ABU DHABI MOTORSPORT FIESTA TAKES TO BOTH AIR AND ASPHALT ON CATALAN COAST Top tips for Team Abu Dhabi Red Bull Air Race star Hannes Arch as he joins BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team for the day Spain, 1 October, 2009: High drama is set...
ABU DHABI MOTORSPORT FIESTA TAKES TO BOTH AIR AND ASPHALT ON CATALAN COAST
Top tips for Team Abu Dhabi Red Bull Air Race star Hannes Arch as he joins BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team for the day
Spain, 1 October, 2009: High drama is set to hit the skies and roads of Catalonia this weekend as two of Abu Dhabi's most high octane motorsport teams prepare to battle it out for crucial Championship points on the Spanish coast. Abu Dhabi's in-form World Rally Championship (WRC) driver, Sheikh Khaled Al Qassimi, leads the assault as he looks to pick-up yet more points in the penultimate round of the WRC in Salou, while his BP Ford Abu Dhabi teammate, Mikko Hirvonen, looks to consolidate his lead at the top of the Drivers Championship. Just up the coast in Barcelona the 'Flying Falcon', pilot Hannes Arch, will be setting the pace for Team Abu Dhabi high as he attempts to claim the four points needed for victory in the Red Bull Air Race season finale.
"We are looking forward to an action-packed weekend for two of our flagship motorsport teams here in Spain. It is certain to be tense and highly pressurised with two Abu Dhabi teams at the top of their sports both contending championships", said Ahmed Hussein, Deputy Director General of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), the organisation behind the high-profile sponsorships. "The support that both Abu Dhabi teams are receiving here is further evidence of the international appeal and profile of motorsport around the world. The Abu Dhabi name has never been more prominent around the world and the stunning success of our motorsport partnerships is helping to introduce the emirate to emerging international markets."
In preparation for this weekend's showdown, Abu Dhabi's air racing master Arch found time to meet-up with rally ace Al Qassimi, to share their thoughts, exchange tips and enjoy a little light relief ahead of their respective highly pressurised weekends. Arch made the trip down the coast on Thursday afternoon to visit the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team in the WRC Service Park in Salou. The Austrian airman took time to inspect the WRC Championship-leading Ford Focus of Mikko Hirvonen, and those of team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Al Qassimi, before heading back to Barcelona to begin his own final preparations.
"I have complete respect for Khaled," said Arch from the BP Ford Abu Dhabi team headquarters in Spain. "Any sport takes skill and dedication and I am in awe of his abilities in a rally car. We have our competitive nature and a will to succeed in common, and this is how we push ourselves to succeed. We are extremely lucky to have the support of the ADTA. They are more than a sponsor - they provide the support and the fan-base to give us the encouragement and the confidence to make things happen in the air or on the road."
Abu Dhabi's World Rally and Red Bull Air Race programmes meet's ADTA's mandate of delivering experiences which enrich the lives of residents and visitors alike. The partnerships play a key role in positioning Abu Dhabi as a global motor-sports hub -- and this year's hosting, on November 1, of the 2009 Formula Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the ultimate testimony to that status.