Dubai: Top Emirati drivers and riders face a tense battle this weekend in the fourth round of the UAE Desert Championship, with 12 national rally titles still up for grabs.
Ahmad Al Maqoodi, driving a Polaris RZR XP, has a double in his sights as he leads both the buggies and overall cars divisions, although he could come under pressure on Friday from Mansour Al Helei.
Lying just four points adrift in second place in the cars division, Al Helei will be going all out for victory in the new national rally series in a Nissan Patrol.
Another Emirati driver, Ahmad Al Fahim, still has a mathematical chance of topping both the cars and buggies standings and will be looking for a big performance this weekend.
Organised by the Emirates Motor Sport Federation, with TAG Heuer Middle East as the official timekeeper and founding partner, the UAE Desert Championship is run with the support of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE).
“We’re very happy with the way the championship has run in its first season, and especially with the response from the UAE rallying community,” said ATCUAE President Mohammad Bin Sulayem, the FIA Vice-President.
“We set out from the beginning to safeguard the future of rallying on a national basis and also to capitalise on the UAE’s natural assets for the staging of cross-country events.
“It’s been an excellent start and I’m confident that the championship will continue to grow. We look forward to an exciting finish to the season at the weekend, with so much at stake in the final round.”