The power of change! Who is driving what and where in the 2014 Lebanese Motorsport Season
The 2014 Lebanese Motorsport season will see a decent amount of changes before it inaugurates at the end of March with the Spring Rally.
Well, the season basically starts with the Karting championship this month, but nevertheless, the rallying season is what people are looking at.
MotorTune Racing has been very active in the winter break and has pulled some noticeable deals and sign some more drivers to the already rich driver lineup.
Roger Feghali is rumored to start the season on his very effective EVO 10 R4. He will then revert to the most appropriate car that will lead him to a record 12th win at the 2014 Rally of Lebanon. Abdo Feghali will most probably be on the same strategy driving his Evo 10 in the championship to try to defend his crown and then shifting to a faster car for the 2014 ROL.
Red Bull athlete Nicolas Amiouni to contest the championship in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X; he will be joined by Joseph Hindy who returns to the team after spending three seasons with Tony Germany Rally Skills (TGRS). Hindy who will also drive the EVO X he owns and has started testing alongside Amiouni last Saturday.
Tamer Ghandour, who highly impressed at the 36th Rally of Lebanon by taking the Group N class victory in a Lancer Evo IX, will contest a full season this year. Tamer who was the championship runner up in 2013 was absent on some rounds last year due to some personal issues will be back in full power to show his class alongside his friend and co-driver Salim Jleilaty.
Chafic Boulos will also stay with MotorTune in the same format he had last year, proving that consistency and stability pays off.
Gilbert Bannout, who contested the 2013 season on a MINI Countryman RRC and a Ford Fiesta R5, finishing runner-up to Abdo Feghali, is yet to announce his plans for the year. Gilbert does usually announce his plans on his page on Facebook. Until now our sources have no clear idea about his direction, but a certain Facebook picture for him wearing a Motortune T-shirt and training at the Gym, might be a small indicator.
Robert Aaraj has also signed for MotorTune and will be driving a Citroen DS3 R3. The Clio R3 that he used to drive with TGRS will now be managed by MotorTune who pulled a last minute coup and signed with Henry Massad. Henry who was pulling a deal with TGRS was lured to sign with MotorTune in what is rumored to be a financially better deal. Henry is set to have a full comeback year this season. Henry’s co-driver is yet to be announced but rumors linked him with a certain ROL champion, Nabil Njeim, but retaining his current co-driver Ramy Menhem is expected. MotorTune will now have a big shot on the FWD category.
Rumors say that Eddy Abou Karam will remain with TGRS, but nothing has been confirmed and Eddy has not announced anything yet . Emile Abou Karam will be expected also to be contesting a full rally season with TGRS.
Rumors also suggest that Mathieu Reboisson, Wissam Karam and Sisley Bechara are searching for a sponsor to compete a full season with TGRS.
On the other hand, Kazan Performance Tuning will most probably witness the absence of Toni Helou who will take a sabbatical this year because of his hand injuries, but will see a lineup of the following drivers; Rabih Ayoub, Nabil Abdel Hak, Hovig Karakozian, Rony Kanaan, and maybe others. Rabih who never failed to impress will be looking to have an good season and take his game to the next level.
The championship will also see the return of Walid Tarabay who will make a comeback in the front-wheel drive category following a 3-year hiatus; he last contested a race in 2010 on a Renault Clio RS. Ziad Feghali has made a switch to the front-wheel drive category and has bought a Renault Clio RS. Rumors also have Bassel Bou Hamdan driving a Clio R3 as well as the return of Ghassan Khoury on an R3 Maxi.
Dani Mazloum will tackle the 2014 Hill Climb Championship in a Rayes Competition-prepared Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Prototype.
As we read between the lines, MotorTune has gained a huge advantage over the competitors in this offseason, with no doubt this offseason has season the biggest amount of changes since a long time and the championship will look way different at the beginning of the season.
– Source: Biser3a.com