Dubai Rally to spot Pirelli star driver for GCC

The 31st Dubai International Rally 2009, the final round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, brings another first as it will host the Pirelli Star Driver’s programme for the Middle East region, according to President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) and Organizing Committee Chairman Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

Sulayem, who is also FIA Vice President, said that while the Dubai International Rally would decide the Middle East championship, the results will also determine which driver will emerge victorious in the Middle East for the Pirelli Star Driver Programme.

As of now the top six drivers qualify by default for the final shoot-out which will be held concurrently with the Dubai International Rally.

“Pirelli Star Driver scheme, the worldwide hunt for young drivers from the regional championships is a platform for talented competitors to reach the World Championship level. The programme, endorsed by Pirelli and the FIA, drives the most talented and promising young drivers from the FIA regional championships in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East,” Sulayem said.

The Dubai International rally includes six young drivers from the Middle East with the top performer joining a group of five talented young drivers from around the world.

As of now the Pirelli knock-out team consists of Kenya’s Peter Horsey the winner of Africa’s Pirelli Star Driver Shoot Out, New Zealander Hayden Paddon, winner of the selection of the Asia-Pacific region, San Marino’s Alex Raschi and Estonia’s Ott Tanak, the winners from the European and American region.

Dubai International Rally will start and end amidst Downtown Burj Dubai the world’s most prestigious square kilometre.

The 2009 Dubai International Rally, the 31st edition of the event, has garnered support from Emaar, The Address, Emarat, Oasis and Explorer. The government support for the event comes from Dubai Ports & Dubai Customs, Dubai Police, Immigration, Road and Transport Authority, Ministry of Civil Defense. Ministry of Youth and Culture and Social Development also support the rally.

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