OSAKA — International competitors in a road rally for amateur and professional drivers will set off in late September along the Silk Road through the deserts of inland China, Japanese organizers said.
The rally, the second of its kind, will begin Sept. 28 from Urumqi, the capital of China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and pass through the Takla Makan Desert along the ancient trade route that linked China with the West.
The first Silk Road Rally last fall attracted about 40 participants, 16 of whom came from Japan, with most having had no experience in rallying.
The Japanese participants were aged from 21 to 69.
This year’s rally will stretch over 2,700 km, shorter than the 4,300 km covered last year. The entrants will pass through Lop Nur, a dried salt lake region that is of archaeological significance.
The second rally was organized after rave reviews from last year’s participants and continued enthusiasm from China, which seems keen to host the rally annually.
“I hope many people participate and enjoy this grand-scale course,” said Masatsugu Narita, 51, representative of the Japanese office of the rally.
According to organizers, the participation fee for a two-wheeled vehicle — including travel expenses — will be 810,000 yen, while entry for a four-wheeled vehicle with two people will start at 1.62 million yen.
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