The Dutch Tatra Register held its annual event last weekend in Sluis near the Nort Sea coast and Belgium. Well organised by the van Liere family, it attracted English and Dutch visitors. One of the very fine attractions was a visit to the Bizarium Museum, a museum full of weird inventions. .
Photos by Peter Visser, Bizarium and Kees Smit
Do you own a Tatra 613 or 603? Or are you hiding your favorite Tatra 87 or Tatraplan before the world?
So come on September 3rd to the Norblina’s old factory for rally cars! Warsaw, Poland!
Vlastníte Tatru 613 nebo 603? Schováváte před světem svoji oblíbenou Tatru 87 nebo Tatraplan?
Tak přijeďte 3. září do starobylé továrny Norblina na automobilové rallye!
Late July, the Tatra Register UK held its annual rally in the Cotswolds (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotswolds) a wonderful location. The rally, superbly organised by the Glover family, attracted competitors with the types T 12, T 87, T 97, T 603 and T 613 from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and last but not least the U.K.. With their Tatras under maintenance, some Tatra enthusiasts had to drive other brands but they took their Tatra hearts!
Dutch competitor Peter Visser published not less than 150 photos on his Flickr page. Enjoy! https://www.flickr.com/photos/davydutchy/sets/72157684689222291
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.