AKTAU CITY (KAZAKHSTAN): Spain’s Fernando Alvarez and Germany’s Jürgen Schröder hold South Racing’s hopes of top finishes in Rally Kazakhstan, round five of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, on May 27-June 2.
The team has been busy in a number of sporting disciplines over recent weeks, with drivers taking part in five different events over one specific weekend in April. Alvarez and Uruguayan navigator Sergio Lafuente will drive the Conarpesa-backed Volkswagen Amarok that they used in Russia and at both the Dubai International Baja and the Manateq Qatar Cross-Country Rally.
The Spaniard’s best finish of the season came with seventh place at the Baja Russia Northern Forest Rally with navigator Juan Pablo Monasterolo in February.
Schröder teams up with his son Daniel to drive a South Racing-run Nissan Navara. The last outing for the enthusiastic German was his gritty drive to 22nd overall at the Dakar Rally in January, but he also achieved some useful results last season and is aiming for a finish well inside the top 10 in Kazakhstan.
South Racing’s managing director Scott Abraham said: “We are all looking forward to the exciting cross-country event in Kazakhstan. This will be the first time that our team has raced the FIA event. We have competed in the Silk Way Rally and crossed parts of Kazakhstan before. Now we hope to achieve a good result after six days of racing.”
Rally Kazakhstan is organised by the Automotorsport Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan (AMFK) and joined the FIA World Cup calendar in 2017.
Twenty-eight crews grace the FIA entry list on an event where the cars will tackle six demanding selective sections and around 1,900km against the clock through remote deserts and rural trails in the far west of the world’s ninth largest and biggest landlocked country.
The first stage of 280.35km heads south from Aktau City to a Caspian Sea Resort at Kenderly, en route to the border with Turkmenistan, on May 28th. The resort will host three bivouacs from where the second, third and fourth legs of the event will start.
Day two’s action consists of a 414.12km section through the deserts around the town of Senek, before the third selective of 327.47km heads deeper into the area east of Kenderly. The fourth test of 398.57km skirts the oil city of Zhanaozen and returns to Aktau City.
The final two stages of 298.04km and 148.52km, respectively, head north out of Aktau City, with the last one running along the Caspian shoreline on June 2. The ceremonial finish will take place in Aktau City later in the afternoon.