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Jordan Baja to rev up in September

Kingdom’s desert Baja to run out of Aqaba into Wadi Rum area

By JT - Aug 05,2018 - Last updated at Aug 05,2018

A 4x4 truck races across the desert in the Wadi Rum area of Jordan (Photo courtesy of Jordan Motorsport Media Service)

AMMAN — Jordan Motorsport 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,  according to the Jordan Motorsport Media Service.

The three-day off-road event for cars, motorcycles and quads will take place in the 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 383.8 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 Nassif.

“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.

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