The 2023 Qatar International Baja will be a counting round of both the FIA World and Middle East Cups for Cross-Country Bajas and round two of the FIM Bajas World Cup. The Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) has announced the event will take place on March 15-18.
The Baja will be based close to the QMMF offices at Lusail Sports Arena. The customary service park will be located nearby and the venue will also host administration checks and technical scrutineering.
The 2023 Baja will again run under the chairmanship of QMMF President Abdulrahman al-Mannai, QMMF’s Executive Director Amro al-Hamad and board member Abdulrazaq al-Kuwari. Subject to FIA and FIM approval, the event will run over two legs of 251.18km and 239.43km. After a Prologue stage of 10.02km, which will take place around 16km north of the service park close to the Al Bayt Stadium, on Thursday afternoon (March 16th) from 15.00hrs, FIA competitors will attend the ceremonial start from 20.00hrs.
They will then tackle two competitive sections of 120.43km and 120.73km on Friday, March 17th. FIM competitors will tackle a single selective section – the two FIA stages run in reverse order – for a total of 248.19km.
Saturday’s single selection section of 239.43km will be divided into four competitive sections of 34.44km, 29.03km, 44.15km and 125.27km by transfer zones to complete a total route of 836.14km, including liaison sections. The podium finish will take place from 19.00hrs. Final details for the revised FIM event will be released in due course.
The Baja was a counting round of both the FIA Middle East and FIM series’ for the first time in 2022. Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel won the car category for the seventh time together in a Toyota Hilux, while young Pole Konrad Dabrowski dominated the motorcycle category and Saudi Arabian rider Abdulmajeed al-Khulaifi topped the quad class.
T3 and T4 success in the FIA event went to WRC star Kris Meeke and local driver Khalifa Saleh al-Attiyah in their respective Can-Ams.
Entries are now open and close on Wednesday, March 1st. The QMMF is offering generous concessions to competitors who pass both administration and scrutineering checks. Entrants in the FIA car, T3 and T4 categories from the GCC will be offered a shipping allowance of $3,000, with international entrants receiving $6,000. GCC motorcycle and quad riders will be eligible for $1,500 and $3,000 will be offered to international riders.
In addition, entry fees will be returned to competitors who pass technical checks and are included in the official start lists.
Early bird competitors registering before Wednesday, February 15th will receive an additional QR1,000.
The QMMF will also book economy class return tickets for drivers and co-drivers after entry fees have been paid and a twin hotel room with breakfast will be offered for five nights.
Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah won the car category in 2022.