2018 Silk Way Rally route presented in Moscow
Some of the best racers and teams are going to join the battle of Silk Way Rally on their cars and trucks. Six thousand kilometers between Xi’an and Moscow, ten legs in China and Russia, two weeks of tense struggle and exciting experience.
Just a month beforethe start of the main Eurasian off-road race – as soon as on 15 July the eight edition of Silk Way Rally takes off from the city of Xi’an, commonly known as an ancient Chinese capital.
The route presentation is traditionally held several weeks before the start in Moscow. Hundreds of guests, including future competitors and media journalists, gathered in Ritz Carlon Hotel near the Red Square, which will host the finish ceremony on 27 July.
Rally Director Vladimir Chagin introduced the details of rally route, described its features and key points. The special attention was given to a new element of the logistic system – a part of the route from Urumqi to Astrakhan will be covered on transport aircrafts.
Silk Way Rally 2018: 10 legs and almost 6 thousand kilometers
The reverse direction of rally (from Xi’an to Moscow) strongly affects the logistic system: the competitors need to have their vehicles delivered to the starting point in China: that is why a dedicated convoy takes off from Paris to Xi’an on 25 July.
Scrutineering and administrative checks will take place in Xi'an on 13 and 14 July, the start ceremony will be held on the 15th, and after that all crews will take off for an amazing journey.
10 legs – five in China and five in Russia. Mountains and deserts, stones and dunes, canyons and riverbeds, plains and steppes, and – the element that can't be missed – the toughest navigation challenges and traps, designed by reccies team. Interesting competition guaranteed!
Between the Chinese and Russian parts of the route all competitors will enjoy two rest days. Those that will manage to conquer boundless sands and giant dunes of Gobi Desert and to reach Astrakhan will have an opportunity to catch their breath and to prepare for the second round on 23 and 24 July.
Silk Way Rally 2018: Route in figures
Total distance of rally route – 5947 km
Total distance of special stages – 3164 (53,2% of the entire route)
Percentage of special stages increased by 10,6%
Total distance of road sections reduced by 2736 km
Distance of Chinese stages – 3348 km
Distance of Russia stages – 2599 km
The battle of Silk Way Rally 2018 will be joined by the strongest racers, some of which participate in this rally for the first time.
For example, Silk Way Rally was never attended by Nani Roma from X-Raid Team. This year the Spanish driver will compete with Yazeed Al-Rajhi as his team mates, also driving Mini prototypes. As usually, Vladimir Vasiliev enters the competition on the same car.
Russia will also be represented by FIA World Cup T2 champion Andrey Rudskoy and Dakar 2017 Champion in quad category Sergey Karyakin.
Nasser Al-Attiyah as a Cross Country Rally World Cup winner is definitely one of the front runners, The Qatar racer joins the competition behind the wheel of Toyota Hilux for the first time – in the past he has competed on Volkswagen prototype.
Han Wei from Geely Team has already earned the title of the strongest among all Chinese competitors as a third prize winner of last year.
Special attention will be given to the competitors on two-wheel drive buggies – nowadays the most popular model on rally marathons. Peugeot Sport Team stopped to participate in rally-raids, but British Harry Hunt on ex-factory Peugeot 3008 is without doubt a serious challenger for the win.
The current Africa ECO Race champion Mathieu Serradori, which enters the rally on buggy, is also expected to perform outstandingly. Another two very consistent competitors are private drivers Frédéric Chavigny and Jerome Pelichet.
The competition in T2 category will be not less exciting, entered by Russian Anastasiya Nifontova and Japanese Akira Miura. Both of them are going to compete on Toyota cars.
Six trucks of KAMAZ-master Team are once again the core competitors of truck category. Five diesel KAMAZes and one gas-diesel KAMAZ truck driven by Sergey Kupriyanov will reconfirm the strength of this Russian truck brand on Silk Way Rally.
Another Russian factory also joins the struggle – GAZ Raid Sport Team enters two trucks.
Russian crews will cross their swords with serious rivals, among which Dutch drivers Martin van den Brink and Gert Huzink as well as Japanese Teruhito Sugawara are the most outstanding ones.