Saeed Al-Mouri flies Saudi flag with Mini Countryman RRC
Middle East Rally Championship - Jordan Rally
Tue 07.05.13, 3:03PM
Dead Sea (Jordan): Saeed Al-Mouri heads to the start of the Jordan Rally at the Martyr’s Memorial in Al-Hussein Sports City on Thursday afternoon as the sole Saudi Arabian driver on the bumper international field.
Al-Mouri is also the only driver in the field to wheel out a Mini Countryman RRC, a car that was originally developed for the German manufacturer by the British car preparation company, Prodrive. The Saudi teams up with the experienced co-driver Amr Al-Refai, who began his career as part of Abdullah Bakhashab’s young Toyota Rav-4 rookie team that tackled rounds of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) through the Toyota Team Saudi Arabia banner in the late 1990s.
Al-Mouri is an experienced motor sport all-rounder with sponsor Hankook Racing and is looking forward to his second MERC outing of the season with the Tok Sport run-Mini, having finished sixth overall in the Kuwait International Rally in March to hold seventh in the drivers’ championship.
He was also the Red Bull Car Park drift champion in 2011 and has previously won Middle East and Saudi titles in Radical and Saudi Super Leggera racing disciplines and a national rally in Kuwait last December. “I was not able to start the first round in Qatar, but the result in Kuwait shows that we are moving in the right direction and we are both looking forward to this week’s rally.”
Fellow Saudi Yazeed Al-Rajhi is still being forced to sit on the sidelines after injuring his back in a dune accident at the Ha’il International Rally at the end of March. Al-Rajhi, who won the WRC 2 category at the Rally of Sweden earlier in the year, is hoping to return to action shortly.
Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari and Irish co-driver Killian Duffy jetted into Amman just as the first day of recce was about to start on Tuesday morning. After clinching a stunning victory in the WRC 2 category of the Rally of Argentina that finished on Sunday afternoon in Cordoba, Al-Kuwari and Duffy headed to the Middle East via Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Dubai, arriving in Jordan at approximately 09.00hrs on Tuesday.
“We made it and had to go straight out and do the recce for day one with no rest,” said Al-Kuwari “But I am on a high after the win in Argentina and that has given me a two-point lead in WRC 2 after five rallies.” The Qatari also holds third place in the Middle East Championship’s driver standings after finishing third in both the Qatar and Kuwait rallies.
Turkey’s Burcu Cetinkaya has endured a disappointing start to her MERC campaign this season. After rolling her Mitsubishi Lancer in Qatar and recovering to finish 13th overall, one of the world’s leading female drivers finished 11th in Kuwait and heads to Jordan with navigator Ozlem Azguc keen to kick-start her points-scoring challenge.
Teams completing monitored reconnaissance of the special stages on Wednesday afternoon at 4pm.