AZ Racing set for FIA World Cup Cross-Country Baja in Russia
Omani rally drivers, Abdullah al Zubair and co-driver Faisal al Raisi of AZ Racing, get their 2019 season in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas underway in the snowy climbs of Russia from Friday.
Speaking ahead of the event, the Omani duo said it would be targeting a successful start to its championship campaign.
Zubair said, “I am very excited to start our season in Russia because of the many challenges we will face as it is the only snow rally in the World Cup. We have worked hard during the off-season to prepare mentally and physically and, hopefully, this weekend it will all pay off with a podium.”
Raisi said, “The freezing conditions in Russia are a new challenge for both the driver and myself as the navigator. It is my first time to navigate on ice and it will be the first time for Abdullah to race in these conditions.”
Making history this year as the first all-Omani entry in the prestigious global series, Zubair and Raisi will start in the Republic of Karelia with the ceremonial start and prologue at Helyulya Airfield in the Ruskeala mountain park, close to the border with Finland, ahead of leg one later that afternoon.
The teams will compete over a combined distance of some 500km through protected forests in the Sortavala and Suojarvi districts with leg two on Saturday and leg three of the Baja Russian Northern Forest following on Sunday.
Zubair will pilot the same Can-Am Maverick X3 ‘rally raid’ vehicle in the T3 class which he raced in selected Baja rounds in 2018.
Once again, German squad South Racing will provide the engineering strength behind AZ Racing’s efforts in 2019.