Abu Dhabi has joined forces with BP-Ford World Rally Team to bring a new look and a third official Focus RS World Rally Car to the team’s FIA World Rally Championship campaign.
Khalid AlQassimi, and the British co-driver Nicky Beech, will contest Neste Oil Rally Finland in August in the new livery, alongside Ford stars Marcus Gronholm and Mikko Hirvonen.
The duo will enter three other rounds this season - ADAC Rallye Deutschland, RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada and Rally Ireland - before taking part in 10 rounds in 2008 under the new BP-Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team name.
This announcement was made at the press conference in Abu Dhabi this morning when representatives of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, together with BP-Ford team director Malcolm Wilson stressed their commitment to the future of motorsport.
With Ford currently leading both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ standings, the long-term agreement, announced by ADTA director general His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, will boost Abu Dhabi’s profile worldwide.
"The partnership of Sheikh Khalid, Mikko and Marcus - who we hope will be 2007 WRC Champion - forms a powerful combination of diverse experience and raw potential which will prove invaluable as the BP-Ford World Rally Team reinforces its WRC credentials."
The Abu Dhabi has an impressive portfolio of sporting events, which have raised international awareness of the Emirates’ capital. It hosts the Red Bull Air Race, the Abu Dhabi Cycling Race of Champions, and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and is set to host its first Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2009.