For the contestants of the rally-raid “Gold of Kagan”, this Sunday, April 25, became a busy day with an early rise. The 274-kilometer special seсtion of the Gold of Kagan’s second stage was laid along the left bank of the Volga river. In order to get to the start of the SS, the race contestants overcame about 140 kilometers of liaison up the map towards Volgograd. The total length of the stage was 518 km.
Rally-raids are famous not only for their unique sports component, but also for the romance of adventure. This time, on the way to the start of the second special stage the organizers decided to invite the rally participants to plunge into the Middle Ages and visit the Sarai Batu complex - built in 2011 as a scenery for the film "Horde". Now it is a tourist center dedicated to the history and culture of the Golden Horde Khanate, located in the Kharabalinsky region in Astrakhan, in places where the ancient capital of Sarai Batu was located.
First two-thirds of the 274-kilometer special stage passed mainly along sandy relief, relatively fast roads. After the service area called "Khoscheutovo" the route took the pilots to the solonchak valley, a high-speed zone with incredibly beautiful landscapes. The solonchaks were replaced by more relief landscapes, the pace of the race radically changed here in order to test the athletes' endurance and patience. On this site, the organizers arranged many navigation zones without any reference to the location, only a correctly chosen course made it possible not to lose time and move in the right direction along a very hilly steppe, where you need to be extremely careful.
Terrific Astrakhan routes caused typical for this area mechanical breakdowns of a large number of crews. Sportsmen of KAMAZ-master team did not avoid technical problems. Andrey Karginov's truck had steering problems, and Sergei Kupriyanov's crew, after a rear axle gear breakdown, was forced to reach the finish line with only front drive wheels.
The Belarusian crew of MAZ-SPORTauto Aliaksei Vishneuski faced engine problems.
Andrey Karginov, pilot of crew No 304
“It was a first day, difficult day. The start was quick. A wild pace from the very start. We are driving a truck of a previous generation. The aim is to see the pros and cons compared to the newest trucks of the team. The crew of Eduard Nikolaev overcame us, but it was difficult to keep up with them. Still, the engine on the latest models of racing KAMAZ is better adjusted - it provides quick acceleration and getting on the gas. Unfortunately, 12 kilometers before the finish line we had to stop and lose about 30 minutes to fix a steering breakdown. While we were repairing, only two trucks overpassed us, then there was a long silence, which proves that many contestants today had problems. Overall, it was a good working day. "
Airat Mardeev, pilot of crew No 306
“Almost every year, today's special stage is included into the Gold of Kagan program. Very difficult, a lot of heavy off-road, a lot of driving - without roads - in courses. Classic "Astrakhan". There are two newcomers in my crew at once - navigator Albert Arslanov and mechanic Vadim Akhmetov. There were no problems with navigation. I intentionally took a careful pace to take a closer look and help if Albert needed. In fact, he is driving from scratch. No training. Therefore, I also had to get used to his dictation. To see whether he "hits" or not. And it is absolutely impossible to take a risk, if he does not have time to read something somewhere, it may end badly. However, we drove at a good pace. Realizing that somewhere you can speed up. Tomorrow we'll try to pick up the pace. Vadim also shows himself well. The physical load is very serious. He has never ridden such long special stages before. But he did part of his work well.”
Anton Shibalov, pilot of crew No 302
“Early start, get up at 6 in the morning. I wanted to sleep. The liaison was hard. To some extent, this was offset by an interesting stop on the way to the start - we had tea with “baursak” and watched scenery for the film “Horde”. The left bank has always been considered particularly bumpy. Everyone felt it today. It began with fast tracks. Smooth descents, ascents... But then what we call “Astrakhan” began. I still like tracks of other type more. A very strange finish time. I suspect there are some problems with timing. I am sure that we could not have lost so much at driving”.
RESULTS OF SS2.
1.Viazovich S. 3:32:22
2.Nikolaev E. +0: 03: 07
3.Sotnikov D. +0: 03: 16
4. Mardeev A. +0: 08: 15
5. Shibalov A. +0: 14: 29
6. Murylev V. +0: 23: 58
7. Karginov A. +0: 41: 48
8. Karimov B. +0: 43: 46
9. Kupriyanov S. +1: 02: 57
10. Khlebov A. +1: 46: 33
11. Shklyaev M. +2: 47: 16