Emirati drivers backed by ATCUAE, Sheikh Mayed as Kingdom looks for place in FIA series

Dubai, UAE, 4 February, 2007: The UAE will be represented by a six-car team in next weekend's Hayel Rally in Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom makes an official bid to break into the world of FIA international cross country rallying.

Ahmad Bin Suqat, Matar Al-Mansoori, Ali Al Shawi, Abdulla Hamad Al Heraiz, Raed Baker and Ali Al Shamsi will all contest the event with the support of his H.H. Sheikh Mayed bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, son of the ATCUAE's patron, H.H.Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The six drivers are also receiving additional support from the Automobile and Touring Club for the UAE.

Staged for the first time last year, the Hayel Rally is being officially viewed this time by the FIA, motor sport's governing body, as a candidate for a place in the FIA International Cross Country Cup for Bajas.

This is the cross country rally series for shorter events compared with the longer distance events, like the UAE Desert Challenge, which make up the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE, said: "We're very pleased to be sending a strong team from the UAE to support an event which is good not only for the sport in Saudi Arabia, but for rallying in the Middle East as a whole.

"Sheikh Moyad, like his father, is a generous supporter of UAE sport and he was keen to make sure the UAE was well represented in Saudi Arabia."

The Hayel Rally is organised by the Saudi Motor Sport Committee on behalf of the Saudi government, and the UAE drivers will be in a 40-strong line-up of competitors from across the Middle East.

-credit: totalcompr