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link.png Verifiche oggi per ADDC 2013: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

Conferenza stampa di apertura ieri, ad Abu Dhabi per la 23. edizione del Desert Challenge che prenderà il via domani pomeriggio con una Super Speciale, proprio accanto al circuito di Formula Uno. La gara comincerà poi domenica con la prima - delle cinque previste - tappa nel deserto: 299 km che porteranno la carovana del rally al primo bivacco - che sarà la base logistica della gara per tutte e 4 le notti - al Qasr Al Sarab Resort.

conferenza stampaSul palco i migliori piloti del 2012, insieme a Ben Sulayem, campione di rally, ma soprattutto in questo caso Presidente dell'Automobil Club degli Emirati e ideatore nonchè responsabile ed organizzatore dell'evento. Schlesser, Helder Rodrigues e anche Nani Roma hanno preso posto sul palco insieme agli organizzatori e nell'occasione è stata presentata la nuova edizione della gara, spiegando nel dettaglio che cosa attenderà i piloti nei prossimi giorni, da sabato, domani, super test- a giovedì 11, ultimo giorno di competizione: il tutto concentrato nella Regione di Al Garbia, nella zona ovest degli Emirati.

Circa 110 i piloti che oggi stanno affrontando le operazioni preliminari allo Yas Marina Circuit, dalle 8 di questa mattina e fino alle 5 del pomeriggio. Domani, poi, alle ore 15 la prima moto (in realtà le moto partiranno al contrario) lascerà il palco di partenza e si sposterà in trasferimento verso la super speciale, della quale al momento non si conosce con esattezza la lunghezza.

....Challenge comes to life on Saturday afternoon when a world-class field of drivers and riders tackle a super special spectator stage on Yas Island before embarking on five days of action-packed cross country rallying in the UAE’s Western Region of Al Garbia. The 23rd edition of the event has attracted a powerful assembly of 110 drivers and riders from 37 countries for another classic test of endurance for competitors and rally machinery across some of the most spectacular and demanding desert terrain on earth.

“The size and quality of the entry list shows the status the Desert Challenge enjoys,” said Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE and founder of the event, at an official press conference today.“It’s important not only in World Cup and World Championship terms, but also as a great event in its own right. The Desert Challenge is one of the world’s great motor sport adventures, and there is so much to look forward to again this year.”Taking place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is the second round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars, and the opening round of the

...The event’s high-profile line-up of strategic partners and supporters includes the Diwan of the Ruler’s Representative for the Western Region, Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management (ADMM), Nissan, ADNOC, Abu Dhabi Aviation and Qasr Al Sarab Resort by Anantara. Accompanying Sulayem, the FIA Vice President, at today’s press conference, were Richard Cregan, CEO of ADMM; Ibrahim Al Marar, Director of the Intergovernmental Coordination Office for the Ruler’s Representative Court in the Western Region; Khaled Mashour, Project and Marketing Manager at Abu Dhabi Aviation; Abdulilah Wazni, Regional Senior Manager of Corporate Communications at Nissan Middle East; and several competitors.

At 3pm on Saturday, beginning with the bikes, competitors will leave the official start ramp on Yas Island in reverse order, based on the official seedings, and head straight into the super special spectator stage.The next morning sees the first of five competitive desert sections, the Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management Stage, getting under way at 9am. This takes the rally on a 299 km sweep through the desert, finishing near the bivouac, which will be the event’s base for four days and is located 2km from the Qasr Al Sarab Resort.The next four days brings stages of 250km, 284km, 266km and finally 296km, with the survivors reaching the finish at Yas Island at 4pm on Thursday 11 April.Topping the seedings in the cars category and looking to join a Desert Challenge winners’ list which includes some of the most illustrious names in cross country rallying is Brazilian driver Reinaldo Varela who is partnered by Italian co-driver Gustave Gugelmin in a Mitsubishi Pajero.

Also in the hunt for victory are the two drivers who followed him home in round one of the World Cup series in Italy last month, Polish driver Krystof Holowczyk in a Mini, and the irrepressible 64-year-old veteran Jean-Louis Schlesser from France, who is chasing a seventh Desert Challenge success in his Sonangol buggy.

Spanish driver Nani Roma, team-mate of Holowczyk, is another of the fancied drivers, his Mini being one of 28 T1 prototype vehicles featured among 50 cars tackling the event.

Aiming for a third successive victory in the T2 production class and also looking to leave behind a trail of more powerful challengers is the UAE’s tenth seed, Yahya Al Helei, who has yet to miss a Desert Challenge.

Like Schlesser, Spanish rider Marc Coma, the reigning FIM Cross-Country Rallies world champion, is aiming to extend a record of six victories in the UAE event, having won it the last four years in a row. Coma is followed in the seedings by his Polish KTM team-mate, Jakub Przygonski, and Speedbrain team-mates Paul Goncalves from Portugal and Spain’s Joan Barreda in a line-up of 60 bike and quad riders.With UAE, Saudi and Qatari challengers sharing the international stage with the strong overseas contingent, one of the host country’s biggest hopes for success could be Obaid Al Kitbe who is attempting to win the quads category for the second year in succession.