UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge 2001
FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies
FIM Cross Country Rallies World Cup

Event Organisers Announce UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge 2001

The organisers of the UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge 2001 have announced details of this year's event, which is again the final round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies and a round of the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Cup, taking place in the United Arab Emirates between October 28th and November 2nd.

Run as the traditional finale to the FIA World Cup since 1993, under the chairmanship of Mohammed bin Sulayem, this year's event again features an ambitious and challenging route across the sands of the UAE and looks set to attract a record-breaking international entry of the world's leading moto riders and endurance rally drivers.

"Our event continues to go from strength to strength," enthused Mohammed bin Sulayem, himself a record-breaking 13-times FIA Middle East rally champion. "This year we are looking forward to welcoming competitors and officials from all over the world. Our team have planned a challenging desert route, which will take competitors through some of the remotest and most scenic areas of the UAE. We have moved our bivouac to Liwa this year, but the event has lost none of the special character, which has made it one of the world's most challenging motorsport events in recent years."

The rally office has been inundated with enquiries for entries to the five-day desert extravaganza. Organisers are expecting representation from many of the leading professional teams who regularly tackle both the FIM and FIA world championships, with KTM, BMW, Mitsubishi, Schlesser-Renault, Nissan and Mercedes, to name but a few, all likely to feature strongly in the results.

Next year the FIA World Cross Country series is being radically restructured and many competitors are expected to use the UAE event as a shakedown for the new season. Besides, the gruelling Paris-Dakar Rally begins shortly after Christmas and many of the leading teams look on this five-day desert classic as an excellent dress rehearsal and testing opportunity for the African Marathon.

The UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge 2001 is also likely to attract a large number of semi-professional privateer drivers and riders and a strong representation from other GCC countries, with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE likely to field some of their leading competitors.

"It looks like being a fantastic event this year," added Bin Sulayem. "There are still many things to do over the coming weeks to make this the strongest ever UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge, but we are all looking forward to extending a warm welcome to our visitors from all over the world."