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Jordanian drivers in gear for National Rally

By Roufan Nahhas - Apr 01,2015 - Last updated at Apr 01,2015

AMMAN — Drivers are eager to take on the first round of the National Rally Championship for the 2015 season that kicks off on Friday with the participation of 13 drivers from Jordan and Lebanon.

The event organised by Jordan Motorsport is the first of five rallies to be held this season.

According to Jordan Motorsport CEO Othman Nasif, the first National Rally is always a challenge.

“The rally, which will be held on tarmac, opens the door for many drivers who installed modest fittings to their cars while taking into consideration safety issues and measurements. The rally present an excellent opportunity for paricipants to rub shoulders with professional drivers,” he said.

“We have listened to drivers and worked on making the move from gravel to tarmac possible. It worked successfully and that is why we have decided to organise two tarmac events this year,” he added.

The rally, according to Nasif, will not be an easy task.

“Drivers will have to cover a total distance of 221.47km with seven special stages [72.07km] taking them to Zara, Mujib and Balata and ending at the Dead Sea area,” he said.

Last year, Lebanon’s Roger Feghali was crowned champion of the first round of the National Rally Championship after clocking 59m37s, followed by Jordan’s veteran driver Marouf Abu Samra (1h01m07s) and Husam Salem (1h05m54s).

Feghali, who won the first round of the Lebanese Rally Championship, will head the Lebanese delegation aiming for a win in Jordan while the Kingdom’s drivers will be headed by four-time rally champion Abu Samra and his co-driver Nicola Fanous in their Skoda. The team is aiming high this season and are looking for a permanent place at the podium.

Lebanon’s Patrick Najm will also create a challenge for Abu Samra, Jordan’s Khaled Juma, Yazan Qatan and the rest of the Jordanian drivers.

Other driver’s taking part are Asem Aref and co-driver Ramzi Mansor, Suhail Abu Rous and co-driver Omar Mousa, Ayman Shishani and co-driver Moath Arja, Basheer Azar and co-driver Mohammad Azarbeh, Raed Habaybeh and co-driver Marena Habaybeh, Ihab Shurafa and co-driver Rakan Khair, Amjad Sheikh and co-driver Abdullah Ibdah, and Fares Tell and co-driver Amar Qaisi.

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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