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Sebastien Loeb drives the 2010 Jordan Rally

Mounting a rally is never easy to begin with. Organizing one in the Middle East amidst the greatest popular upheaval in the region's considerable history, however, is another matter entirely. We recently reported on the potential effects which demonstrations and revolutions across the region could have on motorsport competition, and now it's all come home to roost.

Only two months after protests forced the cancelation of the Bahrain Grand Prix, a number of unpredictable factors have caused the delay – but not the cancellation – of the WRC rally in Jordan. Although the Hashemite Kingdom itself has remained relatively stable, getting the cars and equipment there this year proved a unique hassle. Teams were cautioned against trying to go through the Suez Canal due to the situation in Egypt, and with protests kicking into high gear in Syria, Plan B was out, too. Organizers ended up shipping by sea from Italy to Israel, only to be faced by further setbacks.

Stormy weather reportedly dictated it unsafe for the ship to dock in Haifa – Israel's northern port on the Mediterranean – leaving it stranded one kilometer offshore. When the harbor finally gave the all-clear for the ship to dock, one of its engines wouldn't start, forcing tug-boats to bring it in and shutting down all traffic in the port in the process. The shipment was then delayed in customs and took fourteen hours to finally reach the Jordanian coast of the Dead Sea where the garages are being set up.

The rally is now set to begin on Friday, two days behind schedule, but ready to go nonetheless. Meanwhile, the ship has since been impounded by the Israeli ministry of transportation until its engine can be repaired, forcing organizers to make alternative arrangements for getting their cars and gear back to Italy for the Sardinia rally on May 5.

[Source: Autosport | Image: McKlein/Citroën]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Keep talking about cars and not geography. Why on earth does a ship coming from Europe to Jordania has to go thru the Suez channel????????
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can't wait for Subaru to start campaigning a WRX STi Security Edition. Soon we'll have light weight ballistics armor.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I wish subaru would come back to rally. Mini is making a comeback and Im hoping others will follow pursuit.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Too much political unrest. This is the 2nd race in motorsports that has been canceled this year, that I know of.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I know man...it sucks so bad when a collective of citizenry's attempt to overthrow its corrupt, authoritarian government in the hope of living just a bit above the poverty line slightly impacts one of my many leisure activities. Selfish bastards.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your commenting as if I was mad at the fact I can not watch Formula One and Rally because selfish people are trying to live better lives as they see fit.

        In fact I was not suggesting this in anyway. Although I can see how it can be translated to come across this way.