Officials at the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) have confirmed that they will host a counting round of the Qatar National Baja Championship in conjunction with the Qatar Cross-Country Rally, round four of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup and round two of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, on April 17-22.
QMMF President Abdulrahman Al-Mannai confirmed that the first part of legs two, three, four and five will count towards the domestic off-road series and the classification of each day will be determined on results registered at a passage control after around 150km of each leg.
“Qatar National Baja competitors may continue the race after the passage control and be registered for the overall standings in the main Qatar Cross-Country Rally,” said Al-Mannai. “This will not affect the results at the passage control.”
The 2017 Qatar National Baja will be open to cars in FIA group T1, T2 and T3 as well as the National T3 category for desert buggies complying with technical regulations published as an appendix to the supplementary regulations. National T3 category vehicles may also be transported along road sections and teams will benefit from reduced entry fees.
Meanwhile, staff at the QMMF have now published the official Rally Guide and are finalising the regulations for the FIM motorcycle and quad section of the international event.
Erick Nevels has been appointed as Clerk of the Course for the first time and will work alongside FIM Technical Delegate Izak Santej and under FIM Jury President Jean-Francois Wulveriqk. Nevels hails from Argentina and has vast experience of cross-country rallying, having worked on events such as the Dakar Rally in South America on several occasions.
The Polish Overdrive Racing duo of Aron Domzala and Szymon Gospodarczyk claimed victory in last weekend’s Baja Russia Northern Forest Rally, the opening round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, through the remote snowy wastelands of the Karelia region of northwestern Russia. They hold an early lead over Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal and Slovakian navigator Marek Sykora in the points’ standings.
The closing date for entries at reduced rates for the Qatar Cross-Country Rally is Monday, March 6, with the final cut-off planned for Monday, March 27.