2018 Jordan Baja, 1st entry into Cross-country rallying
- Exciting new desert Baja to run out of Aqaba into Wadi Rum area of Jordan
AMMAN (JORDAN): Jordan Motorsport has proudly announced the new 2018 Jordan Baja, the Hashemite Kingdom’s first entry into the world of cross-country rallying since the Marlboro BP 2000 Desert Challenge ran in 1987, 1988 and 1990. The three-day off-road event for cars, motorcycles and quads will take place in the stunning Wadi Rum area on September 27-29.
Based at the Red Sea resort of Aqaba in the south of the country and in close proximity to the deserts around Wadi Rum near the border country with Saudi Arabia, rally officials hope that the Jordan Baja will catch on quickly with competitors and establish itself as a permanent fixture in future FIA and FIM motor sporting calendars.
The Baja will run as an FIA candidate event for possible future inclusion in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, where rally officials hope it will join other three-day Baja events currently running in Russia, Dubai, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Poland and Portugal.
The competition for cars running in FIA T1, T2 and T3 categories will be held in conjunction with the Royal Motorcycle Club of Jordan Cup for Baja Rallies competition (RMCJ-BR), which will look after the secondary event running for motor cycles and quads. The route will be entirely on a sandy surface and competitors will face 383.80 competitive kilometres in a route of 776.89km.
Othman Nassif chairs the organising panel alongside deputy chairman and clerk of the course George Khoury and his deputy Omar Zarour, with the team calling on all the expertise they have built up hosting the Jordan Rally, the opening round of this year’s FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) and a former round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
Mousa Hazineh will be in charge of safety and Ashraf Juwinat and Zeid Abu Zeid will head the field and operations’ sections as assistant clerks of the course.
“We are delighted that a lot of hard work and planning has come to fruition and we are able to announce what we hope will be an exciting and challenging Baja and the start of a new future in cross-country rallying for Jordan,” said Othman Nassif, chairman of the organising committee.
“We are blessed with some stunning desert terrain in Jordan and we have a strong team with WRC pedigree that also puts on a very popular and well organised round of the MERC. This is a new and exciting challenge for all of us and we are looking forward to hosting this brand new addition to the motor sport calendar in the Middle East region.”
The event will be based at the Movenpick Hotel in Aqaba, while the start, finish and service park will all be located in the confines of the city.
Supplementary regulations are attached and also available from www.jordanrally.com. Entries are open and close at reduced rates on Thursday, August 30. The final cut-off for entries will be Tuesday, September 11.
The service park and rally offices open in Aqaba on Monday, September 24. Administration and scrutineering checks will be carried out on Wednesday, September 26 and the pre-event press conference precedes the ceremonial start (15.00hrs) in Aqaba and a timed four-kilometre super special stage (16.37hrs – first car) on Thursday, September 27.
Two challenging and scenic selective sections of 122.00km and 67.90km will be repeated twice through the stunning deserts around Wadi Rum and take centre stage on Friday, September 28 (first car – 08.48hrs and 12.58hrs) and Saturday, September 29 (first car – 09.35hrs and 12.47hrs) before the podium finish and prize giving in Aqaba from 18.00hrs.
Motorcycles and quads will tackle each of the stages before the cars.
The Marlboro BP 2000 Desert Challenge, Jordan’s only previous off-road event of its kind, ran for the first time in 1987. The late Kuwaiti driver Tariq Al-Wazzan ran out as the winner in a Range Rover. Abbas Al-Mosawi won the following year in a Mitsubishi Pajero and Qatar’s Saeed Al-Hajri won the last race in 1990 at the wheel of a Ford Bronco.
For further information and entry details, please contact Jordan Motorsport, P.O. Box 143222, Bayader Wadi Seer, 11814, Jordan, Tel: + 962 6 5850626 and Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.jordanrally.com