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Oman’s AZ Racing ready to mount major challenge in Liwa Desert
Hopes high for Rd2 of FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup season 
Can-Am Maverick X3 duo focused on climbing championship table

Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, welcomes Oman’s AZ Racing this coming weekend for the second round of the hotly-contested FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup season, an event which promises much for driver Abdullah Al Zubair and navigator Nasser Al Kuwari.

One month on from the championship curtain-raiser in Qatar, where the AZ Racing duo displayed incredible fortitude to post a top four finish in the T3 class after battling back from engine problems, the second rally of the full Cross Country season provides a great opportunity for the Omani squad.

Having more than proven his pace in desert rallying, Al Zubair is relishing the chance to show what he and team-mate Al Kuwari are truly made of. It’s beyond any doubt, if they’re able to have a largely trouble-free run during the grueling five day event, podium silverware is there for the taking. 

After round one of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup season last month, AZ Racing contested the second event of the sister FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas in Dubai where another dose of misfortune derailed a realistic podium bid. 

Technical issues with the squad’s BRP Can-Am Maverick X3 proved unbelievably costly. Despite the incredible frustration, though, the most noteworthy aspect of the event for Al Zubair and Al Kuwari was their competitiveness – something they’re determined to again show during the coming week’s rally, part of the 29th Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

Notably, the big event will feature some huge names from the world of Cross Country rallying in the T3 class, including the likes of Brazil’s Reinaldo Marquez Varela and America’s Casey Currie, providing an even sterner test for AZ Racing. 

Abdullah Al Zubair: “Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is the most important rally for me on the calendar as it is where I started my Cross-Country career. It’s considered to be the most difficult event of the season and I finished it in both the T1 and T2 categories, now I’m challenging in T3 with Nasser [Al Kuwari] who has competed on the rally many times. After the Baja in Dubai, Nasser and I have improved together and with our pace in the dunes we hope to repeat it. There are a lot of big names and champions this year competing against us in the same category, but I am confident we’re able to finish on top.”

Nasser Al Kuwari: “This is the third rally for me with Abdullah this season and, after Dubai, we have perfected our synchronisation – I think we will do even better in Abu Dhabi. Last year I competed against Abdullah in this event and, to be honest, he was very fast. I think my experience in Abu Dhabi, and with Abdullah’s skills behind the wheel, we will be going in to the race with only a podium finish in our sights and as our goal.”

Yas Marina Circuit will host the ceremonial start of round two of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup at 19.30 (local time) this coming Saturday, 30th March.

On Sunday, 31st March, the first Leg of the challenging event will get underway in the Liwa Desert and after five days of intense competition the rally will conclude on Thursday, 4th April, back at Yas Marina.

Source AZ Racing's official press release

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