DAKAR SERIES : SILK WAY RALLY, IN OLYMPIC SHAPE
The preparation of the second Silk Way Rally, taking place in Russia from 11 to 18 September, has started. The crews on board the cars and the trucks of this year's race will drive from Saint-Petersburg to Sotchi, i.e. a route of nearly 4,000 km.
After the initial reconnaissance work, the teams of the Silk Way Rally have now launched the registration campaign in Saint-Petersburg where the organisers have unveiled the stage towns and the programme proposed to the competitors. The "Dakar Series" label will be reflected in the highly demanding nature of the race that the crews will sign up for. This 8-day rally will take them through various types of terrain combining difficulties for drivers and navigators alike. The Silk Way Rally will definitely be a new resistance challenge in 2010. While discovering the landscapes of Northern Russia, the sandy massifs of Kalmykia or the Caucasian reliefs at the end of the rally, the crews will have to maintain a high level of performance during the whole race: as in the Dakar, those who strike the best balance between speed and regularity will be crowned at the finish line.
The Silk Way Rally will finish in Sotchi, the city hosting the next Winter Olympics in 2014. By doing so, the race takes on a solemn dimension which will definitely attract champions. In the truck category, the most fearsome challengers like Gerard De Rooy (Ginaf) and Ales Loprais (Tatra) are expected to take part in the race to compete with the Kamaz trucks of Firdaus Kabirov and Vladimir Chagin, who will play on local turf. In the car category, a certain sense of honour, but also the sensations the race provided in 2009, will encourage Carlos Sainz to come back and defend his title with his Volkswagen. Moreover, the BMW X-Raid Team drivers, always thirsty for competition, could choose Russia to anticipate the battle that will take place in the 2011 Dakar rally. Last but not least, the most competitive private teams such as Dessoude, SMG or JMB Stradale Off Road could also join the race and cause some trouble to the official teams of the manufacturers.