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1st round of National Rally starts Friday

By Roufan Nahhas - Apr 10,2014 - Last updated at Apr 10,2014

AMMAN –– The first round of the 2014 National Rally Championship kicks off Friday with the participation of nine drivers from Jordan and Lebanon.

The event organised by Jordan Motorsport and held under the patronage of HRH Prince Feisal, chairman of the Executive Motor Sports Council, is considered as the final rehearsal for the challenging Jordan Rally –– the third round of the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC)  scheduled to be held between May 1-3. 

According to Jordan Motorsport CEO Othman Nassif, the first National Rally will have a tough mission this Friday with six-stage 80.04km challenge.

"Drivers will start at 9am from the Royal Automobile Club of Jordan [RACJ] and will have to cover a total distance of 319.39 kilometres [80.04km special stages] followed by the first stage at 10:21am overlooking the Dead Sea then heading towards the city of Madaba," he told The Jordan Times.

“The final podium presentations will be organised at the RACJ at around 5:15pm," he added.

Regarding the list of drivers, Nassif said: "We have a strong list of professional drivers from Jordan and Lebanon and we are expecting a heated competition among the nine drivers. This Friday's event will be a training camp for all those who will take part in the Jordan Rally whether a driver or a volunteer and we hope things will be just right."

Jordan is headed by national champion Maroof Abu Samra, a veteran rally driver, and his co-driver Nicola Fanous on their Skoda while the Lebanese squad is headed by Roger Feghali and co-driver Ziad Shehab on their Ford Fiesta.

Joining them are Ala' Khalifeh and co-driver Ata Hmoud (Jordan), Ala Rasheed and co-driver Joseph Matar (Jordan), Husam Salem and co-driver Nancy Majali (Jordan), Henry Masad and co-driver Roger Ghoson (Lebanon), Basheer Azar and co-driver Bilal Majdalawi (Jordan), Salameh Qamaz and co-driver Khaled Juma (Jordan) and Sahdi Yaeesh and co-driver Suhail Jariri (Jordan).

Lebanese drivers are taking part in the event after the FIA, the governing body of motor sports worldwide, decision to divide the Middle East Rally Championship into zones.

The first zone consists of Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus and Jordan while the second consists of Dubai, Qatar and Oman.

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