Expanded Ha’il International Rally set to roll next month

Updated 07 February 2013
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Expanded Ha’il International Rally set to roll next month

The Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF) has now finalized the dates and route format for the Ha’il International Rally, a FIA-sanctioned cross-country event that will run for nearly 1,000 competitive kilometers through the north-central region of the country from March 21 to 28.
The event is being staged under the patronage of Prince Saud bin Abdul Mohsen Bin Abdul Aziz, governor of Ha’il, president of the Supreme Commission for Ha’il Development and the head of the Supreme Commission of the Ha’il Rally.
The SAMF runs under the chairmanship of Prince Sultan bin Bandar Al-Faisal and the event is being organized in conjunction with the High Authority for the Development of Ha’il.
New rally director Anwar Helmi has confirmed that the expanded Ha’il International Rally will feature four gruelling desert stages through the scenic An Nafud desert and a shorter 6km super special stage to get the competition under way. The route will offer a wide variety of desert terrain, including gravel trails, sand dunes, wadis, areas of tricky navigation and the passing of small oasis farms. Part of the route will pass the Alolaym mountains and skirt the village of Qna.
There will also be a shorter event for motorcycles (bikes and quads) for the first time. This will be divided into four shorter sections of around 100km apiece to cater for refueling requirements.
“The rally will be open to all categories of cars and motorcycles for the first time,” said SAMF Chairman Prince Sultan.
“We have also increased the distance this year to raise the level of the challenge for our competitors. Our team has just completed a comprehensive survey of the route of the event.”
Elie Semaan is again appointed as clerk of the course and Eias Al-Saleh is responsible for liaison with the SAMF chairman. Hungarian consultant László Polgár – a member of the organizing committee for the Hungarian Baja round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies — has worked on the rally route and has been appointed as the assistant clerk of the course.
Scrutineering and documentation will take place at the Maghwat Conference Center on March 22 and 23. This will be followed by the pre-event press conference and a permitted period to carry out the reconnaissance of the super special stage on Saturday afternoon.
The ceremonial start takes place at 10.00hrs March 24 and precedes the super special stage at 15.30hrs. The first of four desert selective sections gets underway at 06.00hrs on March 25 and the competitive action finishes on March 28 with the finishing ceremony rounding off proceedings at 19.00hrs. The selective sections will be approximately 300km, 260km, 195km and 210km in length.
Entries are now open for vehicles complying with FIA T1, T2, T3 and T4 regulations. There will also be a two-wheel drive category within the T1 section and another category for diesel cars. The closing date for entries at reduced fees is on March 7 and the final closing date will be March 19. There will be three categories in the motorcycle section — below 450cc, above 450cc and quads.
Further information is available from the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, PO Box 87881, Riyadh 11652, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Tel: + 9661 288 5855, Fax: + 9661 288 3882, E-mail: [email protected] Also, visit the website: http://www.samf.gov.sa, http://samf.gov.sa/Hail2013/Hail2013-reg-Car.htm


Profligate Arsenal punished by 10-man Atletico Madrid

The gunners could not defeat 10-man Atletico Madrid. (AFP)
Updated 27 April 2018
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Profligate Arsenal punished by 10-man Atletico Madrid

  • The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes
  • Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week

LONDON: Arsenal’s hopes of sending outgoing manager Arsene Wenger off with a trophy suffered a major blow as they could only draw 1-1 with 10-man Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal on Thursday.
The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes at the Emirates Stadium, with Sime Vrsaljko’s early red card handing them the initiative.
However, they were made to rue a host of missed chances before and after Alexandre Lacazette headed them in front on the hour mark.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone was also sent to the stands shortly after Vrsaljko’s dismissal, but the Spaniards resisted manfully and pounced when their chance came as Antoine Griezmann prodded home a vital away goal eight minutes from time.
Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week if Wenger’s last game in charge is to be the final in his homeland in Lyon on May 16.
Moreover, Arsenal’s hopes of Champions League football next season also hang on becoming the first side other than Real Madrid to eliminate Atletico from Europe for five seasons.
There was a far more highly-charged atmosphere for Wenger’s penultimate home game in charge than there had been for last weekend’s game against West Ham United.
And the hosts were given plenty of encouragement early on, even when still up against Atletico’s full complement.
Lacazette volleyed off the outside of the post and forced Jan Oblak into the first of a series of fine saves with a header from close range.
Vrsaljko had been booked within two minutes for bringing down Jack Wilshere.

And the Croatian left his side a man light after just 10 minutes when French referee Clement Turpin showed no leniency for another late challenge on Lacazette.
Moments later, Simeone was also dismissed by the officious referee for taking his protests too far when an Arsenal player wasn’t booked for what he thought was a similar foul.
Atletico’s excellent defensive record is what has carried them to five European semifinals in seven seasons under Simeone.
The visitors battened down the hatches with 10 men, but were reliant on Oblak to keep them in the tie.
Wilshere headed straight at Oblak when unmarked at the back post at the end of a flowing Arsenal move.
And the Slovenian then spread himself well with an outstretched leg to deny Danny Welbeck.
Having weathered the Gunners’ early storm, Atletico only began to threaten themselves late in the first half and David Ospina had to be alert to parry a fiercely struck Griezmann shot following a fine run from Thomas Partey.
Atletico retreated ever deeper toward their own goal after the break and were finally punished on the hour mark when Wilshere’s deep cross found Lacazette rising above Lucas Hernandez to head in his seventh goal in seven games.
However, the French international and Arsenal could have had more.
Laczette’s dangerous ball across goal found no takers before he headed another good opportunity wide.
And Arsenal paid heavily for their profligacy, and some comical defending, when Atletico grabbed a vital away goal on 82 minutes.
Griezmann outmuscled French international team-mate Laurent Koscielny and then benefited from a slip by Shkodran Mustafi after his initial effort had been saved by Ospina to prod his 27th goal of the season into the roof of the net.
There was still time for Oblak to show why Griezmann isn’t the only Atletico player wanted by Europe’s elite with a spectacular one-handed save to turn Aaron Ramsey’s header behind and keep Los Rojiblancos on course for another European final.