The 2019 Manateq Qatar Cross-Country Rally and program is taking place as we speak, running from Feb. 21-26. At least seven Can-Am Maverick racing teams are entered, including the Monster Energy Can-Am team of Reinaldo Varela / Gustavo Gugelmin.
The Monster Energy Can-Am South Racing teammates, who earned a podium at the 2019 Dakar race and won it in 2018, are now taking on the field in the desert landscapes of Qatar. The South Racing Can-Am Team has entered a pair of Can-Am Maverick X3 drivers as well in Oman’s Abdullah Al-Zubair and Russian driver Fedor Yorobeyev.
The Manateq Qatar Cross-Country Rally, organized by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), officially gets underway Friday (Feb. 22) with the first of five desert stages of around 102km. Feb. 23-26, drivers will face four selective sections across much of the desert terrain of the State of Qatar with timed sections of 313km, 338km, 350km and 270km planned – totaling 1,367km (849 miles) – for the remaining four days before the finish on the Pearl-Qatar. This Lusail-based event is the first round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies. that has them racing in Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Morocco. The T3 (SSV) category has become the most popular of the three FIA car racing categories (T1, T2 and T3) on the back of the success of the Side-by-Side (SxS) section at the Dakar Rally.
Qatar is the peninsula of land bordering Saudi Arabia that protrudes into the Persian Gulf. The desert geography or topography could be described as sandy, rocky and mostly flat. Though its sand dunes have been called massive and stunning.
“…we hope that our varied desert terrain of soft sand, of dunes, of hard and rocky terrain all provide suitable challenges for our FIA World Championship contenders and competitors over the five hard days of competition,” states the Qatar Cross Country site.
Racing info here: http://qatarcrosscountry.com/