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Pharaons Rally: Al-Rajhi and Marek Dabrowski to represent Overdrive Toyota.




Saudi Arabian driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Pole Marek Dabrowski will drive a pair of Overdrive Racing Toyota Hiluxes in the "Pharaons Rally", round five of the 2014 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, which takes place between El Gouna and Cairo in Egypt on May 19-24.

The pair currently hold fourth and second in the FIA World Cup points’ standings and realise the importance of collecting vital championship points at the third of the long-distance marathon-type rounds of the prestigious FIA series.

Partnered by German co-driver Timo Gottschalk, Al-Rajhi began his challenge for a first ever FIA World Cup title in devastating style by winning both the shorter Russian "Northern Forest" and "Italian Baja" rounds of the championship.

But the decision not to drive a Toyota in Abu Dhabi was a costly one and a series of punctures and a rear axle problem sidelined the Riyadh driver in Qatar. He has now recovered from a health scare at a recent special stage rally in Jordan and is relishing the challenge of kick-starting his title push.

Dabrowski and fellow Polish navigator Jacek Czachor have been the model of consistency this season in their Team Orlen Toyota Hilux. The pair were third in Italy and Qatar, fifth in Russia and seventh in the "Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge". They trial the Russian championship leader Vladimir Vasilyev by 65 points and know that a podium finish in Egypt would boost their challenge for the title.

"Our team has started the season well and we are well-placed in the FIA World Cup with four drivers in second, third, fourth and seventh places in the championship standings," said Overdrive team director Jean-Marc Fortin.

"Yazeed has been given the all clear to return to racing after being taken ill in Jordan and being forced to miss the Rally of Argentina. He knows the importance of a top three finish in Egypt. Marek also needs to continue adding to his points tally. It is not an easy rally and there is sure to be strong competition."

After scrutineering and administration at the Red Sea town of El Gouna and a super special stage on Monday, May 19th, the challenging five-day rally leaves the eastern Egyptian town on May 20th en route to the southerly historic city of Luxor on the banks of the Nile, via a series of spectacular tracks over ancient camel caravan trails.

From there, on May 21st, the route heads southwest across the desert to an overnight bivouac in Dahkla, initially via tracks that connect Upper Egypt with the Western Oasis. The terrain becomes rockier, with plateau crossings and teams will experience the first of the dunes. The route then turns north towards the Libyque desert and crosses sandstone and limestone trails en route to the bivouac in Baharia, on May 22nd.

The fourth selective section is a loop stage around the Baharia oasis on May 23rd and uses ancient trails once used to transport gold and salt from Chad and Sudan for sale in Egypt and numerous sandy tracks and dune crossings.

The fifth and final section takes teams from Baharia to a finish in Cairo at the Pyramids in Giza on Saturday, May 24th. The stage leaves the depressions of the Libyque desert and crosses the Giza plateau to return to the Nile valley.

FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies – positions after round 4

PL
DRIVER
RALLYCAR
POINTS
01
Vasilyev, Vladimir (RUS)
X-raid Mini All4 Racing
135
02
Dabrowski, Marek (PL)
Overdrive Toyota Hilux
70
03
Malysz, Adam (PL)
Overdrive Toyota Hilux
66
04
Al Rajhi, Yazeed (KSA)
Overdrive Toyota Hilux
60
04
Al Attiyah, Nasser (QT)
X-raid Mini A44 Racing
60
06
Zapletal, Miroslav (CZ)
Hummer H3 Proto
48
07
Varela, Reinaldo (BRA)
Overdrive Toyota Hilux
46
08
Gadasin, Boris (RUS)
G-Force Proto
27
09
Al Helai, Yayha
Nissan Patrol
24
10
Kaczmarski, Martin (PL)
X-raid Mini All4 Racing
22

2014/05/18 | 23:56 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/PERKINS











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