The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge POWERED BY NISSAN fires into life with a short spectator stage or Prologue at the Al-Forsan International Resort in Abu Dhabi from 3pm on Saturday afternoon.


FIA World Cup leader Aron Domzala carried out a shakedown test at Sweihan before the start of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

The short competitive section will also determine the starting order in the car, motorcycle and quad categories, before the motorcycles lead the international field into the first of the desert stages at three-minute intervals on Sunday morning.

The choice of starting positions on desert stages is important and strategy may come into play on the opening timed section.


Hernan Garces of Chile gets to grips with his Ford Ranger across the sands of the UAE


“All our team’s efforts will be put to the test over the next few days and I take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and successful Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge,” said event founder and ATCUAE President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is taking place under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the Ruler’s representative in Al-Dafra region, and has invaluable support from Al Dafrah Region Municipality, Abu Dhabi Municipality, the UAE Army, Abu Dhabi Police, National Ambulance Service, Yas Marina Circuit, ADNOC, Abu Dhabi Aviation, Al-Ain Water, Abu Dhabi Waste Management, Rotana and Centro Hotel – Yas Island, the Qasr Al-Sarab Resort and Al-Forsan Circuit.


Motorcycle action gets underway at the Al-Forsan International Resort from 3pm on Saturday in Abu Dhabi


The desert action takes centre stage from Sunday through to Thursday in the UAE’s Empty Quarter, with the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge based in a bivouac near to the Qasr Al Sarab desert resort.

2017 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge - leading entries

201. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) - Toyota Hilux Overdrive
202. Khalid Al-Qassimi (ARE)/Khaled Al-Kendi (ARE) - Peugeot 3008 DKR
203. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS)/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) - Mini All4 Racing
204. Aron Domzala (POL)/Szymon Gospodarczyk (POL) - Toyota Hilux Overdrive
205. Miroslav Zapletal (CZE)/Marek Sykora (SLO) - Hummer H3 Evo VII
207. Martin Prokop (CZE)/Jan Tomanek (CZE)  - Ford F-150 Evo
208. Yayha Al-Helai (ARE)/Nasser Al-Kuwari (QAT) - Nissan Pick-Up
209. Mohammed Abu Issa (QAT)/Xavier Panseri (FRA) - Mini All4 Racing
210. Stephan Schott (DEU)/Andreas Schulz (DEU) - Mini All4 Racing
211. Adel Abdulla (QAT)/Sébastien Delaunay (FRA) - Nissan Patrol


1. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI) - Husqvarna 450 Rally
2. Sam Sunderland (GBR) - KTM 450 Rally
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG) - Honda 450 CRF Rally
4. Pierre Alexander Renet (FRA) - Husqvarna 450 Rally
5. Matthias Walkner (AUT) - KTM 450 Rally
6. Mohammed Al-Balooshi (ARE) - KTM 450 Rally Replica
7. Antoine Meo (FRA) - KTM 450 Rally
8. Paolo Gonçalves (PRT)  - Honda 450 CRF Rally


101. Camelia Liparoti (ITA) - Yamaha Raptor 700R
102. Khalifa Al-Raeesi (ARE) - Honda TRX 700
103. Fahad Al-Musallam (KUW) - Yamaha Raptor 700R
104. Mohammed Al-Shamsi (ARE) - Honda TRX 700
105. Humaid Al-Mashghouni (ARE) - Honda TRX 700
106. Kirill Solokha (KAZ) - Honda TRX 700