Entries close for Manateq Qatar cross-country rally on tuesday

– Defending FIA World Cup for Bajas champion Fedor Vorobyev enters Qatar event

Entries close for the Manateq Qatar Cross-Country Rally (MQCCR), the opening round of the 2020 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, on Tuesday (tomorrow). The event takes place across the deserts of the State of Qatar on February 22nd-27th.

An ever present in the regional cross-country rallying scene since joining the FIA World Cup for the first time in 2012, the event laid on by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) will be the first round of a series that also visits Abu Dhabi, Russia, Kazakhstan and Morocco for a second successive season.

Vehicles taking part in rounds of the FIA World Cup are split into several categories, most notably T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5. The T1 section caters for modified and powerful vehicles that normally sit at the top of the leader boards, while the T2 section caters for more standard-type series production cross-country vehicles.

One of the most popular rising categories in cross-country rallying is T3 for open, lightweight cars such as the Can-Am Maverick X3, Polaris RZR 100 or the Yamaha. Several international names have already confirmed their participation in the Qatar event.

These include the Spanish Can-Am driver Emilio Fernando and the defending FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas champion Fedor Vorobyev. The Russian sealed his title in Portugal last October and will take part in some of the longer distance events in his Zavidovo Racing Team Can-Am.

Saudi Arabian driver Saleh Al-Saif won the T3 category at last weekend’s Ha’il Rally in his homeland and he makes a welcome appearance in Qatar with a Can-Am.

The South Racing team has entered the American driver Austin Jones in the latest T4 version of their Can-Am Maverick X3 and the Dutch businessman Kees Koolen returns to Qatar to tackle the event in a new OT3 Overdrive prototype T3 vehicle. This was launched by the Belgian car preparations company at the end of 2019 and made its debut at the Dakar Rally last month in the hands of French Dakar veteran Cyril Despres and several rookie drivers competing under the Red Bull Junior Team banner.

Entries are still coming in across the various T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5 categories in advance of the deadline on Tuesday evening.

Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah won the candidate event in 2011 and has since won six of the eight FIA World Cup rounds (2012, 2014-2017 and 2019) to be held in Qatar with two different co-drivers Double Dakar winner Jean-Louis Schlesser was successful in Doha in 2013 and Poland’s Jakub Przygonski prevailed in 2018 on his way to a maiden FIA World Cup drivers’ title.

The opening round of the FIA World Cup will run over five days and around 1,430 competitive kilometres in a route of 2,200km across the length and breadth of the State of Qatar.

Manateq – Economic Zones Company is the title sponsor for the third successive season. Established in 2011, the company is positioned as a vital component in achieving the economic development goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030, through providing premium infrastructure within strategic economic zones to promote the logistics and industrial sectors in Qatar.

Neil Perkins,


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