Yesterday, along with a sunny warm day, the participants of the fourth edition of the Silk Way Rally completed the technical and administrative checks at the Luzhkini Stadium, the well-known sport center where the Olympics of Moscow took place in 1980.
After leaving their vehicles in the Parc Fermé, the 112 competitors admitted to enter the SWR 2012 (88 cars and 24 trucks) were received by Semen Yakubov and Frederic Lequien, the race director and deputy director respectively.
After their traditional briefing, all crews headed downtown in the Russian Capital to take part of the official start podium installed at the Red Square, where the checkered flag went down at 5 p.m. A huge enthusiasm for the Argentinean Lucio Alvarez and Bernardo Graue (Toyota Overdrive), the first crew that took the start of the SWR 2012 that will take competitors to Gelendzhik, next to the site of the Olympics of Sochi 2014, after 3,857 km that contain 2,083 km of timed sections.
Frederic Lequien can now feel satisfied about the competitors that are taking part of this new edition of the Silk Way Rally. “We have top drivers and highly talented crews have entered the rally. For the first time after years, no one can predict who will win this race. The victory can be for the Argentinean crew, but there are more than a dozen of possible teams that can take the first step of the podium, and this triumph is also out there for two wheel drive vehicles! ” tells the deputy director of the race with excitement.
“We will witness a great battle between Schlesser (Buggy Schlesser); Lavieille (Proto Dessoude); Gadasin (G-Force Proto); Khale (Sam-Mercedez); Chabot (Buggy SMG); Magnaldi (Buggy Dessoude); Gardemester, that comes straight from WRC and IRC (Proto Mitsubishi); Patissier (Buggu Delli-Zotti); Pelichet (Toyota Overdrive), and many others…
The battle will be hard as well on trucks. Last years ‘winner, Loprais, left Tantra to join Man. Other Man drivers are: Echter, Behringer, Rotsaert, Verluis… and the Kamaz squad will be composed by Mardaev, Nikolaev, Ardavichus, Shibalov… and the outsider Van den Brink will be on Ginaf! I wish that all competitors have a great race!”
After leaving the podium, competitors will take the road for 184 km to Ryazan, historic capital of the region that holds the same name. This enchanted small historic village, Ryazan, old principality, still has its Kremlin from the XII century.
“It´s the organization will that this first long road connection is completed in two phases. The reason we make competitors to head south completing a long distance is because we want them to find a great terrain to compete from the first special stage,” explains Frederic Lequien.
Tomorrow, SWR competitors will take the start of the first timed section that will take them to Volgograd.
SWR 2012 Race Program
Stage 1 A : Moscou – Ryazan
Road Connection: 184.5 km – Total : 1845 km
Stage 1 B: Ryazan – Volgograd
Road Connection: 487 km – Special Stage: 258 km – Road Connection: 123 km – Total : 878 km
Stage 2: Volgograd – Volgograd
Road Connection: 123 km – Special Stage: 309 km – Road Connection: 2 km – Total: 434 km
Stage 3: Volgograd – Elista
Road Connection: 83 km – Special Stage: 488 km – Road Connection: 106 km – Total : 677 km
Stage 4: Elista – Elista
Road Connection: 158 km – Special Stage: 506 km – Road Connection: 1.5 km – Total : 665.5 km
Stage 5: Elista – Maykop
Road Connection: 19 km – Special Stage: 453 km – Road Connection: 211 km – Total: 683 km
Stage 6: Maykop – Gelendzhi
Road Connection: 146 km – Special Stage A: 60 km – Road Connection: 100 km – Special Stage B: 9 km – Road Connection: 20 km -Total : 335 km