MERC: Toyota Cup continues into 2003 season

On January 26th, a press conference held on the occasion of the 3rd Doha Show inauguration, in unexpected step, organizers hosted the Middle East rally champions affirming the importance of sport and sport champions in attracting youngsters to...

On January 26th, a press conference held on the occasion of the 3rd Doha Show inauguration, in unexpected step, organizers hosted the Middle East rally champions affirming the importance of sport and sport champions in attracting youngsters to the show.

With attendance of the Saudi international champion Abdullah Bakhashab, whom ascertained the success of the first episode of Toyota Cup despite the limited number of participants and rounds and said:" There was a necessity to find new idea for Middle East Championship in order to refresh it and we needed to have new generation of drivers. Through the organizing and launching of this championship, our goals are clear now. The second episode, which will take place within Qatar International Rally will be an extra opportunity to prove its importance. I would like to take this opportunity to urge all auto clubs in the ME to pay more attention and to participate in its success and to seriously activate it".

Bakhashab asserted that this championship will witness a heavy surprise, same to be announced in due time. Bearing in mind that Majid Al Ghamedi and his co-driver Umr Al Refai of Toyota Rally Team Saudi Arabia, won the first episode of Toyota Cup and became popular due to his advanced style in driving Toyota RAV4 car.

Only five rounds will be allocated for this season championship starting from Qatar rally, which will take place on February 26th, then followed by Bahrain, Jordan, Syria and Dubai rallies respectively.

In commenting to the Qatari Toyota agent request to sponsor the championship and about the expected participation of the new Qatari rally driver, Bakhashab quoted as saying:" Frankly, I was about to negotiate the sponsorship issue with all Toyota agents in the area, I do hope that our meeting with the Qatari Toyota agent will be beneficial and to share in supporting a new Qatari rally driver to be able to participate in the championship which will take place in Doha next month".

The success of the first Toyota Cup episode despite the limited number rounds, only four rounds took place, encouraged the organizers to increase the number of rounds for more excitement and enthusiasm.

This championship would not have been born without the support of FIA. The main idea of this championship matches the idea of Teams Cup rally, which used to take place within the World Rally Championship rounds and the main purpose was to find new young generation of rally drivers to complete the way, and to make it more attractive and exciting, especially after group (A) & (N) participation cost hike up.

The first episode took place last season within the ME Championship, allocating four rounds only, namely in Bahrain, Syria, Jordan and Dubai. Three Saudi drivers participated in that episode, under the name of Toyota Rally Team Saudi Arabia, onboard Toyota RAV4 vehicles fully equipped for this purpose. This new generation of rally drivers drew the attention of spectators and concerned parties due to their high skills and advanced driving style and performance in addition to the well organization of the team.

-duby miller

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