2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge entries open
Registration for the 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (ADDC) is signalling a larger-than-ever competitor turnout with more than 100 challengers expected for the event which, for the second year running, will be fully staged across Abu Dhabi.
The cross-country motorsports event, organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), will run from March 28-April 1 and is the season-opening round of both the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship.
Entry to the 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is open to cars and trucks complying with FIA T1, T2 and T4 technical regulations, as well as motorcyclists and quads running under FIM auspices.
The event, backed by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), is further strengthening Abu Dhabi’s tourism, major event and motorsport credentials which have been boosted by news that pending FIA approval the emirate will host Rally Abu Dhabi, a World Rally Championship (WRC) candidate event later this year.
ADDC 2010 competitors will face two days of documentation and scrutineering (March 25 & 26), before a Super Special Stage (March 27), which decides the starting order. Competitors then brave five days in the Liwa Desert and the Moreeb area of the Empty Quarter (Rub Al Khali), the world’s largest uninterrupted sand mass boasting some of its highest dunes.
Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA Vice President, President of the ATCUAE and Chairman of the 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Organising Committee, confirmed several world-leading teams are expected at ADDC 2010 with entries having been received from top International teams and GCC drivers.
The actual competitive action will get underway with a timed super special stage in the UAE capital on the morning of March 27.
The outcome of the short off-road section, which will be close enough to the city centre to attract thousands of motor sport enthusiasts, will determine the starting order for the event’s all-important first desert leg on (Sunday, March 28). This leg starts from Al Dhafrah plateau giving competitors an immediate introduction to the variations of terrain that they will face over the coming days, to a finish deep in the emirate’s remote desert.
A non-competitive liaison section will then guide teams to the first overnight halt at Moreeb Hill, near Liwa, where the rally will be based for the next four days, at a specially-prepared desert bivouac.
Legs two, three and four will feature demanding loop stages around Moreeb Hill, across somewhat challenging gatch tracks, winding desert trails and the region’s notorious towering sand dunes.
Sulayem says each stage will be divided by passage controls and route waypoints, as competitors thread their way through the legendary Rub Al-Khali made famous by British explorer Wilfred Thesiger who crossed its desert expanse in the 1940s and 50s.
The fifth and final leg will take place on Thursday, April 1, with teams tackling a new desert section between Liwa to the event’s finish in Abu Dhabi city.
The UAE’s premier off-road event was the brainchild of Sulayem in 1991 and has been a FIA World Cup round since 1993. The rally has been managed by the ATCUAE since Sulayem took over at the helm in 2006.
The Desert Challenge has traditionally attracted a host of partners, and in 2010 these include Nissan, Adnoc and Explorer publishing.
Entries are invited for the opening round of both the FIM and FIA championships and further details, including event technical regulations, are available from ATC UAE officials at 971-4-2961122