After the recent success in Abu Dhabi, the Overdrive Racing driver will try to win again in his home country, facing 46 crews from all over the world.
The FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies comes to the third round – second in a row on the desert – with the Sealine Cross Country Rally, taking place across the sand dunes of the state of Qatar from 18 to 22 April.
The entry list of the event – organized by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) – includes superb rally raid drivers from all over the world. The top name is home legend Nasser Al-Attiyah – Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2016 winner on the Toyota Hilux Overdrive: he will chase his fourth Sealine victory in the five years since the event was a round of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup. The Qatari will have to face a strong 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. Amongst the participants are also 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.
In total, 46 cars from 29 countries will take part in the event, from as far afield as New Zealand, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, the United States, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
“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 opening leg will start out of the Losail international circuit on Monday April 18 and the first of five selective sections will run for 226.42km (25km longer than 2015) from the new location of a stunning ancient fort at Al-Zubarah to a finish at Losail. The subsequent four selective sections will be around 50km shorter than last year, although the new terrain to the north makes up 30% of the route and will be used later in the rally. The second section starts at Al-Kharrara and the third, fourth and fifth competitive sections get underway from Sealine, Al-Shabana and Rawdat Rashid, respectively. Sand dunes will be present, either close to the start or near the finish, on every competitive stage and the navigation remains as tricky as ever. The QMMF has planned 1,633.49km of competition in a total route of 2,435.63km.
After the Sealine Cross Country Rally, the FIA World Cup will observe a two months break and will be back in late June with the Italian Baja.
Source: Gulf Times