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ATCUAE TO ENFORCE STRICT ENVIRONMENTAL CODE DURING ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE

Competitors who ignore regulations could face time penalties, fines and disqualification from event

Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem: “It’s very important to us to take all necessary precautions to protect the desert.”

Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem: “It’s very important to us to take all necessary precautions to protect the desert.”

Dubai, UAE, 2 April, 2013: Competitors in next week’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge who ignore strict regulations to protect the environment could face time penalties and fines, and ultimately be disqualified from an event which has attracted 110 drivers and riders from around the world.

The Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the rally organisers, have warned that they will get tough with any drivers or riders failing to comply with an environmental code being enforced when the event is run through spectacular desert terrain in the Western Region of Al Garbia.

Punishment will be handed out for competitors who do not take precautions to prevent leaks into the ground of fuel or oil, as well as cleaning, degreasing, cooling and brake fluids.

They could also be penalised for leaving behind any used tyres, or waste generated during five full days of competitive rallying in the Liwa desert from 6-11 April.

The Desert Challenge is in its 23rd year, and has attracted a powerful line up of 160 competitors from 37 countries across six continents. They include defending champions Jean-Lous Schlesser of France and Spanish rider Marc Coma, who have each won six titles respectively in the cars and bikes categories.

The measures being taken by the ATCUAE are in line with an international Environmental Code

drawn up by the FIM, the International Motorcycling Federation.

They are also aimed at contributing toward the broader initiative laid down by world motorsport’s governing body, the FIA (International Automobile Federation) to evaluate and reduce the environmental impact of motorsport.

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is the opening round of this year’s FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, and annually attracts many of the world’s top riders, including Spain’s Marc Coma, the multiple world champion and winner of the event in six of the last seven years.

As the event is also the second round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars and trucks, drivers and teams from across the Middle East and overseas will have to comply with the environmental code.

“It’s very important to us to take all necessary precautions to protect the desert, and we’re certain we can count on the competitors to support us by observing the environmental code,” said Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE and founder of the event.

“We’re fully committed to backing the FIM in its effort to show that the sport can be environmentally responsible, and to find new ways to reduce the impact events like the Desert Challenge can have on the land, the local flora and fauna.”

As the rally organisers, the ATCUAE is responsible for enforcing regulations, and for providing facilities to collect rally waste throughout the event. It is also responsible for drawing up an Environmental Management Plan to assess the impact of the event.

Taking place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, the 2013 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge starts and finishes at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit.

The high-profile line-up of strategic partners and supporters of the event include the Diwan of the Ruler’s Representative for the Western Region, Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management, ADNOC, Abu Dhabi Aviation, Nissan, and Qasr Al Sarab Resort by Anantara.

The event’s official itinerary begins with competitor documentation and an official press conference on Thursday 4 April, with scrutineering following the next day before a super special stage on 6 April leading to five days of competitive desert stages.

 

The ATCUAE aims to show that events like the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge can be environmentally responsible.
The ATCUAE aims to show that events like the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge can be environmentally responsible.