The 'men making machines go fast' entertainment format is really popular in Egypt; just look at daily life on the roads in Cairo. Whenever cars aren’t gridlocked, they’re flying across the asphalt as quick as they can. Then there's the bikes and scooters zipping through traffic, no matter how congested. Small wonder, then, that the annual El Gouna Rally Special is so appealing.
Since 2009, when the rally racing aficionados at Bosla Company decided to take the desert racing scene in Egypt to the professional level, Rally Director Ahmed El Sirgany and his crew have been holding national rally races and helping train racers to compete internationally as well. In 2010, Orascom Hotels began hosting the annual El Gouna Rally at their gorgeous resort, making the event even more appealing.
2015 saw some changes to the El Gouna Rally Race, including the addition of motorbikes and the debut of a closed track. "Last year was the first time closed track racing was introduced in Egypt; it was a great success, and finally the media and spectators were able to watch all the action live,” says El Sirgany. He goes on to explain how this year’s track has some surprises for pilots and fans; “this season's track is a mixture of technical obstacles and open terrains for high speed and long jumps," he shares excitedly.
This means that the rally pilots will have to be on top of their game in order to not smash up their vehicles. Who are these rally pilots? Well, there'll be "ten racing teams of some of the best rally drivers in Egypt, in addition to 15 racing motorbikes managed by Navigi Co.,” El Sirgany says. This roster also includes Egypt’s most prominent female racer, Yara Shalaby
and her co-pilot Maud Botors, as well as pilot Rania Alsayad and co-pilot Amira Bahaa representing the ladies. The Garage Rally Team will also feature the youngest rally racer Karim El Galaly, who placed 2nd in his category at the El Gouna race in 2015 racing again this year
This epic undertaking is no easy task, as El Sirgany tells us; “the organisation's team is working very hard as far as two months prior to the event to ensure a safe and challenging rally for all competitors." He adds, "Globally, motor sports are becoming one of the most attractive in the sports tourism industry and we've been working hard to really establish rally racing in Egypt and utilise it as a means to support tourism by holding these types of events in special touristic destinations such as El Gouna."
The El Gouna Rally Special starts April 15th with a parade of rally cars, motorbikes, the Jeep Club, and Global Bike I, going through Abou Tig Marina, followed by the first race at 1:30 PM ending at 6 PM. The next day, will see the next two heats starting at 8 AM with nonstop action until 5 PM, followed by the prize ceremony at 7:30 PM.
Let the challenge begin!
Check out El Gouna Rally on Facebook here.