Tabuk Toyota Rally gest underway on thursday afternoon

– Series leader Yazeed Al-Rajhi heads top class field in his Toyota Hilux

The Tabuk Toyota Rally 2024, round two of the Saudi Toyota Championship, will officially start from King Khalid City in Tabuk at 13.30hrs on Thursday afternoon.

The Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF) has laid on a challenging three-day desert route for an impressive line-up of car entrants, motorcycles and quads with approximately 419 kilometres to be timed against the clock.

Yazeed Al-Rajhi arrives in the north-western city, situated close to the border with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, with an eight-point overall lead in the Drivers’ Championship, courtesy of his and Timo Gottshalk’s victory at round one in Ha’il.

Dark Horse OT3 driver Saleh Al-Saif is his nearest rival with Dania Akeel holding third place after making the switch from the Challenger category to driving an Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux alongside Al-Rajhi in the Ultimate P section. Al-Saif’s co-driver Nasser Al-Kuwari trails Gottschalk by eight points in the Co-drivers’ Championship.

With Pal Lonyai and Ahmed Al-Kuwari not competing in Tabuk, the door is open for German female driver Annett Quandt to climb the leader board. She currently holds sixth in the overall standings and switches from a Yamaha YXZ to drive a Can-Am Maverick X3 on this occasion. Her closest challengers in the overall Drivers’ Championship are Hamad Al-Harbi, Abdulaziz Al-Yaeesh and Maha Al-Hameli.

Al-Rajhi has had it all his own way so far in the Ultimate P category, while Al-Yaeesh arrives in Tabuk with a six-point cushion over Faris Al-Moshna in the Ultimate class. Khaled and Ahmed Al-Shammeri currently hold third and fourth places.

Al-Saif leads the absent Lonyai by seven points in Challenger, with Quandt, Al-Harbi and Al-Hameli looking to snatch the initiative from the OT3 driver on round two of the series. Hamza Bakhashab and Abdullah Al-Haydan are also registered in the category this weekend.

In the absence of the SSV category-leading Ahmed Al-Kuwari, Moaaz Hariri – who is a single point behind the Qatari – has the opportunity to pull clear of his nearest rivals. The Shegawi Racing duo of Esraa Al-Dkheil and Abdullah Al-Shegawi should provide stiff competition in their Can-Ams, although Waleed Al-Dakheel and Orjwan Ammar are also on hand for the battle.

Muneef Al-Shammeri heads to the start line with a 10-point lead over Sufian Al-Omer in the Stock category for series-production cross-country vehicles. Majed Al-Thunayyan is third, a further four points adrift in the official SAMF standings.

MX Ride Dubai’s Mohammed Al-Balooshi wheels out his Husqvarna Rally Bike this weekend in a four-motorcycle team alongside his closest title rival Abdullah Al-Shatti, brother Sultan and fellow Emirati Marwan Al-Rahmani. Al-Balooshi holds a 10-point cushion over his Kuwaiti team-mate with Saudi rider Abdulhalim Al-Mogheera holding third and Hamdan Al-Ali and the absent Abdullah Abu Aisheh rounding off the top five.

Haitham Al-Tuwaijri (25 points) heads an eight-strong quad field and will defend a five-point cushion over Hani Al-Noumesi in the points’ standings. Recent Baja TT Dehesa Extremadura winner Abdulaziz Al-Shayban is third on 16 points, three ahead of Abdulaziz Al-Atawi.

Tomorrow (Thursday), the ceremonial start at King Khalid Sport City precedes the opening Prologue stage in Tabuk that will determine the starting order for the first of two desert selective sections on Friday morning.

The final stage will then take place on Saturday morning from a start in Shigry to the southwest of Tabuk before the post-event press conference takes place from 17.00hrs. This precedes the prize giving ceremony at King Khalid Sport City, starting at 18.00hrs.

2024 Tabuk Toyota Rally – leading entries:
Ultimate T1P
200. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU)/Timo Gottschalk (DEU) – Toyota Hilux
201. Dania Akeel (SAU)/Stéphane Duplé (FRA) – Toyota Hilux
Ultimate T1
202. Abdulaziz Al-Yaeesh (SAU)/Omar Al-Lahim (SAU) – Nissan Patrol
203. Faris Al-Moshana (SAU)/TBA – Nissan Patrol
204. Khaled Al-Shammeri (SAU)/Majed Al-Shammeri (SAU) – Nissan Patrol
205. Ahmed Al-Shammeri (SAU)/Arif Al-Shammeri (SAU) – Nissan Patrol
206. Owaid Al-Shammeri (SAU)/Ayidh Al-Harbi (SAU) – Toyota Hilux, etc
300. Saleh Al-Saif (SAU)/Nasser Al-Kuwari (QAT) – OT3
301. Annett Quandt (DEU)/Annie Seel (SWE) – Can-Am Maverick X3
302. Hamad Al-Harbi (SAU)/Aleksei Kuzmich (FIA) – Can-Am Maverick X3
303. Maha Al-Hameli (SAU)/Oriol Vidal (ESP) – Can-Am Maverick X3
304. Hamza Bakhashab (SAU)/Marcin Ludwik (POL) – Can-Am Maverick X3
305. Abdullah Al-Haydan (SAU)/Bader Al-Ajmi (KWT) – Can-Am Maverick X3
400. Moaaz Hariri (SAU)/Kirill Shubin (FIA) – Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
401. Esraa Al-Dkheil (SAU)/Aleksandr Alekseev (KGZ) – Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
402. Abdullah Al-Shegawi (SAU)/Raed Al-Asaf (SAU) – Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
403. Orjwan Ammar (SAU)/Khalid Al-Kendi (ARE) – Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
404. Waleed Al-Dhakeel (SAU)/Egor Okhotnikov (FIA) – Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo

1. Mohammed Al-Balooshi (ARE) – Husqvarna Rally Bike
2. Abdullah Al-Shatti (KWT) – Husqvarna Rally Bike
3. Abdulhalim Al-Mogheera (SAU) – KTM 450
4. Hamdan Al-Ali (SAU) – Honda CRF 450 RX
5. Salman Farhan (BHR)- FE450
6. Ehab Al-Hakeem (ARE) – Yamaha WR450 F
7. Eid Rafic (LEB) – Husqvarna EXCF
8. Ahmed Al-Jaber (SAU) – KTM 450
9. Mishal Al-Ghuneim (SAU) – Husqvarna 450 Rally
10. Jason Joslin (KWT) – Husqvarna 350 FE
11. Hanno Geyser (ZAF)- Beta
12. Bader Al-Hamdan (SAU) – Yamaha WR450 F
13. Sultan Al-Balooshi (ARE) – Husqvarna Rally Bike
14. Marwan Al-Rahmani (ARE) – Husqvarna Rally Bike
15. Ibrahim Bugla (ARE) – Kove 450 Rally, etc
100. Haitham Al-Tuwaijri (SAU) – Yamaha Raptor 700
101. Hani Al-Noumesi (SAU) – Yamaha Raptor 700
102. Abdulaziz Al-Shayban (SAU) – Yamaha Raptor 700
103. Abdulaziz Al-Atawi (SAU) – Yamaha Raptor 700
104. Abdulrahman Al-Abdullatif (SAU) – Can-Am Renegade 800
105. Abdulaziz Al-Shammeri (SAU) – Yamaha
106. Osama Abdulkareem (FIA) – Suzuki
107. Mohammed Al-Name (SAU) – Honda TRX 700XX

Neil Perkins,