MULTAN: The four-day-long 12th Cholistan Desert Rally formally opened at historical Derawar Fort in Bahawalpur district on Thursday. On the first day, drivers and vehicles underwent fitness test to prepare for 450-kilometre-long race scheduled to commence from February 11 in Cholistan Desert.
The colourful mega car sport event of the country is being held at Derawar Fort since 2005 with a view to promote tourism and to present the soft image of Pakistan before the world, TDCP officials said.
TDCP Managing Director Ahmer Malik said the stage is set for the rally while public response and registration of higher than expected number of participants suggest the event would be more successful than the one in 2016.
He promised the shortcomings pointed out during the desert rally 2016 would be avoided this year. He, however, appealed to the people to give their feedback on the arrangements to enable the TDCP remove shortcomings.
Ahmer said they were expecting 70 drivers this year; however, so far 91 drivers and navigators have registered for the race and the process was still in progress. He said the race route has been extended up to Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur so that people of these areas could also enjoy the event and participate in it with their traditional cultural colours.
Thursday's ceremonies began with technical inspection of race vehicles and medical examination of drivers and navigators.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2017.