By Sports Reporter/Doha
The participants of Qatar International Rally will be conducting their trial tests today as the preparation for the 2016 Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) enters the final stages.
The 535-km long Qatar rally, which is considered as one of the most important events in the programme of Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), will see as many as 15 participants led by Qatari defending champion Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah. The rally will also witness European participation with teams from Sweden and Italy making their way to the Qatari desert, apart from the regional stars from Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.
Qatari driver Rashid al-Naimi, talking about the upcoming rally, confirmed his readiness for the event. Along with his Italian co-driver Nicola Arena, he said, “Everything is going okay as per the agreed plan, especially the preparation of the car. We have enough confidence to achieve a victory.”
About the nature of Qatar rally, he said, “Qatar rally stages need special care as they are desert land, a little mistake would cost much.”
Talking about QMMF’s role, he said, “QMMF headed by Mr Nasser Khalifa al-Attiyah has been doing a good job of promoting motorsport. We, as Qatari riders, promise to do all we can to sustain Qatari motorsport.”
His co-driver Arena said, “Al-Naimi is enthusiastic enough to achieve the title after the good finish in 2015. I think he has good experience to be the champion. We will cooperate together to have a good result in Qatar International Rally and the other rounds of MERC.”
The Qatari-Cypriot duo of Khalifa al-Attiyah and Laos Savaas has a lot to look forward to in the 2016 season. “I will do my best to achieve the title, as I know the geographical diversity of my country well. I hope this round would be a good start to this season and that I am able to complete the other rounds of MERC successfully.
“This season will be a crucial season for me after a strong finish last season. Our aim this season is to achieve the Group N title.
“Finally, I would like to thank QMMF, headed by Mr Nasser Khalifa al-Attiyah for his support in both local , regional and international championships.”
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