There was no place for the Jordan Rally on the 2012 World Rally Championship calendar when the schedule was announced earlier this week.
With the event's future uncertain, the Dead Sea-based event's biggest supporter, HRH Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein.
Q. What is the future of this rally as a round of the WRC?
Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein: We're glad to be able to host it and we're hoping to host more WRC rounds in the future.
Q. When would that be and, given that Abu Dhabi is listed on the calendar next season, would you consider rotation?
PRBAL: In 2009, the FIA made a decision saying they were going with this rotation system and, as far as we've been told, nothing has been changed from that. And so, we held our event in 2010 and president Jean Todt then asked us if we could run an event in 2011 – and here we are today and we look forward to a couple of years doing it again.
In theory, there's nothing to prevent us and we haven't been advised of a change of policy. The WRC is not the WRC we knew five years ago when we entered the championship. The president has been working hard to rebuild the brand and the glory of the WRC and looking at what he can do rebuild rally sport globally and we definitely want to be part of that. When we got down to just two teams [in the WRC], it [the sport] was not providing the coverage or getting the exposure it deserves. We are very pleased to here that more teams are coming for the future.
There are other countries that are interested in participating in the WRC, Abu Dhabi in particular, and I think it's great that other countries in the Middle East are interested and if it is going to be a rotation, then fine, we're ready to help out any other countries. We have good experience and people are very happy with what we have been able to organize and achieve and we hope to have a good long-term relationship with the FIA. I think president Todt is doing a good job working to revive a sport which has, unfortunately, been in decline.
With the change of ownership of North One [Sport], hopefully we will see again some new interests in somebody who is willing to invest in the sport.
Q. Will the event be back only on rotation?
PRBAL: The door is open, it really depends on what the FIA wants to do. If the FIA basically came to this decision and said, 'We want Jordan every year,' then we would look at that, we're not saying no. So much has been changed in the last few years, there's no clear direction in where the sport is going. We want to play our part in making this sport a success, there's a lot of passion for this sport here in this country and when we know what it's doing we'll do what we can to help support it.
Q. Does it stack up, is it good value to be in the WRC?
PRBAL: There is a great deal of passion for the sport here. Obviously, when the championship is more exciting, there are more people and more teams and it builds on that passion and when that's happening the profile and the exposure of the sport is greater and that's good for us. And good for us not just as a motorsports organization, but for the country. That's why we are excited about the new life being breathed into the WRC. The sport has an exciting future and we want to play a part in that.