|Silk Way Rally: Czech Ales Loprais Tratra team and the route of the Rally.|
The route of the Silk Way Rally is roughly situated to the same area as last year and takes the best of it. Moreover, special stages take up the majority of the total distance. The racing teams and their assistance crews are to take part in administrative and technical scrutineerings at the sports complex of Luzhniki and on July 9 they are to take start from the Red Square next to the walls of the Cremlin.
On the next day, the first stage to Lipetsk offers a 260-kilometre special of fast tracks in rural areas of Russia full of changes in direction. Stage 2 will take all competitors to the area of the Caspian Sea, with numerous sand ergs and small dunes. The lengths of all specials here are of Dakar-like parameters, which certainly applies also to Stage 3 to Astrakhan, the loop around Astrakhan and a truly marathon special of nearly 700 kilometers to Stavropol.
This area was found particularly difficult last year due to excessive number of waypoints, track crossings and changes in direction. Even the penultimate and relatively short special towards Maykop can decide many things and the final special in the riverbed at Sochi might be found as grueling as the one in 2010. Out of 3981 kilometers of the total distance, almost 2500 kilometers are taken by special stages.
"We like the route the way it is proposed and since the 2010 edition we know quite a lot what to expect from it" siad the Czech Tatra-driver Ales Loprais. "The race will surely be extremely fast again. Due to the time span of one week (half the site of the Dakar) it will be driven at full pace and under pressure of the local Kamaz team, which will surely contribute to the psychological difficulty of the rally."
"After some tricky moments of last year we hope for more attention devoted to the preparation of itineraries but still this is a rally really difficult for the precise work of navigators. Due to short time lags, there may be no time to make up potential time losses occurring on the track. There is no better test for the real Dakar in South America. In the future, the sandy areas on both sides of the Caspian can be linked and create a new, super-tough rally," Ales Loprais said.
Silk Way Rally 2011 - List of Stages
01. 10.7. Moscow - Lipetsk 573 261
02. 11.7. Lipetsk - Volgograd 850 365
03. 12.7. Volgograd - Astrakhan 589 432
04. 13.7. Astrakhan - Astrakhan 420 400
05. 14.7. Astrakhan - Stavropol 765 689
06. 15.7. Stavropol - Maykop 425 168
07. 16.7. Maykop - Sochi (Krasnaya Polyana) 361 16
Overall: Moscow - Sochi, 3981 km, 2449 km in race
2011/07/05 | 16:40 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/LOPRAIS