Racing

World Championship rallying heads to the UAE

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Off-road riders and race fans will be please to know that World Cup cross country rallying returns to the UAE next month with the Dubai International Baja.

The race, which will take place in the Al Qudra desert from 7thto 9th March, has been organised under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, and will feature a mix of cars, buggies and bikes across the gruelling terrain.

A number of riders and drivers are flying in from overseas to compete in the race , which forms the opening round of this year’s FIM Bajas World Cup for bikes and quads,and the second round of the 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas for cars and buggies.

Last year’s event brought a breakthrough for top Emirati rider Mohammed Al Balooshi who captured his first World Cup bikes title to add to a string of Arab motocross championship triumphs after a tense second leg. Lying fourth overnight, Al Balooshi benefitted from the retirements of the first leg’s top two, South African Aaron Mare and Kuwait’s Mohammed Jaffar, but had a nervous ride to the finish, unsure whether he had enough fuel to complete the stage. The 2018 Dubai Baja was a great event all round for the Balooshi family as Sultan Al Balooshi took the third podium place.

The 2019 edition will send a powerful line up of bikes and quads, as well as the cars and buggies, out onto a demanding 407km special stage running through the dramatic Al Qudra desert terrain on Friday, 8th March and again the following morning, ahead of the 12.30pm official finish at Dubai Autodrome.

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