(MENAFN – Gulf Times) Veteran driver Nasser bin Khalifa al-Attiya, who made a comeback to rallying in Qatar last year, will participate in the World Rally Championship in Turkey from September 18 to 20.
A former Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) series runner-up in 1993, al-Attiya returned to track at last year’s Qatar International Rally after a gap of 22 years. And that experience has only made him continue competing in rallies.
‘I have already registered to take part in the Turkey Rally. I will be driving a Ford Fiesta R5 with my Italian co-driver Bernacchini Giovanni, said al-Attiya, who has been camping in Turkey for the last one month.
‘I am getting stronger with my practice with the car. My physical fitness is good too as I am training in the gym. I do my swimming sessions as well. I have been here in Turkey for a month and I will continue here until the rally, he added.
Al-Attiya has extensive experience in motorsports, having also been an administrator for more than two decades. He is a former president of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) and has also served as the vice-president of Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM). He has started in over 50 rallies and has gone on to win many international rallies and is a five-time winner of the Qatar Rally Championship.
In Turkey, al-Attiya will get technical support from Lebanon-based Motortune Racing garage, who are providing him with mechanics and engineers. The veteran Qatari rider felt age is just a number and said he wants to pursue his passion for motorsports for a long time.
‘I want to be strong at my age. My age is only a number for me. I need to show the veteran motorsport enthusiasts that you can enjoy your life and compete well too. Most of the participants have good data on every race, they have more mileage than me. This is my first time in Turkey. I will never give up my passion. he said.
‘I want to do some records. I did many things for Qatar by building a racing circuit, by promoting many drivers and riders to compete worldwide. Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah achieved many sterling performances during that time. I was with FIA and FIM in high positions. Now I just want to show that I am following my passion and that I am also a rally driver, he added.
Al-Attiya has already laid out his future plans, as he aims to participate in the rallies across Europe. ‘My future plans are that I am willing to compete in Europe next year. Maybe I will do a round in Cyprus or in other countries like Latvia or the Czech Republic this year so that I gather enough data for next season. Next year I will do a full championship, he said.
‘It was my dream to race in Turkey, especially since Qatar and Turkey have good relationship at all levels. I need to put a message out that both countries enjoy great relationship. Also, at the same time I want to put Qatar on the map with another driver competing at top races, al-Attiya added.
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