London to Cape Town World Cup Rally 2012
The Long Way Down - Against the Clock
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - JANUARY 11TH, 2012
Leaving Saudi Arabia
A blazing hot sun begins to set over another day on the World Cup Rally here in Jeddah at the end of two fascinating days experiencing the hospitality of the Saudi Arabia Motorsport Federation. Slick border formalities are now underway as cars file onto the ferry for the night sailing to Sudan.
Several crews took time out today for a spot of servicing in local garages. Greg Newton's Holden was on a ramp and had an oil change and a check over so thorough that the locals even balanced the wheels. The cost… three hours later? £20. Just about all of us are coming away with pockets full of Riyals as motoring here is so cheap it's hard to comprehend. Locals like American V8 gas guzzlers and monster 4x4s, and why not when a gallon of petrol is cheaper than a can of coke.
It's a land where law enforcement comes with zero tolerance, so it's a surprise that local youths got inside the Porsche 911 of Joost Van Cauwenberge and Jacques Castelein and stole the Yellowbrick Tracker, Garmin GPS and trip meter. The police are onto it... All they have to do is follow the Yellowbrick road.
We are going to be on board for another parting of the Red Sea hopefully landing at midday followed by a 700kms blast down a bumpy tarmac strip through another desert to the dusty town of Gedaref.
On the route survey last year there was no food in the restaurant, perhaps this might be the evening where we break into the emergency rations.