Longyou hosts int'l rally championship

By Zhang Jiaqi
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, October 20, 2018
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A race car attends the departure ceremony of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship China Rally Longyou 2018 in Longyou, China's Zhejiang province on Oct. 19, 2018. [Photo by Zhang Jiaqi/China.org.cn]

Longyou, an ancient county in southeast China's Zhejiang province, hosted the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship China Rally Longyou 2018 on Oct. 19.

The event is the 11th international auto sports competition held in Longyou.

Named Jiang Xi Yan Cup, this year's race celebrates Jiangxiyan Lake, which was constructed in 1330, becoming a world heritage irrigation project around two months ago.

The race has a total of 85 automobiles from China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, Austria, Estonia, and France.

During the three-day rally, contestants will compete on stages covering 220.82 km, with the whole course 642.39 km long. There are a total of 13 stages and 6 lines.

Lu Shouquan, deputy chief of Longyou, at a press conference of the event on Oct. 18, stated that the racing tracks are paved according to international standards.

The stages pass through a bamboo forest, a reservoir, as well as beautiful scenic areas and villages, but feature many U-shape and S-shape bends as well as steep slopes.

"The stages make the rally very challenging, but I’m really excited about the race," said Wu Changming from the BYD Rally Team.

The tracks are much better than a few years ago, said Lin Dewei, a driver from the Volkswagen Rally Team. It is the fifth time he has attended the race.

Mike Young, a New Zealand driver from the Cusco Racing Rally Team, attended the previous two sessions here in 2014 and 2015, and placed third. He came to compete for the championship this year, looking forward to taking home the gold. According to Young, he is very confident about this year's championship despite the challenging stages in Longyou.

Jerome Roussel, the regional rally category manager of Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, said China is a very important country for auto sports, and Longyou has a strong national championship with lots of cars and good racing infrastructure.

He highlighted that he was very impressed by the presence of the officials and the huge crowds of people. "It was amazing to see so many people. I didn't expect it," he said.

According to Roussel, next year’s championship will also be held in Longyou. He said it’s good for the rally to be held in the same place because it will be better and better.

The rally is organized by the Federation of Automobile and the Motorcycle Sports of China, the Zhejiang Sport Bureau, and the Zhejiang Tourism Bureau.

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