Jordan Motorsport has tweaked the itinerary for the forthcoming Jordan Rally, round four of the 2022 FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC), which takes place on May 19th-21st.
A round of the FIA World Rally Championship on three occasions and regarded throughout the world as one of the most demanding gravel events of its kind, the 2022 version features 12 challenging loose surface special stages in a compact two-day format.
Friday’s (May 20th) three timed tests will be used in the morning and the afternoon and are centred around the Jordan Valley area to the north of the Dead Sea. Action gets underway with a run through the 9.71km of the Yakrut stage (first car – 08.27hrs) that carves its way across winding off-road trails to the left of the main desert link road between Amman and the Dead Sea hotel area.
Rally officials have then laid on a mammoth stage of 40.79km (first car – 09.49hrs) that runs along the Jordan River valley close to the frontier with the West Bank. This stage can be affected by inclement weather conditions and has seen competitors have their fair share of drama over the years.
The loop is completed by a run through an 11.34km stage (first car – 10.43hrs) close to the historic Baptism Site. The three specials are then repeated from 12.47hrs, 14.05hrs and 15.17hrs, respectively.
The first of two passes through the Bahath stage (12.69km) gets the action underway on Saturday (May 21st) to the right of the main Amman-Dead Sea highway from 08.52hrs. Competitors then tackle an 11.08km stage at Suwayma (first car – 09.26hrs) and the 17.00km of Ma’in 1 (first car – 10.24hrs) to the north and east of the Dead Sea hotel area, before returning to the service park before midday.
The three specials will then be repeated from 12.26hrs, 13.00hrs and 13.58hrs in the afternoon, while the podium finish is scheduled for 16.30hrs adjacent to the Dead Sea. Competitors will tackle 205.22 competitive kilometres in a route of 588.62km.
Back in 2011, these gruelling and energy-sapping special stages hosted the closest finish in the history of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Frenchman Sébastien Ogier, driving a Citroën DS3 WRC, overtook flying Finn Jari-Matti Latvala (Ford Fiesta RS) – who led by 0.046 seconds before the final Baptism Site Power Stage of 10.50km – to claim the win by just 0.2 seconds. The duo had traded blows throughout the final morning over slightly different versions of the Yakrut, Bahath and Mahes specials.
Support for this year’s event comes from Zain Jordan, Mountain Dew, the Guarantee Travel Group, Hala and Bliss FM.