2023 Taklimakan Rally starts in Xinjiang

URUMQI, China, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The 2023 Taklimakan Rally kicked off in Aksu, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Saturday.

Photos: Xinhua

This year's rally stretches 4,258 km over 13 days of racing, including special stages in torrid desert. It finishes in southern Xinjiang city of Hotan on June 1.

Three-time title winner Han Wei, who also created the best result of Chinese drivers in Dakar Rally, ranking eighth in January, eyes another success this year.

"We did a lot of work, and I want to get a good result," said Han.

A total of 194 drivers and co-drivers as well as 37 riders kicked off the qualifying after the opening ceremony to determine the order of starters in the first stage, a 207km run in the Tianshan Mountains Vally on Sunday.

The first Taklimakan Rally was held in 2005. It has grown into the largest off-road endurance race in Asia with most of its track winding through dunes, mud, and rocks.