• Organising team aims to build upon success of popular 2013 event
This year’s Sealine Cross-Country Rally, organised by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), will be longer and tougher than ever before and a fitting challenge for competitors in both the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies and the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. It takes place on April 19-25th, 2014.
“The main change that we have introduced is to extend the rally from four desert selective sections to five,” confirmed Portuguese clerk of the course Pedro Almeida. “We have an itinerary that includes 1,730km of competition. That is 15% more that in 2013. Motorcycles and cars will do exactly the same route.”
Almeida also confirmed that there are over 500km of new tracks and most are in a totally new area of the Qatar desert. All five selective sections will finish at the Sealine bivouac and the third, fourth and fifth sections will also start from the camp. The rally control centre, rally headquarters and all media facilities will be situated at the bivouac for the second year during the five days of desert action.
The FIM section for motorcycles and quads will run under clerk of the course Iain Black and deputy clerk of the course Rashid Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and acts as the second round of the 2014 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
Administrative checks and scrutineering will take place at the Losail circuit to the north of Doha on Saturday, April 19th and Sunday, April 20th. The start will also be centred around Losail on Monday, April 21st and will be followed by the first 160km-timed selective section.
“We pay a special thanks to the continued support of The Emir His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani and His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al-Thani without whom this event would not have been possible. As a team we have tried to maintain many of the factors that made the 2013 Sealine Cross-Country Rally such a success,” added Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah, president of the Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) and FIA vice-president for sport in the MENA region.
“We have mixed and challenging terrain, very hard navigation and a good high level of safety structure.”
Supplementary regulations have now been issued for the Sealine event and entries opened last Thursday. Further information and the rally guide are available on www.qmmf.com. Entries close at a reduced rate on Thursday, March 13th, with the final entry cut-off set for Thursday, April 3rd.