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American star Seth Quintero will be hoping to adapts to the Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ car after moving up his class ahead of the Dubai International Baja, which begins on Friday. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: As the teams complete their final preparations ahead of the Dubai International Baja on Friday, emerging US star Seth Quintero will be ready to challenge FIA Baja World Cup champion-elect Nasser Al Attiyah in the off-road rallying, which begins at Dubai Festival City on Friday night.

The 21-year-old Quintero will be driving the much coveted 3.5-litre V6 twin turbo Toyota Hilux recently vacated by Al Attiyah, who will line-up this weekend in his new Prodrive Hunter.

The San Diego native has earned promotion following his victory in this year’s World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC) T3 title alongside co-driver Dennis Zenz.

Raw speed

Quintero said: I’m addicted to progression, obsessed by it, and this step up to T1+ is all I’ve been thinking about for a while. I always had raw speed over short stints, but now I’ve learned to hang on for two weeks at a time.”

Quintero will be closely watched in Dubai as he adapts to the Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ car while Nasser, too, works to become familiar with his new machine.

The final round of both the FIA and FIM World Cups in Baja rallying has attracted the top drivers and riders for three days of intense off-road action, beginning with the exciting new night time prologue stage at Dubai Festival City on Friday.

Challenging topography

Once again the event has garnered vital support from the Dubai Government and its entities which helps Emirates Motorsport Organization (EMSO) to deliver one of the most eagerly anticipated international motorsports events of the year in the UAE. This year, the Dubai International Baja is proud to support the initiative of Dubai Fitness Challenge, an initiative of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai.

Khalid Ben Sulayem, President of the Emirates Motorsport Organisation (EMSO), said: “The continuing long-time support of the Government of Dubai and its entities makes it possible for us to deliver top-class rallying of world renown. We are proud to be able to present the region in all its glory. The epic scenery, the challenging topography and the technological expertise of Dubai all combine to present a wonderful sporting event showcasing the best of UAE and Dubai to a local, regional and international audience.”

The seventh edition of this desert classic event kicks off in Festival City in Dubai on Friday, with the evening 2km prologue stage offering spectators a chance to see all of the competitors in action ahead of Saturday and Sunday’s cross-country legs. The start of the race at 6:20pm will be preceded by a parade from Dubai Police.