Edith celebrates 30 years of the Qatar International Rally

For exactly three decades, rally veteran Edith Wiess has been based in Qatar. The German is ready to give the podium another shot at this week’s Qatar International Rally where she will be partnered with Italian Serena Mattivi at the wheel of their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X.
The longtime resident of Qatar is barely looking forward to embarking on the ceremonial start of the three-day off-road spectacle which will be headlined by Qatar Dakar Rally icon Nasser Salah al-Attiyah in the peloton of 16 participants.
“I remember the whole trip as if it started yesterday. Exactly 30 years ago, in February 1992, I took part in my first Qatar International Rally,” Edith told the Gulf Times, ahead of the Qatar International Rally organized by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation this weekend ( QMMF). “And now, after 33 starts, at various motorsport events in Qatar alone, I’m really looking forward to some great competition at this week’s Qatar International Rally. Now this is the 34th start for me in an event. Motorsport in Qatar (International Rallies, National Rallies, National Bajas, Cross-Country World Cup and Circuit Race in Losail).
“Qatar has one of the most demanding gravel surfaces in the world and I always look forward to participating in the Qatar International Rally. I love the stages and the whole event which is always well organized by QMMF. I take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to QMMF for their professionalism and great organizational expertise seen in all motorsport events over the years,” said Edith.
“I say keep up the good work because Qatar remains the favorite for motorsport activities in the region,” she added. “It would be great if QMMF could also bring the World Rally Championship to Qatar. I would also like to say a big thank you to Qatar for whom I had the honor of competing and winning many titles as a rally driver over the years,” she said.
“My heartfelt thanks also go to Sheikh Hamad bin Eid al-Thani and his loving family. Sheikh Hamad bin Eid al-Thani accompanied me all these years from 1992 until his sudden death in October 2020. He and his family have always been there for me,” Edith said of the Qatar rally legend who passed away just over a year ago.
“I owe him and his family the best years of my life. I am infinitely grateful,” Edith said. “His sudden death is an indescribable and painful loss and I wish he were here. . I would like to dedicate this rally to him – and I hope so – with a worthy result,” she added.
Edith, an insurance broker and tax adviser by profession, said she had been associated with the sport for 37 years. “My motorsport career began in 1985 and since then I have participated in over 200 motorsport events around the world in circuit events, hill climbs and Formula races, rallies all -terrain as well as German, European, Middle Eastern and World Rally Championships,” Edith said.
“I also participated in races on the famous Nürburgring circuit in 1989, 1991 and 1993. I had the chance to participate in many events around the world. It was a great journey of unforgettable memories. When I think back to my association with Qatar, it’s great to have spent so much time here,” Edith said. “One of my longest memories is being the first woman to start and finish the FIA ​​Cross-Country World Cup at Qatar Sealine Rally in 2013,” Edith added.
Edith says this week’s race will be her last competition. “After all these unforgettable years – not just in Qatar – I also think it’s the right time to stop my active side in motorsport,” she said. “Of course, I would like to continue in the whole Middle East Rally Championship, Qatar Cross Country World Cup, Qatar National Baja – I know all the dunes of Sealine – but you can’t succeed without sponsorship. I’ve paid for it all out of pocket over the years. Now is the time to take care of my retirement savings,” Edith concluded.

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