The Middle East’s leading rally drivers have arrived in the State of Kuwait and are making their final preparations for this weekend’s 26th Kuwait International Rally, round three of the 2022 FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC).
Tomorrow (Wednesday), competitors will carry out a full day of reconnaissance of the five special stages, repeated twice, that will challenge them on Friday and Saturday.
Several crews will also carry out pre-event testing, although Autotek Motorsport was waiting for the release of some spare parts from customs before refettling Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah’s championchip-leading Volkswagen Polo GTI.
Action gets underway at 10.00hrs on Friday morning with the first pass through a 16.38km special, south of Kuwait City, and this precedes the first of two runs across the gravel trails of a 19.69km special (10.38hrs), named in memory of the late Kuwaiti rally driver Saleh bin Eidan. The third special of the loop has been named in memory of Gazi Al-Thafiri and runs for 19.18km from 11.26hrs.
After a return to the Kuwait Motor Town for a service stop, the three specials will be repeated at 14.01hrs, 14.39hrs and 15.27hrs, respectively.
Saturday’s action is centred around two special stages run twice. Crews will tackle the Al-Zour stage of 17.85km from 11.05hrs and then a second timed test of 17.20km (11.58hrs) that has been named in memory of Qatar’s Sheikh Hamed bin Eid Al-Thani, the 1993 regional champion who passed away suddenly in October 2020. The two stages will be repeated at 14.23hrs and 15.16hrs.
Rally headquarters and the service park will be based at Kuwait Motor Town. The facility will host pre and post-event scrutineering, the pre-event press conference and the ceremonial start on Thursday.
The rally is being organised by the Kuwait International Motorsport Club (KIMC) in co-operation with the Kuwait International Automobile Club (KIAC). It is being held under the patronage of His Excellency Ali Husain Ali Al-Mousa, Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Youth Affairs.
Kuwait’s Emad Bukhamseen is the new chairman of the organising committee alongside board members, Issa Hamzeh, Mohammed Bukhamseen, Garbis Karzelian, Clerk of the Course Hamad Marafie, Hamad Al-Saif, Meshari Al-Sabti and Fuad Abu Arja.