Saladin Rallying announces major new venture.
Shah Alam, Malaysia -- Monday April 1st., 2002 -- Saladin Rallying today announced it's Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) program, to be operated by the official Hyundai WRC factory team - Motor Sport Developments Ltd., of the United Kingdom.
As a result of this recently concluded agreement, Saladin Mazlan will drive a Hyundai Accent World Rally Car in all six rounds of the Championship, making it the first time a Malaysian has competed in one of the world's most sophisticated rally cars.
Announcing the venture, Team Managing Director Ali Mazlan Harun said "We were most fortunate that Saladin's talents were recognized during last year's Junior World Rally Championship campaign. The discussions with MSD began in Europe in September, and the full scope of the resulting agreement has exceeded our expectations. In addition to the APRC Program, Saladin will be recognized as an Official MSD Test Driver for the Asia-Pacific region" he continued "and MSD will provide an opportunity for Saladin to enter WRC events run by MSD, and allied to the WRC team. In reality, we have been able to cut at least a year from the team's five year development program, and we are now providing Saladin with a tremendous opportunity to move soon into a regular World Rally Championship drive."
With only one month to go before the first APRC event gets underway in Canberra, the team is working long hours to make the necessary preparations. Saladin has already left for the UK, where he will undergo intensive testing in a similar WRCar, while his own car receives final preparations and a shakedown test. In Malaysia, planning for a media launch is underway, and is being timed to coincide with the arrival in Malaysia, by air, of the Hyundai Accent World Rally Car. The arrival has been scheduled for April 24th. In addition, the task of procuring major sponsors is in full swing, and the team's complete plans will be revealed later this month.
The Asia Pacific Rally Championship this year consists of six events. They will be held in Canberra Australia, the French Pacific island of New Caledonia, the Rotorua region of New Zealand, plus China, Japan and Thailand.