MULTAN: The second round of the three-day Thal Desert Jeep Rally concluded on Saturday. The final competition for the stock and women stock categories was held and as many as 22 hard charging racers put their driving skills to the test. Three of the drivers were women.
The final round of the prepared categories will be held on Sunday (today) at the Faisal Stadium in Muzafargarh district. According to unofficial results, Brevreg took first position, Shah Gul was second and Rana Umair clinched third place in the stock category round.
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Punjab Minister for Tourism Raja Humayun inaugurated the second round of the stock category. Minister for Food Khurram Khan Leghari also participated in the Thal Jeep Rally. Talking to journalists, Leghari said he was taking part in order to encourage others. He said that the track was full of dangers, challenges and hurdles.
Salma Khan, a woman racer from Islamabad, said that this was her third jeep rally, but the first time she was racing in Thal. She said more girls should come out and participate in these events. “Off-road rallies are never easy; drivers are aware of the challenges that come in their way,” she said.
Tushna Patel, another woman racer, said the track was a true test of driver skill. “One needs to be careful and calculated during the journey. The most important thing is the time management,” she pointed out.
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The track of the Thal jeep rally is 190 kilometers long and winds its way through the Layyah and Muzaffargarh districts. The starting point of the Jeep rally is Jhanga Manga at Head Mohammad Wala, while the midpoint is Chobara tehsil of Layyah district. As many as 88 vehicles were registered on first day for all categories. In the first round, Nadir Magsi took first position, Asad Khuhro stood second while Sahibazada Sultan bagged third position.
An accident was also reported during the rally as Jeep number 509 collided with the vehicle of provincial minister Raja Humayun. As a result, two drivers – Irfan Ali and Amir Hussain – were injured, while the minister remained unharmed. Rescue 1122 provided immediate first aid for the injured.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2018.