QMMF announces bumper car and motorcycle entry for Qatar’s Sealine Rally
The Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) has released details of a superb entry for the Sealine Cross-Country Rally, the next round of the FIM and FIA World Cups, taking place across the deserts of the State of Qatar on April 16-22.
Two-time Dakar winner and last week’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge winner Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah tops the entry in the car category with his Overdrive Toyota Hilux. He will be chasing a fourth Sealine win in the five years since the event was a round of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup.
But the Qatari will be hard-pressed on this occasion by a trio of X-raid Mini All4 Racings, driven by Yazeed Al-Rajhi, Vladimir Vasilyev and Ricardo Porem, and a fleet of powerful Toyotas, Nissans and Buggies in the hotly-contested T1, T2 and T3 categories.
The list also includes six girls in three Nissan Patrols, who were selected for the funded prize drive arranged by the QMMF in conjunction with FIA Women in Motorsport last autumn.
The provisional list of car entrants includes 46 cars and team members from a staggering 29- countries, from as far afield as New Zealand, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, the United States, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The list is still subject to FIA approval.
Nineteen motorcycle riders and two quads feature on the provisional entry list in the FIM section. Toby Price, the defending Dakar champion and last week’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge winner, heads the two-wheel category, where he faces fierce competition from Red Bull KTM factory team mates San Sunderland and Pablo Quintanilla.
Qatari hopes rest on the shoulders of Ahmed Fahad Al-Kuwari on a KTM 450 EXC, while riders from 14 countries (including Bolivia, Chile, USA and Kazakhstan) boost an impressive field.
Poland’s three-time Sealine winner Rafal Sonik looks set for a head-to-head battle with Chile’s Ignacio Casale in the quad category.
“We are delighted with the strength and depth of the entry our team has received for the Sealine Rally and we are working around the clock to put the finishing touches to everything,” said QMMF president Abdulrahman Abdulatif Al-Mannai. “We extend a warm welcome to our many visitors from around the world and wish them a safe and successful week of motor sport in Qatar.”
The competitive action gets underway next Monday (April 18) with the first of five punishing selective sections around the Qatar deserts. First up for competitors in both the car and motorcycle categories will be administration and scrutineering checks at Losail on Saturday (April 16) and Sunday (April 16) and the traditional pre-event media conference at 4.00pm on Sunday afternoon.