.

The city of Ha’il is situated in the Shammar mountain region, west of the Al-Odairie valley. It has historic significance and is a transit point for pilgrims heading towards Mecca from Iraq and Syria. The city extends in the shape of a bow around the Shammar mountain and is surrounded to the west by the Aja and the Umm-Al-Riqab hills, as well as the Salma hill to the north and east.

Ha’il has been transformed into a modern city after comprehensive recent development. The town is linked by modern expressways to the cities of Riyadh, Mecca Al-Mukarramah, Al Madinah, Al Munawarah and Jeddah.

2009/12/17 | 16:33 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Neil Perkins






















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