Abu Dhabi gets WRC candidate event

Abu Dhabi is targeting a World Rally Championship round in 2011, and will hold a candidate event in December 2010 using Super 2000-spec cars

Abu Dhabi gets WRC candidate event

Rally Abu Dhabi will be run next year as a non-championship rally under FIA supervision as one of several candidate events, and its bosses are hopeful of a place on the 2011 WRC calendar, when the Super 2000 regulations come info force.

The emirate is the title sponsor of the factory Ford WRC team, which runs UAE driver Sheikh Khalid al Qassimi alongside Finns Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala.

"While sponsorship of the Ford team and the inclusion of Al-Qassimi in the outfit's ranks have proven successful, staging a round of the off-road series in the UAE was always the long-term plan," Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon al Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), told UAE newspaper The National.

"This is a major leap forward in Abu Dhabi's motorsport ambitions. We are confident we have the right experience, pedigree, determination and skills to deliver a unique and highly successful round of the WRC, and that our 2011 ambitions can be fully realised."

The candidate event will comprise stages outside of Abu Dhabi, in Al-Ain and Qasr-al-Sarab in the Liwa Desert in the Empty Quarter. Its December date will ensure that it is after the conclusion of both the WRC and Middle East Rally Championship seasons.

Ahmed Hussain, of the ADTA, believes that running the event to Super 2000 regulations just weeks before the first S2000 WRC round will ensure that WRC competitors enter the non-championship event.

"It's going to be Super 2000s with the new regulations, it will be interesting," he told The National. "New cars in, a new rally, with new stages - it will be very appealing for everyone.

"It's not about pricing or appearance fees, there will be no payments. The rally will be a surprise for all drivers around the world - they will all want to come. The relationship with the teams, drivers, manufacturers has developed in the last couple of years and they want to support us by being part of Rally Abu Dhabi in 2010.

"Of course they will come, participation will be strong and the vast variation of the terrain will be one of the attractive issues."

shares
comments
Prokop commits WRC future to Ford

Previous article

Prokop commits WRC future to Ford

Next article

Raikkonen: WRC may be permanent

Raikkonen: WRC may be permanent
Load comments
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Plus

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Plus

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Plus

How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021