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Jordan

History

Jordan has become a regional centre of excellence for organising top-class motorsporting events which has included local, regional and international events for more than 60 years.

From humble beginnings through to trailblazing global events that have provided the world with...

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About Jordan

Simply put, there is nowhere on earth like Jordan! Few countries can boast the variety of historical attractions that Jordan offers through the length and breadth of this adventurous Kingdom. Mix in an incredible climate for nine months of...

Read more

Mission & Objectives

Promoting Jordan to the world to raise its international profile and enhance its economic development through the vast world of motorsports.

Read more

Latest News

Coming Soon

Why Join

Jordan Motorsport’s magnificent events are only made possible through the rock solid support from our volunteers. Training sessions are held throughout the year to not only fine tune the skills of long-term marshals, but to bring new helpers into...

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Apply now

Hall of Fame

With a wealth of history spanning back to the 1960’s, Jordan has welcomed some of the region’s greatest ever Arab drivers, and we have been lucky enough to produce a few icons of our own along the way who are captured here.

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Overview
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Overview
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Events
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Overview
Archive
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Overview
Archive
Events
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Overview
Archive
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Overview
Archive
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Overview
Archive
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Overview
Archive
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The history of motorsport in Jordan

Jordan has become a regional centre of excellence for organising top-class motorsporting events which has included local, regional and international events for more than 60 years.

From humble beginnings through to trailblazing global events that have provided the world with dramatic thrills and spills, Jordan continues to be a strong partner to the motorsporting community.

Motorsport can track its roots back to the 1950’s, when His Late Majesty King Hussein introduced it to the Kingdom and participated in the first organised event which was a 1961 scavenger hunt, and the following year a rally ended with a picnic in the Jordan Valley.

The first Rumman Hill Climb was organised in 1962, and the first Speed Test can be traced all the way back to 1964. These events were organised by the newly-formed Royal Automobile Club.

With King Hussein’s support and regular participation – His Late Majesty was the Hill Climb record holder until 2001 - motorsport became a part of the Kingdom’s DNA and it has continued through his sons, King Abdullah II who was a National champion in 1985 and HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, who was a co-driver.

Then the sport really took off in 1981 when Jordan hosted its first Jordan International Rally, won by Lebanese driver Michel Saleh, and it became a round on the Middle East Rally Championship two years later.

The biggest names in regional motorsport have won the event, including Mohammed Ben Sulayem (12 times), Saeed Al Hajri, Abdullah Bakhashab and Jordanian Amjad Farrah who became the only local driver to win it in 2004. In recent years, Nasser Al-Attiyah has dominated with 12 wins.

With the dawn of a new Millennium came the meteoric rise of Jordan as a host venue.

As events grew in size and stature, the organising responsibilities were adopted by Jordan Motorsport in 2004, a not-for-profit organisation set up within the Royal Automobile Club of Jordan to organise and manage motorsporting events in the Kingdom.

With HRH Prince Feisal as its head, Jordan’s ambition became obvious and a bid was soon launched in 2005 to become the first Middle East country to host a round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

The bid was successful and in 2008, 2010 and 2011 Jordan held a universally acclaimed version of the global roadshow. In fact, the final event produced the closest ever finish to a WRC event, with Sébastien Ogier beating Jari-Matti Latvala by just 0.2 seconds.

The evolution of motorsport continued alongside the WRC event, with National Championships in Drifting and 4x4 added to the Speed Test and Karting series.

It means that Jordan Motorsport now organises 26 events every across all disciplines, and is set to make another step into the FIA world of events by hosting a candidate Baja this year, which will hopefully become a World Cross Country Championship event next year.

About Jordan

Simply put, there is nowhere on earth like Jordan!

Few countries can boast the variety of historical attractions that Jordan offers through the length and breadth of this adventurous Kingdom.

Mix in an incredible climate for nine months of the year and an unmatched level of hospitality from its humble population, and you are getting somewhere close to what this jewel of a nation has to offer.

Jordan is a bedrock of stability stuck between Iraq and a hard place, and despite the challenges endured by countries touching its borders, it remains safe and secure and has provided a home-from-home for millions of people during their time of need.

Mission & Objectives

Mission

Promoting Jordan to the world to raise its international profile and enhance its economic development through the vast world of motorsports

Objectives

  • Building the Motorsport platform
  • Creating the ultimate event experience
  • Placing JMS on the motorsport world map

Jordan Karting

Before reaching the dizzy heights of the FIA World Rally Championship or Formula One, most of the world's leading drivers have learned their trade in go carts. The same can be said of some of Jordan’s current crop, with a National Karting Championship now making up an important part of the calendar. Hosted in co-operation with Rotax, the Championship consists of five events.

Jordan National Rallies

The origins of rallying in Jordan can be traced all the way back to 1961 when His Late Majesty King Hussein participated in a Scavenger Hunt. The first Jordan Rally was held in 1981, and it became a part of the Middle East Rally Championship in 1983. In 2008, 2010 and 2011 Jordan hosted the FIA World Rally Championship. The Jordan National Rally Championship normally consists of four rounds.

Al Hussain Hill Climbs

Jordan's Al Hussein Rumman Hill Climb is one of the Middle East's longest standing sporting events and has become a highlight on the Kingdom's social and sporting calendar. First held in 1962, it has welcomed some of the region’s best drivers and the record was held up until 2001 by His Majesty King Hussein. The event is held on a specially created track on the breathtaking Rumman Hill which is located between Amman and Jerash. The event is normally held in the summer months of July or August, attracting huge crowds to one of the most picturesque areas of northern Jordan.

Jordan Speed Tests

With the rallying scene booming, Speed Tests were introduced to the motorsport calendar in 1964. With a determination to take motorsport to the people, organisers have regularly held Speed Tests close to population areas and they can regularly attract crowds in excess of 10,000 fans. Some of Jordan’s biggest names in motorsport have been crowned the National Speed Test Champion, with the annual series normally consisting of five rounds.

Jordan Drift 

Drifting has taken the world by storm over the past 10 years and in 2014, Jordan organised its first National Championship. With entry lists regularly exceeding 50 cars and thousands of fans flocking to watch the action, Drifting has become one of the most popular sports in Jordan, with its local drivers going on to prove themselves on the regional stage as well. An annual Championship can see up to five rounds held at several locations.

Jordan 4X4

In 2017, Jordan welcomed its latest National Championship following a rise in popularity for off road driving. Enthusiasts have turned out in huge numbers to tackle specially created courses in a number of locations with the national series normally consisting of three events.

Jordan Baja

In line with its efforts to use motorsport as a marketing tool to promote the country, Jordan will embark on one of its most ambitious projects yet in 2018.

The Jordan Baja will be an off-road adventure run through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wadi Rum where Hollywood blockbusters like The Martian and Transformers have taken advantage of the breathtaking scenery.

The three-day event for cars, motorcycles and quads will take place from September 27-29, and it will be based out of the Red Sea city of Aqaba.

This year’s inaugural event will be a candidate event for the forthcoming FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies with organisers hoping to be included as early as 2019.

Jordan Rally

The jewel in the crown on the Jordan motorsport calendar is the annual Jordan Rally which holds a special place in the heart of the region’s petrol heads. As the leading round on the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, its winners’ list reads like a who’s who of Middle East motorsport with the biggest names to have graced our roads all winning the sought after title.

Such was its reputation, it stepped up for three editions of the World Rally Championship in 2008, 2010 and 2011, becoming the first Arab country to do so in the modern era of rallying. But it all started back in 1981 when Lebanese driver Michel Saleh, with his co-driver Tony Samia, took the inaugural title in a Toyota Celica GT.

The following year it was included as a round on the Middle East Championship which Saleh won, before the great Saeed Al Hajiri took the honours a year later. In 1984, motorsporting icon Mohammed Ben Sulayem started his dominance of the regional series with his first international victory in Jordan in a Toyota Celica Turbo, with Saleh in second.

Al Hajiri won the next two, with His Majesty King Abdullah II (then Prince Abdullah) taking third place in 1986 driving an Opel Manta 400, a feat he repeated two years later. Ben Sulayem resumed his domination, winning 11 of the next 14 Jordan Rallies with only Abbas Al Mosawi (1992), Sheikh Hammad Al Thani (1993) and Abdullah Bakhashab (1995) breaking his clean sweep of that period.

But 2003 signalled the arrival of the new kid on the block, with Nasser Al Attiyah, of Qatar, announcing his arrival with a victory. He ended Ben Sulayem’s domination by launching his own Jordan era with no less than 11 Jordan Rally victories since. However, it was a home grown talent that put his name on the trophy in 2004 when Amjad Farrah became the only Jordanian to win the title by capitalising on a final stage engine blow out from leader Hamed Al Wahaibi.

In 2005, with HRH Prince Feisal recognising the value that motorsport has in promoting a country, Jordan launched a bid to become a round on the FIA WRC, and succeeded in hosting three editions in 2008, 2010 and 2011 and a completely remodeled route through the Jordan Valley and around the Dead Sea. It worked a treat, with three tremendous events capped by the closest finish in WRC history when Sébastien Ogier beat Jari-Matti Latvala by just 0.2 seconds. The previous two WRC winners were Mikko Hirvonen (2008) and Sébastien Loeb (2010).

Despite no longer being a part of the world series, the Jordan Rally is still organised to the highest of standards and is based at the Dead Sea in the state-of-the-art King Hussein Convention Centre.

Volunteer

Jordan Motorsport’s magnificent events are only made possible through the rock solid support from our volunteers.

Training sessions are held throughout the year to not only fine tune the skills of long-term marshals, but to bring new helpers into the fold to ensure that a vibrant community has become the backbone of all national and international events.

From a handful of volunteers for events that can take only a couple of hours, to the army of outstanding Jordanians who give their time so willingly to ensure that our international events remain among the best organised in the world, we are indebted to them all for making us tick.

Volunteering can be fun and rewarding. We are looking for people nearly every weekend of the year so if you would like to join us, please sign up here!

Hall of Fame

With a wealth of history spanning back to the 1960’s, Jordan has welcomed some of the region’s greatest ever Arab drivers, and we have been lucky enough to produce a few icons of our own along the way who are captured here.

Latest News

JORDAN RALLY

JORDAN 4X4

JORDAN BAJA

JORDAN DRIFT

JORDAN KARTING

AL HUSSAIN HILL CLIMBS

JORDAN SPEED TESTS