On 20 July rally-marathon Silk Way Rally-2018 starts in Astrakhan. On the international race KAMAZ-master Team will be represented by six crews:
Pilot E.Nikolaev; co-pilot E.Yakovlev; mechanic V.Rybakov,
Pilot A.Karginov; co-pilot A.Mokeev; mechanic I.Leonov,
Pilot D.Sotnikov; co-pilot R.Akhmadeev; mechanic I.Mustafin,
Pilot A.Mardeev; co-pilot A.Belyaev; mechanic A.Galyautdinov,
Pilot A.Shibalov; co-pilot D.Nikitin; mechanic I.Romanov,
Pilot S.Kuprianov; co-pilot A.Kuprianov; mechanic D.Svistunov.
Route of the Silk Way Rally-2018 will consist of seven special stages with the total length of 2500 km. The race finish will be held on the Red Square in Moscow on 27 July.
Balanced but harsh route, starting in the south of Russia, will become a serious challenge as for vehicles so for people. Astrakhan sands, endless Povolzhskiy and Kalmyk steppes: here only beauty of the landscape will somehow compensate challenges of off-road tracks.
“Almost after a week of arrival from Dakar-2018 the team started to work in tough schedule,” – says Sergey Savostin, who, instead of Vladimir Chagin busy with leading the rally-marathon, will perform functions of KAMAZ-master team-manager .
-The matter is that beginning with the next year Dakar regulations won’t already allow usage of engines with the volume more than 13 liters in trucks. Of course, we have been preparing for it in advance. Works with new six-cylinder in-line engine were already started in 2016. The engine change led to cardinal changes in the truck design. In fact we again had to design new race bolide, which became a “carrier” of last novelties, modern sport technologies and thirty-year experience of the team’s performance on off-road rallies. Part of the new solutions was used in the truck of Dmitry Sotnikov, which successfully performed on Silk Way Rally-2017. And now virtually for five months a new truck was built. Andrey Karginov’s crew will perform on it in July. Before the start in Astrakhan the production shop must make one more truck. It will be driven by Airat Mardeev.”
Six KAMAZ crews on the race – such a numerous composition proves that summer sport season is used by the Russian team to carry-out a large test program.
“It is difficult to create a route more difficult than killing off-road tracks of the Russian south for “shaking out” and checking a new truck”, - says Evgeny Yakovlev, co-pilot of Eduard Nikolaev’s crew, also a manager of design department of the team. – By the start of Dakar-2019 we must prepare four trucks of that kind. Beyond that in terms of tests, Silk Way Rally-2018 will become a natural test area for already known bonnet truck, essentially modernized for the last half of the year. During the race will continue finishing works of the new gas-and-diesel truck of KAMAZ-master Team, in which 16-liter V-8 is used instead of old 18-liter engine.
On this truck, assembled this May, Sergey Kuprianov’s crew was already leading in June on rally “Kazakhstan-2018”. Racing gas KAMAZ is a new joint project of KAMAZ-master Team, VTB Bank (PJSC) and PJSC “Gazprom”. Race truck applied for Silk Way Rally-2018 is the second truck created within the project, existing since 2013 and serving the purpose to popularize usage of natural gas as a fuel.
Champion of Dakar-2018 Eduard Nikolaev is sure that an interesting battle is ahead: “Rates in the international Silk Way Rally have always been high – this is a guarantee of the fact that speed won’t be small. Although they say that at home even the walls help, it is not the reason to relax. Tracks in the south of Russia are interesting due to their unpredictability. Astrakhan dunes are tough and chaotically scattered – very “uncomfortable” even for experienced drivers. It will be a battle at the limit as for people, so for trucks. It is not easy here in psychological aspect as well: there will be pressure from foreign crews, from the same Van Brink or Sergey Vyazovich. In the meantime nobody has canceled rivalry from other KAMAZ-master crews.”
KAMAZ members are preparing one more surprise for their fans – on the occasion of 30-th anniversary of KAMAZ-master new trucks of the team will perform in new livery, designed to emphasize workability of the new race line-up and denote development within modern technologies.
SCHEDULE OF SILK WAY RALLY-2018
19 and 20 July 2018: administrative checks and scrutineering in Astrakhan
20 July 2018: ceremonial start in Astrakhan
From 21 to 27 July 2018: 7 stages in Russia
21 July – 1 stage: ASTRAKHAN/ASTRAKHAN
22 July – 2 stage: ASTRAKHAN/ELISTA
23 July – 3 stage: ELISTA/ASTRAKHAN
24 July – 4 stage: ASTRAKHAN/ASTRAKHAN
25 July – 5 stage: ASTRAKHAN/VOLGOGRAD
26 July – 6 stage: VOLGOGRAD/LIPETSK
27 July – 7 stage: LIPETSK/MOSCOW
27 July 2018 Ceremonial finish in Moscow (Red Square).