By Libya Herald reporter.
Misrata, 23 December 2015:
To coincide with the Mawlid festival and tomorrow’s Independence Day, a three-day vehicle rally is . . .[restrict]being held in Misrata.
Organised by the Swehli Sports Club and the Libyan Vehicles and Tourism Club, it is open to all types of vehicles, including 4x4s and motorbikes. The latter will have a slightly different course, however.
Initially, it it had been thought that possibly as many as 50 vehicles would take part in the 55-kilometre trail over rough terrain. In the event many more have signed up, officials said, some from Sebha and elsewhere in Fezzan, even from Zintan. Officially it is being described as an “international” motor rally, although the political situation has meant that there are no international participants. However, organisers are keen to point out that it is being run on international standards.
The other factor curtailing the event somewhat, officials say, is the threat from the Islamic State (IS). Fear that it might try to attack participants have forced the organisers to keep the rally close to Misrata. It is taking place in an area not far from the LISCO steel works.
The race officially starts tomorrow, Thursday. Proceedings got under way today with handicap tests on a short 700-metre track to decide where to place the contestants at the starting position tomorrow.
The rally finishes on Saturday.
Vehicle sports are a growing passion in Misrata. A week last Tuesday, there was a large turnout for a car-drifting contest organised by the Libyan Young People’s Car Club. “Burning tyres” has long been popular as an alternative occupation among young drivers in Libya, but until it has been much frowned on by the authorities. It is now growing into an officially-recognised sport, with contestants last week competing in safe environments against the clock. [/restrict]