S.14 Despres and Sotnikov score doubles at Xi’an
Arriving in triumph and bright sunshine at the ancient capital of the Middle Empire, at the end of over 700 kilometres of liaison, the competitors on the 2017 Silk Way Rally were all smiles. Cancelled following heavy overnight rain in the Zhongwei region, the last 100,67 km special was transformed into a lap of honour for the competitors and their assistance, coming to the end of 15 days and nearly 10.000 km of racing that was varied and demanding for both man and machine. Pulling into the parc fermé, that marks the end of this 2017 edition, at Xi’an’s exhibition centre, Cyril Despres and David Castera (Peugeot 3008DKR n°100) take a second consecutive victory in the car category, while Dmitry Sotnikov, accompanied by his Kamaz Ruslan team co-drivers Akhmadeev and Ilnur Mustafin (Kamaz-Master n°303) also takes a second victory in the truck class (after their first in 2013), at the end of a fierce battle with their Kamaz team mates.
Sotnikov proves the new Kamaz
With the best teams at the start, the 2017 Silk Way Rally promised a fierce fight between the four Team Kamaz-Master trucks and their principle rivals from Team Iveco De Rooy, Mammoet Riwald, MAZ and Tatra. Once again the experience and team work of the men from Tatarstan proved decisive at the end of the 10,000 km leading to Xi’an. Patient in Russia and Kazakhstan, the blue armada held back until crossing the border into China. The only one able to carry on the fight was the Czech Martin Kolomy (Tatra Phoenix n°311) who finally let go in the Gobi Desert. And it was there, in the heart of the cathedral dunes, that Sotnikov, Shibalov and Mardeev let rip to share the spoils. Keeping a cool head all the way to the finish in his 100% new Kamaz, equipped with a ‘small’ 13.5 litre Cummins engine, Dmitry Sotnikov fought off the attacks of the young and talented Anton Shibalov to take a second Silk Way win. “I can’t remember such a tough race,” commented Sotnikov, “We had to fight for each second and every day the battle became more intense. I am happy that Anton Shibalov kept up the pressure because it really bought out the best in us. Unfortunately there can only be one winner. Anton could very well have won the race, as the gap between us was tiny and shows the degree of competition at this level of racing.”
Special Stage wins: Sotnikov (4): SS5, SS7, SS8, SS13. Kolomy (3): SS1, SS4, SS11. Mardeev (2): SS9, SS12.
Vladimir Chagin (General Director of the Silk Way Rally): “Thank you all!”
“This Silk Way Rally has once again proved itself worthy of its status as an international sporting event. In each country crossed there were many spectators at the side of the route. The race was even tougher than last year due to the rain that has followed us from Moscow, adding an extra degree of difficulty for the competitors. But nothing stands in the way of sport, courage and passion. I would like to thank all the competitors on this 2017 edition for their determination, that is the mark of all great sportsmen and women. I would also like to thank all the members of the organisation, as well as our partners, without whom this fantastic sporting and human adventure would not exist. Thank you all and see you next year.”
Due to the storms and heavy showers that have hit the Zhongwei region , the Silk Way Rally’s Race Directors cancelled the 14th Special Stage between Zhongwei and Xi’an, a decision approved of by all the competitors.
All competitors in the race, will therefore leave in liaison, following the assistance route, in order of the overall rankings, for the parc ferme in Xi’an, so as to be able to take part in the finish celebrations and the final podium, which will be held as initially planned.
As the Sporting Stewards have decided to cancel SS14, the results are those of the end of the 13th stage of 21 July 2017.
Cyril Despres and David Castera (Peugeot 3008DKR n°106) in the cars and Dmitry Sotnikov, Ruslan Akhmadeev and Ilnur Mustafin (Kamaz-Master n°303) in the truck class will therefore simply have to reach the parc ferme in Xi’an to be officially declared winners of the 2017 edition of the Silk Way Rally in their respective categories.
Kolomy, in the only Tatra left, came home 11th overall with three stage victories in his bag!
Sotnikov, finishes on top
While it was almost certain this morning that it would be a Kamaz that would take the final victory on the 2017 Silk Way Rally, it was still unclear who would be on the top step of the podium tomorrow in Xi’an. With just a little over 3 minutes in the lead, Dmitry Sotnikov knew that his leadership was threatened by his young team mate Anton Shibalov. Attacking hard, Shibalov actually took the virtual overall lead at the end of the first special by just 2 seconds, but Sotnikov fought back in the second to actually increase his overall lead to 06:04. The last special tomorrow might be short but it isn’t expected to be easy, so while it would be very unwise to declare Sotnikov the winner, after a shaky start earlier in the day, he is looking marginally more comfortable this evening than he was this morning. Mardeev, 3rd on the special, and overall, led in the Belorussians Viazovich (MAZ n°304) and Vasilevski (MAZ n°309) and the Kazakh Ardavicius. Bad day on the other hand for his team mate Gerard De Rooy (Iveco Powerstar n°302), forced to drive to the bivouac at Zhongwei by tarmac, before the start of the second special, after running into steering problems.
Sotnikov loses power
For the Kamaz-Master armada the objective of this 12th stage was perfectly clear: to counter the charge of Kolomy and his Tatra, that until now was stubbornly holding onto their 3rd place overall. Starting first on the road this morning, after yesterday’s victory, the Czech driver didn’t hold onto the lead for very long. Yet it wasn’t the Kamaz that were the cause of his problems, but like Despres, a problem with his power steering that bought his Tatra Phoenix n°311 to a halt in the middle of the dunes. More than enough to encourage Airat Mardeev (Kamaz-Master n°300) to get on the gas. The winner of the 2016 Silk Way Rally 2016 nevertheless took the time to pull out Sotnikov, his leader, losing power and stuck on the crest of a dune. At the finish Mardeev takes his 2nd stage win, 2m15s ahead of Shibalov. Coming back respectively to 3m04s and 17m54s to Sotnikov overall, both can still hope for final victory in Xi’An. All of which promises a great battle between team mates tomorrow in the dunes of the Tenger desert, as beautiful as it is redoubtable…
Kolomy would finish last, loosing more than four hours.
Stage 11 – Dunhuang-Jiayuguan: “The fort of the fertile valley” – 783,84 km
Trucks: Kolomy keeps attacking
Driving in tight formation since arriving in China, the Team Kamaz-Master drivers would appear to be managing the race. Not that they would entertain the idea of letting a stage win slip from their grasp without a struggle.
One of the principle actors in the truck race since the first special in Russia, the Czech driver Martin Kolomy and his Tatra Phoenix n°311, knew therefore that he’d have to get on the gas if he wanted to get this 3rd win and defend the third place overall that Airat Mardeev would so like to get his hands on.
Beaten to the line yesterday, after a puncture less than 50 kilometres from the finish, Lady Luck decided to shine on Kolomy a little brighter today. Fighting over mere seconds with the Kamaz-Master of Shibalov and Sotnikov that started just behind him, the Czech driver finally finished 49 seconds ahead of Anton Shibalov. He returned to the third overall spot.
Third on the stage at 1m07s, Dmitry Sotnikov and his new generation Kamaz-Master maintain an almost 15-minute lead overall.
Stage 9 continued:
After a day off, the Loprais team set off on a stage that contained about 50 km of dune fields. Ales likes the dunes, but this time he entered them with doubts. The first half was successful, the chassis worked great, the Tatra overtook a lot of cars and trucks, but the Tatra was caught by the same problem once more. The Queen began to boil again, so we were forced to get out of the dunes and continue to the bivouac.
Loprais commented: We are sorry, but the measures we have taken are insufficient. Moreover, it is clear that we will not solve the problem any better and will not look in the dunes in this year’s competition. We cannot risk a more extensive problem. After considering all the possible options, we decided to conclude our participation at this year’s Silk Way rally. We thank everyone for the support, and we believe that we will manage to fine-tune the Queen and eliminate all technical problems and meet you all at the Dakar rally 2018.
On July 8, 2017 the seventh Silk Way Rally set off from Red Square in Moscow and head east. The competition will take place in three countries – Russia, Kazakhstan and China – and will link the three capitals of Moscow, Astana and Beijing. Crews will cover a distance of 10,000km over two weeks, and almost half will be on special stages.
The truck category could welcome both Ales Loprais and Marin Kolomy, both on Tatras.
August 9th: The Czech drivers sprang a surprise in the first stage. Martin Kolomy (Tatra Phoenix n°311) and Ales Loprais(Tatra 815/2 n°305), became 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.
Kolomy quote”“We are used to driving in these conditions, at home in the Czech Republic. Of course it means opening the piste tomorrow. It won’t be a problem for me, but more for my co-driver, who comes from WRC and hasn’t raced in rally-raid before…”
It was Martin van den Brink (Renault Sherpa n°301) and Gerard De Rooy (Iveco 4×4 DRNL n°302) who led home the Silk Way Rally truck race on the second stage on August 10th. Taking advantage of a certain amount of over-enthusiasm from the Tatras of Kolomy and Loprais, as well as Viazovich in his MAZ, all of whom made errors on this particularly tricky special, the Dutchmen came out on top. And while van den Brink took 2m04s off De Rooy on the stage, overall he is only 13 seconds ahead of his countryman. The Kazakh Ardavicius (Iveco 4×4 DRNL n°310) takes the third spot just ahead of the first Kamaz of Anton Shibalov (n°312). Loprais had a disastrous day. In today’s speed trial he stood three times. Twice for a broken hose, and for the third time it was a fatal breakdown: shattered clutch. He could not shift anything out of the neutral, so had to wait for towage. No one, of course, stopped by, only the pilot Boucou in the end, but in such a difficult terrain it was impossible for him to help.
In the third stage, After having nearly taken victory on three previous occasion, thanks to their driver Siarhei Viazovich, the factory MAZ team from Minsk finally realised their dream of winning a rally-raid special on this 3rd stage of the 2017 Silk Way Rally. Second, less than a minute behind, the Czech driver Kolomy (Tatra n°311), Saturday’ winner, takes the overall lead, ahead of a trio of Kamaz led by Anton Shibalov (n°312) ahead of his team mates Sotnikov (n°303) and Mardeev (n°300). Discreet up until now, the Kamaz look ready to pounce. Not such a good day however for yesterday’s front runners. Starting first this morning, Martin van den Brink (Renault ‘Sherpa’ n°301) ran into mechanical problems at the end of the special, losing nearly 30 minutes, while Gerard De Rooy (Iveco Powerstar n°302) gave away 17 minutes opening the piste. Loprais did not start in the 3rd stage as the clutch was heavily damaged. It was eventually fixed to fix it in the workshops of Kamaz until six o’clock in the morning, which was followed by a short rest and further hard work on the Tatra. Loprais had to give up the start in the stage and move to the bivouac in Kostanay, Kazakhstan.
The 4th stage saw a new victory of Martin Kolomy, extending his lead overall. The longest stage of the rally also saw some major upsets in the truck class, while up at the front of the race Gerard De Rooy (Iveco Powertsar n°302) and Martin Kolomy (Tatra Phoenix n°311) fought it out tooth and nail. In the beginning it looked like it was the Dutchman who was going to come out on top, but in the end it was the Czech who took both specials to finish just 21 seconds ahead. Overall Kolomy increases his lead on De Rooy to more than 11 minutes. On home ground, the Kazakh Artur Ardavicius (Iveco Powerstar n°310) took third place, both on the stage and overall. Loprais again did not start to give his crew some time to rest. He will start in stage 5 however.
Playing a low profile since the start in Moscow, last Saturday, the Kamaz choose this first long special to get on the gas. A decision that saw Naberezhnie Tchelny’s blue monsters take the first three places on the day. Winning ahead of Shibalov and Nikolaev, Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz-Master n°303) also takes the overall lead 48 seconds in front of Anton Shibalov (Kamaz-Master n°312) and 15m27s ahead of the Czech driver Kolomy (Tatra Phoenix 311), who lost more than 50 minutes after getting stuck on the going. The day after their fellow countrymen’s disastrous run of bad luck that saw all three Team Mammoet / Riwald trucks out, it was the turn of Team De Rooy Iveco to suffer. Starting second today, Gerard De Rooy (Iveco Powerstar n°302) was forced to leave the special at CP2 (Km 260) when his cabin chassis broke. Team mate, the Kazakh driver Artur Ardavicius (Iveco Powerstar n°310), managed to finish the stage but only after giving away nearly an hour to Sotnikov after getting stuck.
June 23rd saw a trip to Koprivnice on the program. The route led via Vyskov airport, where s special test was held.
1932 T 52 Sodomka
1938 T 97
After leaving the parking garage, the Tatras had to line up.
…..and were guided out of the city of Brno
A special test was held at the Vyskov Airport
Competitors came from Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and even from Sweden (above). Also at least three Americans flew from the U.S. to the Czech Republic to the event.
The Tatras attracted firm attention. Not only from the public but also from curious policemen. Dutchman Jan van Rijsoort was stopped as the curious policemen just wanted a glance in his T 700. Admitting this, the were willing to pose for your photographer.
All cars were sent to Tatra’s Polygon test track where they were lined up. The competitor were led to several Koprivnice hotels. The next day all the Tatras were on show to the public and joined by all kind of Tatras from local Tatra enthusiasts. The classic Tatras also made a tour through Koprivnice where they were warmly greeted. On the Polygon, interested people could have a ride with one of the Dakar trucks. Finally, the Hajdusek brothers raced their T 603B4 and their Ecorra T 700 Sport for several demonstration laps.
Dakar trucks of all ages on the Polygon.
1 CZ Urban Miroslav NW1 1897 1 100 Präsident I.
2 CZ Troják Jiří T11 1924 1 056 I.
4 CZ Pálka Přemysl T12 1927 1 057 I.
5 CZ Matera Radim T52 1931 2 000 I.
6 CZ Novák Jiří T12 1931 1 200 I.
7 CZ Obadal Alois T43/52 1931 1 909 has.speciál I.
8 CZ Sedlář Leoš T54 1931 1 462 FM 53 48 I.
9 CZ John Bedřich T57 1932 1 155 I.
10 CZ Klein Jiří T57 1932 1 155 sport I.
11 CZ Král Libor T57 1932 1 155 I.
12 CZ Polášek ml. Jiří T57 1932 1 145 Sport I.
13 CZ Smrček Jaroslav T54/30 1932 1 688 I.
14 CZ Vodica František T52 1932 1 910 Sodomka I.
15 CZ Červený Svatopluk T75 1934 1 688 cabriolet VSB 12-00 I.
16 CZ Frank Libor T57 1934 1 200 sport I.
17 A Hoffmann Helmut T57 1934 1 155 sport I.
18 CZ Pálka Luboš T70a 1934 3 845 hasič I.
19 CZ Raškovec Jiří T57a 1934 1 155 Hadimrška I.
20 CZ Kokrda Josef T75 1936 1 668 II.
21 SK Miklík, ing. Ján Viliam T75 1936 1 698 kabrio II.
22 CZ Černý Rostislav T57a 1937 1 155 II.
23 CZ Meizner Václav T75 1937 1 680 II.
24 CZ Pokorný Bohumír T97 1938 1 670 II.
25 CZ Prosecký František T57a 1938 1 155 STW II.
26 SK Hůlka Šimon T87 1939 2 968 II.
27 CZ Šmíd Jan T57b 1939 1 250 II.
28 CZ Zábřeský Bořivoj T57b 1939 1 256 7S5 92-34 II.
29 CZ Krejza Petr T57b 1940 1 155 6H1 7757 II.
30 CZ Dostál Jaroslav T57k 1943 1 250 STW II.
31 D Dick Daniel T87 1946 2 968 II.
32 CZ Milbach Jaroslav T87 1946 2 546 II.
33 CZ Dvořáček František T57b 1947 1 256 STW II.
34 CZ Maralík Aleš T87 1947 2 968 II.
35 CZ Procházka René T87 1947 3 000 II.
36 CZ Doležal Ctirad T57b 1948 1 248 II.
37 D Stránský Michael T87 1948 2 968 II.
38 SK Pavlů Karol T87 1949 2 968 II.
39 CZ Adler Jiří T600 1950 1 950 II.
40 CZ Horák Miroslav T600 1950 1 950 Tatraplan NJ 60-82 II.
42 SK Botta Vladimír T128 1952 9 884 BA H 176 V.
43 SK Trebatický Stanislav T128 1952 9 883 V.
45 D Bartl Raimund T603 1962 2 500 III.
46 CZ Benák René T603-1 1962 2 500 III.
47 SK Petran Jaroslav T603-2 1962 2 472 LM 771CR III.
48 CZ Rezek Vladislav T603-1 1962 2 472 4S6 5644 III.
49 D Schöfer Thomas T603 1962 2 472 III.
50 CZ Svačinková Ingrid T603 1962 2 472 III.
51 CZ Waliczek Radomír T603-2 1962 2 472 9T1 2013 III.
52 D Löser Ronald T603-2 1963 2 472 III.
53 SK Bartoš, Ing Jiří T603-2 1964 2 472 III.
54 CZ Stančiak Jozef T138 1964 Nt 4×4 BA H 304 V.
55 SK Binder Martin T603-2 1968 2 455 III.
56 CZ Landa Filip T603-2 1968 2 472 III.
57 CZ Vícha Václav T603-2 1968 2 472 III.
58 CZ Kessler Jan T603-2 1969 2 472 III.
37 59 D Keufner Jens T603-2 1970 2 472 III.
50 60 SK Latečka David T603-2 1971 2 472 III.
9 61 SK Bouše Vladislav T603-2 1972 2 472 ZA732FL III.
19 62 CZ Foldyna Blahoš T603-2 1972 2 472 III.
63 D Dubrau Matthias T603-3 1973 2 472 III.
64 CZ Křížka Pavel T603 1973 2 472 III.
65 CZ Loukota Tomáš T603 1973 2 495 III.
66 CH Widfeldt Hans T603 1973 2 472 III.
67 CZ Sedlář Zbyněk T603 1975 2 472 III.
68 CZ Stýblo Miroslav T603 1975 2 472 III.
69 CZ Vaněk, JUDr. Josef T603-2 1975 2 472 III.
70 CZ Žwak Zdislav T603 1975 2 472 2M2 2622 III.
71 CZ Hajdušek Matthias T613-1 1976 3 498 IV.
72 CZ Jandl Pavel T613 1976 3 495 BZL 82-46 IV.
73 CZ Korandová Věra T613-3 1977 3 498 IV.
74 D Platzek Ulli T613 1977 3 495 IV.
75 CZ Veřmiřovská Jitřenka T613 1977 3 495 OSB 87-96 IV.
76 D Herrnsdorf Uwe T613 1978 3 498 IV.
77 CZ Hekrdla Michal T613 1980 3 495 IV.
78 CZ Taube Petr T613-4 1980 3 495 IV.
79 CZ Winterling Josef T613 1984 3 495 IV.
80 CZ Smolka Radomír T815 1985 19 000 6×6 Dakar V.
81 CZ Kessler Leoš T613-3 1986 3 495 IV.
82 SK Pončák Radoslav T613 1986 3 495 IV.
83 CZ Chytil Jaroslav T613-3 1989 3 497 9B7 0000 IV.
84 CZ Koranda Miroslav T613-3 1989 3 498 IV.
85 CZ Skoumal Martin T613-3 1989 3 495 IV.
86 CZ Hamerník Milan T613 1990 3 495 1BE 8854 IV.
87 CZ Liška Milan T613 1991 3 459 sanita IV.
88 CZ Loprais Tomáš T613-4 1991 3 498 IV.
89 CZ Vaněk, ml. Josef T613-3 1991 3 495 IV.
90 SK Elischer Rudolf T613 1992 3 500 NM Tatra IV.
91 CZ Himmel Svatopluk T613-4 1992 3 495 IV.
92 CZ Klapka František T613-4 1992 3 495 3M8 0918 IV.
193 CZ Vojta Pavel T613-4 1992 3 495 RZA IV.
94 SK Baliga, ing. Peter T815 1993 12 600 Dakar V.
95 SK Lehocky Štefan T613-4 1993 3 500 IV.
96 CZ Karas Ondřej T613-4 1994 3 495 Mi-Long IV.
97 SK Krajíček Miloš T613-4 1994 3 498 Long IV.
98 CZ Opat Zdeněk T613 1994 2 495 IV.
99 CZ Zátopek Radim T613 1994 3 495 Prezident IV.
100 CZ Procházka Ivo T613 1995 3 495 Mi-Long IV.
101 PL Zyczynski Piotr T613-4 1995 3 495 Mi-Long IV.
102 SK Hrušík Ĺuboslav T613 1996 3 495 mod.95 IV.
103 NL Rijsoort van Jan T700 1996 4 400 IV.
104 CZ Tuček Miroslav T700 1996 4 360 IV.
105 CZ Havrlík Zdenek T700 1997 4 300 II IV.
106 CZ Loprais Karel T815 1997 16 000 puma V.
107 CZ Pokorný Luboš T700 1997 3 495 IV.
108 SK Csekey Ladislav T815 1998 12 600 27ON52 NJA 90-18 V.
109 CZ Žáková Lucie T700 1998 4 360 IV.
110 CZ Kubela Michal T815 2010 12 600 CAS 24 V.
111 CZ Kolomý Martin T158 2016 12 500 4×4 Phoenix Dakar V.
112 CZ Bayer Pavel T158 2017 12 900 Phoenix Prezident V.
113 NL Smit Kees
114 CZ Větvička Jaroslav T603 2 472 III.
See also part 3
VIDEO of Rally: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM8pFBzdpb0&t=25s