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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:,