Round two of the 2023 FIA Middle East Rally Championship’s start and finish ceremonies will kick off in Al Maha Island this weekend.
Round two of the 2023 FIA Middle East Rally Championship’s start and finish ceremonies for the Qatar International Rally will take place on Al Maha Island this weekend (MERC).
“We are proud and excited that the Qatar International Rally will start and finish from Al-Maha Island, Qatar’s new, iconic, and world-class tourist venue,” said Amro al-Hamad, Executive Director of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF).
“It will provide the perfect backdrop for the start of the event and the finish celebrations on Saturday evening.”
With its award-winning restaurants, Nammos Beach Club and Lusail Winter Wonderland, Al Maha Island Lusail is Qatar’s top entertainment and dining destination.
Located across the Lusail Marina Promenade, the island is conveniently located for both business and leisure travelers as it is only a five-minute walk from the Esplanade Station of the Lusail Tram and is only 30 minutes from Hamad International Airport.
“We are excited to host the start and finish ceremonies of Qatar International Rally, round two of the 2023 FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC). Al Maha Island is the ultimate entertainment and leisure hotspot, transforming tourism and hospitality in Qatar to a new level,” Group CEO of Estithmar Holding, Henrik Christiansen said.
The QMMF is in charge of organising the three-day gravel rally, which will be contested over 13 timed special stages and 209,69 competitive kilometres from Thursday evening to Saturday afternoon.
The pre-and post-event press conferences will be held on Thursday and Saturday evenings at the start and finish podiums, respectively.
The rally headquarters, service park, and pre-event administration and scrutineering checks will be conducted close to the QMMF offices at Lusail Sports Arena. Prior to Wednesday evening and Thursday morning’s scrutineering at Lusail, competitors from 13 different countries will be allowed to conduct a reconnaissance of the special stages.
Abdullah al-Rawahi won the first race in his home country of Oman last month for the second year in a row.
He and Jordanian co-driver Ata al-Hmoud are currently leading their respective Drivers’ and Co-drivers championships by six points over Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel, the local favourite and defending champion.
Meshari al-Thefiri, a former FIA MERC2 champion, has made a comeback to the division in an effort to reclaim the title this year. The Kuwaiti got off to a great start in Oman by taking third overall, the MERC2 victory, and a six-point lead over Jordan’s Shaker Jweihan in the standings.