The photos taken during the first taken during the maiden reconnaissance have generated considerable interest. The Silk Way Rally will venture to new regions and pose all-new challenges for the competitors. SWR Project Director, Semen Yakubov gives us an early idea of what to expect.
M. Yakubov, it looks as if the rally organizers have been very busy. Barely six months after the spectacular finish of the 2013 SWR at Astrakhan!
“We have already conducted the first reconnaissance for the 2014 Silk Way Rally…I do not want to reveal everything, but there will be a lot of surprises! The rally route will be more challenging and larger…The special stages will be long and difficult, but will remain a pleasure for the drivers. There will be some all-new sand sectors as well as some mountain sectors! We must stick to our motto: ‘an improved route each year’. “
The Silk Way has been in existence for five years. Originally, this Russian project’s goal was to attract the public’s and media’s attention as well as the competitor’s attention to the Sochi Olympic Games that will begin in a few weeks, what is the rally’s future at this time?
“First of all, I am convinced that the Sochi Olympics Games will be memorable, the organization will be irreproachable and I know that our Russian athletes will enjoy great success! We are proud to be part of this great event!
In just a short period of time the Silk Way Rally has become a major event in the sport and is now the second most important rally just behind the Dakar in terms of the number of participants in the car and truck categories.
The Silk Way Rally has become very popular, it has become a showcase for the regions we traverse and many television viewers across Europe and the rest of the world have been able to discover the beauty of the Russia’s landscape thanks to the rally…The Silk Way is also an ideal opportunity to test not only modifications to the vehicles but also technical innovations in telecommunication, television and medical care.
The positive aspects are truly important, the Silk Way has become a brand and it must go on!”
So the prospects are good?
“We believe that rally-raid is very popular. Confirming this is the new rally that will be held in China in September and the success of the Silk Way has played a role in this decision. It is a positive spiral!
The best teams are in Europe and the Silk Way serves a need. We can offer terrific competition with a strong media following on challenging terrains for the competitors. Russia’s interest in the rally is important and will be more so after the Sochi Olympics. Many people would like to visit our country and it is our responsibility to respond to this demand!
I am sure that the Silk Way has a wonderful future, we have the full support of the government and our partners and we will once again show that Russia likes to organize major sporting events!”
Mr. Yakubov, can you now announce the date of the 2014 Silk Way Rally?
“The start of rally will be in July of next year. But we must take into account the World Cup in Brazil that will be held from June 12 through July 13, 2014. It is obvious that certain marketing and media factures as well as the availability of some of our suppliers who are involved in the World Cup must be respected to set a date, which will be best suited for all concerned! But there is no doubt; the 2014 Silk Way will be run in July! We will make an announcement just after the negotiations have concluded.”
Thank you Mr. Yakubov, would you like to add a final word?
“I want to convey my best wishes to the competitors and fans during this holiday season! I also wish everyone an Olympic Happy New Year, good results, health and the best for 2014!