Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge - 25 Mar to 1 Apr 2010

Desert Dog

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This might be some way off still, but I will update this with the press releases and info as and when it becomes available, in the hope that we shall see some of our brethren across the pond come and play in our sand pit!

WARNING: Competing in the Desert Challenge is addictive!

Link: http://www.atcuae.ae/en/sporting/desert_challenge.html

The rally celebrates 20 editions in 2010. Run every year since its “birth” in 1991, the rally has grown to become a firm favourite with the cross country fraternity and is the only event that has maintained its Cross Country FIA Cup & FIM Championship status without missing a single year.

The event will be based, once again, in Abu Dhabi, following the very successful change of base location for the 2009 edition.

Entry fees remain as 2009 and are very reasonable and extremely good value. The only cost that the competitor incurs above the entry fee, is accommodation before and after the event, transport of vehicle to Abu Dhabi and air travel for the overseas competitor. The fees are now available on the website, see link above.

Once the rally has started, all accommodation, food and fuel costs are covered by the entry fee and, of course, the traditional and legendary, post event Gala Dinner, for the Stars, under the stars!

The fixed location of the Bivouac at the base of the awesome Tal Morib (Hill of Horror) lends itself to very simple assistance/service arrangements for the private entries and factory teams alike, and with all assistance points accessible by good asphalt roads, 4WD assistance vehicles are not required.

The format of the event is designed to be user friendly, with the first leg starting on “easy” desert and gradually increasing in difficulty to act as a refresher to the experienced and as an introduction for the first timer. The remaining legs are full, open desert with all the varieties of terrain that make the event what it is, a real challenge to man and machine. The fixed Bivouac, means that the competitor can miss a leg, due to physical or mechanical problems, and not get left behind. Of course, there is a penalty for this, but importantly for the amateur, you are not out of the rally.

The rally could not happen without the Medical, the Search & Rescue and the “legendary” Desert Challenge Sweep Teams which combine resources and technology to ensure as safe an event as it is possible to conduct. In cooperation with the TDCOMM staff, and utilising the Iritrack Satellite monitoring technology, which incidentally was pioneered, since 2003, by the Desert Challenge, these teams respond to incidents to assist the injured and exhausted competitor and assist in retrieving those who suffer problems during a leg, in an effort to keep them running.

Our long suffering and hard working marshals are currently undergoing training for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, so be warned, they will be extra sharp and attentive, but I am sure they will appreciate getting back to the Challenge where the competitors are mostly old friends!

The event is also very family and fan friendly, with easy access to the route, the desert and the bivouac which could be by the very reasonable local taxis, if necessary!
The event has been invited to base itself at a new facility which is still under construction but which will service every need of the organisation and the competitor, in a single location, while providing a variety of “amusing” facilities to entertain those with time to spare!

Those who are on Facebook may care to join the Group “Desert Challenge”

Over twenty years, the Challenge has built a loyal, friendly and enthusiastic following. Don’t consider entering unless you are prepared to come back to the UAE again, and again, because it is addictive. You have been warned!!


We had Michael Jackson (yes, THAT one) at the Gala Dinner handing out prizes in 2005. He didn't give me anything though...:rolleyes:
 

LIMITLESS

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Hey desert dog,
At the end of this month (nov. 21st- 30th) i am moving to al-ali (i think that the name) about an hour outside of dubai. Were opening a new offroad shop to build high-end custom offroad buggies and sand cars!!! We will also have a full parts department and can service and repair all offroad vehicles and UTV's. Im really excited about the move and looking forward watching this offroad rally race!! come by and check out the shop once opened and spread the word.

thanx and hope to hear back,
robbie
 

Desert Dog

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Torchmate.. the majority that race are 4WD anyway. There are only a handful of 2WD.

Limitless, you'll be heading to Al Ain then? Fantastic dunes out there, although I can see you heading for the bright lights of Dubai every now and again!
 

Torchmate

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We have a bunch of customers in UAE. I am sending someone to Dubai in a few weeks to help a customer with some training. That got me thinking about trying to do some racing in your neck of the woods. We ship big stuff over all the time, so shipping a truck shouldn't be that big of a deal. It would give me a good excuse to come over and visit some folks. I am used to North American desert though and my navigator loves his GPS. Worried that we might come over and look foolish. The terrain looks fantastic.
 

Desert Dog

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Shipping a truck is very simple and www.atcuae.ae can help with all the necessary import formalities for the event itself. You will need to get dispensation to race your truck in this event as I suspect that the majority of safety items will not be FIA homologated. The first step is to contact the ATC and ask the question. We did have a Trophy Truck enter a number of years back and was incredibly fast, but never made is past Day 1.

This event is 80 - 90% sand, but with a few basic pointers, you really shouldn't have any issues... so your reputation could remain intact! There are tricky areas but once you have mastered the technique, this race is superb. The central bivouac is amazing and the cameraderie during the event is next to none.
 

Desert Dog

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Only 23 more days to go... preparations for our entry is now in full swing. Funny how time seems to go so fast when there is too much to do!
 

Desert Dog

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Challenging new route for Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

24 February 2010 ABU DHABI: Registration for the 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (ADDC) is signalling a bigger-than-ever competitor turnout with more than 100 challengers expected for the event which, for the second year running, will be totally staged across Abu Dhabi emirate.

The cross-country motor sport spectacular, organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), will run from March 28-April 1 and is the season-opening round of both the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship.

Entry to the 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is open to cars and trucks complying with FIA T1, T2 and T4 technical regulations, as well as motorcyclists and quads running under FIM auspices.

The event, backed by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), is further strengthening Abu Dhabi's tourism, major event and motorsport credentials which have been boosted by news that pending FIA approval the emirate will host Rally Abu Dhabi, a World Rally Championship (WRC) candidate event later this year.

ADDC 2010 competitors will face two days of documentation and scrutineering (March 25 & 26), before a Super Special Stage (March 27), which decides the starting order. Competitors then brave five days in the Liwa Desert and the Moreeb area of the Empty Quarter (Rub Al Khali), the world's largest uninterrupted sand mass boasting some of its highest dunes.

“This emirate has some of the world’s most stunning desert terrain and event officials are working tirelessly to leverage this in finalising an ambitious and challenging route,” said Ahmed Hussein, Deputy Director General Tourism Operations, ADTA.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA Vice President, President of the ATCUAE and Chairman of the 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Organising Committee, confirmed several world-leading teams are expected at ADDC 2010 with entries having been received from top International teams and GCC drivers.

The actual competitive action will get underway with a timed super special stage in the UAE capital on the morning of March 27.

The outcome of the short off-road section, which will be close enough to the city centre to attract thousands of motor sport enthusiasts, will determine the starting order for the event’s all-important first desert leg on (Sunday, March 28). This leg starts from Al Dhafrah plateau giving competitors an immediate introduction to the variations of terrain that they will face over the coming days, to a finish deep in the emirate’s remote desert.

A non-competitive liaison section will then guide teams to the first overnight halt at Moreeb Hill, near Liwa, where the rally will be based for the next four days, at a specially-prepared desert bivouac.

Legs two, three and four will feature demanding loop stages around Moreeb Hill, across somewhat challenging gatch tracks, winding desert trails and the region’s notorious towering sand dunes.

Sulayem says each stage will be divided by passage controls and route waypoints, as competitors thread their way through the legendary Rub Al-Khali made famous by British explorer Wilfred Thesiger who crossed its desert expanse in the 1940s and 50s.

The fifth and final leg will take place on Thursday, April 1, with teams tackling a new desert section between Liwa to the event's finish in Abu Dhabi city.

The UAE’s premier off-road event was the brainchild of Sulayem in 1991 and has been a FIA World Cup round since 1993. The rally has been managed by the ATCUAE since Sulayem took over at the helm in 2006.
 

Desert Dog

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Capital’s Grand Mosque to backdrop Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge start

5 March 2010 ABU DHABI (UAE): The 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (ADDC) will be flagged off after sunset in view of Abu Dhabi’s magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque with the event’s entire route providing a destination canvas to Abu Dhabi emirate’s diverse terrain.

“The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the backdrop for this year’s ceremonial start of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge on March 27.

“The 100-plus competitors will head off towards the Al Dhafrah plateau ready to tackle the Liwa desert, which is considered to be some of the world’s most stunning desertscapes,” said Ahmed Hussein, Deputy Director General Tourism Operations, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), which supports the event.

Entry to the 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is open to cars and trucks complying with FIA T1, T2 and T4 technical regulations, as well as motorcyclists and quads running under FIM auspices.

Hussein said that each stage will be divided by passage controls and route waypoints, as competitors thread their way through the legendary Empty Quarter, or Rub Al-Khali, made famous by British explorer Wilfred Thesiger who crossed its desert expanse in the 1940s and 50s. He indicated that many of Abu Dhabi’s landmarks will feature in this year’s route, including the Grand Mosque.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA Vice President, President of the Automobile & Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) and Chairman of the 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Organising Committee, confirmed that this year’s route is designed to embrace some new territory in Abu Dhabi and the Western Region, Al Gharbia.

“The Liwa terrain of Abu Dhabi’s Western Region is both gruelling and addictive. We have located some new routes this year, and stages 4 and 5 will take the competitors into areas that will make for great driving and are also good for spectator viewing.

“Indeed, I have heard many a competitor comment that the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is something to rise to, and then be hooked,” said Sulayem, himself a 14-time Middle East champion.

Sulayem confirmed that the actual competitive action will get underway with a super special stage (on March 27) to determine the starting order at the Ceremonial Start later in the day in the grounds of the Grand Mosque.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque with its 82 domes has fast become a leading landmark in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi.

The Grand Mosque covers an area of 22,412 square metres, the size of five football fields and constructed using artisans and materials from countries such as Italy, Germany, Morocco, India, Turkey, Iran, China, Greece and the UAE. It is reported that chandelier under the main dome is ten metres in diameter and fifteen metres in height and weighs eight-to-nine tonnes. The Grand Mosque is open to visitors.

The sunset start in the ‘shadow’ of the Grand Mosque flags off a non-competitive liaison section that guides the drivers and bikers to the first overnight halt at Moreeb Hill, near Liwa, where the rally will be based for the next four days at a specially-prepared desert bivouac. Moreeb is part of the Empty Quarter, the world's largest uninterrupted sand mass.

Legs two, three and four will feature demanding loop stages around Moreeb Hill, across somewhat challenging gatch tracks, winding desert trails and the region’s notorious towering sand dunes, considered to be the highest dunes in the Empty Quarter.

The fifth and final leg will take place on Thursday, April 1, with teams tackling a desert section between Liwa to the event's finish in Abu Dhabi city.

The six-day competitive section of the cross-country motor sport spectacular, organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), will run from March 27-April 1, 2010. Once again the event will be the season-opening round of both the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship.

The Desert Challenge has traditionally attracted a host of partners, and in 2010 these include Nissan, Adnoc and Explorer publishing
 

Desert Dog

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Hayduke, there are 63 bikes, 39 cars and 4 trucks entered so far, so all in all a pretty good field.

mkarylyle, I would love to but unfortunately can't see that happening in the near future...
 

Desert Dog

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We will post our daily updates with photos once again. As soon as we have the tracking link, we'll post that up as well. Top dog so far is Leonid Novitsky in his BMW X3. No Kamaz trucks this year...
 

Desert Dog

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The latest press release and some stunning pictures:

QASR AL SARAB TO HOST FINAL LEGS OF ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE

• Challenging desert route embraces landmark Abu Dhabi destinations –
• ADTA-backed ADDC 2010 is opening round of FIA Cross Country World Cup and FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship

ABU DHABI (UAE) March 18 2010: The 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will twice embrace awe-inspiring desert terrain surrounding the emirate’s stunning Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara during the rally’s six-day competitive section.

Ahmed Hussein, Deputy Director General Tourism Operations, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and Chief Operating Officer of Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), which developed the iconic resort, said Qasr Al Sarab, which translates into Mirage Palace, is readying to host motorsport action during the two final legs of the five-leg cross country spectacular.

“The route has been especially re-designed to bypass Qasr Al Sarab bringing Abu Dhabi’s modern motorsport heritage within the resort’s showpiece setting of the heritage and culture of the vast Liwa desert. Leg four will finish at the resort, on March 31, with the final leg starting there the next day,” said Hussein.

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort is set amidst the Liwa region’s towering sand dunes, which form part of the world’s largest uninterrupted desert known as the Rub Al Khali, or the Empty Quarter.

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority fully supports the rally and Hussein explained that a newly laid eight-kilometre road leading through the dunes and around the resort will give spectators a prime view of the 100-plus entries, featuring cars, bikes, quads and trucks.

The Resort is accessible by road from Abu Dhabi, some 240 kilometres southwest of Abu Dhabi city.

“By entering the Empty Quarter, home to some of the world’s highest and dramatic sand dunes, the rally is truly deserving of its ‘Desert Challenge’ moniker,” added Hussein.

Entry to the 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is open to cars and trucks complying with FIA T1, T2 and T4 technical regulations, as well as motorcyclists and quads running under FIM auspices. The cross-country motor sport spectacular is organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE).

“To have such a wonderful resort in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s Al Gharbia region is a victory in itself, and Qasr Al Sarab will now play host to world-class rally champions. This year we have designed the route so that the Resort vicinity will be the venue of the service point for the two final legs,” said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA Vice President, President of the ATCUAE and Chairman of the 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Organising Committee,

Sulayem confirmed that the actual competitive action will get underway with a Super Special Stage on March 27 to determine the starting order, later that day, at the Ceremonial Start in the grounds of another capital landmark, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

“The sunset start with the backdrop of the Grand Mosque will flag off a non-competitive liaison section that will guide drivers and bikers to the first overnight halt at Moreeb Hill, the UAE’s tallest dune near the oasis town of Liwa, where the rally will be based for the next four days at a specially-prepared desert bivouac,” he said.

Legs two, three and four will feature demanding loop stages around Moreeb Hill, across somewhat challenging gatch tracks, winding desert trails and the region’s notorious towering sand dunes,. Leg four will finish at Qasr Al Sarab.

The fifth and final leg will start at the resort on Thursday, April 1, with teams tackling a desert section between Liwa to the event's finish in Abu Dhabi city.

The six-day competitive section of the cross-country motor sport spectacular, organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), will run from March 27-April 1, 2010. Once again the event will be the season-opening round of both the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship. The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2010 has the full backing of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).

The event has traditionally attracted a host of partners, and in 2010 these include Nissan, Adnoc and Explorer publishing.

Entries are invited for the opening round of both the FIM and FIA championships and further details, including event technical regulations, are available from ATC UAE officials, PO Box 5078, Dubai, UAE, Tel: + 971 4 2961122, Fax: + 971 4 2961133, E-mail: info@atcuae.ae or Tanya@atcuae.ae, Website: www.abudhabidesertchallenge.ae .






 

Desert Dog

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Latest update:

BMW X-Raid eyes Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Podium

• 2009 saw Chicherit-Thorner win cars category
• X-Raid’s Leonid Novitskiy upbeat following Dakar performance

ABU DHABI March 19 2010: Team X-Raid, winner of last year’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, has entered this month’s 2,000 kilometre cross-country rally, upbeat that it is well placed for a repeat victory.

Russia’s Leonid Novitskiy will take the driver’s seat with German Andreas Schulz at his side. The duo finished 11th overall in their BMW X3 CC at the recent Dakar rally, which has placed them early favourite to defend the BMW X-Raid team’s 2009 title clinched by Guerlain Chicherit and Tina Thorner.

X-Raid’s team manager, Sven Quandt said that the last 12 months have been great for the for this year’s title contenders. “Novitskiy and Schulz smack of a winning team. They finished second overall in Morocco and did really well at the Dakar. They finished 11th, and achieved the 11th faster overall time in the 16-day, 9,030 kilometre run, and they are in tip-top condition to take on Abu Dhabi's Western Region’s gruelling terrain. “Compared to the Dakar’s long straight run, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is 2,000 kilometres, however the dust, heat and the un-known element that belongs to the desert sands alone is a tough challenge for even the most experienced drivers. I believe that our team has what it takes to emerge winner in tough terrain.”

The five-day competitive section of the cross-country motor sport spectacular, organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) with the full backing of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, opens in Abu Dhabi on March 27.

The desert section runs from March 28-April 1, 2010 and is open to competitors driving cars and trucks complying with FIA T1, T2 and T4 technical regulations and motorcyclists and quads running under the auspices of the FIM.

Once again the event will be the season-opening round of both the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship.

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge has traditionally attracted a host of partners, and in 2010 these include Nissan, ADNOC, Al Ain Water, Crowne Plaza Yas Island, Explorer, FedEx, Tag Heuer and Thuraya.
 

Desert Dog

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Entry list so far:

No Entrant Driver / CO-Driver Nat Make Model Gr/Cl
201 X-RAID Gmbh Leonid Novitskiy / Andy Schulz RUS/D BMW X3 CC T1 2nd Seed
202 Yaha Alheli / Mansoor Alheli UAE/UAE Nissan Patrol T2 2nd Seed
203 Abdulla Alheiraz Abdulla Al Heiraz / Haleem bin Zayed UAE / UAE Nissan Patrol T2 2nd Seed
204 David Mabbs / Xavier Caminda GB/F Toyota FJ Cruiser T1
205 Raed Baker / Nabil Ahmadi UAE/UAE Mitsubish L200 T1
206 Ali Alshawi / Ahmed Malik UAE/UAE
207 FITECH Joseph Rosso / Jean Lurquin F/B Nissan Patrol
208 Ahmad bin Sugat / Wael Marjan UAE/ Nissan Patrol T1
209 Mark Powell / Paul Richards GB/GB Honda Buggy T1
211 Abdul Bari bin Sugat / Ali Mirza UAE/UAE Nissan Patrol
212 Michael Ziegler / Maurice Doreleijers USA/NL
214 Matar Al Mansoori / TBA UAE Nissan Patrol T1
215 Artur Ardavichus / Boris Berezovskiy LT/KZ Toyota Hilux T1
216 Nabil Al Shamsi / Nooh Bu Humaid UAE/UAE Nissan Patrol T1
217 Majed Alghamdi / SAU Isuzu DMAX T2
218 Fady Melki / Mario Mitri RL/RL Land Rover Range Rover T1
219 Ibrahim Al Muhanna / Osama Al Sanad SAU/SAU Nissan Patrol T2
221 SIXT UKRAINE Vadym Nesterchuk / Timur Timanov UKR/UKR Toyota Land Cruiser T2
222 BISON TEAM Kees Tijsterman / J-P Jacobs NL/NL Desert Warrior T1
223 Benediktas Vanagas / Saulius Jurgelenas LT/LT OSC Oscar 03 T1
224 Ian Barker / Sheila Barker GB/GB Nissan Patrol T1
225 FITECH Laurent Rosso / Francois Borsotto F/F Nissan Pathfinder T2
226 Yannick Comagano / Martin Jean Luc F/F Bowler Wildcat 2000 T1
227 Dave Ingles / Yves Dewulf B/B Toyota VDJ T2
228 FITECH Hamad S S Suhail / A M Amarech UAE/MAR Nissan Nissan T2
229 Jiri Janecek / Viktor Chytka CZE/CZE Toyota LC 20 T2
231 Malcom Anderson / Mark Schofield GB/GB Land Rover Ranger Rover T1
232 Omar Daoud / Raed Mustafa HKJ/HKJ Nissan Patrol T1
233 Khaled Al Mudhaf / Jan Vanmeerbeek KT/B Nissan Patrol T2
234 Emil Khneisser / Patrick Macmurren RL/GB Ford 150 Buggy T1
235 Dario De Lorenzo / Aldon De Lorenzo I/I Isuzu DMAX T1
236 Saeed Al Hameli / Ahmed Malik UAE Chevrolet Pick Up T1
237 Saleh Alhout / SAU/ Nissan Patrol T1
238 Samy Alshammary / Abdullah Alshammary SAU/SAU Isuzu DMAX T2
239 Ali Hasan Obaid / Ali Hasan Dadi UAE/UAE Nissan Patrol T1
240 Mohammed Al Mannai / Adel Abdulla QAT/QAT Nissan Overdrive T1
241 Pierpaolo Bonetti / Dean Posedel / Ugo Miclavez I/HRV/I IVECO Trakker T4
242 Wouter Leenknegt / Steven Wybo / Fritd De Buf B/B/B MAN TGS480 T4
243 Steven Rotsaert / Stefaan Vanbesien / Dirk Dendooven B/B/B MAN TGA T4
244 Gilles Chauve / Andrea Mayer / Nicolas Patty F/D/F RENAULT KERAX 450DXI T4
 
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Desert Dog

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This is the teaser video from last year just to get everyone in the mood! ;)

 
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