GMT +3 S.1 – MOSCOW – TCHEBOKSARY “THE ROUTE TO NIJNI NOVOGOROD” 726,95 km 100% piste (100% earth)
Loeb and Kolomy win first stage
Sébastien Loeb (Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi n°104) in the cars and the Czech driver Martin Kolomy (Tatra n°311), in the trucks, are the first winners of the 2017 Silk Way Rally 2017, at the end of the opening stage between Moscow and Tcheboksary, situated on the banks of the River Volga. Top three for Peugeot and top two for Tatra.
*Cars: Loeb sets the pace
*T2: Di Lallo opens the score
*Camions: Tatra one-two, Kamaz make discreet start
*Tomorrow: Grand Kazan Track
S.1 – MOSCOW – TCHEBOKSARY – The race
Cars: Loeb sets the pace
Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena (Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi n°104) made their intentions clear on the first 61 kilometre special.
Over a slippery, WRC type piste, the nine times World Rally World Champion took nearly half a second a kilometre off his team mate Stéphane Peterhansel, second at 29 seconds.
Opening the track today, Cyril Despres made sure the Peugeots got the first three places, finishing just over 2 minutes behind Loeb.
Credited with exactly the same time, 03:38 behind the day’s winner, the John Cooper Works Minis of the Saudian Yazeed Al Rajji and the American Byrce Menzies took fourth and fifth places respectively.
Di Lallo opens to score
In T2 category, reserved for production based vehicles, it was the Australian Adrian Di Lallo (Isuzu n°135) who took the first stage victory. He came home ahead of the factory Toyota Land Cruiser (Team Toyota Autobody) of the Japanese driver Akira Miura (n°133) and Frenchman Marco Piana (n°151).
Trucks: one-two for Tatra, Kamaz make discreet start
In the truck class the surprise of the day came from the Tatras of Czech drivers Martin Kolomy (Tatra Phoenix n°311) and Ales Loprais (Tatra 815/2 n°305), first and second respectively on this first special.
Clearly more at ease over the slippery tracks, the ‘small’ Czech vehicles came home ahead of Dutchman Ton Van Genugten Iveco and the MAZ of Belorussia Siarhei Viazovich.
Gerard De Rooy and his new Iveco completed the top 5, more than 4 minutes behind Kolomy.
Considerably further back, the Kamaz team made a surprisingly discreet debut on what could be considered a warm up special. First of the ‘blue armada’ trucks in was that of Anton Shibalov (Kamaz 4326 n°312) who this evening is in only 8th place, 4:18 behind the day’s winner.
Tomorrow leg 2 : Tcheboksary – Ufa. GRAND KAZAN TRACK
The second stage between Tcheboksary and Ufa (785.63 kms, of which 157 kms are special) takes the competitors over a piste that is at times narrow and technical. Other sections are faster, winding between vegetation. Care must be take not to cut corners as there are some big holes hiding in the long grass. Opening the piste won’t be easy, with changes in direction sometimes hidden by the greenery.
GAZPROM, the rally’s main partner
Sponsor since the first edition of the Silk Way Rally in 2009, the Russian company PJSC Gazprom is engaged on the event as a main partner for a minimum of two years.
TOYOTA, « official vehicles » of the organization
Because of their unique design and capabilities, TOYOTA all-terrain vehicles have proved their extraordinary resistance in Russian, Kazakh and Chinese during the various reconnaissance and on the rally. TOYOTA, which symbolizes technical and technological confidence, has been the official supplier of Silk Way Rally cars since 2016, accompanying the rally on both road and track.
SIBUR, technical partner
SIBUR is the technical partner for innovative materials and is sponsoring a special award “For impressive vehicle reliability and excellent skills demonstrated under extreme circumstances”.
GAZPROM NEFT, official fuel partner
Gazprom will be filling up the Silk Way Rally’s vehicles along the route with the company’s newly launched branded diesel fuel, Diesel Opti.
Diesel Opti reduces overall fuel consumption and optimizes performance, enabling Rally drivers to enjoy the full potential of their engines and concentrate on driving in extreme conditions