STRONG START IN THE DESERT FOR ABU DHABI RALLY PROGRAMME
Jordan, 1 April: The BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team leapt into action on the first day of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) round in Jordan today. The two Finnish drivers, Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala,
made the most of the first six stages that transcended both forest and desert terrain, and is typified by the rocky unmarked roads. Latvala made the most impressive start, taking the rest of the WRC competitors by storm across the loose surface stages, maintaining a slender 5 second lead ahead of his rivals.
Thursday marked the first of what promises to be three action-packed days for the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority's (ADTA) international rally programme. While the world's best drivers hit the gravel this morning the rest of Team Abu Dhabi meanwhile were preparing for their rally campaign in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) which begins tomorrow. Headed up by former MERC Champion, Sheikh Khaled Al Qassimi, the team includes four of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority's (ADTA) up and coming rally drivers, currently enrolled in the grassroots Junior Driver Development Programme aimed at creating the next Emirati Champion.
Ahmed Hussein, Deputy Director General ADTA, was excited to see the action get underway with Abu Dhabi-sponsored teams and drivers aiming high as they return to the familiar desert climate and terrain. "This morning has seen ADTA's international rally programme return to the Middle East and it is fantastic to see so many rally fans make the journey to watch our drivers in action. We hope to see Abu Dhabi cars at the top of the leader board by the end of the day, and there is so much more excitement still in stall when Team Abu Dhabi begins its challenge in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship tomorrow. It is an exciting time for Abu Dhabi motorsport and our rally teams are leading the way here in Jordan."