Middle East Rally Championship

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Middle East Rally Championship
Category Group N
Super 2000
Country Middle East
Inaugural season 1984
Drivers' champion United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi
Official website Official site
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

The Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) is a motor rally championship run under the auspicies of the FIA. First held in 1984 the championship encompasses a series of rallies held across Western Asia. The championship has featured long-running events like Rally of Lebanon, Rally Oman and the Troodos Rally in Cyprus as well as World Rally Championship event Jordan Rally. Many of the rallies in the region pre-date national independence, mostly from the United Kingdom thus the championship could be seen as a legacy of British (and French in the case of Lebanon) colonialism.

The championship has been dominated by remarkably few competitors. Mohammed bin Sulayem is a 14-time champion and reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah has won 9 times. Between them they have won over 60% of events in thirty-year history of the championship.

The current season includes events in Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates. The Syria International Rally has been cancelled for the last three years as a consequence of the Syrian civil war. The championship has also visited Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

List of events[edit]

2013 season[edit]

2012 season[edit]

The 2012 Events and winners:

Event Date Winner
Qatar 27 – 28 jan 2012 Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari
Kuwait 22 – 24 Mar 2012 Khalid Al-Suwaidi
Lebanon 7 – 9 Sep 2012 Roger Feghali
Syria 27 – 29 Sep 2012 CANCELED
Jordan 11 – 13 Oct 2012 Nasser Al-Attiyah
Cyprus 2 – 4 Nov 2012 Nasser Al-Attiyah
Dubai 29 Nov – 1 Dec 2012 Nasser Al-Attiyah

2011 season[edit]

The 2011 Events and winners:

Event Date Winner
Qatar 3 – 5 Feb 2011 Nasser Al-Attiyah
Kuwait 10 – 12 Mar 2011 Nasser Al-Attiyah
Jordan 14 – 16 Apr 2011 Rashed El-Ketbi
Cyprus 1 – 3 July 2011 Nasser Al-Attiyah
Lebanon 16 – 18 Sep 2011 Roger Feghali
Syria 6 – 8 Oct 2011 Cancelled
Dubai 1 – 3 Dec 2011 Nasser Al-Attiyah

2010 season[edit]

The 2010 Events and winners:

Event Date Winner
Qatar 21 Jan – 23 Jan 2010 Nasser Al-Attiyah
Kuwait 5 Mar – 8 Mar 2010 Khalid Al Qassimi
Jordan 1 Apr – 3 Apr 2010 Yazeed Al-Rajhi
KSA 20 Apr – 22 Apr 2010 Yazeed Al-Rajhi
Lebanon 17 Sep – 19 Sep 2010 Roger Feghali
Syria 7 Oct – 9 Oct 2010 Nasser Al-Attiyah
Cyprus 5 Nov – 7 Nov 2010 Nasser Al-Attiyah
Dubai 2 Dec – 4 Dec 2010 Nasser Al-Attiyah

Champions[edit]

Year Driver Car
1984 Qatar Saeed Al-Hajri Porsche 911 SC RS
1985 Qatar Saeed Al-Hajri Porsche 911 SC RS
1986 United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem Toyota Celica CTC
1987 United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem Toyota Celica CTC
1988 United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem Toyota Celica CTC
1989 United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem Toyota Celica GT-Four ST165
1990 United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem Toyota Celica GT-Four ST165
1991 United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem Toyota Celica GT-Four ST165
1992 Saudi Arabia Mamdouh Khayat Lancia Delta HF Integrale
1993 Qatar Hamed Al-Thani Toyota Celica GT-Four
1994 United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem Ford Escort RS Cosworth
1995 Saudi Arabia Abdullah Bakhashab Ford Escort RS Cosworth
1996 United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem Ford Escort RS Cosworth
1997 United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem Ford Escort RS Cosworth
1998 United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem Ford Escort WRC
1999 United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem Ford Focus RS WRC
2000 United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem Ford Focus RS WRC
2001 United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem Ford Focus RS WRC
2002 United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem Ford Focus RS WRC
2003 Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah Subaru Impreza WRC
2004 United Arab Emirates Khalid Al Qassimi Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2005 Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2006 Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2007 Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2008 Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2009 Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah Subaru Impreza WRX STI
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X
2010 Qatar Misfer Al-Marri Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2011 Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah Ford Fiesta S2000
2012 Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah Ford Fiesta RRC
Peugeot 207 S2000
2013 Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah Ford Fiesta RRC
2014 Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah Ford Fiesta RRC

Previous rally winners[edit]

183 Rallies (after Dubai 2014), 34 different winner, following are the winners stats:

Driver Wins
United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Sulayem 60
Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah 54
Qatar Saeed Al-Hajri 11
Lebanon Roger Feghali 11
United Arab Emirates Khalid Al Qassimi 7
Cyprus Andreas Tsouloftas 4
Saudi Arabia Abdullah Bakhashab 3
Sweden Björn Waldegård 3
Lebanon Jean-Pierre Nasrallah 3
Saudi Arabia Yazeed Al-Rajhi 3
United Arab Emirates Suhail bin Maktoum 2
United Arab Emirates Khalifa Al-Mutaiwi 2
Lebanon Michel Saleh 2
Qatar Abdulaziz Al Kuwari 2

20 drivers have won one round of the MERC;
Charalambous Thimotheou (CY), Amjad Farrah (HKJ), Andreas Peratikos (CY), Chris Thomas (CY), Samir Ghanem (RL), Abdullah Al-Qassimi (UAE), Abbas Al-Motaiwi (QA), Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah (QA), Hamed Bin Eid Al-Thani (QA), Maurice 'Bagheera' Sehnaoui (RL), Tony Georgiou (RL), Alex Fiorio (I), Piero Liatti (I), Russell Brookes (GB), Alain Oreille (F), Nizar Shanfari (OM), Nicos Thomas (CY), Rashed El-Ketbi (UAE), Khalid Al Suwaidi (QA), Nicolas Amiouni (RL).

Wins per Nationality[edit]

After Cyprus 2014

Driver Wins
United Arab Emirates UAE 73
Qatar Qatar 71
Lebanon Lebanon 20
CyprusCyprus 8
Saudi Arabia KSA 6
Sweden Sweden 3
Italy Italy 2

and 1 Win for Oman, Jordan, France and Great Britain

External links[edit]

References[edit]