SAMF Announces Quality Entry for Next Weekend's Saudi Baja 2022 – Hail
Saturday, November 5th, 2022 HAIL (SAUDI ARABIA): The Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF), in conjunction with the Ministry of Sport and in partnership with Abdul Latif Jameel (ALJ) Motors, has announced an impressive entry list for the Saudi Baja 2022 – Hail, which takes place on November 10-12.
The three-day event is the seventh round of both the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas and the FIM Bajas World Cup, round three of the FIA Middle East Cup for Cross-Country Bajas and the third event in the new Saudi Toyota Rally Championship.
Saudi Arabia’s top driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi and his German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz top an impressive entry of 25 cars, 36 motorcycles and eight quads in the FIM section, in addition to 32 cars and one truck in the National Baja category. Al-Rajhi will take a one-point lead over Czech rival Miroslav Zapletal into the seventh round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas. The Toyota Hilux driver will be hoping to put the disappointment of missing out on vital points last week in Portugal behind him, as he bids to move further clear of Zapletal in both the FIA series and the Saudi Toyota Rally Championship.
T1 competition for the title-chasing pair comes from Kuwait’s Salem Al-Dhafeeri and the Saudi duo of Khaled Al-Feraihi and Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri. Six drivers line up in the FIA T3 category and they include runaway FIA World Cup leader Fernando Alvarez and his closest rival, Saudi Arabian female driver Dania Akeel. Eight crews will battle for honours in the FIA T4 section. They include the title challenging South Racing Can-Am Team trio of Meshari Al-Thefiri, Cristiano de Sousa Batista and Kees Koolen and local drivers Saeed Al-Mouri and Maha Al-Hameli. Six Saudi crews line up in the FIA T2 section for series-production cross-country vehicles. MX Ride Dubai’s Mohammed Al-Balooshi, the winner of the 2020 Hail International Rally, tops the motorcycle field on his KTM having already won the Jordan Baja and finished second in Qatar earlier this season. His major rivals include 2021 Hail winner Mishal Al-Ghuneim (Husqvarna) and his young Jordanian protégé Abdullah Abu Aishah (KTM).
The motorcycle entry has strength in depth and also features Bahrain’s Salman Farhan, Kuwait’s Abdullah Al-Shatti, local front-runner Abdulhalim Al-Mogheera, Emirati Sultan Al-Balooshi, Great Britain’s Barry Howe, Alex McInnes and Makis Rees-Stavros, Qatar-based Australian Martin Chalmers and Spaniard Margot Llobera. Saudi Toyota Rally Championship regulars Abdulmajeed Al-Khulaifi, Haitham Al-Tuwaijri and Hani Al-Noumesi head the eight-strong list of quad entrants on their Yamahas. There are 10 over-450cc motorcycles also registered in category C on the FIM list. Riders include Qatar’s Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani, Mohammed Al-Kaabi and Yaghoob Azadi, Austrian Simon Francis, the UAE’s Hamdan Al-Ali and Great Britain’s Steven Holt. Abdulaziz Al-Yaeesh, Abdullah Al-Sanad and Jafar Al-Qahtani top an impressive field of 33 crews on the Saudi Toyota National Baja entry.
Saudi Baja 2022 - Hail is being run under the chairmanship of H.R.H. Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal. Administration, scrutineering checks and the pre-event press conference will take place in Hail on Wednesday (November 9).
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