UPDATE : 2018.9.18 TUE 17:49
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Turkmenistan hosts ‘Turkmen Desert Race’ with great interest from motorsports worldOn the initiative of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov of Turkmenistan

By Vice Chairman Choe Nam-suk with Hillary Kang

Ambassador Myrat Mammetallyyev of the Republic of Turkmenistan in Seoul said, “In 2018, Turkmenistan will host the International Rally ‘Amul-Hazar 2018’ or ‘Turkmen Desert Race’ according to the International Classification, which has been registered in the World Sports calendar 2018.”
Speaking with reporters at a meeting at the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Seoul on July 27, 2018, the Turkmen envoy then stated, “This contest, organized in Turkmenistan on the initiative of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, will be held from 9 to 15 September 2018 and has already attracted great interest in the motorsport world.”

Photo shows Ambassador Myrat Mammetalyyev of Turkmenistan in Seoul and CEO/Vice Chairman Kim Dae-Shik of Shinbo Co., Ltd. (right and second from right, respectively)

The meeting was attended by a number of Korean civic leaders who included CEO/Vice Chairman Kim Dae-Shik of Shinbo Co., Ltd.
Details of the statement of Ambassador Mammetallyyev follow:

This project, unprecedented in its scale, maintains crucial importance both for Turkmenistan and Central Asia. Its implementation that connects countries and people will provide an opportunity to its participants to come into contact with the past and experience the presence of the Great Silk Road, which today, thanks to vigorous efforts, constructive international policy and the active diplomacy of the Turkmen leader is reborn again.

Photo shows CEO/Vice Chairman Kim Dae-Shik of Shinbo (right) and other Korean attendees.

Conducting an international rally of this scale will promote widespread popularization and strengthen the world prestige of Turkmenistan as a country, which is capable to hold large competitions and tournaments at a high level. It should be mentioned that in the history Turkmenistan has had an experience in implementation of similar competitions. Thus, on the initiative of the President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov who was also supported by the leaders of the neighboring states – Russia and Kazakhstan, the international motor rally “Silk Road” took place in 2009.

Ambassador Mammetalyyev of Turkmenistan is flanked on the right by CEO/Vice Chairman Kim of Shinbo and Vice Chairman Choe Nam-suk of The Korea Post media on the left.

The length of the route of the international motor rally in three countries, in which motor racing masters from almost 30 countries participated, is composed of 4 thousand 500 kilometers. More than half of this route covers the territory of Turkmenistan. Competitors appreciated the beauty and generosity of Turkmen land, got acquainted with the original culture of the people, who harmoniously combine the aspects of traditions and modernity. Since then, the Silk Road rally has firmly entered the world racing calendar and, today the “Amul-Khazar” project is ready to replenish it, having the starting base to become one of the most perceptible race tournaments of the world.

A symbol mark of the International Rally ‘Amul-Hazar 2018’ or ‘Turkmen Desert Race’

The capability of Turkmenistan to conduct major competitions and tournaments at a high level was demonstrated by triumphal Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games that was held in Ashgabat in September 2017. Effective achievements of the Games, formed teams of volunteers, technical workers and service personnel will appear as a good reserve for the rally “Amul-Khazar 2018”.
Considering the significance of the upcoming rally, it is important to mention that conducting this sports competition will prove the country’s commitment to actively promote creative initiatives and projects of regional and global significance that is aimed at rapprochement countries and people, expansion of trade and economics and humanitarian ties, the overall progress.

A poster shows the symbol marks and special-purpose vehicles joining the Amul-Hazar 2018 motor race.

In the recent years, Turkmenistan has become the most important transport node of the region and thanks to beneficial geographical location and the strategy of constructive foreign policy of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov who promotes current proposals for cooperation with foreign countries and takes consistent steps for their practical implementation is turning into a major international logistics center. In this context, it should be noted that in recent years the transport infrastructure that meets international standards has been formed, roads and transnational steel mains are being built, the material and technical base of the entire industry is being modernized, railway and road bridges are being constructed and connect not only the regions within the country but also neighboring countries.

Foreign experts with experience of many years have been attracted in order to organize the rally at a high level. Sporting events in accordance with the signed agreement are entrusted to the team that has organized “Africa Eco Race” marathon under the direction of the legendary French racer Jean-Louis Schlesser.
The length of the route, which will be held in the framework of the motto “Turkmenistan is the heart of the Great Silk Road” is comprised of 1500 kilometers. It is expected that the rally will be elaborated and excited, and, undoubtedly, will attract the great interest of the world sports community. After all, the crew members have to travel from east to west of Turkmenistan, following the historical route of the Great Silk Road.

As it is known, a motorway is one of the many disciplines of motorsport that is based on the principles of the classical automobile rally but differs by the car categories and length. In the upcoming rally passenger cars, trucks and SSV class quad bikes will be attended. However, the main condition for implementation of motorsport competition is to preserve the ecological environment of the Karakum Desert.
The competition with an average specified speed passes through rough terrain and public roads and includes several special stages. Special sections of the "Amul-Khazar 2018" race do not exceed 250 km. Special stages cover mostly off-road. Therefore, professionalism and clear understanding of the crew remain as the main components.

The crews will cross the boundless expanses of the legendary Karakum desert, overcome the most complicated parts of the desert - the real sand dunes, the heaviest and longest, the plains, the mountainous terrain, and also experience the uniqueness of the Turkmen land, complete a symbolic journey from the past to the present.
The race will be started in Amul town (Turkmenabat city), which was one of the ancient cities of the Great Silk Road. Then the route will run through the picturesque and mysterious Karakum Desert - a natural phenomenon of Turkmenistan, which is a good aspect for landscape, zoological, botanical, economic and ecological researches to study the plains and desert ecosystems. The almost unchanged and primordial nature of the desert has remained.

There are parking lots in the unique natural landscapes, such as Darvaza (the gas crater, which does not extinguish the flame for 47 years), along the entire route, a lake in the middle of the desert, red sands and rocks in the town of Gyzylgaya, as well as the pearl of the Caspian - the National tourist area Avaza.
Foreign participants of the rally will be able not only to join the heritage of the Turkmen people, but also experience a new life that comes to these legendary places along with radical socio-economic transformations, scientific and technological progress and industrial development of the country's regions, strengthening its role as an important transport node on the Great Silk Road in the Modern Age.

The "Turkmen Desert Race" project has already attracted the attention of the international automobile federation (FIA), and, according to international experts, there are good prospects for including the project in the world status series in the future. The upcoming race, which is included in the world race calendar gathers teams from different countries. One of them is the NAC Rally Team, headed by Pavel Molgo, Polish champion of 2014 and 2015.
Many crew members who have expressed a desire to take part in the rally, face a unique opportunity to get acquainted with such an exceptional place for a rally like the Karakum and ride along the legendary route of the Silk Road. Undoubtedly, the rally "Amul-Khazar 2018" will be remembered for a long time by the numerous guests and will become another country’s contribution as an ambassador of peace and friendship.

Hillary Kang  edt@koreapost.com

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