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july 10, 2024 - Silkway Rally

2024 Silk Way Rally: Day 5 — Run to Mongolia

On the fifth day of the rally its competitors crossed the border between the Russian Federation and Mongolia and continued to fight on treacherous rocky tracks in the vastness of the "Land of the Eternal Blue Sky".
 

STAGE 5. KOSH-AGACH — KHOVD
Total distance: 555.42 km
SS: 296.20 km
Surface: 80 % hard rocky ground, 20 % roads with sharp stones.
Altitude: 1,200–2,150 meters
 

On Tuesday, July 9, the Silk Way Rally caravan crossed the Russian-Mongolian border, followed by the first stage in the 14th edition through the territory of the "Land of the Eternal Blue Sky". The selective section began with fast, winding tracks between picturesque hills, then the competitors found rocky sections with holes and mounds, passing through rocky deposits past the mountain Achit Lake. The crews reached the finish line through a canyon with fast roads, where they had the opportunity to rev their engines to full power.
 

Trucks: Fight Intensifies
 

MAZ-SPORTauto's Sergey Vyazovich secured the second victory during the rally days in the Truck standings. Dmitry Sotnikov of KAMAZ-Master, who started first, finished at the selective section with the second-best time, losing only two minutes. Eduard Nikolaev, the leader and driver of the Blue Armada, was in third place, and the top five was completed by two Red Bison trucks: Alexey Vishnevsky and Vitaly Murylev.
 

The selective section from Kosh-Agach to Khovd proved to be a significant challenge for many crews, with numerous issues encountered. Andrey Karginov turned over during the first part of the stage. With the assistance of Sergey Kupriyanov, he was able to continue moving. However, after the neutralization zone, the crew opted to proceed to the bivouac on asphalt. Furthermore, Bogdan Karimov and Yury Nayman encountered technical issues.
 

Sotnikov continues to lead the overall standings, but his advantage over Vyazovich has been reduced to 36 seconds. Nikolaev, currently in third place, has lost six and a half minutes to the leader. Vishnevsky, however, is already 24 minutes behind. The top five of the intermediate classification is completed by Karimov, followed by Vitaly Murylev. Sergey Kupriyanov, driving a gas-powered KAMAZ truck, has secured seventh place, ahead of a couple of crews from the Ural Automobile Plant.
 

Prototypes: Ignatov Extends Lead
 

In the T1 prototype standings, the stage was won by Alexey Ignatov, the overall leader, who is now 28 minutes ahead of his teammate Alexander Semenov. Andrey Rudskoy, the reigning overall champion of the Silk Way Rally, encountered further difficulties, resulting in a loss of time. During the fifth stage, his crew punctured three tires.
 

SSV: Triumph for G-Force Motorsport 
 

Andrey Novikov, driving a Russian-designed SSV, was the winner in his category and further consolidated his lead in the overall standings. The next closest competitor, Anastasia Nifontova, is behind by less than 13 minutes. Roman Rusinov currently occupies third place, with Dmitry Cherkesov, Sergey Karyakin, and Vyacheslav Paputsky following closely behind.
 

T2 Production Cars: Victory for Danatarov
 

The crew of the Federation of Automobile Sports of Turkmenistan, led by Maksatmyrat Danatarov, the two-time Silk Way Rally champion, has secured the top position in the T2 standings. The second-place result in the distance was achieved by Mikhail Mityaev from LADA Sport ROSNEFT Raid, who once again finished ahead of Andrey Sushentsov, the overall standings leader.
 

In the overall standings, the pair of leaders in the T2 category — Sushentsov and Mityaev — are currently separated by 11.5 minutes. Danatarov occupies the third position, with Anton Melnikov in fourth place. The top five is completed by the crew of the Toilyev brothers.
 

Open: Ivanov Continues to Win
 

In the Open standings, Konstantin Ivanov from the Podmoskovye Team demonstrated remarkable consistency, maintaining a significant lead over Dmitry Voronov, the LADA Sport ROSNEFT Raid driver. Ivanov's performance was noteworthy, with a lead of over 14 minutes. This resulted in a lead of over 50 minutes for Ivanov. Meanwhile, the third position in the intermediate classification is held by Sergey Shalygin.
 

Moto: Naumov Counterattacks
 

At the fifth stage, Alexey Naumov assumed the top position in the Moto standings, with a lead of nearly five minutes over his closest competitor, Mongolian rider Murun Purevdorj. In the overall standings, this pair is now separated by just over ten and a half minutes.
 

Among the G-Moto Challenge competitors who perform without the help of mechanics, Ivan Li set the fastest time at the stage, finishing 14 minutes ahead of Oleg Pavlenko. Nevertheless, Pavlenko maintains a lead of over half an hour in the overall standings.
 

Quad: New Leader
 

Alexander Gilemov, who started the fifth stage as the overall leader, encountered difficulties at the selective section and was no longer in contention for the top spot. The new overall leader is Danil Loginov from the Lion Racing Team, with Azat Shaimukhametov, 25 minutes behind, in pursuit. Furthermore, Chinese rider Zhou He has returned to the top three.
 

Grand Tour: Looking for Sangiin Kherem
 

As with the competitors in the sports categories, the crews of the Grand Tour crossed the border as part of the fifth stage and held the first selective section on the territory of Mongolia. The distance for this stage was 120 kilometers, and the co-drivers had to work hard with the Road Book again. In the vast expanse of the "Land of the Eternal Blue Sky", navigating the multitude of roads can be challenging.
 

Once the selective section was complete, the crews were faced with further educational challenges. The first task was to locate the ruins of Sangiin Kherem, which translates as "Treasury Fortress" in Mongolian. The structure was erected in 1762 and served as the residence of the Manchu anban in Western Mongolia. The next point of interest was a unique spring, which is considered to have miraculous properties. Local folklore attributes healing properties to the waters of this source, which are believed to have the power to combat disease.
 

Quotes
 

Sergey Vyazovich, "It's a difficult day. Almost immediately at the start of a very high-speed section we saw Andrey Karginov upside down. The truck fell on its side, the guys were standing near it, but Eduard Nikolaev had already passed them, and we realized that our help was definitely not needed. Then we pretty quickly caught up with Eduard Nikolaev, passed him in a slow place in the rocks and touched one of them, getting a side puncture. From that moment on, we drove using pump, but there were no problems. We are very pleased with the tires."
 

Dmitry Sotnikov (KAMAZ-Master), "I'm so surprised! It's a very interesting selective section – eventful, live, with many riverbeds. The stones are sharp, many of them are very large. It was winding, bumpy, difficult to navigate. We tried to drive as quickly as possible between the stones. It was an exhausting day, not everything worked out, but we tried to hold on."
 

Eduard Nikolaev (KAMAZ-Master), "All day long there were fast roads with bushes, slow roads with rocks, river beds, very dusty – a lot of different things. We exchanged positions with Sergey Vyazovich twice. The ride was somewhat constrained due to the fact that we saw Andrey Karginov lying down in the first kilometers. The crew is fine, we didn't even stop. It was clear that either in a corner or in a jump, the truck fell on its side. We walked further at our own pace and saw Bogdan Karimov standing due to problems with the shock absorber. We stopped, gave them the shock absorber and drove on."
 

Alexey Popov (Ural Motorsport), "We like everything again, Mongolia is great. We've found a good pace. The goal was to save the tires, because yesterday we made it to the finish with difficulties. Today there was a small problem – the pneumatic tube melted, but we quickly fixed it. Then we got lost a little, but it's ok."
 

Alexey Ignatov (GAZ Raid Sport), "There are so many stones, I have never seen anything like this. Something similar was found in Kazakhstan, in the Valley of Stones, but there they were round and seemingly harmless, but here they were sharp. I had to make my way through them very carefully so as not to damage the suspension, wheels and everything else. It was a difficult stage, but here in Mongolia it's very beautiful, it's very impressive."
 

Andrey Rudskoy (NG-Energo), "It's a great stage, and great start. We were a little unlucky: having three spare tires, three tires were punctured. The last punctured tire is going flat; during the last 100 km we stopped every 15 minutes to pump it up. Of course, we couldn't drive fast, because if the wheel had broken completely, we wouldn't have been able to drive any further. Now we'll have three spare tires."
 

Dmitry Cherkesov, "We succeeded in everything on the first day in Mongolia. We didn't break anything, we were driving at our own pace, everything was fine, although we were almost the last to start and passed 15–20 cars. There was a lot of dust; we often had to take risks to get closer and overtake. We really liked the selective section – it's a live steering track, it's necessary to concentrate."
 

Anastasia Nifontova, "It's started out great – there were fast straights. In the middle of the route, we apparently went into the mountains. The altitude began to rise, the air became thin, it was hot, and something happened to the fuel system – the pressure dropped. The car was twitching, we were driving 30–40 km/h. After refueling, the pressure situation returned to normal, but not for a long time. After some time pressure began to drop again, and the car did not accelerate more than 100 km/h. It's good that we are at the finish line, because at some point I said goodbye to the rally. The beauty here in Mongolia is, of course, fantastic."
 

Roman Rusinov, "We started from behind and drove in the dust – either we were catching up, or we were caught up. For about 50–70 % of the distance we could not go at full throttle. Moreover, at the very beginning of the stage we punctured a tire, although we were driving very carefully. I didn't want to take any more risks. The last part was very interesting and fast. As soon as the sand started, I immediately began to enjoy it. The rocks were very difficult for me, given the fact that I had never driven on them before. The landscapes are very breathtaking, the nature here is simply magical."
 

Mikhail Mityaev (LADA Sport ROSNEFT Raid), "It's a good stage, a long one. The most important thing is that we saved the tires, because the surface is simply slaughtering, the stones are very large. There were a lot of overtakings. There's no time to look at the landscapes, it's necessary to concentrate, otherwise you won't notice the stone and you'll be changing tires instead of admiring the beauties."
 

Sergey Shalygin, "The track is very interesting, the landscapes are simply stunning. It takes your eyes off the road. It's dangerous and tricky. We saw incidents on the track, helped as much as we could, we dragged Karyakin. There are a lot of sharp stones in the river bed, it's hard, and we had difficulties getting out of the loose dry sand."
 

Murun Purevdorj, "I'm feeling good in Mongolia, but today's stage was difficult for me. I had to pass many cars. I thing I have a penalty today, because I couldn't see my Road Book in the dust. But it is what it is."
 

Alexey Naumov (Federation of Free Bikers), "It was a great stage at the very beginning, it went quite well. I navigated without making mistakes. Then Murun Purevdorzh suddenly appeared, I let him pass, and we drove well to the gas station. After refueling at one place, I hit my motorcycle with a stone and fell, hurt my hand a little, but got up and reached the finish line."
 

Ivan Li, "The open spaces and views are simply mesmerizing, I even wanted to stop and take pictures. The track is very live, fast and dusty. If you manage to overtake your opponent, you are very lucky. The stones blend into the soil in places and are very difficult to notice. Today I completed the task to the maximum – I didn't fall, I didn't drown the motorcycle."
 

Oleg Pavlenko (Oleg Pavlenko MMK), "The landscapes I saw today are very beautiful, although there's not much time to look at them. The road was very varied, there were high-speed sections, difficult sandy sections, and technical ones. Once after refueling I got a little lost, but it's ok. I would like to say a big thank you to the Organizers for this track – there are some difficult places, and some where you can rest a little, but then it's difficult again. Of course, everything is different in Mongolia."

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