Nissan Middle East and the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE have announced a new three year partnership agreement to support the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, underlining a dual commitment to continue raising the event’s profile on the world stage.
Samir Cherfan, Managing Director, Nissan Middle East and Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE and founder of the event, signed the agreement for the 25th edition of the Rally, which will take place from 27th March to 2nd April.
The 2015 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge powered by Nissan sees the Patrol, the “Hero of All terrain in Life”, positioned for the 12th year as the official vehicle of the event. The event will signify the second round of this year’s FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies.
Samir Cherfan said: “The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is one of the most prominent desert rallies in the world and we are delighted to be named the title sponsor for the next three years. Our heritage in regional motorsports is anchored to both the Nissan Patrol and the Desert Challenge after being involved in the last 11 editions. We will not only be supporting the event but for another year we are competing with our own Nissan Patrol entrant driven by Emil Khneisser, who won the Challenge last year.”
Taking place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is also the first round of the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship for bikes and quads.
“Nissan has become an invaluable partner in our work to promote and develop the Desert Challenge, and I’m pleased to extend this relationship for the next three years so that we can increase the event’s exposure in the future,” said Sulayem, the FIA Vice President. “Nissan Middle East shares our enthusiasm for the Desert Challenge, as well as our commitment to its long-term success, and I’m confident this partnership will guarantee that the event continues to set the standard in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies.”
Each year the Nissan Patrol plays a crucial role in the planning and staging of the event. For the 12th year in succession, the Nissan Patrol has carried the route planning team deep into the UAE’s Western Region of Al Garbia, crossing a sea of giant dunes to carve out the competitive stages which will test competitors and their rally machinery to the limit next month.
Throughout the event, a fleet of Nissan Patrols will be at the disposal of the organizers to ensure the event runs smoothly to its conclusion.
The Nissan Special Stage on the fourth leg, taking place on 1st April, will be arguably the rally’s toughest section, stretching across some 258.10 kms of the most testing rallying terrain available.
More than 100 drivers and riders from around the world will tackle the 25th Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. The action begins on Saturday 28th March with a super special spectator stage at Yas Marina Circuit, which is also the finishing point for the rally on 2nd April following five days of spectacular cross country rallying at its best.