Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rally heads to temple town




Rally heads to temple town

Rally heads to temple town

110811_28
Competitors in the Asia Cross-Country Rally pass through a village in Puok commune, in Siem Reap province, yesterday. Photo by: SRENG MENG SRUN

Siem Reap
Thailand’s Rattopoj Bunchuayluea and co-driver Somkiat Noichard, in their Isuzu D-Max, recorded the best time of 30.48 minutes yesterday in a 40-kilometre sector of the Yokohama-sponsored 2011 Asia Cross-Country Car Rally from Bateay Meanhchey’s Prey Moan to Pouk, in Siem Reap province.

The rally now heads to a climactic, 50-kilometre final sector today, in which crews will race around the  Angkor Wat temple complex.

Bunchuayluea and Noichard, who lead the overall classification table with a 12-minute advantage over Jap-an’s Kinya Morikawa and Masayuki Fukano, screeched into the Pouk commune checkpoint about 2:30pm,  followed at regular intervals by the other 10 T1D class cars still in contention.

The Thai pair have been credited with a total time of nine hours, 53 minutes for the five completed legs.

Competitors  have covered about 500 kilometres since setting off on Saturday from the coastal resort town of Pattaya, in Thailand.

“It was quite slippery and scary this morning. Rain had churned up the red mud, and it was challenging terrain,” Bunchuayluea told the Post after yesterday’s stage.

The Japanese duo, meanwhile, driving  a Toyota LandCruiser 80, checked in a minute slower than the leaders to record 31.45 minutes for an overall time of 10 hours, 5 minutes and nine  seconds.

The Indian team of Sanjay Takle and Musa Sheriff had every reason to be happy after checking in at Pouk.

Their Isuzu D-Max is the only car left in the T2D class, so they are assured of a class win. Their overall position, however, is sixth. “No Indian team has ever won a cross-country rally outside India, so it’s a small victory for us,” Takle told the Post.

Clerk of the course Visut Sukosi gave a rundown of the rally so far. “There were 15 cars at the entry stage. Four stalled and did not register and there was one breakdown near Aranyaprathet, which is close to the Cambodian border town of Poipet,” he said.

“They are heading to an exciting finish tomorrow, and most of the drivers are thrilled at the prospect of going round a world-famous heritage site like Angkor Wat and finishing the event there.”

The racers were flagged off from the Pattaya beachfront on Saturday for the first competitive section, a short Super Stage at the Balihi Pier.  Over the next three days, the competitors zig-zagged across the Thai outback in four subsequent stages before entering Cambodian territ-ory through the Poipet International border crossing.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15

  • CNRP activist freed; Sam Rainsy pledges return to Kingdom

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday released former CNRP activist Oeur Narith on bail after the court ended its questioning on suspicion of receiving money from abroad and plotting to overthrow the government, according to the authorities. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun confirmed

  • Hun Sen says developing nations ‘targets of rivalry’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke at the virtual UN General Assembly on Monday, saying that developing nations often become targets of punishment for their imperfections when they don’t rise to the standards of developed countries. He said rivalries between superpowers often hamper developing countries’