In Egypt Overdrive Racing Team will be looking for important points for the general standings
The FIA World Cup for cross country rallies lands in Egypt. On Sunday 10 May, at Ceaser Bay Resort in El Alamein, the Pharaons Rally 2015 will officially begin. The event is the last of three desert races, following the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and the Sealine Cross Country Rally.
After two days dedicated to the usual technical and administrative verifications, the competition will start on 12 May with a 228 km stage to the Baharija oasis at Tibniya, which will be the central bivouac for the three following loop sections. The last special stage, scheduled on Saturday 16 May, will lead the crews towards Cairo, under the Pyramids of Giza, where the awarding ceremony will be held as conclusion of a 2500 km long race.
Overdrive Racing Team is expected to play a leading role in the rally, as the belgian team has to shorten the gap from the top of the standings of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies. Last year’s winner Al-Rajhi aims for victory after withdrawing last month from Sealine Cross Country Rally for a technical problem while was second. Brazilian Varela and Pole Dabrowski, currently fourth and fifth overall, want to replicate the good result they achieved in Qatar and have the podium has their only goal.
Overdrive Racing Team principal Jean-Marc Fortin realises the importance of achieving podium finishes on the third of this year’s long-distance cross-country rallies: “We know what we have to do in Egypt and that is a repeat of the performance we had last year with the win. Reinaldo [Varela] and Marek [Dabrowski] are inside the top five in the championship and can look to adding to more points towards the FIA World Cup, but we want to try and take the outright victory again. For sure, Yazeed [Al-Rajhi] will be pushing for this. Some of the stages are slightly different, but we know the terrain is much the same and we will concentrate on making sure we give a good performance.”
The Pharaons Rally won’t be the only off-road competition to be raced this weekend, as in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, there is the Sugarbelt 450 rally, second round of Donaldson Cross-Country Championship. The event is scheduled on 8 and 9 May around the town Eston on a combination of flowing tracks and rough, obstacle-ridden sections. After winning the first round of Donaldson Championship, veteran Leeroy Poulter of Toyota Castrol Team is the main favourite for this sprint race (the total distance is 450 km), and a further first place would be a big step towards the final victory.