MUSCAT: Omani rally-raid stars Abdullah al Zubair and Faisal al Raisi make a welcome return to competitive action on October 4, when the final round of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup gets underway at the spectacular Rallye du Maroc.
Having been concentrating on their dual programme in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas in recent months, the visit to Morocco for the six-day event sees the AZ Racing pairing compete in the Cross Country Rally World Cup for the first time since the Abu Dhabi round in April.
Renowned as one of the most competitive and popular rally-raid contests on the planet, the entry list for Morocco not only reads like a ‘who’s who’ of cross country rallying but also of motorsport as a whole with some very familiar names taking part.
Al Zubair and Al Raisi form part of a near 20 vehicle entry in the always action-packed T3 class with their Oman Automobile Association supported No.334 Can-Am Maverick, which is prepared by South Racing, taking on the likes of Brazilian racer Reinaldo Varela the 2018 Rally Dakar winner.
In the headline T1 class, meanwhile, the entry features FIA World Rally Championship legend Carlos Sainz – a two time World Champion – as well as double FIA Formula One World Champion, two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner and FIA World Endurance Champion Fernando Alonso.
Al Zubair and Al Raisi are determined to make an impact on their return to battle, and are relishing being back in their favoured territory of desert stages, having last been in competitive action in early August on the Hungarian Baja.
Of the two FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup events contested in 2019 by AZ Racing, Al Zubair was fourth in the T3 class in Qatar back in February but during the Abu Dhabi rally in early April unresolvable electrical problems forced early retirement.
Following administrative checks and scrutineering of vehicles, the prologue will take place on October 4, with the opening leg getting underway on October 5. The event will conclude on October 9.
• Abdullah Al Zubair & Faisal Al Raisi eyeing Rallye du Maroc podium
• Moroccan desert challenge welcome return to action for AZ Racing
• Spectacular FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup finale expected
• Oman Automobile Association supporting Sultanate’s rally-raid duo