Emirati driver veers off course during Jordan motor rally

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An Emirati driver was seen hanging over a cliff during the first stage of the Jordan Rally on Friday, with no further information provided on why the car went off track.

Abu Dhabi Racing's Emirati driver, Mohammed al-Sahlawi, and his Irish co-driver, Allan Harryman, were captured in a picture by Jordan Rally photographers veering off a cliff, which is located near the Dead Sea.

Some 27 drivers from eight different countries are taking part in The Jordan Rally, the third round of the 2013 FIA Middle East Rally Championship, the Jordan Times said.

The three-day-event that kicked off on Thursday is celebrating 30 years since it officially joined the rounds of the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC), the newspaper reported.

“The rally will be based again around the harsh tracks in the Jordan Valley, close to the Dead Sea area where the FIA World Rally Championship round took place last year,” Ihab Bate, clerk of the course, told the newspaper.

“The stages, which will be a tough test for man and machine, are complete and ready for the ultimate challenge. Volunteers finished their training and safety issues have been finalized,” Bate added.

“We expect an excellent number of drivers from Jordan and the region to compete in the rally which will follow Qatar and Kuwait rallies.”

The rally is said to host 11 drivers form Jordan, seven from the UAE, four from Qatar, three from Lebanon, two from Kuwait and one from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Italy.

During Friday and Saturday’s rallies, drivers will be passing through 16 timed special stages and 256.64 kilometers in the kingdom’s Dead Sea area, the newspaper reported.

The three-day-event is held under the patronage of Prince Feisal, chairman of Jordan Motorsport. The first rally to be established in Jordan was by Late King Hussein in 1961, according to Jordon MotorSport’s main website.