While most of the headlines building up to next week’s Jordan Rally will no doubt focus on Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah’s bid to win the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, there are a number of female participants hoping to make some news of their own.
The Qatari needs just two points to clinch his 11th regional crown in 13 years, but away from the chase at the top are four ladies hoping to prove a point that rallying is a sport for all.
Drivers Lina Hadidi and Edith Weiss and co-drivers Nancy Al-Majali and Marina Habaybeh are among a strong field of competitors who will take in the three-day event, which gets underway from 2.30pm in Abdoun Circle on Thursday, October 15.
For Lina, she has been receiving some strong advice from her mother who is a well-known face on the Middle East motorsport circuit.
“My mother, Abir Batikhi (former driver), has been a strong supporter for me,” said Lina, who is a medical student. “She has really encouraged me and helped me to prepare for my first Middle East Rally Championship event. I also have a very experienced co-driver in Barkev Shadian, so I hope to do well and make an impact at the Jordan Rally.”
Meanwhile, Marina will be co-driving for her father Raed to provide a strong family flavour in Group S.“My father has built the car and we have prepared ourselves well,” she said. “I started co-driving for him last year and we have done a few events now. Doing a Middle East rally though is a big step up for me in my career, but I am looking forward to it.”
Also co-driving, the experienced Nancy Al-Majali will be reading the notes for Jordan favourite Hussam Salem for the fourth time at the Jordan Rally.Nancy made a name for herself, initially as a driver after her debut in 2000, but is content to be playing a support role to Hussam.
“This will be my 14th Jordan Rally as a whole and Hussam is also experienced so we are hoping for a good result,” she said. “We finished sixth overall last year and second Jordanian but we continue to push ourselves and improve for better results.”
The Rally gets underway in Abdoun circle from 2.30pm on Thursday, October 15 with an afternoon of spectator friendly events followed by two days of dramatic action in the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley areas.