silk way rally 2017


Paris, Moscow, Beijing, 22 May 2018


So as to finalize the route of the 2018 SILK WAY RALLY which will start from the imperial city of XI’AN on July 15th to join MOSCOW and its legendary Red Square twelve days later, the organization team spent over a month in CHINA and RUSSIA. While refining the ROAD BOOK of the event, STÉPHANE LE BAIL in charge of the route and FREDERIC LEQUIEN, deputy director of the rally agreed to lift a corner of the veil on the main characteristics of this 8th edition.



5 LEGS IN CHINA : « No warm-up »

At the end of the administrative checks and scrutineering, scheduled for July 13 & 14, crews will set off from XI’AN for 5 stages in China with, as main menu, the cathedral dunes and the captivating landscapes of the Gobi desert.

« One of the peculiarities of this 2018 edition of the SILK WAY RALLY, condensed over 10 stages and 12 days of racing, is that there would be no warm-up stage. From the very start of Xi’an, crews will plunge right into the heart of the matter. » explains Stéphane Le Bail « From the following day, we will meet up again with the big stages of dunes with, as a high point, the crossing of the famous cathedral dunes bordered by lakes during the 3rd stage, we have focused on piloting and navigation, often completely off-road. There will also be a lot of new things on the agenda, because the ergs that were approached from west to east in the past were totally impassable in the other direction. The landscapes will be really magnificent until the finish in Ürümqi at the end of the 5th selective section, which finish will be judged in a string of dunes quite splendid, especially at sunset…”.


AIRLIFT TO ASTRAKHAN : « Road sections reduced by 70% »

From the evening of July 20 in Ürümqi, at the end of its Chinese chapter, the SILK WAY RALLY will take advantage of a double rest day and the installation of an extraordinary airlift to transport the whole rally to ASTRAKHAN in Russia on the banks of the Caspian Sea, starting point of the second part of the rally.

Frédéric Lequien :

« This operation, which is a real challenge, has enabled us to reduce road sections by nearly 70% and to offer competitors and their service crews, a rally focused on sport and pleasure. Believe me: this 2018 edition will be one of the most complete rallies that we have ever drawn. More than ever we were able to emphasize the beauty of the route and offer this part of dream which remains a priority on this SILK WAY RALLY.»

5 LEGS IN RUSSIA : « Two loops in the Takyr desert »

The second chapter of the 2018 SILK WAY RALLY will start with two loop stages around Astrakhan, more precisely in the Takyr desert, one of the jewels of Kalmykia, a region visited nearly ten years ago during the first editions of the rally.

« Sandy and technical tracks await crews who will have to remain vigilant in terms of navigation, because of a multitude of crossings of tracks. Beware also of the dunes, surely not as majestic as in China, but the sand is much less favourable and is likely to prove frightening. The maximum speeds on this 2018 edition of the SILK WAY RALLY will certainly be reached the next day on the big hyper fast tracks leading to Volgograd. On the eve of the finish in Moscow, the rally will move from sandy to dirt tracks, so that pilots can enjoy fast driving. Co-pilots should not fall asleep as navigation will be very demanding. And for those who doubt it, it will be enough to see the thickness of the road book of the last selective section which finish will be judged at less than 270 kilometers from Moscow, to understand that crews will not reach the final finish in the Russian capital free-wheel…»


  • February 15th, 2018 : Opening of entries – Start of reduced entry fees.
  • April 15th, 2018 : End of reduced entry fees.
  • June 1st, 2018 : Closure of entries.
  • June 25th, 2018 : Start of European convoy (Paris) to China (Xi’an).
  • July 13th and 14th, 2018 : Administrative checks and scrutineering in Xi’an.
  • July 15th, 2018 : Start ceremony in Xi’an.
  • July 16th to 20, 2018 : 5 legs in China
  • July 21st and 22nd, 2018 : Rest days – Airlift to Russia
  • July 23rd to 27th, 2018 : 5 legs in Russia
  • July 27th, 2018 : Prize Giving ceremony on Red Square, Moscow.
  • August 4th, 2018 : Arrival of convoy from Russia (Moscow) to Europe (Paris).



PJSC “Gazprom” is a global energetic company. Gazprom see their mission as the reliable, effective and well-balanced supply of consumers with natural gas, other kinds of energy resources and the products of their processing and are main partner of the Silk Way Rally since 2009.

TOYOTA have renewed their partnership with the Silk Way Rally for the third consecutive year as «THE RALLY OFFICIAL CAR»

Because of their unique design and capabilities, TOYOTA all-terrain vehicles have proved their extraordinary resistance on Russian, Kazakh and Chinese territories during the various reconnaissances and the rally. TOYOTA, which symbolize technical and technological confidence, have been supplying Silk Way Rally official cars since 2016, to accompany the rally on its roads and wild tracks.



Chris Rodrigo



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