Rally Jameel 2023: Third day highlights

Rally Jameel - the first and only all-female navigational rally in the Middle East is well under way with the female participants completing 500kms of route with 86km of special stage. The navigational aspect was particularly tough, especially for new rallyers. Despite the challenge all participants finished the second stage and arrived in Hail headquarters ready for stage three.

All 86 women faced a spectrum of terrain - desert plains, dried wadis, gravel, volcanic rock and finally ending with a rocky valley.

The results of the second stage saw yesterday’s top point collectors Sandstorm Express, with driver Ewelina Chlebowska from Poland and co-driver Hanna Riehle from Germany again topping the result list in a Toyota FJ Cruiser. Yesterday’s third place team moved up to second - Fast & Furious driver Aurelia Fouillot and co-driver Elanor Coker nine points away from the top spot Toyota FJ Cruiser. CAT Racing placed third, also with a nine point difference. Camelia Liparoti of Italy and Rosa Romero of Spain navigated their way with a Toyota Fortuna.

Tomorrow’s stage will commence in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jubbah. Famous for rock carvings from three different eras, Rally Jameel will drive across a historic and memorable route.



Text Credits: Rally Jameel
Photo Credits: Rally Jameel
Video Credits: ICARUS Sports

Rally Jameel 2023: Second Edition of Rally Jameel Kicks-off on International Women’s Day

• 82 participants consisting of drivers and their co-drivers from 25 Countries
• Awe-inspiring Elephant Rock in ALULA played host to the ceremonial start of Rally Jameel

Rally Jameel, the thrilling world-class navigational rally for women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, kicked off its second edition today at ALULA's iconic Elephant Rock. On this International Women’s Day, 82 participants consisting of drivers and their co-drivers representing 25 countries from around the world compete for the title of rally champion.

This edition of the rally builds on the momentum created by the first edition with increased intensity and competitiveness. The participating teams shared their enthusiasm for being part of a unique motorsports event with a truly unique atmosphere.

On International Women's Day, the teams embark on this once in a lifetime adventure of around 1,600 km through diverse desert terrain over five days. The journey will test their precision driving and navigational skills as they deepen their knowledge of local culture and history. Starting in ALULA and ending in Qassim via Hail the route featuring checkpoints.

Saudi’s own participant and 3rd place winner in the first edition Maha Al-Hamali said “I’m happy to be taking on this incredible journey again with fellow women from all over the world during International Women’s Day. This rally is a testament that women have the courage and drive to take on new and challenging experiences - especially Saudi women who recently started driving and now have a strong presence in Rally Jameel. I wish all participants the best of luck and let’s take on this beautiful journey together”.

Additionally, this year's rally also saw an increase in corporate participation to support more teams. This participation creates new opportunities for private sector companies to participate in motorsports as the rally develops new drivers, navigators, and prepares them for future competitions.

Munir Khoja, Managing Director, Marketing Communications at Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, expressed his delight at the incredible success of Rally Jameel "As we prepare for this incredible adventure, we are overwhelmed by the interest participants are showing. We had 68 participants consisting of drivers and their co-drivers from 15 nationalities in our inaugural edition. Today we have 82 participants from 25 nationalities - exceeding our expectations. More importantly it is an inspiring testament to our efforts aimed at supporting Saudi Arabia's vision to empower women. On behalf of Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, we thank all of our partners, organizers and sponsors who contributed to bringing this event a reality."

Australian participant, Sally Kay said “I’m very much excited to take on the rally, and being here in beautiful ALULA is just breath-taking. I have met with fantastic women participating in the second edition of the rally and I want to take this opportunity on International Women’s Day and say to all women to just be yourself, do your best and keep moving forward. I’m grateful for the organizers for inviting me to be part of this exciting women-only rally, this is my fourth time in the Kingdom and I love it”.


Text Credits: Rally Jameel
Photo Credits: Rally Jameel
Video Credits: ICARUS Sports

ADDC 2023: Lategan and Cummings end their first Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with a stage win

  • 1st place on Stage 5 for Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings
  • Week of learning for the ADDC debutants
  • Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel to return to W2RC action in Mexico

Had they not withdrawn from Stage 2 of the 2023 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge due to a boost-related issue, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings may well have found themselves in contention for overall victory – especially given their stage win on the final test of the 5-stage event. Even so, the crew gained a lot of experience in Abu Dhabi, which is certain to assist them in their future races.

“I certainly learnt a lot this week,” said Lategan after the race. “The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge truly is a tough event, with many pitfalls that can catch you out without any notice. We were unfortunate to have had to withdraw from Stage 2 of the event, otherwise the results may well have looked different. Even so, we’ve recorded a number of podium finishes in the other stages, and I’m elated about our stage win in today’s final stage of the event.”

The final stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge stretched between the Qasr Al Sarab bivouac and Abu Dhabi city. There were liaisons of 29km and 135km before and after the special, but it was the timed section that saw the GR DKR Hilux T1+ crew shine. The TGR crew needed only 2hr 36min 11sec to complete the stage, giving them a winning margin of 2min 2sec over the next-fastest crew.

It was a rollercoaster week for the South Africans, who opened their account with a third place on Stage 1. An unfortunate issue related to the turbo boost of their car forced them to withdraw from Stage 2 of the event, taking them out of contention in the overall standings. They bounced back in Stage 3 with another third place, before going one better to secure second place in Stage 4. This was followed up with a win on the final stage of the event.

“Henk and Brett have proven themselves as tough competitors in the past, but winning the final stage of this tough race underlines their abilities,” said TGRSA Team Principal, Glyn Hall. “I’m also encouraged by the near-faultless performance of our GR DKR Hilux T1+, with the boost-related issue that hampered Henk and Brett’s progress in Stage 2, the only blot on its otherwise perfect record this week.”

Teammates and defending World Rally-Raid Champions, Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel, started the 2023 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge on charge. They won the Prologue, and followed this up with a stunning win on the opening stage of the event. They added more wins on Stages 2 and 3, before a rollover near the end of Stage 4 – which they had been leading up until that point – brought their charge to a halt. This was a bitter blow for the crew, but they will be back to continue the defense of their title at Round 3 of the 2023 W2RC.

Round 3 is scheduled for 22 to 28 April, at the Sonora Rally in Mexico. This will be followed by the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina, and the season-closing Rally of Morocco, which will take place in October this year. Nasser and Mathieu won both the Dakar Rally and the W2RC title in 2022, and will be hoping to replicate their success in 2023, after already claiming victory at this year’s Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.

Source Toyota South Africa

ADDC 2023: Van Beveren and Al-Rajhi land maiden wins

Key points:

  • In the motorbike race, Adrien Van Beveren (Monster Energy Honda) won the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge for the first time in his career, beating Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna Factory Racing) and Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).
  • Price vaulted to the top of the championship ranking with 46 points to VBA's 42. Kevin Benavides (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), the previous leader following his triumph in the Dakar, slipped to third place, with 38 points, after cancelling his participation in the ADDC at the eleventh hour.
  • In the car race, Yazeed Al Rajhi (Overdrive Racing) added his name to the honour roll of the race. Martin Prokop (Orlen Benzina Team) repeated his exploit from last season with second place overall, while Seth Quintero (Red Bull Off-Road Jr Team USA) placed his T3 on the bottom step of the podium.
  • Sébastien Loeb (Bahrain Raid Xtreme) expanded his lead in the championship to 111 points to Nasser Al Attiyah's 85, thanks to the Toyota Gazoo Racing driver's withdrawal two days ago. Martin Prokop climbed up to third with 64 points.


Adrien Van Beveren seized the lead of the ADDC in stage 2 and held onto the top spot until the end of the high-stakes finale. Following his late-season triumph in Andalusia last year, the Frenchman's victory in Abu Dhabi makes it two wins out of four since he moved to Honda. He also added his name to the list of winners of the ADDC after finishing as runner-up in 2021. Much like VBA, Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna Factory Racing) defended his second place until the end. Toby Price unleashed a barrage of attacks over more than 200 km to secure third stage overall. The absence of the reigning world champion, Sam Sunderland, and the victor of the fist round, Kevin Benavides, both of whom were injured in the week before the ADDC, paved the way for Toby Price to surge to the top of the championship standings, now with 46 points. VBA brought his tally to 42 —the lucky number he sports in every race! Kevin Benavides is still on the podium thanks to the 38-point haul from his victorious Dakar campaign. His brother, Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna Factory Racing), is fourth with 35 points after bagging two specials this week. The red bikes prevailed in this round of the manufacturer championship, courtesy of VBA's triumph and Nacho Cornejo's fourth place, but KTM held onto the overall lead with 84 points to Honda's 74. Husqvarna is third with 69.

In the Rally2 category, Tobias Ebster (SRG Motorsports), the nephew of Heinz Kinigadner, a legendary rider for KTM who took the inaugural edition of the ADDC motorbike race back in 1995, made a strong impression and seems poised to light up the remaining legs of the championship, although he was not eligible for the classification. The Austrian, an entrant in the Road to Dakar challenge held in every round of the W2RC, earned a ticket to the 2024 Dakar. In the W2RC, Jean-Loup Lepan (Duust Diverse Racing) took home the trophy ahead of Paolo Lucci (BAS World KTM Racing), who led the ADDC until a crash in stage 4. Toni Mulec, the Italian's teammate, came in third. Lucci remains in command of the ranking with 50 points to Lepan's 45. Romain Dumontier (HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing), who came out of the Dakar in the overall lead, is now third with 38 points. Mulec is fourth with 30.

The Emirati Abdulaziz Ahli (Abu Dhabi Team) claimed his third win in a row in the quad race after firing a blank in the Dakar. He proved stronger than Laisvydas Kancius (AG Dakar School), who only managed to snatch one stage from the local hero. The Lithuanian rose to the top of the championship standings with 44 points to Copetti's 38 and Varga's 30. Ahli scaled up to fourth with 25 points. Two other Lithuanians, Gančierius (16 points) and Kanopkinas (11 points), opened their account, as did Rodolfo Guillioli (13 points), one of the sensations of the previous season.

yazeed 4 3 w


Yazeed Al Rajhi took his maiden victory in the ADDC, becoming the first Saudi winner of the race to boot. It was also his first ever W2RC triumph and the second consecutive win for a Hilux this season, following Al Attiyah's success in the Dakar. Martin Prokop repeated his performance from last year to finish second in his Ford Ranger. In another echo of 2022, a Red Bull Off-Road Jr Team USA T3 claimed third place. After "Chaleco" López last year, this time round it was Seth Quintero who came out on top in his South Racing / Can-Am. The top three drivers in the championship following the Dakar all ran into big trouble in the ADDC, but Guerlain Chicherit (GCK Motorsports) and Al Attiyah, second and third going into the second leg of the season, paid a heftier price than the leader. They went home from the race empty-handed, whereas Loeb padded his lead by 14 points thanks to a series of strong performances in the last three stages. the Frenchman now has 101 points to Al Attiyah's 85. Prokop gained one position and is now third with 64 points. Al Rajhi was the biggest winner, leaping from tenth to fourth with 63 points. Jan Cruz Yacoponi (Overdrive Racing), fifth, and Chicherit, sixth, have 49 points apiece. Sebastián Halpern (X-raid Mini JCW) is seventh with 43. The setbacks experienced by the three former leaders of the ranking allowed their pursuers to narrow the gap. In the manufacturer ranking, Toyota Gazoo Racing benefited from Al Rajhi's victory and Yacopini's fourth place to increase its lead to 120 points to BRX's 79.

In the T3 category, Seth Quintero (Red Bull Off-Road Jr Team USA) clinched the race ahead of Austin Jones (Red Bull Can-Am Factory) after a series of exciting duels with Mattias Ekström, who had two off days. His teammate Cristina Gutiérrez was also unlucky, paving the way for the other woman in the field, Aliyyah Koloc (Buggyra ZM Racing), to finish third in the W2RC standings for this leg. The championship ranking is singing a full-throated rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner", with Quintero in the top spot with 127 points to Jones's 121 and Guthrie Jr.'s 81.

Meanwhile, Rokas Baciuška (Red Bull Can-Am Factory) dominated Pau Navarro (FN Speed) in the T4 race. The reigning world champion wrapped up the ADDC in the lead with 134 points to his name. The Dakar champion, Eryk Goczał (Energylandia Rally Team), has 86. Navarro is third with 73. Shinuke Umeda and his Polaris, another big attraction of the week, gained ground and is now sixth with 44 points.


Source W2RC / ASO
Photo: ASO / DPPI  and  A.S.O/DPPI/B.Roux


ADDC 2023: BRX and Loeb extend World Championship lead in Abu Dhabi

The Bahrain Raid Xtreme drivers of Sébastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin have extend their World Rally Raid Championship lead from two to 16 points after a never give up drive through the sands of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge today. Covering the final 206 kilometres under a searingly hot sun, the Prodrive Hunter ran faultlessly to be the fastest title contender on the stage after 2,170kms of varied, dusty and challenging terrain.

Set amongst similar dunes to the most southerly part of last month’s Dakar Rally, the temperatures have been stifling over the past days with many crews discovering the event really does live up to its name as the hardest desert rally in the world. Only an errant stone that damaged a water pipe on the first day was the biggest set back for Loeb and Lurquin, a part that’s never been damaged in tens of thousands of kilometres of running over the past three years, but the resolve and grit of the BRX team came to the fore as they built back up to the extended Championship lead tonight.

Next up for Bahrain Raid Xtreme is the Sonora Rally in Mexico on April 23, a new addition for many of the competitors in the World Rally Raid Championship, but a very established event for many desert racers in the USA and followers of the famous BAJA 1000 that takes place a little further to the west of the country.

Sébastien Loeb: “We’re at the end of the rally and we finally finished into Abu Dhabi and we’ve taken some very good points for the championship and that’s the best we could expect when we got here in coming away with the lead intact. Today we’ve increased our lead form two to 16 points so I think we have to be happy after the problems we had early on in the event. Thank you to everybody in the team to turn this around; there was some very hard work and long hours put in for these valuable points both on the rally and back at Prodrive. Now the focus moves to the Sonora Rally in April.”

Gus Beteli, Team Principal: “A happy end after a very difficult start to this rally here in Abu Dhabi. The first day was not good for us with the smallest of problems stopping Seb’s car, but were it not for that we would be further ahead in the championship. What was great was seeing the drive and endurance of the team to dig deep deep, work hard and get the lead we have now. Of course we’re disappointed to not win the rally as that’s what we come here for, but we’re very proud and happy for the extra 14 points. Now it’s Mexico: in our heads that starts tonight with planning and logistics, but it’ll be something interesting to see for the first time.”


Source: Bahrain Raid Xtreme / Prodrive