Nikolaev Wins 1st Stage of Silk Way in Trucks
RIA Novosti, 08 July 2012
KAMAZ team driver Eduard Nikolaev has won the first stage of the rally marathon Silk Way Rally in the truck category.
Drivers completed the first stage in the city of Volgograd, and it took Nikolaev 3 hours and 55 seconds to complete the stage.
Last year’s winner in the truck category, Ales Loprais of the Czech Republic, competing for the Veka Team, finished five minutes adrift of Nikolaev, while Airat Mardeev, also in a KAMAZ, was third, a further minute down.
The length of the first stage was 258 km, of which 70 percent was dry roads and 30 percent sand.
On Monday the participants face a 309 km stage, which is a loop track that starts and ends in Volgograd.
The 4,000 kilometer Silk Way Rally got off the mark ceremonially in Moscow’s Red Square on Saturday as more than 100 cars and 25 trucks
prepared to head for the Black Sea coast.
France’s two-time Dakar winner and five-time world rally-raid cup champion Jean-Louis Schlesser is considered the favorite for victory in his self-built two-wheel drive, despite competing here for the first time in his career.
This is the fourth edition of the rally, which was won in 2009 and 2010 by former World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz in the car category.