The Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF) will host the Sharqiyah International Baja Toyota, round three of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, on March 3rd-6th.
Following hot on the heels of the opening round held through the frozen Russian wastelands in early February and this week’s second round in the UAE’s Al-Qudra desert, Saudi Arabia’s round of the series will take place in the Eastern Province.
It will be organised by a team working under H.R.H. Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, SAMF President and Chairman of the Organising Committee and is also the opening round of the 2021 Saudi Toyota Desert Rally Championship.
Based at the Holiday Inn Resort on Half Moon Bay, Sharqiyah International Baja Toyota will be held over three days of off-road competition. Following administration and scrutineering checks on Wednesday, March 3rd, the timed action gets underway with a qualifying stage of approximately 11km on Thursday, March 4th.
The first selective section of around 220km enters the spotlight on Friday, March 5th in the sandy deserts to the west of the commercial centre of Khobar and a second competitive leg of approximately 210km rounds off the action on Saturday, March 6th.
The SAMF held the first ever Sharqiyah Baja through the Eastern deserts in December 2019. This event was won by local driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi and ran as an FIA candidate event as well as being the fifth round of the Saudi Desert Rally Championship.
Spanish legend Carlos Sainz also took part and finished second overall as he made his final preparations for the first Dakar Rally to run through the Kingdom in January 2020.
The area also hosted a candidate event and a round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship in 2008 and 2010. Both events were won by Al-Rajhi and French co-driver Matthieu Baumel. The closing date for entries is Wednesday, February 24th.
Source: NDP Publicity / Sharqiyah Baja press release