Cremen spreads his wings in the Middle East
Written by Jeff Whitten
Thursday, 17 July 2008
|Ron Cremen, a name well known in Australian and NSW rallying for many years, is now heavily involved in rallying in the Middle East, including involvement with Ford and the M-Sport World Rally Championship team.
Ron Cremen (4th from left) and the Abu Dhabi team
Ron tells RallySport Magazine what he’s been up to ….
“Following on from running a rally team under Marlboro sponsorship from 2000 to 2003, I decided to stop driving competitively and was offered a management position to run a team for Sk Khalid Al Qassimi, under Power Horse energy drink sponsorship.
With Michael Orr co-driving, the team went to on win the 2004 Middle East Championship after a year-long battle with Nasser Al Attiyah. In 2005 Michael left the team to join M-Sport and Mathew Wilson in the WRC. Our team continued in 2005 in the Middle East and contested PWRC events in Greece and Turkey, to finish the Middle East championship in second place.
Another second position in the championship followed in 2006.
Late in 2006, we approached the Abu Dhabi Government with the concept of creating a Junior rally team in the Middle East and for Khalid to contest the PWRC. The results of that conversation started the ball rolling for Abu Dhabi's entry into the WRC with Ford in 2007, and the opportunity for Khalid to drive a third car with the BP Ford Abu Dhabi Rally Team.
My role is a personal manager to Khalid on WRC events, and team manager for the Junior Team. Our connection to M-Sport is very strong, with a sharing of principle sponsors, Abu Dhabi, as can be seen on WRC signage.
Team Abu Dhabi was created under the guidance of Shaikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) with the sole purpose of creating an opportunity for young Abu Dhabi drivers to experience rallying at all levels, including the WRC if they are good enough. He has been the principle driving force behind the project.
I have recruited a great team of experienced co-drivers, including Australian Dale Moscatt, and Allan Harryman and Killian Duffy from Ireland, to guide the Junior drivers through all the pitfalls rallying has to offer, from inside the car.
We have a team of six full-time mechanics based in Dubai, with another eight mechanics recruited from other countries including Australia, Ireland, England, and New Zealand, for the events. In total our team now numbers 25 people.
One of the team's Ford Fiesta's in action in the Middle East.
As we are now into our second year of a five year plan, apart from contesting seven events in the Middle East, we will contest three events in England this year with the plan to contest either the Ford Fiesta WRC Cup with one or two drivers, or the JWRC - PWRC- S2000 in 2009.
We will also continue in the Middle East Championship with two to three other drivers, so it will be a busy time ahead over the next few years and, for me, plenty of air miles commuting to and from Oz.”