The presentation held in Paris last night in the presence of many guests, launched the official countdown to the SILK WAY RALLY 2019. An exceptional 9th edition which will start on July 6, 2019 from IRKUTSK (Russia), not far from the shores of Lake Baikal.
On the program of this great and totally new adventure: EASTERN SIBERIA, the crossing of MONGOLIA from North to South and the famous GOBI DESERT and its ocean of dunes to judge the finish, on July 16 in DUNHUANG (China), after 10 days of racing and nearly 5,000 kilometres covered, half of which in timed sectors. Another new feature: for the first time in its history, the SILK WAY RALLY will host the motorcycle category, offering professional and amateur teams the chance to conquer new horizons on unknown terrains and, for the many amateur riders, a challenge mixed with a human adventure like no other.
Giving young pilots an opportunity and developing the presence of women in motorsports.
Aware of the need to bring out young talents in the discipline, organisers announced that registration is free for cars' and trucks' crews under 30 years of age. The Silk Way Rally also continues its commitment to support the presence of women in motorsports, by renewing the free registration for 100% women crews.These two strong gestures were greeted by the large audience during the presentation.
AN EXCEPTIONAL JOURNEY!
Ten stages, three countries crossed, 5,000 kilometres, more than 2,500 kilometres of selective sections: SILK WAY RALLY 2019 will offer a varied and balanced route including all the difficulties that are the very essence of cross-country rallies.
2 LEGS IN RUSSIA: EXPLORING DRIVING SKILLS IN THE HEART OF THE TAIGA
After two days of checks and the grand departure ceremony in IRKUTSK, the SILK WAY RALLY 2019 will start for two new stages in the hilly region of LAKE BAIKAL. On the agenda: intense driving in the heart of TAÏGA and its famous forests of Eastern Siberia.
5 LEGS IN MONGOLIA: NAVIGATION IN THE VASTNESS OF THE STEPPES
From the 3rd day of the race, the SILK WAY RALLY 2019 will approach the main course of this 9th edition with the entry into MONGOLIA for 5 also 100% new stages, in the heart of the vastness of the desert and breath-taking landscapes. Driving and navigation skills will be the main assets to tackle the vast steppes of Genghis Khan's country, and the technical medium mountain tracks around ULAN-BATOR, the capital, surrounded by its four sacred peaks.
3 LEGS IN CHINA: CROSSING AND OFF-ROAD IN AN OCEAN OF DUNES
To close this 9th edition, the SILK WAY RALLY has chosen a grandiose epilogue, putting an end to this incredible triptych, with a finish in the heart of the GOBI DESERT. Three stages of pure pleasure, made of crossings and off-track navigation in an ocean of dunes, sometimes lined with lakes before an arrival and a final podium erected in DUNHUANG, always considered as the oasis of the ancient Silk Road.
AN INTERNATIONAL PROJECT, BRINGING CHALLENGES AND SYNONYMOUS WITH NEW MARKETS
This evening was also an opportunity to recall the challenges of the new silk routes and their attractive markets, for which the SILK WAY RALLY is a powerful vector of notoriety allowing to conquer such coveted market shares.
The SILK WAY RALLY enjoys the highest level of support in the Russian Federation, Mongolia and the People's Republic of China, making this race a first-class international sporting event, followed by media from around the world.
The Silk Way Rally 2018, an exceptional TV coverage.
In 2018, more than 74 broadcasters signed TV rights agreements, allowing the Silk Way Rally to be broadcasted in no less than 196 countries and thus to consolidate its worldwide exposure, in particular by broadcasting dedicated programmes on international sports channels, in addition to those on the national channels of the countries crossed.
THE SILK WAY RALLY IN A FEW WORDS
The SILK WAY RALLY, the first edition of which linked Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan in 2009, is one of the biggest events in the world of rally-raids. Coveted by the greatest teams and champions of the discipline, but also by many amateur teams, the SILK WAY RALLY has an impressive sporting background, bearing the names of the greatest champions of the discipline such as CARLOS SAINZ, CYRIL DESPRES or YAZEED AL RAJHI in the car category, DMITRY SOTNIKOV, EDUARD NIKOLAEV and AYRAT MARDEEV in the truck category. Despite several attempts, neither SÉBASTIEN LOEB, nor NASSER AL-ATTIYAH, nor even STÉPHANE PETERHANSEL managed to finish on the highest step of the podium.
In 2019 the SILK WAY RALLY will take another important step forward by integrating Mongolia, but also by opening up for the first time to the motorcycle category on a brand new route.
As its name suggests, the 'SILK WAY' links the main regions and countries crossed by the ancient 'Silk Road', to the heart of Central Asia.
VLADIMIR CHAGIN (Director of the Silk Way Rally):
"Ten days of competition and 3 countries crossed, it promises an intense and exciting race! During my career as a professional pilot, the discovery of new landscapes, the warm welcome of the people have always been a source of additional motivation. For many pilots, this will be a total discovery, a great adventure. "
FRÉDÉRIC LEQUIEN (Deputy Director of the Silk Way Rally):
"The Silk Way Rally is one of the last great adventures you can experience in motorsports; the track of the 2019 edition is beautiful. We are delighted to welcome the motorcycle category, as it took us time to integrate them in the best conditions."
LUC ALPHAND (Sports and Competitors’ Relations Advisor):
"During the first reconnaissance in September, we were amazed by the beauty and diversity of the landscapes, from Lake Baikal to the Mongolian steppes and finally to a sea of sand in China: we are preparing a truly exceptional 2019 edition! The route is demanding, but it will not destroy the machines, it is rather rolling and very interesting in terms of driving. Co-pilots and especially motorcyclists will have to take care of the navigation. I can't wait to be on the race!"
CYRIL DESPRES (Fra/Pilot X-Raid Buggy MINI JCW) :
"I do not attend this presentation by chance. I never had the opportunity to go to Mongolia. This rally is really dreaming. It will be ten days of pure pleasure. I already plan my children's next summer holidays considering the dates of this 2019 SILK WAY RALLY. "
JORDI VILLADOMS (Esp / Red Bull Manager KTM Factory Team):
"The SILK WAY RALLY 2019 opens new perspectives for the official motorcycle teams. This is a totally new event for us on unknown countries to us. Although, even it cannot legally be included in the FIM World Championship calendar in the first year, it is anyway a challenge that interests us by its format, its media impact and for our customers. "
JOAN 'NANI' ROMA (Esp / X-Raid MINI JCW Driver):
"Last year, in Russia, I discovered amazing people and a fabulous country. I can already tell you we will do everything to take the start of this SILK WAY RALLY 2019. "
DAVID CASTEU (Fra/ Manager Team Sherco TVS Rally Factory):
"It is already very clear that SILK WAY RALLY 2019 will be part of our plans for next season when the FIM World Championship will no longer be our main priority. We will more than likely enter our four official drivers on this event which, moreover, opens the door of very interesting markets for our partner TVS. The official teams really need a second big event in the year ... "