Saturday, April 22, 2006

Xinjiang: Taklimakan Desert Rally

Exciting news from Xinjiang. Details of the Taklimakan Desert Rally are coming through.
This is an update written to all the teams froM Team captain " Max Gordon Oidtmann". He lives in Urumqi China and is arranging all the details for the race for us, we all start to fly into Urumqi from the 24th April.

The happy news here in Urumqi is many fold.

First I was awakened from bed this morning with a phone call from Manager Wang, of Qingqi-Suzuki, telling me that the all the motorbikes had finally arrived from Shangdong

So Jonathan, Tian Jian and I all trooped out to the Urumqi suburb of Changji,where, in a dusty filthy lot, stood two massive blue Dong Feng trucks from Inner Mongolia stacked high with our motorcycles in big steel crates.

The bikes were trucked in pell-mell all the way across China in an amazing three days - each truck had a team of three drivers so they drove non-stop. The storage lot's offloaded was broken, so there was no unloading today.

All I know is that our team now possesses eight brand new GREEN motorcycles, which are still in a semi disassembled state. That and they are all covered in about 10 sandstorms worth of dust.

Last week I took a trip to Karamay, the glorious oil city of northern Xinjiang.

I was invited up to survey the operations of the "An Tai Head Engineering and Consulting Company" (their translation, not mine). I was feted with crabs and baijiu, and put up in a lovely hotel right in the middle of an oil refinery (it felt very Syriana-like).

Anyhow this company has decided to endorse our team to the tune of about RMB 30,000, which will be handled by Tian Jian, and is also giving us the free use of a Nissan X-terra for the course of the race.

Of course this all comes with a catch: This engineering company is opening up a four-star hotel in Urumqi. It ain't open yet, but our uniforms will have their name on it

Currently Tian Jian and I are having uniforms made, basically a motorcycling jacket and pants set. This stuff fell out the "back door" of the same factory as the BMW motorcycling clothing, so it is really hot shit- nice durable all-weather fabric.

Our intention is that this is stuff you can wear around camp and during the larger group road rides leading up to rally sections. It could also double as an outer layer during race sections, 'cause it is really great material. Our outfits will be black, with gold and silver reflective patches for our sponsors.

We've currently got two mechanics/helpers coming along to provide support: DuTao has confirmed that he will be coming out from Lanzhou, and Tian Jian has arranged another mechanic from Urumqi.

Also, after long negotiations with the race company, your original race entree fees now also include something like 400,000 RMB worth of medical treatment in Xinjiang's hospitals for any injuries sustained during the race.

Jonathan of New Zealand has been busy too: He got us an endorsement from the
international distributor of Hoegardens Beer (belgium) and Boddington's Pub Ale
(England). So we're going to have crates of this stuff to get liquored up on during the race, as well as some t-shirts.

So we've got a sweet set of outer-wear for everyone on the team. It is warming up nicely in Urumqi and Xinjiang in general, so I will revise my advice to bring warm clothing. Expect daytime temps to be hot. Aside from perhaps one day, the racing will all be in low-mid elevation desert- no glacier crossings.

Considering that we've got several sets of jackets made for you all here, leave your extra sweaters behind. Please pack as light as possible.
Official team name: Jinhua Business Hotel- Talkimakan Rally Team
That's the news from Urumqi.
Good luck with final preparations.
We'll be sending pictures of the bikes as soon as possible.

source here


It has been organized for the May holiday break. It’s called the “Around Taklimakan Desert Race”

It’s a 10 day, staged rally across the Taklimakan Desert, covering 4000Km

The race will have approximately 60 motorbike riders and about 100 4wd, vehicles racing plus TV and support crews.


2006 Zhongkun Auto\Motor Rally Race around the Taklimakan Desert does challenge the unique natural physiognomy in XJ; it is also a rigorous test for the driver and their cars. Meanwhile, the profound cultural connotation and atmosphere of XJ also catch the eye of the competitors. During the rally race, we witness the unique Yadan physiognomy, vast Gobi desert and various kinds of rivers. While, the cultural relics really attract the attention of us, such as the magnificent Kizil Thousand-Buddha Cave, elaborately designed old residential district, respected Apahoja Tomb and mysterious Kuqu Grand Canyon. All these relics will surely add more charm to the rally race.

source here


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