Kuwait Motor Sports Club announces 2010 Kuwait International Rally
The Kuwait Motor Sports Club (KMSC) has announced initial details of the 2010 Kuwait International Rally, the second round of this year’s FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC), which takes place on March 4-6.
The event returned to the regional series in 2009 after an absence of 13 years and again features a ceremonial start under the famous Kuwait Towers from 3pm on Thursday, March 4th. There will then be two days of gravel special stage action in the Kuwaiti deserts on March 5th and 6th. Teams will be permitted two days of reconnaissance on Tuesday, March 2nd and Wednesday, March 3rd.
The ceremonial start will take place adjacent to the famous Kuwait Towers from 3pm on Thursday, March 4th and teams will then head straight into a purpose-built timed spectator stage at the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Circuit from 3.30 pm.
To raise the level of the event and make the special stages more challenging, changes have been made to the Al-Salmi, Alatraff, Sulibikhat, Al-Metlaa and Shooting Club stages.
The ceremonial finish is planned at the Kuwait Towers from 5.30pm on Saturday (March 6th). The service area and rally headquarters will be based at the Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Olympic Shooting Complex for a second year.
The 2010 Kuwait International Rally will run under the patronage of His Excellency the Prime Minister Al-Shaikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and under the presidency of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Dawood Al-Sabah, President of the KMSC and chairman of the organising committee.
“We are delighted to be hosting the second round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship for a second year,” said Sheikh Ahmad Al-Dawood Al-Sabah. “Our team is currently working to finalise the format of the event and we are looking forward to welcoming the region’s top drivers to Kuwait again.”
The Kuwait International Rally ran for the first time in 1984 and was won by Lebanese driver Michel Saleh in a Toyota Celica GT. The UAE’s Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Qatar’s Saeed Al-Hajri won the next four events in the 1980s, but the event did not run between 1990 and 1994 after the Iraq invasion.
Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Bakhashab won the rally when it returned to the regional series in 1995 and Ben Sulayem secured his fourth victory the following season. The Kuwait Rally didn’t run again until the KMSC hosted a candidate rally for re-inclusion in the MERC in 2008.
Yazeed Al-Rajhi held off Dubai’s Sheikh Suhail bin Khalifa Al-Maktoum to win the new-look event and Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah secured his first win with new Italian co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini last year on his way to a sixth MERC title in seven years.
The closing date for entries is Wednesday, February 17th. Further details and entry concessions are available from the Kuwait Motor Sport Club, PO Box 29, Salmiya, 22001 Kuwait, Tel: + (965) 253 55511 and 253 55522, Fax: + (965) 253 55566.