Stages of Silk Way Rally 2018
Russian stages of Silk Way Rally were held from the 21st to the 27th of July, and the Chinese round of competition is about to start in the end of September. Chinese off-road has always attracted the racers, with the sands of Gobi desert, one the world’s highest fixed dunes, beautiful oases and small lakes. In four days rally competitors are to cover 1,600 km, including 800 km of challenging special stages among the boundless sands.
- Distance — 3569,55 км
- Special stages distance – 2327,16 км
Mechanic’s Day or the circle stage
Crews will drive along fast steppe tracks with many holes and bumps. After completing
more than one hundred kilometers, the pilots will enter Kalmykiya and perform their
driving skills at the highest speed. But only the crew both good in fast driving and
navigating will be able to capture the top position. The route through loose dunes leads
the competitors to the finish and the racers will head to Astrakhan along sandy roads
overrun with thick grass.
Marathon: part 1
The day starts very early: crews will drive along the old broken roads on search of
direction and correct course. Sooner or later those, who will manage to do that, will
reach the Kalmyk steppes along the fast steppe tracks. Numerous holes and bumps
require co-pilots to keep alert and follow the road book notes with the special attention.
The cough and dangerous route, full of surprises, complicated navigation and plenty of
off-road, will make this stage very exciting. In the evening the crews will have to gather
their efforts and refresh repairing skills, as today’s marathon will continue tomorrow.
Marathon: part 2
After the night of service works without their mechanics and engineers, the competitors
will take off towards Astrakhan. The route goes along fast steppe roads, where all crews
have an opportunity to perform the highest speed they are capable of. Steppes of
Kalmykia, famous for their complicated navigation, will set all kinds of toughest
challenges. It will be a hard day for navigators as the pilots will rush ahead to the
maximum speed. At the last part of special stage the crews will go across torn sands
overrun with shrubs, trying to find the way to the Astrakhan bivouac on the last ten
Ready to start? Attention: twisting 420 kilometers!
All those that will have managed to endure till the forth leg will enjoy the full diversity of
Astrakhan steppe roads. Twisting, with tricky traps and dangerous crossings, these
roads will be a good training for co-pilots before the next stage. Then racing caravan will
once again return to the Astrakhan bivouac, long-awaited by team service staff.
Full steam ahead!
Soil 80% Sandy tracks 20%
Rally leaves Astrakhan and moves towards the hero city of Volgograd. The first part of
the eighth leg goes along sandy tracks. Crews will suffer from the road holes and
bumps so pilots must focus on keeping their vehicles undamaged. By the middle of the
stage and straight till its end the crews will compete on speed along fast and hard
roads. The technical track sets a real challenge to the competitors: this stage requires
perfect settings on the vehicles and the hard effort of navigators, which will have to find
the right direction.
Across the northernmost desert of Europe!
The sixth special starts with twisting steppe and sandy roads. It will be hard not to
damage the ranking: co-pilots must overreach themselves while dealing with
complicated and interesting navigation, which will be enjoyed by drivers as well. It the
middle of speed section the competitors will cross the northernmost desert of Europe –
the Don-Archeda sands. The stage will bring the brightest impressions, as rally caravan
will go through the fields and small woods and ford a deep Buzuluk river. The sandy
tracks will lead the competitors to rally bivouac in Lipetsk.
Almost two hundred kilometers along the hard roads of Lipetsk and Tula areas, across
arroyos and ravines. It is crucial not to get lost now, when Moscow Red Square with its
finish podium and champion cups is so close.