Chery Rely Fleet Starts Dakar Rally
Jan.1, the 2010 Dakar Rally kicked off in Buenos Aires. More than 360 vehicles of various kinds gathered at the Republic Square for the concise but ceremonious kickoff ceremony. The 2010 Dakar Rally entered its first racing day amid the beautiful scenes of Buenos Aires and the passion of South American auto fans.
There are a total of 373 vehicles signing up for this rally, but only 362 of them passed the examination and got the qualification to race, among which, there are 7 qualified drivers from China, 5 car drivers and 2 motorcyclists. By 14:00 of Dec. 31, local time, the biggest Chinese Dakar fleet – Chery Rely Fleet had passed the examination of Dakar Organization Committee.
Chinese Rely Fleet founded by Chery, the leader of Chinese independent auto brands, has brought 2 independently manufactured big SUVs, the X5 to participate in this rally. The two drivers of Rely Fleet, Lu Ningjun and Jiang Yaohuan will start successively after 17:45, as the 81st and 82nd drivers to set out. Representing Chinese vehicles, they are the first Chinese drivers to start. The No. 1 driver of Rely Fleet, Lu Ningjun is a veteran who has already participated in Dakar Rally for 5 times. When interviewed about his feeling on his 6th participation, he said in excitement, “This is Chinese independent brands’ first participation in Dakar Rally. To me, it is really a memorable and proud race in my career life. I do value this chance and feel greatly honored. I will adjust myself to the best condition and strive for the best results with my teammates and the whole fleet.”
Not only to the drivers, this Dakar Rally is also a significant milestone to Chinese auto industry and Chinese racing sports. This is the first time that China takes part in the race with completely Made-in-China vehicles. In addition, it chooses the most dangerous race in the world for its debut, the Dakar Rally. Rely Fleet is the biggest among all fleets from China, including 2 racing vehicles, X5, a racing truck, T4, a maintenance truck, T5, a following media vehicle, H5 and a service vehicle, X5.
In the following 16 days, all drivers and fleets will leave Buenos Aires, then march through Argentina and Chile, go across the Andes, and the Atacama Desert which is know as Valley of the Dead. After that, they will return and finish the race in Buenos Aires on Jan. 17. The whole rally covers a length of about 9000km, divided into 14 legs. Compared with the rally in 2009, this year, there are more special legs which measure 5200km in total. At the same time, more desert legs are added, which are more challenging, thus having higher requirements on racing vehicles and the qualities of drivers.
After the kickoff ceremony, the drivers have begun the test of the merciless race. They will finish the first leg of 349km in two days. This annual world top racing sports has also drawn widespread attention of media and racing sports lovers from nearly 100 countries and regions around the whole world. The 16-day race is well worth expecting. Let's keep a close eye on the excellent performances of Chinese Rely Fleet of Chery!