Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) boosts the new season at Qatar. The first event of the series NBK Qatar Rally will be organised by Qatar Motoring and Motorsports Federation on 23rd and 24th of January.
One of the Regulars of MERC Meshal AL NEJADI has made a radical change for the upcoming season and dediced to change his group/class from A6 to N4. He will be driving a Mitsubishi Evo 9 which is prepared and run by Turkish garage Toksport. The Team has worked a lot to get ready for the first round of the Championship. Ahmad AL KHARAS will be co-driving Kuwaiti and try to get used to their new EVO 9.
NBK Qatar Rally will start on 23rd of January at 09:00. The start place as anounced before will be at Lusail. The crews will have to challenge 14 special stages on loose surface. Total length of the rally will be 617,40 km. and 262,50 Km. of it is 14 special stages. Finish ceremony of the event will be at 15:30 on 24th of January at Lusail again.
Rally fans are happy with off-season event Castrol Istanbul Local Rally Championship. Teams can get points from 3 rallies of this local championship and two of them has already organised.
When the National Championship is over and teams are waiting for the upcoming seasons first event, they are able to practise and as well as have fun.
Toksport”s Evo9 driver Mustafa Soylemez and his co-driver Bora Arabaci decided to join the local championship but they already missed the first event. However, they could find a good place at the ranking table after the second rally of the series. Mr Soylemez on his Evo9”s wheel, finished the second rally 5th overall and class N4. He found himself 8th overall at the championship ranking. Last round of the series will be organised on 25th of January.
The curtain came down on the Turkish Rally Championship 2008 season on last weekend. Ford Otosan Kocaeli Rally has ended on Sunday. Crews had to challenge on loose surface. Luckily, the weather was warm as remains from summer days, tough, some stages included muddy and harsh portions.
Rally covered 128,40 Km. long 9 gravel stages, and 376,27 Km. in total.Final round of the season has faced a challenge which will never be forgotten.
Championship leader and former Champion Serkan Yazici, won the rally after his team mate and rival Mehmet Besler’s roll on 6th stage. Fatih Kara who was 2nd on the standings and driving a Punto S1600, couldn’t even force Yazici on the loose surface and threw in the towel early at the opening stages. Toksport driver Sinan Pulat and his Co-driver Tibet Celepgil in their Mitsubishi EVO VI, has signed a great success against Works drivers on the final round of the championship.
Despite their car’s old technology, their stable performance and patience at the stages, gave them the opportunity to stand at the podium. Duo came 3rd on Group N and Class 4, and also 5th overall.