HA’IL (Saudi Arabia): The 14th Ha’il Nissan International Rally gets underway with a ceremonial start and a short super special stage on Saturday afternoon.
The first motorcycle will cross the start line in Ha’il at 14.30hrs with the first car crossing the start podium at 15.00hrs. This ceremonial occasion precedes the opening Mashar special stage that runs for 3.93km from 16.05hrs onwards.
While time and any chance of victory can be lost with mistakes and mechanical issues on the opening stage, the meat of the action takes place through the An Nafud deserts on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
The opening selective section of 189.05km starts and finishes in the town of Baqa’a, 109.49km from the event’s headquarters at the Maghwat conference centre, with the first car on the stage from 09.15hrs.
After a run out of 99.92km from rally HQ on Monday, cars and drivers face a punishing second selective section of 351.04km that starts in Radifah and finishes at the desert village of Umm Al Qulban.
Action concludes on New Year’s Day with a 170.02km timed section that starts 114.24km from Ha’il at the town of Al Ghazalah and finishes in Ha’il.
In a route of 1264.26km, cars will face 714.04 kilometres against the clock. Motorcycles and quads will tackle two shorter timed sections of 49.04km each on day two and a total of 381.76km in a different route of 1103.60km.
The 14th edition of the event is being organised by the Ha’il Regional Development Authority in co-operation with the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage and the General Authority for Sport. It is being held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Saud, Governor of Ha’il and President of the Supreme Commission for Ha’il Development.