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2012 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 30 Mar - 6 Apr

Discussion in 'Rally Raid' started by Desert Dog, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Active Member

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    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    What with the Dakar threads in this section, this may get lost, but I'll put this thread up in any case!


    Entries Open for 2012 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge


    The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will return for its 22nd running in 2012, and will once again be held across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi from 30th March to 6th April. The world famous event will allow competitors to explore some of the wonders of the Western Region of Al Gharbia, and will go deep into the Liwa desert. But exploration is not the only thing that awaits competitors during this event; after all, it’s not called a ‘Challenge’ for nothing, and the event is guaranteed to push all participants to the limit.

    The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates (ATCUAE). The ATCUAE has now opened registration to competitors driving cars and trucks complying with FIA T1, T2, T3 and T4 technical regulations, and motorcyclists and quads running under the auspices of the FIM.

    The 2012 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will be the opening round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, and Round 2 of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies.

    In the primary categories, last year’s car class was won by Desert Challenge legend Stephane Peterhansel, a multiple winner of the event on both two and four wheels, and the motorcycle class was won by Spaniard Marc Coma. Both competitors are currently leading their respective categories in the 2012 Dakar Rally, and will be hoping to gain a strong result as preparation for a defence of their Desert Challenge titles. Alongside them last year, a field of over 170 competitors from 34 different countries battled to cover the 1500km of the route to reach the finish line in Abu Dhabi. The 2011 edition of the event also set a new milestone by being broadcasted on some of the world’s leading sports channels, to 121million homes, in 59 different countries, and across 20 different languages.

    While most of the worlds most experienced top cross country rally drivers and riders are used to struggling with our desert, this year’s rally will test men and machines even harder by introducing competitors to the most spectacular, and toughest, dunes in the world. The high temperatures experienced by the UAE in April will also add an extra challenge to the 2012 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, contributing to making this event a very technical and demanding rally.

    Mohammed Ben Sulayem, ATCUAE President and founder of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, said: “The Desert Challenge is an iconic event in the UAE and both officials and competitors will be delighted to go back to Liwa to challenge and experience our beautiful desert once again. I’d like to express my gratitude to H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for always encouraging and supporting myself and the ATCUAE to present an outstanding and top class event every year. Over this new edition of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge we’ll deliver a more exciting, and challenging competition than ever before.”

    For further information on how to register for the event, please visit www.abudhabidesertchallenge.ae
     
  2. randy s

    randy s Well-Known Member

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    in my view, robby gordon should be doing these things. there are big reasons why peterhansel and them are good at this kind of racing. there's no question in my mind that if gordon dedicated himself to rally raid foor two years to the extent that these guys do, he'd be dominating rallys and peterhansel would be wondering WTF happened. very interesting looking event. would a score tagged vehicle have any problems going through tech?
     
  3. Yumaoffroad

    Yumaoffroad Member

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    nascar bro.....
     
  4. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Active Member

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    My vehicle is score tagged and now has a FIA passport, so the answer is yes, with a quick submission to the FIA in France, you can run a SCORE tagged car.

    The works teams tend to do most of the races in the Championship and this is where they hone their skills as well. I was talking to the Josh Hall about them bringing their car over for last years event, but they didn't make it. This event is 95% sand!
     
  5. randy s

    randy s Well-Known Member

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    i would hope so. when i went to watch the first few stages of the dakar in lisbon, i had a chance to check out a few of the cars that were independents from all over the planet and the build standards weren't up to what we have here in score or any other sanctioning body in most cases. and i know rg is locked in in nascar, but that's his problem in my opinion. if he were to focus all his resources on rally raid and desert racing, he would be a handful for the rest of the competitors to deal with. he obviously is anyway , but with more work it, could get scary. thanks for the info mark.
     
  6. Suhaib Kiani

    Suhaib Kiani Active Member

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    Thanks for the heads up! I will try and see if I can be there! I know one of the teams, Bin Saughats who race Nissan Patrols. Hopefully can join in as the media guy if not anything else :)
     
  7. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Active Member

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    Hi Souhaib, the Bin Sougats don't race anymore although I do see them around.

    We also have the Hail Rally in Saudi (18, 19 20 March) and the Qatar Cross Country Rally (15 - 21 April).
     
  8. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Active Member

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    I have had one of the main FIA scrutineers visit my shop when we were in the middle of re-powering our car. As far as he was concerned, the chassis was approved in France and so that was fine, but did point out that the V bars where the windscreen would be prevents a quick escape. Now I'm not going to get into a bunfight about this - my car has a valid passport so I'm happy with that!
     
  9. bufeo

    bufeo Well-Known Member

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    It would be great if some U.S.A. off-road team (teams?) were to get fully engaged in this series, and I agree with randy s that the more experience in this kind of competition, the better the chances at the Dakar. From my cheap seat in the grandstands I don't know that I agree that RG is the answer, but he certainly has the tenacity and drive.

    Although I was a huge fan of Phil Hill, when Gurney took his Eagles onto the F1 circuits in the mid-60s, there was no question that this was a big moment for U.S. fans.

    Allen R
     
  10. randy s

    randy s Well-Known Member

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    i thought that rg showed more patience in this rally early on than he has in the past. his approach seemed more mature up until they came down on him. they rattled his cage and he came undone, wanting to prove his innocence and ended up overdriving the last few stages. i think more experience in the raid format would help him out quite a bit and if he really wants dakar, he would benefit running raids like this one instead of always running "solidly in 34th position" at all the nascar races. it's sad to watch nascar as it is and i, for one, would be stoked to see rg race all of the major raids that the regulars compete in and would certainly follow the sport more than just the dakar rally for two weeks a year. rg would bring more of an awareness to big time rally raid in north america as well i'm sure.
     
  11. randy s

    randy s Well-Known Member

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    in my opinion, mexico should follow abu dhabi's lead and host a world class raid in their country . think of all the diverse terrain , great fans and the economic benefits the country would enjoy. a one week rally raid in mexico starting on the mainland and ending up in tj after a ferry ride from mazatlan to la paz like they did from spain to north africa. that would be so cool. can anyone imagine a bunch of t4's making their way through the matomi wash?......nah, me neither...but it would be fun watchin' them try...and then people could say that driving a rally raid for a week is like driving one baja 1000...ja ja ja...touche suckas!!
     
  12. bufeo

    bufeo Well-Known Member

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    I agree wholeheartedly about the beginning stages, and I, too, would like to see an all-out effort by RG on the international R-Raid circuit.

    Allen R
     
  13. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Active Member

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    It was suggested last year that RG enter the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and the organisers would have made all possible concessions to have him enter. They are aware of his notoriety public persona! ;)

    Lets see what we can do....
     
  14. Ferrari333SP

    Ferrari333SP Well-Known Member

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    By all means please try to make this happen; more running for the Hummer the better. Would help to creat more publicity for this Abu Dhabi event. What is the energy drink market like in the UAE? Are Red Bull and Monster pretty prominent? Or are there other dominent brands?
     
  15. Suhaib Kiani

    Suhaib Kiani Active Member

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    Oh really! I thought they raced last year with their black Patrol, though rolled it over and sold it subsequently so not sure what they're upto this year. Can't imagine them being out of it for too long :) Anyhow lets hope I can catch the Abu Dhabi event as I have been meaning to do so for sometime!
     
  16. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Active Member

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    The question has already been asked!

    The energy drink market here is saturated (pun intended!). Red Bull is the most dominant with Power Horse coming in second. Monster have just entered the market and are having teething problems - they've just sacked the entire marketing and promotion team at the end of last year. There are tons of other brands as well. A couple of retailers have been asked whether they were interested in taking on Speed and it was turned down. It's a tough market here as it's tiny.
     
  17. Ferrari333SP

    Ferrari333SP Well-Known Member

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    I know here in the U.S. a good way to get your brand out there is to put your drink in nightclubs; that's one way to potentially enter a market. But from what you say, it sounds pretty tough as it is already. Maybe RG doing well in a Hummer would change opinions.
     
  18. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Active Member

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    That is assuming that he really wants to get into the market. The Monster brand is synonous with US off-roading and racing - loads of trucks and rails here have the Monster 'M' emblazoned on them whereas you don't see Red Bull stickers on cars. People even paint the logo on their cars... what's that all about? Talk about free advertising!
     
  19. Ferrari333SP

    Ferrari333SP Well-Known Member

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    I've noticed the Monster brand has really exploded in the last 5 years; you see the M logo everywhere, especially in the action sports, and like you saw, people are now just putting the logo on their vehicles themselves. With Red Bull, from what I understand, they don't want people using their logo unless they're actually sponsored by Red Bull; that's why you can't buy simple Red Bull merchandise for yourself, like a t-shirt or hat. But with being the top energy drink worldwide, they don't need every person they can get to spread their name/logo. In RG's case, he's going to need to put that S logo in as many places as possible. Let's just hope this Abu Dhabi event is attractive enough for him to make the long haul over to compete.
     
  20. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Active Member

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    Only 3 weeks to go now and here is the latest release from the organisers:

    Strong participation from South America in world-famous race / Two of Middle East’s most famous rally drivers to tackle Rub Al Khali / Record number of female entrants reinforces rally’s global appeal


    ABU DHABI (UAE). Monday, 12 March, 2011: The world’s ultimate desert rally, the 2012 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (30 March – 6 April) is set to feature an even more varied line-up than ever before, with some 35 different nationalities and a record number of female competitors already signed up to tackle the towering dunes and spectacular terrain of the formidable Liwa Desert.

    With the registration deadline for the 22nd edition of one of the world’s toughest and most popular cross-country rallies just hours away, the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), organiser of the race, has confirmed it has already received entries from across six continents.

    Mohammed Ben Sulayem, ATCUAE President and founder of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, said: “The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is a ‘Must’ for all serious rally drivers and riders. It is renowned for testing participants and their machines, to their absolute limits, giving them a chance to really prove themselves in front of their peers. That is why, in its 22nd year, it continues to attract such a strong line-up of entrants from around the world.”

    In a significant development for the race, 2012 sees a marked increase in entrants from South America, with competitors from Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela and Uruguay already confirmed. By attracting growing numbers of entrants from a continent where rallying is extremely popular, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will further spread the names of one the world’s most beautiful and spectacular locations, the Western Region of Al Gharbia.

    Among the contestants battling it out across the breathtaking dunes and stunning scenery of the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter), there will once again be a strong contingent from right across the Middle East. Notably, the UAE’s entrants include two of the region’s most famous rally drivers, Sheikh Abdulla Al Qassimi and 2004 FIA World Cup champion Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei.

    Al-Mutaiwei, who recently announced his return to international cross-country rallying after an eight-year absence, will race with the celebrated German X-raid team. Another of the region’s most experienced rally drivers, Sheikh Abdulla Al Qassimi will take on the Desert Challenge in a Powertech Buggy, having claimed podium places for the past two years in the Middle East Rally Championship.

    An indication of the increasing popularity of cross-country rallying among female racers, the global appeal of the rally sees the number of participants rise to six this year. Desert Challenge regular and UAE resident, Sheila Hutton-Barker will again compete in a Nissan Patrol as co-driver to her husband Ian. The Brit will be joined by contestants from Brazil, Bulgaria, the US and Italy, including the most experienced female quad biker in the field, Camelia Liparoti.

    This year riding a Yamaha Raptor 700 quad bike, Liparoti has taken on and completed the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge three times before, providing the ideal springboard to help her claim the crown of women’s champion of the FIM Cross Country Rallies Championship for the past three years.

    The Desert Challenge is held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, and with support from a number of key partners including as the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Nissan and ADNOC.

    This year it serves as the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship season-opener and the second round of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup. It offers spectators unrivalled, free access to top-class motorsport in a number of breathtaking settings, with dedicated, easy-to-access viewing points in the beautiful desert of Al Gharbia.
     

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