Dubai Rally prepares for top speeds among the dunes

Race on World Cup calendar for first time

07 March, 14:31

    (ANSAmed) - NAPLES, MARCH 7 - The Dubai International Rally is set to take off at full speed on the dunes of the Al Qudra desert starting March 9, with "all the ingredients for a spectacular rally high dunes, small promontories, great sandy plains", said Dubai Automobile Club president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

    The Dubai Rally, which runs through March 11, is the oldest motorsport event in the United Arab Emirates, being staged annually since the late 1970s and organized by the UAE Automobile Club since 1997.

    This year it is also taking place as a round of both the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies (alongside the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge) and the FIM Baja World Cup.

    Cars, motorcycles, buggies and quads will compete in the Dubai desert, featuring stars of the international rally scene like Sam Sunderland, who won the Dakar 2017 on motorcycle and is back on his Red Bull KTM in Dubai.

    Competing against him are 37 bikers from around the world.

    Sunderland, the first English rider to win at Dakar, lives in Dubai and knows the course and its terrain well.

    "After Dakar I didn't race much, but now I feel ready for this challenge," he said.

    Polish driver Aron Domzala will sit alongside copilot Szymon Gospodarczyk in their Toyota, after taking victory in the opening round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies at the Baja Russian Northern Forest Rally.

    There's no shortage of local champions, however, with Adel Hussain Abdulla of Qatar leading among them aboard his Nissan, while UAE fans can cheer for Mohammad Al Balooshi.

    Also among the car favorites is Nasser Al Attiyah, who won twice at Dakar and will be at the wheel of his Toyota Hilux.

    In all, there are 14 UAE drivers, in a sport that has always had widespread enthusiasm among fans on the Arab peninsula.

    Following the Dubai Rally, racing will remain in the region for the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge scheduled from April 1-7.(ANSAmed).

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