The contestants had to overcome 146 kilometers of the most difficult dunes in the fourth final stage of the rally on September 28. Huge sandy massifs of the Gobi, astonishing for their greatness, have become not only an incredible adventure for the sportsmen, but also an excellent training and testing of vehicles for the forthcoming rally season in 2019. Two new trucks with 13-liter engines, with automatic and manual gearboxes, have performed very well in China. KAMAZ-master Team completed a large-scale testing program before sending trucks to the upcoming Dakar in January.
Immediately after the completion of the final stage, the vehicles were parked in an enclosure, from which later they drove to the podium for the award ceremony. In the truck category the first to the podium went the truck of Andrey Karginov, who, after four stages, took the 9th place in the overall standings and became the winner of the Chinese edition of the “Silk Way Rally” in the truck category. Eduard Nikolaev’s crew took 22nd position in the absolute standings and became a silver medalist in T4. Chinese pilot Zi Rong proved to be an excellent pilot and became a bronze medalist of the rally, taking 27th place in the absolute classification.
For the third time already in its newest history, KAMAZ-master Team participates in the rally, taking place on the territory of China. Each time it becomes an incredible challenge, perceived in a new way. Someone falls in love with this country, for someone it remains a mystery, but regardless of the attitude, everyone is happy to return home and tomorrow morning the whole team will go home to Russia.
Sergey Savostin - manager of KAMAZ-master Team at the “Silk Way Rally”: "The main that this race gave us is preparation for the upcoming Dakar. We fulfilled the program, all decisions that we are planning to take after this race, are ripen. We will come home and sum up everything. The race is perfectly organized as in terms of sports, so in technical and “household” terms. One can and should come here, it's very interesting, there is a lot of sand, there is an opportunity to practice, to test vehicles. Also, good conditions are created on the bivouac: the fact that all stand on the asphalt is already great, as it is comfortable to work with vehicles, all other household issues are also solved. We really enjoyed it and will be happy to come next year. "
Eduard Nikolaev - pilot of crew No 402: "Today is a very interesting special stage, slightly unusual relief of dunes, which can be compared with Dakar in Peru, very viscous sand. We drove well, at our own pace: the navigation was interesting, and it was technically possible to test the truck in such conditions. Today we drove to the utmost, without wasting time, at our good fast pace. The route was really various, sands, small lakes, which we also crossed. It was very unusual to see such a drought and intersections with big hummocks in the lowlands, pits, camel thorns. And it's all in the water. Although the organizers had promised, that there would be pieces of roads, but they were sandy, so almost throughout the whole route we were in the dunes. The special stage was quite challenging, though the distance was only 140 km. Closer to the end, the track was faster, dunes were more extended, and the speed began to rise. I am satisfied as with the truck so with the crew, we have tested many technical issues, we are bringing the necessary information for our team in order to sit down altogether and discuss all the details and units. I am very pleased with the race itself, with the organizational part, as the organizers approached to the route: very interesting and various."
Andrey Karginov - pilot of crew No 401: "Today was even more interesting than yesterday. Unusual start, it was the first time we started right uphill the dune, with a good degree of ascent. We were afraid that we might not take it from the first time, but the truck coped with it. The sand was like yesterday wet at the top, and dry in the bottom, which our wheels quickly "ploughed". After a bunch of dunes we drove to a hard impassibility, which I hardly remember: it was impossible to drive, there was a feeling that the truck moves more up than horizontally. Big stress for both vehicles and bodies, and in the end we caught a piece of yesterday's route. Generally, it was a great race, I liked all the stages and we managed to test the vehicles very well. "
Zi Rong - pilot of crew No 403:"On today’s stage there were many fast sections, everything went fine. I am already used to driving KAMAZ, with every stage it is much easier to do. Now I can say that I have already learned to manage this excellent truck. It's hard to part with the truck, on which I spent four wonderful and memorable racing days. I hope that in the future I will have anopportunity to continue driving a truck of KAMAZ-master Team, I will be happy to get such an honor again. "
Silk Way Rally-2018, Chinese Part, Truck Category
Stage 4, results of KAMAZ-master crews:
1. Crew No 402: Nikolaev E., Nikitin D., Galyautdinov A. 2 hours 41 minutes 6 seconds
2. Crew No 401: Karginov A., Mokeev A., Leonov I. 2 hours 42 minutes 40 seconds
3. Crew No 403: Zi Rong, Liao Min, Svistunov D. 3 hours 6 minutes and 15 seconds
Results of KAMAZ-master crews in the general classification:
1. Crew No 401: Karginov A., Mokeev A., Leonov I. 12 hours 33 minutes 2 seconds
2. Crew No 402: Nikolaev E., Nikitin D., Galyautdinov A. 15 hours 3 minutes 59 seconds
3. Crew No 403: Zi Rong, Liao Min, Svistunov D. 15 hours 55 minutes 21 seconds