The first full competitive day of the 2011 Rally Jordan this weekend has had to be cancelled after a ship carrying service park infrastructure essential to the running of the event broke down twice on its way to the Israeli port of Haifa.
The shakedown had been due to take place today (Wednesday), with the opening six stages scheduled for Thursday – but the latter have now had to be canned.
The ship – transporting 37 trucks filled with equipment – finally docked at Haifa at 11am local time today, but following the delays spent clearing customs both there and subsequently at the Jordanian border, the convoy is not expected to reach the service park at Rally HQ until midnight, leaving organisers with little choice but to come to a revised timetable with the FIA.
Pre-event scrutineering will now take place from 7am to 10:30am on Thursday, followed by the shakedown from 12:30pm to 2:30pm and the ceremonial start in the ancient city of Jerash at 5:30pm, with Friday and Saturday's stages continuing as planned, albeit meaning the rally will now be run over just 14 stages rather than the original 20.
“The ship that has been bringing the equipment has broken down twice en route
from Europe, but thankfully the vehicles are now on land and will be at the Dead Sea tonight,” Clerk of the Course Randa Nabulsi told the official WRC website. “The decision to change the first day's schedule was made collectively, and we can all look forward to the ceremonial start tomorrow evening in Jerash and then the start of the rally on Friday morning.”