Dubai's Al Mutaiwei to receive top FIA award in Turkey

Khalifa Al Mutaiwei in Poland. (FILE)

Dubai’s Khalifa Al Mutaiwei and German co-driver Andreas Schulz head to Istanbul in advance of Friday evening’s FIA Prizegiving Gala dinner (December 7), where the pair will be awarded their prizes for winning the prestigious 2012 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies.

Fazza Rally team driver Al Mutaiwei returned to rallying action at the start of this season after a near eight-year lay-off and won the title for the second time, despite fierce competition from the sport’s top drivers. The Emirati also won the title in 2004.

Al Mutaiwei drove a Mini All-4 Racing, prepared by X-raid in Germany, and also guided Schulz to a third successive co-drivers’ award at the Pharoahs International Cross-Country Rally, the final round of the series in Egypt, in October.

The FIA Prizegiving gala dinner marks the traditional end-of-year celebration of all FIA motor sporting disciplines and will be attended by senior FIA officials, who are also in Istanbul to ratify the 2013 calendars at their important FIA World Motor Sports Council meeting.

Al Mutaiwei will join newly-crowned and three-time F1 Drivers’ champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany and the nine-time WRC winner Sébastien Loeb, who will take their place alongside the winners of all the diverse FIA international motor sporting disciplines. The Fazza Rally Team duo will be accompanied by Tariq Al Warshaw, Al Mutaiwei’s team co-ordinator.

“I want to thank Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Board Chairman Dubai Sports Council, for his full support and backing. Without this my return would never have happened. I would also like to thank Andy, my driver, the X-raid team and all the members of my team and friends for their support,” said Al Mutaiwei.

Dubai Sports Channel will air the awards’ ceremony on Friday evening and a panel of motor sporting experts will be present in the studio to discuss the achievements.

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