Abu Dhabi tops FIA World Cup rankings

Abu Dhabi tops FIA World Cup rankings
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Published March 5th, 2015 - 16:38 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, which celebrates its 25th anniversary edition later this month, has been named the top Cross Country Rally in the FIA World Cup.

The Desert Challenge came out on top in official reports submitted to the FIA, motorsport’s world governing body, by the observers appointed to assess each of the rallies in the 2014 World Cup series.

Mohammad Bin Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), the rally organisers, praised the support of Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, in helping the event flourish.

“We are indebted to the government for the crucial support we have received from the start to build the Desert Challenge into the leading event in the World Cup series,” Bin Sulayem said.

“I am particularly grateful to Shaikh Nahyan for his personal backing and encouragement, which is typical of the enthusiasm he has brought over the years to UAE sport.

“The credit for recognition we have received is also shared by my hard-working team at the ATCUAE, and the small army of dedicated volunteers who give up their time each year to make the event happen.”

The ratings are based on reports submitted by the FIA observers who assess each event for the overall standard of organisation, with a major emphasis on safety, the quality of special stages, the training and management of volunteers, and efforts taken to protect the environment.

Launched by Bin Sulayem in 1991, the Desert Challenge — also part of the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship for bikes — was seen by a global TV audience of almost 70m during its 24th edition last April.

In the countdown to the 25th anniversary event from March 27 to April 2, the ATCUAE has taken steps to ensure the event’s continued development.

Four new overseas liaison offices have been opened to boost Desert Challenge entries from the UK and Ireland, Holland and Belgium, Russia, Ukraine and the former CIS Nations, and South Africa. And efforts to take the event into new markets have been reinforced by the appointment of GAC as official shipping agents, creating official links with the ports of Marseilles, Felixstowe, Hamburg, Durban and Genoa

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