Kuwait International Rally - the second round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship 2012, was launched during the press conference which was held at the Safir Fintas Hotel & Residence on the evening of Thursday 12th of April, in the presence of the FIA Vice-President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIM Vice President Nasser bin Khalifa al-Attiyah, Secretary General of the Quarter Mile Club Sheikh Ali Al-Fawaz Al-Sabah, the President of the Higher Organizing Committee for the Kuwait International Rally Sheikh Athbi Al-Nayif Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Honorary President of the Kuwait International Automobile Club (KIAC)Mr. Jawad Bukhamseen and KIAC CEO Mr. Issa Hamza.
The Quarter Mile Club Secretary General expressed his gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad for sponsoring the Kuwait International Rally. In addition, Ben Sulayem praised the great efforts made by the Committee and the contribution made by all for improving the sport, noting that Kuwait has always been proactive in the field of rallying for nearly 40 years, which will be the essence to the success of the rally this year, stressing that the organization of the Kuwait Rally in 1974 was the main reason in the emergence of many Gulf champions, past and present, and hopes that these efforts will help maintain this tournament towards a better future.
The second round of the Middle East Rally Championship is organized by the Kuwait International Automobile Club (KIAC), and Sulayem flew to Kuwait with member of ATCUAE to lend their support after the training that was given to officials and marshals from KIAC last month. The training was conducted by The Motorsport Knowledge Institute (MKI), the training and education division of ATCUAE, with the purpose of supporting KIAC’s vision tobecome self-sufficient in recruiting and training its own officials by 2013.
“There is a great history of rallying in the Middle East; Rallying was the start of motor sport in this part of the world back in the 1970s. For 25 years or more there was nothing else and it has been the pillar of motor sport here for so long that it is now part of our culture.”Ben Sulayem expressed regarding the importance of this championship.
(Left to Right) Essa Hamza, Mohammed ben Sulayem, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Qassimi after the Kuwait international rally 2012 press conference
For Ben Sulayem, the Middle East Rally Championship is the icon of motor sports in the region, and he always urged drivers and competitors from across the region to embrace the series and his attendance of this round in Kuwait supports his calls to all competitors for the middles east which he sent out during his visit to Qatar at the first round of the championship. He also expressed his confidence in the success of the rally organizing committee for their great efforts to present this round of the middle east championship in the proper appearance, stressing that he will support KIAC and the quarter-mile club in all races, organized, in order to contribute to the improvement of the sport on both the Gulf and Arab levels.
He also added “This championship needs and deserves the support of rally drivers from across the region. It’s a fantastic championship with a great history. It’s something that today’s drivers should embrace, and do what they can to attract the next generation of rally drivers in the Middle East, especially with the tremendous development of motorsport in the region during recent years, which put Formula One at the top, and caused rallying to fall behind. But rallying is where it all began and the Middle East Championship has played such an important part in growing the sport’s popularity.”
The Kuwait International Rally, second round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, takes off on Thursday 12th of April until Saturday the 14th of April with the participation of 26 teams from the Middle East, including reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiya and the winner of the first round of this year’s championship Abdulaziz Alkuwari, along with UAE’s Sheikh Abdullah Al-Qassimi