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Sealine Rally Qatar: Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah to compete in a Mini All4 Racing. | 16.04.2014


Breslau Rally: Rally will be more International - new full Cross-Country class. | 15.04.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot unveiled first details of Peugeot 2008 DKR Proto. | 15.04.2014


FIM World Cup: Paulo Gonçalves - "It's not about luck - it’s about hard work". | 15.04.2014


Sealine Rally Qatar: QMMF announces route for Sealine Cross Country rally. | 14.04.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Czech Loprais Tatra team now together with Buggyra Tatra. | 14.04.2014


Pharaons Rally: X-raid back in Egypt, the stages of the Egyptian Rally 2014. | 14.04.2014













































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Expedition Trophy: "After more than two full days we got into Ekaterinburg".






By Robb Pritchard: If the 1800 km drive from Murmansk to Veliky Novgorod on sheet ice and pot-holes wasn't hard enough on its own crews also had to find points scattered along the route. Each was worth 15 points and each is valuable as after each stage the two lowest scoring teams get dropped out. But even with a crazy 50 hour time limit it was so tight that teams had to choose which ones to go for.

So 2 days after I'd seen them last tired and slightly bewildered looking people lined up at the regroup at the edge of a frozen lake and I wondered around seeing who had some stories to tell.

The start-line blessing the giant bunny received didn't seem to do it too much good as it was looking very sorry for itself with its once shiny pink fur all matted with ice and grime. But its team were in good spirits as they took on the hallowed Golden Envelope, a task so hard that many talk about it with dread.

The points available if you can complete it mean that you will get a guaranteed entry in the grand final in Vladivostok. The challenge was to detour south to Kazakshtan and look for crashed satellites in the snowy wastes. Don't find them though and you are out! Incredible. But the bunny still had a grin on its face as it headed out.

But the next task for the rest of the teams over the coming 2200 km stage didn't seem all that much easier. Some of the points the organisers had put in the northern forests were hard enough to get but but this time they'd put people with stamps on trains - yes, moving checkpoints. And all the teams had to go on was a time table of 20 trains that would criss-cross the route east to Ekaterinburg over the next two days...

I found a seat with Team NEC, a friendly group of Belarussians and Muscovites and few kilometers later we pulled into a cafe called Bummer to sit down and try and work out a plan. But it wasn't too long before the time-table was in pieces on the table. "Forget it! We go to Ekaterinburg the nice way, on the back roads" Igor said.

But talk of back roads in a cafe with such a name was doomed to trouble and an unsuccessful hunt for a tyre shop with a big enough machine to balance the 37' tyres and then a closed road that confused the GPS systems enough that we were driving through the night around dead-end villages and roads that hadn't been ploughed for a long time. Tensions rose in proportion to the new Russian vocabulary I learned. Although it is funny to know that the word for pancake is a curse!

The moon was almost full and cast eerie shadows through the constant birch and pine forests, while the snow-covered fields gleamed a strange silver but the dawn didn't bring any colour to the sleeping land. We started the stage with 2300km on the GPS and to remind me just how big this country is at one point it said Turn Left in 247 km. But stopping in a place that translated into 'The essence of spirit' the next afternoon it still said 1300 km to go...

There is an interactive cd-rom in Russia called 'How to Drive' that gives instructions on how you should drive. In the rest of the world it's called Grand Theft Auto 4! Progress was painfully slow we had to force our way around labouring trucks with wonky wheels, dodge the kamikaze Lada drivers coming the other way on the wrong side of the road and thread through the wreckage of recent accidents.

And then a storm came that white-washed the way ahead and we crawled along with the road indistinguishable from fields and sky. It was impossible to overtake as visibility was down to just a few meters... and wasn't helped by the windscreen wipers icing up until they just scraped a few useless lines across the glass.

From my back seat vantage point it seemed that only Russians could carry on like this. 4 days of constant driving, only sleeping in fits and starts on the back seat before being ruffled awake again to take the wheel and they could still manage to handle an overloaded 4x4.

Finally, more than two full days since we'd left Veliky Novgorod, we got into Ekaterinburg and gratefully checked into a hotel - but only for a painfully short few hours for a team briefing and the instructions for the next stage. No one did too well in getting the stamps from the trains, the best team got 4 stamps out of a possible 19 and my friends in Team Yeti were in the last two. If they didn't manage to win the next task they'd have to face the daunting Golden Envelope or go home.

But some good news. The Oleni team with the pink bunny in tow somehow managed to find the crashed satellite in the Kazakhstani countryside. The next stage is to a camp site near the city of Tomsk, a place according to Wikipedia is famous for its chemical and oil industries. Only 1800km away and we have two days to get there.

2013/03/01 | 23:05 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/PRITCHARD











Hungarian CC: Second race, second win for Polish Chevrolet at Turkeve Cup | 16.04.2014 19:50 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah to compete in a Mini All4 Racing. | 16.04.2014 19:22 | NEW




Breslau Rally VIDEO: Official trailer of the legendary Breslau Rally Poland 2014 | 15.04.2014 23:08 | NEW




Dakar Rally 2015 VIDEO: The Lion is back - Peugeot 2008 DKR presentation | 15.04.2014 23:05 | NEW




Breslau Rally: Rally will be more International - new full Cross-Country class. | 15.04.2014 20:06 | NEW




Dakar Rally 2015: Dakar Tour stopped in the Netherlands with Cyril Despres | 15.04.2014 19:24 | NEW




Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot unveiled first details of Peugeot 2008 DKR Proto. | 15.04.2014 19:05 | NEW




Hungarian CC VIDEO: Short impressions Turkeve Cup - Nissan Qashqai Proto | 15.04.2014 18:53 | NEW




Hungarian CC: Double bad luck for Hungarian Solyom Team at Turkeve Cup | 15.04.2014 18:41 | NEW




Australasian Safari: Competitors from all around the globe - Rallysafe System | 15.04.2014 18:13 | NEW




Dakar Rally 2015 VIDEO: Tatra-Union - Loprais and Buggyra Dakar Forces | 15.04.2014 17:39 | NEW




FIM World Cup: Paulo Gonçalves - "It's not about luck - it’s about hard work". | 15.04.2014 17:38 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: QMMF announces route for Sealine Cross Country rally. | 14.04.2014 17:43 | NEW




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Marc Coma - "We fought until the last kilometer" | 14.04.2014 17:11 | NEW




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Official video impression D5 in Abu Dhabi | 14.04.2014 16:24 | NEW




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Summary Vasilyev Mini All4 Racing Team | 14.04.2014 16:19 | NEW




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Kazakhstan Teams Interview Sven Quandt | 14.04.2014 16:13 | NEW




TORC 2014: Kleiman adds second Truck 2014 - keeps busy at Primm Valley | 14.04.2014 15:55 | NEW




TORC 2014: Canadian two-truck team Sle Co Race had a challenging weekend | 14.04.2014 15:47 | NEW




TORC 2014: Cenni wins season opener - Kvamme gets first career podium | 14.04.2014 14:26 | NEW




TORC 2014: Hoek welcomes Nitto & Trailready with solid start at Primm Valley | 14.04.2014 14:19 | NEW




Defender Challenge: Race2Recovery take top step on Defender Challenge RD2 | 14.04.2014 13:45 | NEW




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Four Overdrive Toyota in the final Top 10 | 14.04.2014 13:18 | NEW




Formula Off-Road: Robby Gordon wins round 3 in front of Venezuela´s EJ Viso | 14.04.2014 12:54 | NEW




Dakar Rally 2015: Czech Loprais Tatra team now together with Buggyra Tatra. | 14.04.2014 11:17 | NEW




Pharaons Rally: X-raid back in Egypt, the stages of the Egyptian Rally 2014. | 14.04.2014 10:41 | NEW




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Vasilyev/Zhiltsov and Mini winning in Abu Dhabi. | 10.04.2014 15:31 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Surprising ADDC victory for Paulo Goncalves. | 10.04.2014 14:59 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Official video impression D4 in Abu Dhabi | 10.04.2014 10:43 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of SS03 by Team Matzker | 10.04.2014 10:41 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: 1-2-3 for the X-raid Minis, 4-5-6 for the Toyotas. | 10.04.2014 10:14 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Coma leading, Sunderland mechanical problems. | 10.04.2014 08:38 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Joan Barreda wins SS4, Marc Coma new leader. | 09.04.2014 13:57 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Riding the dunes with Vasilyev / Zhiltsov | 09.04.2014 02:43 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Vasilyev/Zhiltsov - with "support" of Schlesser | 09.04.2014 02:23 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: "Youngster" Ollie Lloyd climbed 13th pos overall | 09.04.2014 01:20 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Impressions SS03 of Kazakhstan Teams | 09.04.2014 00:47 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Official video impression D3 in Abu Dhabi | 09.04.2014 00:41 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of SS03 by Team Matzker | 09.04.2014 00:40 |




Desafio Ruta 40: The worst case will not end - again cancellation of a stage. | 08.04.2014 23:15 |




















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