Saturday,24 March, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1384, (8 - 14 March 2018)
Saturday,24 March, 2018
Issue 1384, (8 - 14 March 2018)

Ahram Weekly

The next El Gouna Rally

Organiser Ahmed Al-Sirgani speaks to Mohamed Abdel-Razek on everything that has to do with the big occasion

photo: Yasser Badr

The annual El Gouna Rally is knocking on the door but this year it will take some time before someone opens up. The date has been pushed from March to 11 May due to Egypt’s presidential elections. In addition, El Gouna will be overbooked with events, including the El Gouna international squash tournament in April, according to rally organiser Ahmed Al-Sirgani. 

“The rally will be packed with updates and enhancements compared to the previous edition,” Al-Sirgani said. Rally enthusiasts will get the chance to taste the ecstasy of competing on the sand in the 4x4 challenge which requires an ordinary 4x4 vehicle. The 4x4 challenge was first introduced by Al-Sirgani and his rally organising company Bosla during the 2017 Sahl Hasheesh Rally. The challenge is aiming to pass the excitement to amateurs who would like to take the first step towards the big deal. Participants don’t have to make any adjustments to their daily 4x4 use. “The challenge is not timed and the cars will be moving at a safe speed. The main target is to pass each challenge correctly without committing any mistakes,” added Al-Sirgani who expressed delight at introducing this type of challenge in the El Gouna Rally for the first time with 30 cars expected to participate. 


The rally will also mark the comeback of motorcycles for the first time since 2016. According to Al-Sirgani 19 bikes will be competing, divided into two categories: bikes with less than 450cc and bikes over 450cc, in addition to the overall rank in the rally, not including quads.

The surprises don’t stop coming. A new category will be opened in the rally, the T3, or the improved lightweight vehicles weighing not less than 800kg. This category will be fun to watch and even drive in. Lucky Sherif Abdel-Azim will open this category with his new Polaris RZR1000. “We will open this category anyways even with one car,” Al-Sirgani said.

The rally will cover two days. The first will be in the closed circuit in El Gouna where fans will have the chance to be close to the action from 9am until sunset. The action will start with a gradual dosage, with the 4x4 challenge first, then the bikes, then the main event which will be T1 modified, T2 stock and T3 lightweight.

“The rally this year will be tough for all competitors”, said Al-Sirgani who will make sure to keep the adrenaline pumping all through the race not only in the bodies of the racers but also the spectators. The closed circuit track will consist of five laps like every year with an approximate distance of 7km for each lap. This goes for bikes as well. Organisers will make sure to keep the fans chilled during the day with available foods area, entertainment challenges and giveaways from sponsors.

photo: Trackarazzi noise

On the second day, the rally convoy will camp outside El Gouna for the open desert stage which will be around 250kms to 300kms. Bikes will have a shorter track. This year, a proper camp will be staged by Desert Adventure, according to Al-Sirgani. “We will provide a better paved route for fans to be able to enter the desert and we will also provide buses from El Gouna to carry fans to the camp,” added Al-Sirgani who is preparing a surprise for spectators who will reach the open desert.

Al-Sirgani believes that the rally is getting better every year, adding to the sport in the country as well as impacting tourism by increasing activities everywhere it goes. “We always hope to get the right support from the officials in the country to always work on improving the rally and even bringing it to the international level which for sure will benefit the country from many angles.”

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