RIYADH: The 2024 Hail Toyota International Rally commences today, Thursday, (Feb. 8 till 10), attracting the top local and international competitors for the rally that marks the first round of both the championship and FIA World Bajas Cup.

The route encompasses various terrain including the high dunes of the Nafud Al-Kabir desert and around 164 car and motorcycle racers from 24 countries set to line up at Al-Maghwah Park.
The three-day route through the deserts surrounding the north-central city will feature a challenging course made up of 85 percent open desert, 10 percent gravel and dirt tracks, and 5 percent sand dunes in the Great Nafud desert.

Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Saif, chairman of the Hail rally’s executive committee, said the city was all geared up to host the 2024 edition, organized by the Hail Region Development Authority and the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation.

The event was being held under the patronage of Prince Abdulaziz bin Saad Al-Saud, the governor of Hail region, chairman of the HRDA, and organizing committee chair.

Twelve cars will compete in a new ultimate group (formerly T1 and T1P), with a further 12 in the challenger, three in stock, and 15 in SSV categories.

Defending Saudi Toyota Rally champion Yazeed Al-Rajhi and his German co-driver Timo Gottschalk finished as runners-up in both last year’s FIA World Rally-Raid Championship and the FIA World Baja Cup, and they head the ultimate group entry in a Toyota Hilux.

Leading Saudi female driver Dania Akeel, who is taking part in the race for the fourth time, said she was targeting the title of champion of the 2024 Hail Toyota International Rally in the women’s division as well as the T1 Plus category in a Toyota Hilux with her team Overdrive.

Meanwhile, Saudi rally driver Maha Al-Hamly was all set to go after recently taking part in the Saudi Dakar Rally, during which she was involved in an accident in the Empty Quarter.

The first edition of the Saudi Toyota Championship took place in 2019, before returning in 2022 and 2023 after a two-year absence. The championship runs in seven cities around the Kingdom, namely Riyadh, Jeddah, Taif, Tabuk-NEOM, Al-Baha, Qassim, and Hail.



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