The Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF), in conjunction with the Ministry of Sport and in partnership with Abdul Latif Jameel (ALJ) Motors Toyota, has announced the entry list for this weekend’s Rally Qassim Toyota 2023, round three of the Saudi Toyota Championship.
Forty-three cars, 27 motorcycles and six quads grace the entry list. The car category is further broken down into 17 T1 cars, two in T1P, 12 production class T2 machines, six lightweight prototype T3s, five T4s and one T5 truck. The event is being run by the SAMF headed by H.R.H. Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal.
Defending Saudi Toyota champion Yazeed Al-Rajhi tops the car entry in his Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux, as he aims to retain his national title alongside German co-driver Timo Gottschalk on this occasion. The Japanese manufacturer has also entered a Hilux under the Toyota Gazoo Racing banner for Argentina’s Lucas Moraes and his Spanish co-driver Armand Monleón. They will take the opportunity to use the event as a pre-Dakar Rally test session.
Abdulaziz Al-Yaeesh, Khalid Al-Feraihi, Al-Mashna Al-Ramali and Metab Saud Al-Qnon head an armada of Nissans, who will be aiming for championships points in both the T1 and the T2 categories behind Al-Rajhi. Yazeed Racing is also running a Toyota for Saleh Abdullah Alabdulali.
Dark Horse Can-Am driver Saleh Al-Saif heads the T3 field, where he faces competition from Dania Akeel and Rashid Al-Ketbi in a pair of R-X Sport Can-Ams, Majed Al-Shammeri, Shegawi Racing’s Hamad Al-Harbi and Race World’s Yasir Seaidan.
Maha Al-Hameli tops the T4 section in her Can-Am and lines up alongside R-X Sport’s Yosra Jazzar, Shegawi Racing’s Abdullah Shegawi, Orwan Ahmed and Moaaz Hariri. Ibrahim Al-Muhanna rounds off the entry in his T5 Mercedes truck.
Mishal Al-Ghuneim heads a strong motorcycle field that features riders from the UAE, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar and Bahrain. Main competition is expected from the newly-crowned FIM Bajas World Cup champion Mohammed Al-Balooshi, Abdullah Al-Shatti, former WRC co-driver Ole Floene, Qatar-based Martin Chalmers and local riders Ehab Al-Hakeem and Badr Al-Hamdan.
FIM Bajas championship regular Haitham Al-Tuwaijri heads the quad field on his Yamaha Raptor and lines up against local riders Hani Al-Noumesi, Abdulaziz Al-Atawi and Abdulrahman Alabdullatif, Tunisia’s Meriam Tamime and Qatar-based Emiel Stuckens.
Rally Qassim 2023 will be based out of the Mövenpick Qassim in the city of Buraydah and gets underway with a ceremonial start in the nearby National Park (13.45hrs) and a Prologue (15.20hrs) of four kilometres on Thursday.