|Sealine Rally Qatar: Qatar´s new rally attracts world leading offroad drivers.|
The exciting new "Sealine Cross-Country Rally" has attracted the strongest off-road motor sport entry in the history of the organising club, the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF).
Set to take its place in the FIA and FIM World Cup calendars on April 15th-21st, the revised five-day off-road event has attracted the cream of the world’s cross-country bikers and drivers, with many of the leading competitors from the legendary Dakar Rally set to visit the State of Qatar for the first time.
The brainchild of Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah, president of the QMMF, April’s all-desert event has attracted teams in the provisional 36-car category from the triumphant X-raid team, G-Force Motorsport, Overdrive Racing, Team Sonangol Schlesser and privateers from as far afield as the UK, the Czech Republic, Argentina, France, Portugal, Ukraine, Kuwait and Russia.
The provisional 39-motorcycle entry also has strength in depth and many of the world’s leading Dakar riders will be chasing FIM World Cup points across the Qatar desert.
Names include the top Spanish rider Jordi Viladoms, three-time Dakar champion Marc Coma, Frenchman David Casteu, Portuguese Dakar front-runners Helder Rodrigues, Ruben Faria and Paulo Goncalves, Chile’s Francesco Lopez and Dubai-based Briton Sam Sunderland, the winner of last November’s trial Sealine Qatar Baja.
Other riders to grace the truly international entry list will travel to Qatar from as far afield as Russia, UAE, Austria, Sweden, India, Venezuela, Uruguay, Poland, Denmark, Italy and Bulgaria.
"We are obviously working against the clock to prepare for the forthcoming Moto GP at Losail and the Sealine Cross-Country Rally in tandem, but our decision to upgrade the Sealine event to five days has been vindicated with a fabulous entry," enthused Al-Attiyah.
Administration checks and scrutineering for GCC and Qatar crews will be carried out on Sunday, April 15th and international teams will pass their checks on Monday, April 16th, prior to the ceremonial start in the afternoon.
There will be a timed super special stage on Tuesday, April 17th and the first of four desert legs of the new Sealine Cross-Country Rally begins on Wednesday, April 18th. Action draws to a close on Saturday, April 21st.
2012/04/11 | 11:12 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/PERKINS