17 Feb 10
One of the favourites to win this year's inaugural S-WRC title, Barwa World Rally Team driver Nasser Al Attiyah, has made a last minute decision to change the car he will drive this year.
Al-Attiyah, from Qatar, had been planning to drive an Autotek-run Ford Fiesta S2000 in the seven-round series, but with just a fortnight to go before his season begins in Mexico, he has switched to a Skoda Fabia S2000, run by Rene Georges Rally Sport.
The 2006 Production car champion will contest three FIA championships in 2010: the FIA Cross Country Series, the Middle East Rally Championship and the S-WRC. He began the defence of his Middle East title in January, winning the Qtel Qatar International Rally at the wheel of a Fiesta S2000.
But Al-Attiyah's second place on January's Dakar Rally in a Volkswagen Touareg prompted the German manufacturer, which also own Skoda, to support all his rally programmes in 2010.
Jack de Keijzer, Rene Georges Rally Sport team coordinator, told wrc.com that Al Attiyah would help prove the Fabia's potential.
“We want to make the Skoda Fabia Super 2000 the car of 2010 and we believe that winning the S-WRC is the best way to do this," he said. "We already have Eyvind Brynildsen driving for us, now we have Nasser Al-Attiyah too, so we have two great drivers who will fight for the victory for us.”