MERC: Jordan rally - Saleh spotlight

SALEH GETS HIS BREATH BACK FOR JORDAN TEST Veteran driver aims to make his mark in Amman as WRC stars head in from Argentina Dubai, UAE, 2nd May, 2007: Veteran UAE-based Lebanese driver Michel Saleh is battling to shrug off a...

SALEH GETS HIS BREATH BACK FOR JORDAN TEST

Veteran driver aims to make his mark in Amman as WRC stars head in from Argentina

Dubai, UAE, 2nd May, 2007: Veteran UAE-based Lebanese driver Michel Saleh is battling to shrug off a lingering illness as he prepares for an assault on next week's Jordan International Rally to boost his FIA Middle East Championship challenge.

Saleh was forced to make a number of unscheduled stops during the recent third round of the series in Cyprus because of a high fever and bouts of breathlessness.

Despite the problem he took his City of Arabia Subaru Impreza to fifth place in the event for fifth place overall in the championship standings, and he is now setting his sights higher up the standings.

"I had to stop on some of the stages in Cyprus because I was very short of breath," said Saleh after arriving in Amman. "I've still got a bit of a fever, but I'm feeling better and hoping I can put in a good performance to improve my position in the championship."

Saleh will have four new team-mates in the Jordan Rally, which gets under way on Thursday next week (May 10) with a ceremonial launch beside the King Hussein Ben Talal Mosque in Amman, before two days of action on the shores of the Dead Sea.

His City of Arabia sponsors Ilyas and Mostafa Galadari are also supporting two all-lady Jordanian crews, Nancy Majali and co-driver Nadia Shnoudeh in a Mitsubish Lancer Evolution 8, and Talal Al Shawa and Shereen Al Masri in an Evo 6.

Saleh and his team-mates will be rubbing shoulders with two of the top stars in world rallying in Jordan.

Reigning World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb of France and Norway's 2003 champion Petter Solberg are among those expected to travel to the Hashemite Kingdom from this weekend's WRC Argentina Rally to check conditions in preparation for Jordan's WRC debut next year.

The UAE's Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi leads the 2007 FIA Middle East Championship from defending champion Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah of Qatar, with the Jordan Rally to be followed by four more rounds in Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and Dubai.

2007 FIA MERC Drivers' Championship - after 3 of 8 rounds:
1. Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi (UAE) 23 pts
2. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QA) 20 pts
3. Amjad Farrah (HKJ) 19 pts
4. Sheikh Abdullah Al-Qassimi (UAE) 14 pts
5. Michel Saleh (RL) 11 pts

-credit: total communications

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Petter Solberg , Sébastien Loeb , Khalid Al-Qassimi , Amjad Farrah , Michel Saleh