Sat, 01 Apr 2000

Mahadi assures world racer safety in RI

MEDAN, North Sumatra (JP): State Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Mahadi Sinambela guaranteed the security of world racers should Indonesia be appointed host to the 2001 World Rally Championship.

Mahadi told reporters after opening the 2000 Gudang Garam Indonesia Rally at the parking lot of the Tiara Hotel convention hall here on Friday that the Indonesian government will forward the guarantee to the world automotive federation (FIA).

He said that the event would help restore Indonesia's image worldwide and encourage tourists to visit Indonesia.

Twenty-five racers from three countries are participating in the Gudang Garam event, which will last until Sunday. Mahadi opened the rally, with Karamjit Singh and navigator Allen Eoh from Malaysia driving a Proton Pert car. Indonesian racer Chandra Alim with navigator Prihatin K follwed in a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO-III, and Tinton Suprapto and navigator Rio S. drove the same make and model of car and were third.

North Sumatra Governor T. Rizal Nurdin, who accompanied Mahadi, said that he would support any world rally championship because the rally was quite popular here.

Chairman of the Indonesian Motorsports Association Bob RE Nasution expressed optimism that FIA would pick Indonesia, particularly North Sumatra, to host the World Rally Championship.

He also suggested that the starting point would be from the historical Maimoon palace.(39/ivy)