Immediately after the very successful 1st Alpine Trial Philip Young flew to Myanmar for high level meetings with government officials to confirm arrangements for next year’s Road to Mandalay Rally.
Philip’s visit was to finalise details with Government officials in Nay Pyi Taw, the Burmese capital. The officials in the Ministry of Tourism have been working hard behind the scenes to provide the best available facilities and to ensure our smooth transition across the border from Thailand to Myanmar – our event will be the first sporting rally to cross into their country.
The Minister of Tourism met Philip in the government office where officials presented a thick wedge of paperwork, our official Permits for the event, all written in Burmese, and over a cup of tea, a covering letter was typed out in English. Photographs were then taken for the various Burmese newspapers – our event is seen as ground breaking by the Government, bringing rally-drivers from all corners of the globe to their country with a physical crossing of their border in a demonstration of how Myanmar is opening to the rest of the world.
This latest personal visit by Philip follows on from a successful final reconnaissance of the route in April and May. After shipping an ERA vehicle from the UK, Clerk of the Course John Spiller accompanied by Anthony Preston completed a full and detailed route survey for the whole event. They drove out of Raffles Hotel in Singapore on 15th April and spent very nearly a month on the road before reaching Rangoon on 11th May.
Travelling with our local fixers, John and Anthony met nothing but a friendly and enthusiastic welcome throughout the drive across Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar. They have lined up some fantastic driving roads, as well as meeting those who will be closing roads for us to run Time Trial and Regularity sections through plantations and over other interesting roads. Recent contacts with our agents in Thailand assure us that the political situation is quickly stabilising and should not present any difficulties for the event. As always the ERA will take every consideration for the participants safety and enjoyment.
The Rally Office is now chasing up entrants for missing information, such as car details, registration numbers, chassis numbers, engine numbers and a raft of personal information for the giant spread-sheet that will aid the passage of the event across four countries