Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pattaya-Siem Reap rally to hit the road on Sunday



Pattaya-Siem Reap rally to hit the road on Sunday

Two Cambodian teams are set to figure in the Asia Cross Country Rally four-wheel class this year. Photo supplied
Two Cambodian teams are set to figure in the Asia Cross Country Rally four-wheel class this year. Photo supplied

Pattaya-Siem Reap rally to hit the road on Sunday

The 21st FEDERAL-VESSEL Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR) for four wheelers and motorcycles will be flagged off from Thailand’s exotic beach town of Pattaya tomorrow, with the 2,400-kilometre challenge ending in the World Heritage city of Siem Reap six days later.

In a complete departure from the 2014 circuit when the rally ended in Phnom Penh, the finishing line has once again been moved back to Siem Reap with the breathtaking sights of Koh Kong and Sihanoukville added to ensure greater diversity of terrain.

This exciting adventure for both man and machine returns after a nearly two year break since Cambodia opted out of the 20th edition, which involved a 2,500 km journey between Thailand and Myanmar, with the contest starting and ending in Chiang Mai after passing through Mae Hong Son, Mae Sot, Sukothai-Phrae.

Over six demanding stages, the rally route winds its way through mountains, jungles, shoreline, plantations, rice fields and rural communities in both Thailand and Cambodia, making it one of the toughest on the continent.

The AXCR, jointly organised by Ortey, Thailand and R1 Japan, is sanctioned by the Federation International Automobile (FIA) and Federation International Motorcycle (FIM).

The rally is supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism, along with both Pattaya and Siem Reap city administrations.

After Saturday’s official scrutiny and ceremonial start, the first leg on Sunday will take the competitors through the first two legs in Thailand.

The third leg will feature a sector between Koh Kong and Sihanoukville on August 16. The fourth leg will bring the rally to Phnom Penh the following day.

The stage finishes on the outskirts of the capital, before the competitors overnight at Hotel Cambodiana. This will be the ideal chance for the city’s motorsport fans to catch the bikes and cars taking part.

Over the next two days, the field will cover the Phnom Penh-Siem Reap sector before heading to the finish in front of Angkor Wat next Friday.

In 2014, Cambodia’s Koun Phandara put up a sterling show on his KTM 350cc to finish second, behind Japan’s Keisuke Maeda riding a KTM 450cc, in the motorbike rally that was run concurrently with the cars.

Japan’s Tadao Ezure on a Yamaha was third in a field of 16 starters.

Two other Cambodian debutants, Touch Thatch on a KTM and Chea Lykheang on a Yamaha, were classified fifth and seventh, respectively.

In the same year, Cambodia’s first team to take part in a four-wheeler rally earned plaudits from organisers for completing the course, though they were way out of depth competitively.

Driver Ho Sittikun with co-drivers Sun Sothea and Som Sokosal completed the course in their Toyota Tundra.

Two Cambodian teams are set to figure in the four wheeler class this year while there will be up to a dozen local motorcyclists in the fray, trying to emulate Koun Phandara’s grand show two years ago.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the