Thursday,19 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1293, (28 April - 4 May 2016)
Thursday,19 July, 2018
Issue 1293, (28 April - 4 May 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Adrenaline rush

The Gouna Rally Special 2016 came back with an open desert stage and several surprise wins, reports Mohamed Abdel-Razek

Al-Ahram Weekly

Everyone was eager to attend the most prestigious local rally on the Egyptian calendar, the Gouna Rally Special 2016 – especially since the Pharaohs Rally was cancelled this year. Ten teams participated in the race: Rahala, Razeks, Egypt Pharaoh, 3afareet El-Dunes, Caracal, Fox Tribe, 4x4 Zone Rally, Gazelle, and Sitra. Ten teams competed in the overall cars category, and four out of the ten competed in the Rookie and Amateur categories as well.

The rally festival brought the touristic city of El-Gouna to life on 14 April 2016, and most of the teams and fans were already there. The teams revved their engines and the fans prepared to be delighted. On 15 April, competing cars along with some attractive bikes and cars did a celebratory parade across the Marina to cheering crowds. A few hours later, Stage One began when all ten cars crossed the starting line of the 5km closed-track to spin five laps of obstacles and exciting take-overs.

The first day ended with a surprise when Ahmed El-Shami and his co-pilot Hakam Rabie on their powerful Desert Warrior car finished in eighth place, while Yara Shalaby and her co-pilot Muad Botros came in third.

On the second day, navigators were tested in the wide open desert of Hurghada in one of the most difficult stages of the Gouna Rally. Cars raced for almost 200km divided into two laps. Some teams were unable to complete this stage because of navigation problems, including Garage Rally and 3afareet El-Dunes, while Fox Tribe had to retire when the co-pilot was struck by heat stroke. There was also a surprise in this stage when the team of this writer, the Razeks Rally team, finished in third place ahead of Sitra Racing, to boost their overall standings in the rally.

In the end, Egypt Pharaoh came in first place, Rahala in second, Sitra in third and Razeks in fourth. The Razeks Rally team came back from behind in two other races: the Rookie category which they eventually won, followed by 4x4 Zone in second place and Caracal in third. Razeks also won the Amateur category, followed by 4x4 Zone in second and Gazelle in third.

The writer is a freelance journalist.

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