Starting in Medan in northern Sumatra, the three day Rally of Indonesia used the bush tracks and plantation roads to the east and southeast of the city, and around scenic Lake Toba. As well as the extremely high temperatures, the event was renowned for its extreme humidity.
Taken from a 1996 press release...
The tracks themselves are punishing in nature, with long fast sections, many blind crests and enormous jumps that can smash a car with one heavy landing. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IIIs have undergone extensive testing in the region recently to help prepare for the conditions, which are extremely harsh on suspension and transmission components.
The Rally of Indonesia starts from Merdeka Square in central Medan on Friday, May 10 at 09:00 before heading east and south for nine stages and finishing at the end of the leg for an overnight halt in Parapat, on the shores of Lake Toba, at around 19:10 after 140 km of competitive driving in an overall route for the day of 330 km.
Leg 2 starts from Parapat at 06:00, heading south of Lake Toba for seven stages covering 117 km in a 461km route, before finishing in the lake-side resort of Parapat again at approximately 18:05.
The final leg starts again from Parapat, heading north towards Medan once more for 11 special stages covering 203 km, the longest leg of the rally with a total distance of 498 km. This leg also includes the longest stage of the rally, Paya Pinang Mendaris at 31 km. This is a combination of two stages used last year with fast, flowing roads through rubber and oil plantations, and could be the place where the rally is decided. The survivors are due back at the finish in the city of Medan at around 19:20.