Despite the summer heat, a light breeze swept through the service park at Moscow’s Luzhniki Olympic Stadium.75 cars and 24 trucks will take the start of the 5th edition of the Silk Way Rally, which will cover a total distance of 4096kms with 2502 competitive kms.
After entering the parc ferme, located just behind Saint Basil’s Cathedral, the competitors now impatiently wait for the rally to begin. The first vehicle the new G-Force Proto of Boris Gadasin drive down the ramp at Red Square at 7pm local time and as always it was an emotional moment for all the teams specially for the russians and the newcomers to the Silk Way Rally.
Tomorrow, Saturday 6 July, the field will head to Tambov on the 453km liaison road section then attack the first special stage on Sunday morning.
Semen Yakubov (Silk Wally Rally Director): «My goal this year was to create a race as similar as possible to an African Rally with long special stages and short liaison sections. I also wanted to make life easier for the service crews with loop stages. This will reduce the number of kilometers the mechanics will have to travel and allow them to have more time to rest. It will be very hot along the rally, there will be a lot of sand and navigation will be very hard. All these elements will make for a very difficult and competitive rally. Good luck to everyone!_”
Frédéric Lequien (Silk Way Rally Deputy Director): «_We have worked for the past six months to organize a fantastic race. Like last year, I believe it is impossible to predict the winner in the two categories and each day will be full of suspense. We are proud to announce that the rally will be aired by 67 television networks in 190 countries. For us, it is the best way to allow the entire world to discover Russia’s magnificent landscapes and a world-class rally-raid._”
Boris Gadasin (GForce Racing):« The SWR is the most important race for me. I won the rally last year, and I am very proud to battle with Schlesser to try to retain my title. »
Jean-Louis Schlesser (Sonangol Schlesser): «Bravo to the organizers for bringing so many competitors together during this very difficult period and for the work done in order to make this fantastic event a reality. The rally will be very competitive between the buggies and 4X4S, especially with Boris Gadasin. On the Africa Race there were also two young “rockets” racing for Kamaz in the truck division. I hope I don’t see them to close or often to me in this rally.”
Ayrat Mardeev (Kamaz): « For us, the SWR is our major test for the Dakar. So, it is a very important race, even more so because the best drivers in the world are al entered! »
Ales Loprais (Tatra): « The SWR is always a difficult race because it is very long and we have to battle against the Kamaz drivers, who are a major force. I am also here to test my new truck; but I hope to be able to stay close to the Kamazs and fight for the win. »