– Kazakh organisers set to finalise route for FIA World Cup fifth round next week
– Italian-based Sporttraxx to look after live results and tracking for first time
The Automotorsport Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan (AMFK) is putting the finishing touches to the route and the logistics operation for Rally Kazakhstan, the fifth round of the 2018 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, which will be held near the Caspian Sea on May 27-June 2, 2018.
Officials have already announced that three of the off-road selective sections will be completely new this year and Rally Director Dmitry Makhenya has confirmed that the last of the detailed reconnaissance missions is planned for April 20 to enable the road books to be accurately finalised in good time for the rally start.
The AMFK continues to work with ERTF this season on navigational and Sentinel equipment and has reached an agreement with the Italian company Sporttraxx to look after live tracking and live timing over the course of the six days. Run by German former enduro rider Wolfgang Schindele, the company also works alongside the organisers of the Dubai International Baja, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Qatar Cross-Country Rally and Italian Baja in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies.
Czech driver Martin Prokop currently holds an advantage of nine points over Poland’s Jakub Przygonski heading into the start of next week’s fourth round of the series in Qatar. Russian Vladimir Vasilyev is 24 points adrift of the leading Ford F-150 Evo driver at the wheel of his Mini One, but the surprise news is that Qatar’s defending FIA World Cup champion Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah trails Prokop by 63 points after missing the two UAE-based rounds of the series.
Al-Attiyah won in Kazakhstan last year with his French co-driver Matthieu Baumel and knows the importance of achieving top finishes in Qatar and Kazakhstan if he is to stand any chance of securing a fifth title in Morocco in October. Sixty points are at stake for the winner of each of the long-distance rounds of the series.
Entries for 2018 Rally Kazakhstan officially close on May 18, but international entrants are advised to place their entries as soon as possible to ensure shipment, customs and logistics are all in place. Competitors are also reminded to place their accommodation requests in good time and also to liaise with rally officials on fuel requirements for the event.
« Our team has been working very hard to come up with what we hope will be one of the most varied and challenging routes in the entire FIA World Cup, » said Marat Abykayev, President of the Automotorsport Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan. « We all know that long distance routes can change very quickly through human factors and weather conditions and the final checks next week will ensure that we have as much accurate information as possible for the final road books. This will also help the course opening crew on the event. They pass through the stage one or two days before to make the final checks. »
Rally formalities will be based at the Caspian Riviera Grand Palace Hotel in Aktau City and the event’s Service Park will be located just 50 metres away.