Cross-Country – Contenders head to ‘The Valley of the Moon’ | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Cross-Country – Contenders head to ‘The Valley of the Moon’


Jordan Baja, Round 4 of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas

The fourth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas keeps the crews in the Middle East for the Jordan Baja (March 18-20), the second time the event has been included in the series. Based out of the Red Sea resort of Aqaba, the competition runs through the spectacular southern desert of Wadi Rum, where stunning landscape, dramatic sandstone mountains, canyons, dunes and steep chasms have formed the backdrop to many a Hollywood blockbuster movie.

After their commanding win in the Sharqiyah International Baja two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia’s Yasir Seaidan and Alexey Kuzmich lead their respective World Cups and top the entry list. They will again be on-board the MINI John Cooper Works Rally, with Seaidan looking to capitalise on his 14 point advantage in the series.

The Dutch/French pairing of Eric Van Loon and Sébastien Delaunay are driving one of two Toyota Hilux vehicles, with French team-mates Ronan Chabot and Gilles Pillot piloting the second Overdrive entry. Orlando Terranova, champion of the 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, is on the provisional entry list, however the Argentinean will not be able to compete on one of his favourite events due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

Behind a host of Saudi Arabian crews in the T1 category, Dania Akeel is back in action in her T3 Can Am Maverick. Also hailing from the Kingdom, Akeel took the category win on her home round two weeks ago in her first event and sits third in the T3 Drivers classification, just 2.5 points adrift of the lead. In Jordan, Frenchman, Stéphane Dupel, will partner her.

Meshari Al-Thefiri, and co-driver Nasser Al-Kuwari, head the T4 entries courtesy of fifth overall in the World Cup standings. The Kuwaiti has notched up two second positions in the category and needs to outpace his two nearest rivals – fellow Can Am Maverick drivers Claude Fournier and Saleh Al-Saif. Fournier heads the category thanks to a win early in the season, and Al-Saif claimed a home victory in Saudi Arabia. All three have everything to fight for on the last of the desert events on the calendar.


Total distance   

859.44 km

Selective section distance:

559.77 km

Number of selective sections:




Thursday March 18



From 09:30 hrs

Pre-event press conference

18:25 hrs

Ceremonial Start, Aqaba City

19:39 hrs


Friday March 19 – Leg 1


Start of SS1, Wadi Rum (210.72 km)             

09:15 hrs

Start of SS2, Disi (112.99 km)

14:40 hrs

First car arrives service

17:35 hrs


Saturday February 20 – Leg 2


Start of SS3 Salhiyah (236.06 km)

08:48 hrs

First car arrives final service

13:13 hrs

Podium and Prize-giving Ceremony

17:21 hrs