November 20th (Sunday) Cloudy with occasional rain Buriram

Before Race

The return of Asia Cross Country Rally,
after 2 years of postponed due to covid19 pandemic.

Starting from the end 2019, covid19 was identified and have became a global pandemic. This effects the decision to postpone 2020 Asian Cross Country Rally (AXCR), which was planned for the summer. As pandemic continues through the following year, so does the decision to continue postponement. 2022 the world faced with new covid variant strain omicron, which extends leads to postpone for the summer as well.

Nevertheless, AXCR officially announced that November will be the end postponement, following the race will be restart at the end of 2022. Since the 1996 first AXCR race, on going to the 27th year of hosting. Asia Cross Country Rally bring the tradition back to Thailand for 2022. The 3 years and 3 months since the 2019 last race across Thailand to Myanmar. The tasks of bring the race back already a monumental task by itself, not to mention prepared in such short months.

This year race starts from Northest Thailand Buriram district. Chang International Circuit will be the starting point of the 4 days Thailand race, and will cross the border into Cambodia, 5th day continue race to the finish line at Angkor Wat.

Official 11/21 schedule includes all vehicles inspection, and ceremonial start in the afternoon. With the circuit assistance, Headquarters (HQ) base conveniently next to Modena by Fraser Hotel.

Pit-area located just in-front of hotel, with all teams tents, flags, polishing shiny colorful racing cars & bikes in place. Proudly display all team national sprit , vehicles brand and sponsorships partners. All doing the final check before the start of this year race journey.

Japanese Briefing

An informal Japanese language only briefing started at 16:00, this able for organizers Mr.SASA and related staffs, the opportunity to assist all the Japanese participants, in answering of any questions they may have. Although its not mandatory, but almost all Japanese entry had participated at this informal briefing.

At the start of the briefing, a greeting message was given by Mr. ISHIDA. Whom support AXCR from behind the scenes, through Asian Rally Friendship Association. The Participants are both grateful yet nervous, when they heard him said “This year Rally will be more challenging and technical than previous years”. We all surely have something even more looking forward to.

Mr.SASA take over the mic, and confirmed once again, that this year’s course is far more difficult. In fact, September and October during course planning, both Thailand and Cambodia were hit by heavy rain, this made the roads in Cambodia even more impossible. Which leads to shorten the original 2 days race section down to just 1 in Cambodia.

Originally this time of year should be a dry season, therefore participants were all expecting a high pace race. However, rain are forecast during the race dates, therefore will be making the race even more challenging.

Every year gets reports of not following the speed limit, when driving through towns. This year however, each vehicle will install a drive recorder with build in GPS system. Speed limit and any short cut will be monitored more closely.

This GPS Drive recorder are from Taiwan LOOKING company. Moto (2 wheels), Sidecar, Auto (4 wheels) all required to install throughout the race. The system will not only record speed and GPS locations, but also front and rear camera real time vids. All videos are available for participating party to use.

Tomorrow will starts the official program

Tomorrow morning will starts vehicle inspection, afternoon Super SS to decide the starting order of LEG1, night time ceremony start.

There is an old saying in Rally sports, Rally bring together both people and machines. Seeing the big smiles on the racers, mechanics, organizers staffs and media, the No Rally no life saying are truly reflected and united all of us in the Asia region.

(Photo/TAKAHASHI Manabu, Text/KAWAMURA Dai, Translation/Ken Ho)
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