Fans of off-road racing may find the Pharaoh’s Rally in Egypt to be right up their alley. It is one of the longest and most difficult rally courses in the world, second only to the famed Dakar Rally. Some of the best drivers and teams in the world will gather in the city of Cairo, at the Pyramids of Giza, to try their hand at six days of intense racing that will take their endurance to the limit and beyond.
Pharaoh’s Rally was originally started by a French man who loved rally racing and had an equal fondness for the desert. The first rally was an instant success, so he continued to organize the event each year. Thirty years later, the race is still being held, even through the trials that the Egyptian government is facing today. Pharaoh’s is now the second most important race on the rally circuit and this year holds the distinction of being the qualifier for the international finals.
Racers line up at the Pyramids of Giza, which acts as both starting point and finish line for the event. More than 100 teams composed of 600 or more riders come together for the competition. The total course stretches for more than 1800 miles, most of that desolate desert and sand. Luckily, the sand in the region is the kind that won’t bog the drivers down too much, so there’s little chance that the race will end before it’s even quite begun. Those who participate in the race are allowed to use a variety of vehicles to fit their preference. Cars, trucks and motorcycles can all compete against each other.
This year, Pharaoh’s Rally will take place from September 29th to October 6th. Considering how much else there is to see around the region of Cairo, fans of racing can double up and make this a worthwhile Egyptian vacation in addition to watching the races. Though if you want to put your neck on the line and join in the race, you’ll have to prove yourself on the rally circuit, because Pharaoh’s isn’t for amateurs.