488 kilometers is the stage length of the second rally day in Alashan-Zuoqi, 220 km of which are a special section. The long-awaited sands and dunes of the Gobi desert waited for contestants today. The route particularly pleased the Russian sportsmen, many of whom, talking about today's special stage, remarked that they really enjoyed it.
Pleasure for pilots and excellent test of vehicles.
One of the main targets of the team’s participation in the Chinese edition of the “Silk Way Rally” is to test the trucks before Dakar-2019, the route of which will pass only through the territory of Peru and will contain many sandy and high-altitude areas. The height of the special sections in China is close to the height of the future race in South America, which allows you to check technical novelties in best way, and the sands give the greatest load to the engine, which is ideal to determine the limit of forcing the engine.
Running-in of technical solutions, that were developed over the year on the new truck, is of great strategic importance, as returning home, the crews will only have a month before trucks’ departure to Dakar.
The pleasure, that the pilots received during the stage, reflected on the results, all the crews successfully finished within 50-minute gap from one another. The leader at the stage and in the standings became Andrey Karginov, Eduard Nikolaev's crew lost only 11 minutes to him and the Russian-Chinese crew was 46 minutes behind. In the general classification our crews took 8th, 13th and 27th positions respectively.
Eduard Nikolaev - pilot of crew No 402:
"Today, as expected, was a totally sand day, which reminded us of the Arab Emirates, where from the very start to the finish, were almost only dunes, and of different types: high, low and challenging. Very good training before Dakar. The first part was not bad, we were reinsuring a bit, checked the automatic gearbox that we are testing, tried to get used to it, but, the pace seemed not fast, at 70-80 kilometers Andrey caught us up and then we drove to the finish together. There we saw difference between the two trucks with different specifications, which we needed to see. I tried to adapt to the dunes, which closer to the finish were higher and faster, and Andrey also gingered me up a bit, showing that one can drive this truck faster. Again, this is my first drive on this truck, but, nevertheless, at the end I could pick up the pace and go more confidently. Tomorrow we are awaited by a similar special stage, and for ourselves we set the target to overcome it in a good, fast pace from the very beginning. "
Andrey Karginov - pilot of crew No 401:
"Today was an interesting, working special section, which we really liked – that was our special stage. There were almost no roads, but there were many dunes, sands and impassability, similar to Astrakhan. No roads! In front of us were jeeps, it was clear that we were close, but sometimes it was difficult to catch them up physically: the limiting factor was the physical condition. It was shaking so hard that I had to ease off on the accelerator to save the truck and health. There were almost only dunes: large and low-sloped, smaller and steep-sloped ... There was a lot of sand. In Russia, such special stages are not easy to find. Impassibility was also good: sandy with small dunes, vegetation. We caught up with Edic Nikolaev, followed him, then overcame him. In the sands we tried to stay together, then the sands ended in 20 kilometers before the finish and we broke ahead a little. "
Dmitry Nikitin - navigator of crew No 402:
"Today we started one of the first, and, as there were only dunes (the route is ideal for jeeps and buggies), we were quite quickly caught up by those who started after us, they didn’t drive far from us and were something like beacons. It is evident that here there are very strong navigators with big experience. So there were no big problems on navigation, there were many safety way points that opened in 3 kilometers and they also helped a lot. I do not have much experience as a navigator, so after this year's Dakar these are my first big sands. And, if I'm going to Dakar next year, this will be a great training for me. "
Results of KAMAZ-master crews at the stage:
1. Crew No 401: Karginov A., Mokeev A., Leonov I. 4 hours 00 minutes 26 seconds
2. Crew No 402: Nikolaev E., Nikitin D., Galyautdinov A. + 10 min. 35 seconds
3. Crew No 403: Zi Rong, Liao Min, Svistunov D. + 46 min. 13 seconds
Results of the KAMAZ-master crews in the general classification:
1. Crew No. 401: Karginov A., Mokeev A., Leonov I. 5 hours 36 minutes 37 seconds
2. Crew No. 402: Nikolaev E., Nikitin D., Galyautdinov A. 5 hours 46 minutes 21 seconds
3. Crew No. 403: Zi Rong., Liao Min, Svistunov D. 6 hours 33 minutes 47 seconds