ATCUAE extends partnership with Nissan Middle East for UAE’s spectacular desert rally

Atsuo Kosaka, Managing Director of Nissan Middle East and Dr Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE and founder of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

Atsuo Kosaka, Managing Director of Nissan Middle East and Dr Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE and founder of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

DUBAI, UAE, (24 March, 2013) - The Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE and Nissan today announced that the Nissan Patrol will once again be the official car of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, marking a ten-year partnership between the rally’s organisers and Nissan Middle East.

One of the toughest and most spectacular cross country rallies on the international motorsport calendar, the 23rd Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge takes place from 4-11 April, sending a world-class line-up of drivers and riders into action over the stunning desert terrain of the Western Region of Al Garbia.

Once again this year, the flagship Nissan Patrol is playing a vital role in the planning and staging of the event, part of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars and trucks, and the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship for bikes.

Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE and founder of the event, said: “The partnership between Nissan and the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge has never been stronger, and this ten-year milestone highlights the close working relationship we have built to create a long-running success story in international cross country rallying.”

“The Nissan Patrol has proved to be the perfect vehicle for our route planning team over the years because of its reliability and versatility in the Liwa desert. The Patrol is also one of the all time favourites for many competitors, as well as being the perfect on-event support vehicle.”

Atsuo Kosaka, Managing Director of Nissan Middle East, added: “The Nissan Patrol is a vehicle steeped in the heritage of the Middle East and has undertaken more than 13,000 hours of desert testing to become the ultimate all-terrain SUV.”

“We are delighted to continue our long-standing partnership with the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, one of the most prominent desert rallies in the world, and look forward to another hugely successful event in the coming weeks.”

For the tenth year in succession, Nissan Patrols have been used by the route planning team which has journeyed deep into the Liwa desert, crossing a sea of giant dunes, to carve out the competitive stages which will test competitors and their rally machinery to the limit next month.

Throughout the event, a fleet of Nissan Patrols will be at the disposal of the organisers to ensure the rally, staged across the dramatic and challenging desert landscape of the Empty Quarter, runs smoothly to its conclusion.

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.

As in previous years, the fourth leg on 10 April – arguably the rally’s toughest – is named after Nissan and stretches some 317 kilometres of the most testing rallying terrain available.

In addition to Nissan, the high-profile line-up of strategic partners and supporters of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge include the Diwan of the Ruler’s Representative for the Western Region and Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management.

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.