The Turkmen President opens the prologue race. It remains unclear whether he will take part in the full race (photos)

On 11 September the first circuit of the car rally 2018 Amul-Khazar which was launched in Lebap velayat was won by the President's vehicle.

According to the state information agency TDH, the qualification race (prologue) consisting of 9 kilometers was opened by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in his racing car with the number 100. It should be mentioned that an unidentified individual, not his son, occupied the position of navigator.

The head of state was driving a MINI, which he had tested in July.

Upon completion of the qualification laps, the first circuit of the contest was launched with a distance of 247 kilometers. A total of 83 crews are participating in the racing event.

Judging by television footage devoted to the car rally, the exulted spectators lined up three deep along the entire track in the desert. The outside temperature in Lebap velayat has reached +37 degrees.

Berdymukhammedov then had a conversation with Director general of Africa Eco Race Jean-Louis Schlesser, who, according to the media outlet asked the head of state to share his impressions about the prologue.

� Speaking about the track, I, like every contestant, was very focused. Following the advice of our ancestors to start a big endeavour with blessings, I would like wholeheartedly to wish all teams a safe journey and, needless to say, victory, � the President responded.

Thereafter the first stage of the contest was launched. The footage of Turkmen television was edited to show the President getting into the vehicle and starting the race. On the car rally website, however, Gaygysyz Akmyradov and Hojaguly Annamammedov are indicated as the crew with the number 100. According to TDH, the crew of the vehicle with the number 100 was the first to cross the finish line of the special track. The surnames of the crew members have not been disclosed by the state information agency.

Later that day, upon completion of the events, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov flew to Ashgabat. It remains unknown whether the President of Turkmenistan will continue to compete in the race.

Let us recall that the head of state had previously announced his intention to compete in the event, had designed and assembled a car rally vehicle and, on a regular basis, has had trainings with his son. The car rally organizers also hoped for the President's participation in the rally.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan