Under the patronage of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Fahd, Governor of the Eastern Province and chairman of Saudi Rally Committee, the Sharqia Rally 2008 kicked off last Tuesday at the Half Moon Bay, Eastern Province. Twenty three entrants from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Portugal, Kuwait, the United Kingdom, Jordan, Qatar, and Lebanon tackled 13 timed special stages.
The four-kilometer, KH race is the Kingdom’s first international stage rally, and it marks its first step towards a place for Saudi Arabia in the 2009 FIA Middle East Rally Championship. Moreover, the event, which was organized by (SAMF), follows the success of last year’s Hail Saudi Baja, which was a part of the FIA International Cup for Bajas.
Mesh’al Al-Sudairy, president of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF) commented, “I see this event as a turning point, which will in turn lead us to take our place in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship next year.”
The Saudi Yazeed Al-Rajhi won the first place in his Subaru Impreza (126.96.36.199 per hour); Amjad Farah, Jordan, won second place Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (188.8.131.52 per hour); whereas Khalifah Al-Ateeya, Qatar, won third place in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (184.108.40.206 per hour).
Al-Rajhi stated, “I’m very happy to win the prize of a race that will hopefully set a new era of motor-sports in the Kingdom.”