The Silk Way Rally ended on Tuesday. Started in the historical center of Omsk on Sobornaya Square on July 1, the competitors of the multi-day event overcame more than three and a half thousand kilometers across the territory of Russia and finished in the Republic of Altai – in Gorno-Altaysk. On July 6 during the Podium Ceremony the winners and prize-winners received their awards.
In 2021 the Silk Way Rally attracted a large number of racers for whom this adventure was the first in their sports career. There was a dramatic struggle in the Car category. In the absence of Nasser Al-Attiyah, the winner of the 2019 race, several crews including two from Russia were the favorites. Both Denis Krotov and Vladimir Vasilyev joined the battle for the White Tiger from the first meters of the distance. They also won the first three special stages.
Vasilyev, the current winner of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, has the right to lament his fate: after the third leg he was ahead of the famous Frenchman Guerlain Chicherit by 23 seconds, but the the wheels punctured by sharp stones became a stumbling block – there were no more spares for the second part of the marathon in their car. It was so offensive retirement. And Chicherit took the lead before the last day of the rally. Getting the job done was a matter of technique. Denis Krotov secured the second position, and another Frenchman Jerome Pelichet was the third, in 2019. The Russian crew of Alexei Ignatov from the GAZ Raid Sport team followed the venerable racers in the table.
Sotnikov’s unique achievement
Dmitry Sotnikov, the driver of the Russian KAMAZ-master Team started the rally in a completely new truck with a K5 type cab. The car was prepared in Naberezhnye Chelny literally the last day before leaving for Omsk for the event start. Crew number 501 left no chance for their competitors in the Truck classification (Open Т5): three victories at legs and first place in the general classification. Sotnikov’s result became unique: the 36-year-old driver became the only three-time winner in the Silk Way Rally history.
There was a keen struggle for the podium between several crews of the KAMAZ-master Team and the Belarusian MAZ-SPORTAUTO team. At the finish of the special stages sports trucks were separated seconds and minutes, and rearrangements in the top three took place on a daily basis – five crews alternately visited the virtual podium. On the fourth day of the rally Siarhei Viazovich in MAZ broke into the second line and secured it at the final leg. This result is the highest achievement of the Belarusian team at the Silk Way Rally. Anton Shibalov, another representative of the “Blue Armada” rounded out the top three.
The Silk Way Rally marathon is also a demonstration of advanced technologies. Sergey Kupriyanov, driving a unique gas-engine sports truck KAMAZ that is a joint project of the KAMAZ-master Team and Gazprom PJSC, was among the ten strongest racers, taking the seventh place in the overall standings.
The partners of the Silk Way Rally gave invaluable support to the race.
The general partner of the Silk Way Rally is the Gazprom PJSC. It is a global energy company that sees its mission in the reliable, efficient and balanced supply of natural gas, other types of energy resources and their processing products to consumers.
The official partners of the Silk Way Rally are the Gazpromneft filling station chain that fills the rally vehicles with reliable OPTI fuel, as well as the Soglasie insurance company, which has been operating in the insurance market for 27 years.