The troubled buildup to this year's Jordan Rally has continued, with mechanical problems on the boat carrying the majority of the World Rally Championship's equipment set to further delay the start of the set up process at the Dead Sea.
There was debate over whether the event should be canceled due to the political unrest in Syria, through which the WRC teams usually pass on their way to Jordan. An alternative route was found via the Israeli port of Haifa. But the boat carrying the equipment has already been delayed from its intended arrival date of Sunday and is now not expected to dock until 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday after mechanical issues left it working on only one engine.
Though the teams' cars have been air freighted to Jordan, all the support equipment – including pre-run cars and the usual contents of the service park – is on the delayed boat. Even after it reaches Haifa, it still has to pass through customs at a port unfamiliar with the WRC setup, before traveling on to Jordan.
A WRC source told AUTOSPORT: "Right now the problem is worsening because the boat's down to one engine and we're not sure exactly what state the boat's in. Essentially we'll have 24 hours to do what took us four days in Portugal – which is putting up the central service park, hospitality areas and everything.
"Right now one of the bigger issues is what we do for recce cars. The rally cars there's no problem, they arrived by plane but at the moment we have no jacks to get them off the ground or anything to work on them with."
The Jordan pre-run should have begun today. WRC recces usually use Group N-style rally cars to give drivers an accurate impression of the roads and conditions. There would be safety concerns over using lesser-spec or road-based vehicles as driving through the stages in these cars would not give the drivers the same level of information as a rally car would.
The rally is scheduled to start on Thursday morning.