The raid "Silk Road"

I came across an article on here. And he could not pull in the PL, because the guys really made the impossible. Please do not break!

1. Big Adventure. Rally-raid "Silk Road»

We were warned that this adventure could end badly. Warned all - from friends and acquaintances to the race organizers. The latter even said that in view of the heavy workload will not be able to help us in the steppes and deserts. But this demonstration outright disbelief in the reliability of our car has been ignored. In the end, the skeptics can be understood - they knew about the race track what we did not know. But we know their car that they did not know and could not know the organizers. And so did his own way. Come on difficult terrain transcontinental rally-raid "Silk Road" in the car, without any special training ... In a normal two-cylinder "Oka" with standard 12-inch wheels. On this folly before we dared not even anybody in the world.
So we - Ilya Staroverov is the author of these lines together - Nizhny Novgorod news crew, which is at the grand rally of Eurasia magazine "Foreign Car" and "rally" and the television program "Drive 52". Our task - to pass the Russian-Kazakh part of the rally (until the bivouac of Zhanaozen) and on their own to return home. But any adventure so well that never fit into the predetermined frame, creating his own, unexpected events thread. And the best thing about this blog will tell our crew onboard.

23 September. The Adventure Begins.
19 hours 30 minutes. Nizhny Novgorod SmallCar-club waved after us, and "Eye" took a course to the east, toward the approaching night and the new day. As always, the preparation did not have a couple of days, and in sharp bends, we heard the crunch of "ends" of the right SHRUS. Already on the border of the Nizhny Novgorod region, it became clear that the rear shock absorbers "Plaza" in the fully loaded vehicle can not cope with their responsibilities. Even on flat asphalt wave machine rocked as if it's not "Oka", designed with the participation of the company Porsche, and the Old Testament Citroen 2CV. This meant that the next day will be held in the turmoil of solving technical problems and the passage of the various administrative checks.
At three o'clock in the morning stops the engine in the parking lot near the hotel "Riviera" in Kazan and expanding seat, arrange to sleep in the car.

4th of September. Ready №1.
In the morning we were awakened by the cries of the muezzin from the minaret of a nearby mosque. Then "singing" musical fountains at the entrance to the hotel, and the day began. Not daring to trust your car "uncle" of service stations, constant velocity joints have changed in the home. To do this, the guys from the local branch of SmallCar-club reserved a place for us in the parking lot ... service of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan. Before the main entrance to the building.
After lunch, endlessly confusing Russian, French and English, we rush from one table to another in the hall of administrative checks. Obtain and install the device IriTrack (satellite tracking system for car), sticking start numbers and mandatory advertising. For dinner machine papered so that determine its original color is extremely difficult. In the evening we leave the zone scrutineering. "Oka" has passed strict commission without any comments. Technical commissioners from France did not change the habitual facial expressions, when after the jeep and drove him to the buggy minicar. The last of them, check the work IriTrack, slapped the roof of "Oka" and called his partner: "Order, the crew readiness №1». And neither surprise nor condescending smiles or jokes ... Or maybe they, too, knew something about the possibilities of our "Oka"?

3. liason to Buguruslan

4. Bivouac Buguruslan

5. September 5. The prologue and day cares.
Prologue - the first and the shortest stage of the race, passing by special off-road stadium in front of a huge number of spectators. The long sandy tracks - just 2013 meters. Start - at 15-00.
Following yesterday's administrative and technical checks at the start of the rally "Silk Road" will be released 71 combat crew of 51 car and 20 trucks. And among them there will be no crew on Czech American jeep Hummer - broken machine stands on the transporter, waiting to return home. It also happens. For us, this day off, and we're trying to hold it with the maximum benefit for themselves. In the morning we set the special rear shock design Anatoly Gorin. The reliability of their no doubt, because Gorin - the same engineer that designed the suspension for the KAMAZ-4911. The second problem - the purely journalistic. To refine the accuracy of information presentation, how to actually correct name of one of the strongest drivers of the race, Nasser Saleh De Latte (Nasser Saleh de L'Attiyah) or Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah (Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah). It turned out that in fact used both, but it is better to use the second, it was used as it is in the comments of the past "Dakar". Similarly, for Philippe Gachet (Philippe Gache) is used and English pronunciation names like Gash will not be a mistake to call Gerardus De Roy (Gerardus De Rooy) Gerard, Ales Loprais (Loprais) - Alex, but for Vladimir Chagin allowed two options racing nicknames - "The King Vladimir "and simply" the King ».
15-00. First goes the distance experienced Russian crew Benjamin Dzhepaeva (ten times champion of Russia) and Oleg Kuleshov. UAZ Hunter confidently walked the entire distance, but to compete with aces "Dakar" could not. The best time in the prologue showed Giniel de Villiers (South Africa), 4 seconds ahead of Carlos Sainz (Spain). And for the team "KAMAZ-master" a victory on home soil - a matter of honor: Firdaus Kabirov at KAMAZ-4326 prologue I was almost at the same rate as the best passenger cars! True, competitors showed their strength: only 2 seconds behind the crew of Firdaus Dutchman Gerardus De Roy, even for a second - a Czech Ales Loprais
Predgonochnuyu last night we spent at the famous traveler diamond Gataullina. Douches, strong tea from the huge glasses, unhurried conversation studying colorful brochures Soviet cars 60s and early 70s. Here comes the easy fit of nostalgia - on what is beautiful cars drove our fathers and grandfathers! Bedtime translate the clock on the time of rally, adding to the Moscow one o'clock

6.Bivuak Buguruslan 3

7. Bivouac Buguruslan-4

8. September 6th. Almost tourists.
Step Kazan - Buguruslan (Russia). The distance of 440 km. The first stage is carried out near the highway under construction Europe - China. Participants are promised quite smooth special stage (SS) - a good step to "to roll" in the race, feel the rhythm of her hidden and test the machine in combat. But here as part of the riders began the first losses. Unfortunately, this cup and KAMAZ team - because of the failure of the fan, radiator literally grind, came a strong and balanced team Rustam Minihanova. Serious passions simmer folksvagenovskoy team where De Villiers, Sainz and Al Attiyah made a real battle for the lead. In the end stage win went to the Qataris. Leadership change in the cargo standings - 114 km Iveco Gerardus De Roy pulled ahead, leaving behind Vladimir Chagin and Ales Loprais.
We "shoot" at the start, rolled along the asphalt road to the first bivouac of the race. The rate of almost a tourist. We're going as a home race for the stage "Geocaching - Nizhny Novgorod Land", looking at the surrounding area and attractions. Prelaunch excitement has not yet passed, so the feeling of openness to all that is encountered along the way. Most Freaky feeling of security. The highest order at all dangerous areas have been exposed to the traffic police. Get one inspector for every 5 kilometers. For the first time in our practice, the driver picked up the rod of the traffic police did not stop, and helped to drive faster, pointing the direction. But the most unforgettable experience - from our people. Residents of towns and villages literally occupied all prevailing over the terrain height, cheers meeting each crew. At the entrance to Buguruslan and in the city had to move in a continuous corridor from the audience. Flags - both at the opening of the Olympic Games. The flags of Russia, the RSFSR, the USSR, the Soviet Union and the Russian Navy, Air Force, landing and border troops. Immediately banners party "United Russia", the Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party ...
A wave of positive energy from the audience is that fatigue from a long road vanished. And when at the bivouac, we began to approach a beautiful girl, staring admiringly at us with eyes wide open, so there's like wings behind him grew. A range of noise, singing and dancing a local festival dedicated to the great international event - rally-raid "Silk Road».
Bivouac - a small town with its streets, driveways, electrical station, a dining room, a medical unit, a press center ... The city, which rapidly occurs on the edge of the airfield to the morning as quickly disappear and be reborn a few hundred kilometers further along the route. Our place - next door at the sound of KAMAZ trucks. This neighborhood is not just warms the soul and inspires confidence that with the support of the team "KAMAZ-master" Our adventure is simply obliged to end a great victory.

9. 7 of September. Higher recognition.
Step Buguruslan - Uralsk (Kazakhstan - Russia). Distance - 490 km. The morning began with the roar of aircraft engines warmed up. When the first board in the sky is gone, journalistic "Oka" bearing the number 512 was already on the road.
The first special stage of the day - a winding track with jumps, elevation, ravines, gullies, mini-canyons and wander through the shallow creek. All of this is strongly reminiscent of the Finnish Rally. Characteristics of the road: 20% - gravel, 50% - solid, well knurled clay-sand road, 30% - roads in forest areas, partly covered with small stones, partially overgrown with low grass. The second SS will be held in the Kazakh steppe, where the horizon line encircles the vast territory. Here, 20% of the route - on the loamy roads, 50% - on the sandy roads of medium viscosity and 20% - on the soft and sticky sand. 10% of the amount to saline soils. Yet there are a lot of traps categories of "dangerous" and "very dangerous" in the form of pits and transverse deep ruts.
It is here that the team "KAMAZ-master" took revenge. Chagin was the first SU at such a rate that redrew the entire final table, finishing in it, as expected, the royal first place. The car standings confrontation of Nasser Al Attiyah and Carlos Sainz finished Qatari victory.
To see all the vicissitudes of the race, we had the matter "spur" his "Oka". Excellent asphalt yesterday imperceptibly transformed into a very bumpy road, then into the grader and narrow "humpbacked" dirt road. High speed and open windows, play with us a cruel joke - the noise we did not hear a squeak GPS-navigator and slipped turn, leading to the finish line SU-1. We had to improvise on the fly, turning to a nearby village and its streets overgrown with nettles maloezzheny clambered on a country road. After a couple of kilometers of the steppe country road narrowed to a width of a small path, and ran into a shallow creek. "Oka" with such despair rushed on storm water hazard that is the case is shown on the television screen, Hollywood turned green to envy.
Five minutes later the police to ensure security in the area of ​​the finish line, were shocked by an unexpected incident. From the nearest ravine where normal roads he has never happened, suddenly appeared muddy "Oka" and angrily growling engine rushed to the finishing marks. Side rooms and stickers talked about her belonging to a rally. But all the rally cars drove to the finish line on the opposite side!
After another couple of hours at the border posts of the Russian-Kazakh border co-driver standing in front of the Latvian jeep he came to our car and handed us two dakarovskih stickers. "It's for your car," - he said, - "it is necessary to stick to the edges of the glasses».
And that meant that our desperate "Oka" was recognized as "his car" among senior auto-racing elite - riders «Dakar».

10. Squadron rally "Silk Road»


12. Landscape

13. September 8. A single raid.
Oral Stage - Beineu (Kazakhstan). Range - 1000 km. This dakarovsky marathon special stage, very fast and quick. 30% slopes - clay and sand roads, 10% - rocky country roads, sand medium (35%) and strong (15%) viscosity. The first dune height of 3-5 meters. Even before the first control point (CP-1) racers had to cross the ford and fight the sands. In such circumstances, Mark Miller was able to get ahead, and Gerardus De Rooy came close to Vladimir Chagin. But the situation is changing to the finish line - the best in the marathon stage are Carlos Sainz and Firdaus Kabirov. The "absolute" superiority continue to hold Nasser Al-Attiyah and Vladimir Chagin. However, everything that we have learned only the next morning, because none of the organizers of the race and could not imagine what adventure will fall on this day at the press car bearing the number 512. The morning rise was actually a night. In 3 hours 50 minutes of rally for the time we started to put tents. The sky had gone 4-50 in the first board. After another five minutes, "Oka" left the bivouac in Uralsk.
Kazakh traffic inspector, special exhibition at the crossroads, performed its task with the utmost precision, giving the rod all rally cars to the starting point in Karatube. It ALL! ..
Five minutes after leaving the city, we have not found another "snap" to the legend. There was not a second anchor. We realized that we go from combat vehicles and not on the track "Assistens." Comes back, or ...
The "road atlas" of Karatube up the road, which initially we had to move, and winding stretches thin red line. So, you can drive. Figured out - it has about 160 "extra" kilometers. Instead, we find ourselves at the start of the SU-1.
The hopes were in vain.
At 6-30, when only the first light, the asphalt ended. Protryasshis 60 kilometers of svezhenasypannomu grader and plenty of swallowing dust near the Karatube we were greeted exposed along the road inspector and sent them to the lane bypass around the city. Half an hour later we found ourselves in the arms of the endless steppe.
Kazakh steppe. In the vast expanses of even settlement of nomads do not often see. Almost no reference points. Only sometimes there are so lonely wells geodetic marks. The ruins of ancient settlements. Cemeteries with majestic mausoleums Mazar. Mirages on the horizon. Infinity Steppe fascinates and frightens. And the road is almost indistinguishable in the steppe grass. And yet - the dust. The wind blows her away, but she was still on the body, under the hood, in the cabin.
The roads here are not by definition. There is a place, where once drove a tractor or a truck, or a bullock cart. Everyone in the desert on their way. And on a huge flat space on the tracks meander absolutely incomprehensible logic, merge and separate again, cross each other at the most unthinkable corners. Steering wheel to the left, right, left ... "Oka" flies in the dust clouds of gray space. Sometimes she winces at mounds, takes off from the separation of the wheels on the treacherous jumps, does not fit into corners and a dozen meters sideways to slide on slippery, like ice, dry stubble.
Sand is unstable and tricky, especially on such a winding dorogeT In an extreme situation, you can only hope for the accelerator. But slow down in the sand dangerous. Braked wheel immediately burrow into the loose sand and pull out of this situation will have no chance. If you want to stay - it includes neutral and coast to scram as long as the car snaps. This theory. But in practice, the instinct makes dent the pedal to the floor - and there's trust in luck.
Hour after hour we furrow vast and desolate. It front, rear, sides. Feeling as if going nowhere. Yes, and we go there? Landscape - like stilled scenery in attraction with bouncing and shaking on the bench, "Oka". The GPS-navigator white box with a black wavy line distance traveled. Map of Kazakhstan does not exist in nature, so that we go for the sun and the sixth sense, using a clever device as a compass.
Then he appeared in front of a strip of green crowns of trees, road embankment and over the steppe. The road! We dreamed about it for a few hours. But it was a tough grader with stones the size of a human fist. Seven dozen kilometers screens, vibrating conveyor, hitting the bottom of the gun. Poluoglohshie, we arrived at the pontoon bridge across the Urals, and after five kilometers got on the highway, the driver cursed local kotorje of broken asphalt and road works. But for us this road was coveted because it went by car, along it were villages and towns inhabited by people.


And so it happened.                






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