The fifth stage Astrakhan-Volgograd became the longest stage during the whole rally. 443 kilometers of sand roads, holes, hillocks, fast areas – and this is not the entire list awaiting the crews. Technical track also didn’t leave navigators without work, who had to be very attentive not to lose the way.
Meanwhile with the fifth SWR stage, started the Russian Championship, traditionally going during the Silk Way Rally. It brought new intrigue: having lost time on preceding stages, crews could start from the ground up and fight for prize places in the Russian Championship. It is interesting that the Dutch racer Martin Van Den Brink took the same opportunity, who, by the way, couldn’t show a good result today, getting stuck in mud and losing 30 minutes on that. Leading in the general classification, Dmitry Sotnikov also couldn’t avoid problems: stop due to the engine costed him 20 minutes and shortened the interval in the general standing to the next contender up to 44 seconds. Andrey Karginov, leading the whole day, finished the stage with the best time and an absolutely splashed with mud windscreen. Later it became clear that windscreen wipers stopped working and the crew decided not to lose time on the changeover. Anton Shibalov showed an excellent tempo, keeping a minute distance from the leader during the whole race, but closer to the finish the guys wasted about six minutes on navigation, which shifted them on the third position. The second place was taken by Eduard Nikolaev, who also couldn’t do without time losses: they stopped to help Dmitry Sotnikov. Airat Mardeev showed the fourth best time on the special, and Dmitry Sotnikov and Sergey Kuprianov finished “at his heels”. Sergey Kuprianov lost time helping two crews.
Then events unfolded the following way: reaching the bivouac, there was the news about penalization of two leading crews (Karginov and Nikolaev) and it reversed the finish table: the first place went to Anton Shibalov’s crew, second to Eduard Nikoaev and only the third position to Andrey Karginov.
Andrey Karginov – pilot of crew No309:
“We liked the third day: there were fast areas and navigation. We kept a good speed, but unfortunately, about 80 kilometers to the finish electrical system of windscreen wipers broke down and they stopped working. As bad luck would have it, there were more puddles and mud by that moment but we could reach the finish without stops”.
Anton Shibalov – pilot of crew No306:
“The special section was more interesting than yesterday, more various and, notwithstanding the length, went less noticeable, because there were a lot of speed areas. Mud in the end was inevitable, it seemed to have rained well. We had to stray for a while before the finish but the navigator coped well with the target and brought the truck to the needed course”.
Eduard Nikolaev – pilot of crew No 301
“In the start of the special section we lost time with Dmitry Sotnikov, on the 20th kilometer we saw his truck standing, we came to them, gave cold welding. He had a blown out aftercooler, that means he had no power. We stood with him for about 6 minutes. Then we drove in a stable way. There were little problems with the maximal speed, according to devices it was 4 kmph lower than it was allowed. There are some problems with electronics, we will repair it. The special stage was interesting, there were a lot of straight roads. Today we saw Nasser standing, when we came he waived us to go further. Later we saw Martin Van Den Brink, but he didn’t ask for help, we passed him by. We are pleased with this stage, but not with the days before. There is still work to be done especially technical one: this truck requires plenty of attention. But this is an experience, we shouldn’t stand still, it is necessary to move forward. The truck is good, I am satisfied with it”.
Dmitry Sotnikov – pilot of crew No300
“There were problems on the track: in 20 kilometers from the start the boost pressure disappeared and aluminum pipe blew out, we glued it up and went further. Due to this, engine power disappeared, we drove as we could, trying, the stage was long, we realized that we needed to fight. As a result, we lost about 20 minutes”.
Sergey Kuprianov – pilot of crew No311
“Sometimes I didn’t understand much where I needed to go: in some places it wasn’t seen, somewhere it wasn’t clear, perhaps it was correct, but not clear. Generally it was ok, but we understand that we could go faster. A lot of moments when you feel that the speed was not the one, which could be in these places. We pulled out stuck in the mud Martin Van Den Brink, we also put onto wheels Krotov’s crew. There were some places where you couldn’t shift to the maximum speed due to squishy ground and impossibility to gather speed: hard, swampy and that’s it”.
Results of the 5th Stage:
1. Crew № 306 Shibalov А. (КАМАZ-master)4 hours 30 min. 31 sec.
2. Crew № 301 Nikolaev E. (КАМАZ-master) + 47 sec.
3. Crew № 309 Karginov А. (КАМАZ-master) + 3 min. 17 sec.
4. Crew № 303 Mardeev А. (КАМАZ-master) + 4 min. 31 sec.
5. Crew № 300 Sotnikov D. (КАМАZ-master)+ 16 min. 36 sec.
6. Crew № 311 Kuprianov S. (КАМАZ-master) + 29 min. 49 sec.
7. Crew № 308 Sugawara Т. (HINO TEAM SUGAWARA)+ 49 min. 48 sec.
8. Crew № 304 Martin Van Den Brink (MAMMOET RALLYE SPORT) + 1 hour 29 min. 46 sec.
9. Crew № 317 Levitskii B. (GAZ raid Sport) + 2 hours 58 min. 38 sec.
10. Crew № 312 Shkyaev M. (GAZ raid Sport) + 3 hours 15 min. 31 sec.
1. Crew № 300 Sotnikov D. (КАМАZ-master)20 hours 35 min. 38 sec.
2. Crew № 309 Karginov А. (КАМАZ-master)+ 44 sec.
3. Crew № 303 Mardeev А. (КАМАZ-master) + 11 min. 44 sec.
4. Crew № 311 Kuprianov S. (КАМАZ-master) + 54 min. 49 sec.
5. Crew № 306 Shibalov А. (КАМАZ-master)+ 56 min. 40 sec.
6. Crew № 308 Sugawara Т. (HINO TEAM SUGAWARA) + 2 hours 16 min. 31 sec.
7. Crew № 301 Nikolaev E. (КАМАZ-master)+ 2 hours 17 min. 39 sec.
8. Crew № 312 Shkyaev M. (GAZ raid Sport) + 9 hours 36 min. 04 sec.
9. Crew № 317 Levitskii B. (GAZ raid Sport) + 11 hours 28 min. 50 sec.
10. Crew № 304 Martin Van Den Brink (MAMMOET RALLYE SPORT) + 216 hours 24 min. 38 sec.