Jordan Motorsport has confirmed there will be a strong regional flavour to the official entry lists for this week’s inaugural Jordan Baja, the Hashemite Kingdom’s first cross-country rally to run since 1990.
Drivers from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are joined by navigators from the five Arab countries to support Jordan’s exciting introduction to the FIA international cross-country rallying calendar. The event will be a candidate for the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies.
Saudi Arabia’s Essa Al-Dossari heads the four-wheel entry in his Nissan Navara, where he faces competition from the likes of Egypt’s Yaha Shalaby, local drivers Salamah Al-Gammaz and Ahmad Shaban, Kuwait’s experienced Salem Al-Dhafeeri and 11 additional Saudi drivers, including Fahad Al-Abdullatif, Ibrahim Al-Muhanna and Muneef Al-Salmani.
Khaled Zakaria is one of the most successful Arab navigators in the history of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) and the Jordanian returns to competitive action with Shaban in a Humme H1.
Zakaria won six rounds of the MERC with the UAE’s Mohammed Ben Sulayem and the 2004 Jordan Rally with Amjad Farrah before turning to the organisational side of motor sport when work commitments permitted.
Three drivers will take part in the T3 category: Saleh Al-Saif represents Saudi Arabia in a Can-Am Maverick X3 and faces competition from the likes of Jordanian airline pilot Malek Al-Hariri and his navigator Ziad Masannat in an MN 1600 and the UAE’s Khaled Al-Jafla in a second Can-Am.
Late entries for Saudi Arabia’s Motab Al-Shammeri and Jordan’s Ibrahim Mhawish boosted the car field to 24.
Meanwhile, five Jordanian riders have supported the brand new category for motorcycles. Former rally navigator Ata Al-Hmoud tops the entry on a Beta 390 and is joined by a pair of Kawasakis for Hamza Zawahreh and Bader Abdul Jawad. Khaldoon Halabi (Honda CRF 450 X) and Saif Al-Zyoud (Yamaha WR 450) complete the local entry.
The event takes place in the Wadi Rum region of southern Jordan from Thursday through to Saturday.
Source Jordan Baja's official press release