Ben Sulayem: Russian Rally Assisted by UAE Knowledge and Expertise in Motorsport
The Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) has again contributed its motorsport expertise and knowledge to the organisers of the Northern Forrest Baja, the Russian opening round of the 2016 FIA Cross Country rally World Cup.. Ronan Morgan, General Manager of the ATCUAE was seconded as the Clerk of the Course to oversee the Russian event, as he has performed the same role on the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (ADDC) for many years. This comes as part of the continuous support provided by the ATCUAE to develop motorsport around the world. “We are industry leaders in international motorsport, espiecially in the discipline of Cross Country Rallying, and are always happy to aid and support other organisers in making the sport run safely and efficiently”,said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, ATCUAE President and founder of the ADDC in 1991. “It is an interesting contrast between the two events, with the Northern Forrest Baja being a snow rally and by far the coldest, and the ADDC taking place in the hot desert, but the mission always remains the same to get all the competitors and officials home safe”, continued Ben Sulayem. “In Russia, organizers have monitor the drivers body temperatures to ensure they don’t get too low, while in the UAE we must do the same to ensure the competitors don’t overheat or get dehydrated.” Before the start of the Russian Baja, Morgan had the opportunity to present to a group of school students in Sortavala about the differnces between the two events, and the unique challenges that each experience. “We have worked on supporting the Northern Forrest Baja since the beginning, it’s a very unique experience due to the climate and terrain differences compared to ADDC, but the lessons learnt here help to contribute towards managing both events safely”, said Morgan. The Northern Forrst Baja took place north of St. Petersburg over the past weekend, while the ADDC will take place from the 31st March to the 7th April, and it will also be the first round of the FIM World championship for Cross Country Rallies. A super special stage will take place on the 2nd April, before the rally moves to the Liwa desert for 5 days of stages, eventually finishing back at the Yas Marina Circuit on the 7th April. The ATCUAE has a long relationship with the Russian Automobile Federation (RAF), having signed an MOU in Moscow in 2012 to train and prepare senior motorsport officials during the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix ahead of the Russian Grand Prix taking place for the first time in Sochi in 2014. Emirati and UAE-based marshals have also gone to Russia to lend their experience in the safe running of the 2014 and 2015 events.