The 2016 Silk Way Rally is just two days off from rolling down the start ramp in Red Square…destination the “Bird’s Nest”.
The competitors have arrived in the Russian capital and the excitement is beginning to rise like the 1755 era Moscow State University that towers over the Olympic Complex. But before the 130 cars and trucks set off on the 15 stage rally-raid through Mother Russia to the Land of Wanderers and Zhongguo, the crews and vehicles must first be validated. And a veritable army of 350 rally staff will make sure the process runs smoothly.
The Luzhniki Stadium is a buzz with participants from more than 30 countries ready to present their paperwork and have their race vehicles placed under the looking glass for edition 6 of the Silk Way Rally. The two days of administrative checks and scrutineering is not a mere formality, but rather mandatory and crucial for the proper running of the motor racing event of the year in Central Asia.
From medical certificates to vehicle registration, everything must meet muster for the crews to head into battle. For some it will be a daily, flat-out sprint, for others it will be a proper adventure, to meet every challenge the special stages have to offer, while also encountering the culture and people of Russia, Kazakhstan and China along the 10,700km route.
The technical staff will put the race vehicles through their first important test, scrutineering. Technical regulations will be enforced for all the categories. Nothing will be overlooked on the cars, which the teams have spent the last several months readying for this moment.
One indispensable piece of equipment is the Iritrack device. This geographical location system follows the progression of each vehicle on the Silk Way Rally web site, while also providing automatic alerts in case of an impact greater than 10Gs or if a vehicle ends up on its side. Thanks to its satellite telephone feature, organisers can speak with the competitors directly. A red button allows competitors to send a medical alert to race officials, while the green button notifies race control of an eventual mechanical problem.
Assistance, press and organisation vehicles using the assistance itinerary will be equipped with a Tripy. This electronic road book allows the driver to concentrate on the official itinerary on his own. It aides drivers to respect the speed limit of each country as well as those imposed by the organisation in sensitive zones, such as villages. Nothing can escape the detection of the Tripy. Every unit is analysed upon arrival at the bivouac and violations result in monetary fines to be paid on the spot.
Meanwhile, the final touches are being carried out between the Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral to create the ideal atmosphere to celebrate the long-awaited start of what promises to be a rally-raid for the ages !
07/07 Administrative checks & scrutineering
07.30 am – 11.00 pm Luzhniki Olympic Complex, Moscow
08/07 Administrative checks & scrutineering
07.30 am – 12.30 pm Luzhniki Olympic Complex
12.00 am Luzhniki Olympic Complex
02.30 pm Luzhniki Olympic Complex
Competitors general briefing
Red Square warm up ceremony
03.00 pm – 06.00 pm Red Square, Moscow
Start Podium Ceremony
06.00 pm – 08.30 pm Red Square, Moscow
The Jiayuguan Pass is among the most intact sections along the Great Wall. The trapezoid shaped fortress was a vital waypoint on the ancient Silk Road and is the gateway to the Gobi. One can only imagine what an arduous enterprise it would be to build such an edifice today. But how was it possible in 1372, during the Ming Dynasty? Well legend has it that during the planning stages the architect was asked how many bricks were needed to complete the military outpost. When he answered 99,999, an official questioned his figure. He added one brick, when the work was done, one brick remained. It was placed on one of the gates where it remains to this day.