Historical Shiraz Hosts Middle East Car Rally Championship

The historic city of Shiraz was the host to the FIA Middle East Car Rally Champi­onship (MERC) candidate event on September 24-26.

The Shiraz Rally 2014 kicked off from the front of the historical Quran Gate in Shiraz on Wednesday evening and competitors tackled a total of 235km over the two days.

Lebanon’s Roger Feghali dominated the rally after two days comprising 10 special stages (6 special stages on Thursday followed by 4 on Friday).

Feghali, who won the 2014 Lebanese Rally Championship despite failing to take a record 12th victory in Rally of Lebanon, clinched all ten special stages on his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X to finish around 4 minutes ahead of closest pursuer and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX driver Qatar’s Khalifa Al-Attiyah.

Iran is one of three countries selected by the FIA to host candi­date events this year, with the UAE scheduled to host its event from October 16-17 while Oman is yet to announce its dates. With the expected confirmation of these countries on the MERC’s 2015 calendar, the regional series will expand to nine rounds from next year.

Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Cyprus and Dubai previously host a round of the regional series. With Abu Dhabi’s inclusion from next year, the UAE will have the sole distinction of hosting two rounds of the regional series, with a provisional date for April 9 already included on the calendar.

Among those who witnessed the Shiraz Rally was FIA Vice-President Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Attiyah and some of FIA officials and the officials of the Iran Motor Sport Club.

A number of the top Persian Gulf champion drivers took part in the event including Lebanese driver Abdo Feghali, Qatar’s Khalifa bin Saleh Al Attiyah.

“Shiraz Rally is an important stop on the agenda of Middle East Championship for Rallies and a new addition to the future of the championship, since Shiraz is distinguished by the geographical diversity compared to other rounds of the championship, said Al Attiyah, while congratulating the role of Iran Motor Sport Club in organizing the event.