Both competitors and spectators appreciated the unique format of the event
The first-ever Silk Way Snow Journey International Snowmobile Rally-Raid, a winter event of a new discipline organized by the International Project Silk Way Rally Directorate, finished at the Naikom Arena in Naberezhnye Chelny, the Republic of Tatarstan. 57 competitors from seven countries started at the rally-raid, 56 of them covered the distance successfully. These were three days of speed, courage and adrenaline, but at the 300 km distance it was not the excitement and power of the vehicles that were decisive, but the ingenuity and composure.
The project was originally designed to become a challenge for both the experienced riders familiar with the motorsport and for the amateurs with no experience in competitions. Everyone had chance for victory. In the end the rally fully met the expectations of the riders.
For the experienced riders work with navigation and search for waypoints became an unexpected challenge; it was unusual to control the pace at a distance considering the safety restrictions applied by the Organizers.
At the same time, for amateur competitors who treat a snowmobile as a way to relax the past event was a unique opportunity to simultaneously feel like a co-driver and a rider, test themselves on a difficult but safe track prepared by the Organizers of one of the largest rally marathons in the world.
The struggle for victory lasted literally until the last kilometer, and its outcome was eventually determined by friendship: Nail Khubbatullin helped Ilya Shcheglov get out of deep snow, after which the latter was able to catch up with the leaders and take the first place in the final classification. Shcheglov eventually became the first ever owner of the Ice Tiger award in PRO category and in the overall standings, and together with it he received a prize certificate for 500,000 rubles.
The total prize fund of the Silk Way Snow Journey amounted to 1,500,000 rubles. For the second position Albert Sharafiev received a certificate for 400,000 rubles, bronze medalist Alexey Popov won 300,000 rubles, Vladislav Leonov for the fourth place and Anton Kuklin for the fifth one in the overall standings – 200,000 and 100,000 rubles, respectively.
Ruslan Misikov, the Nart Time team founder and driver, became the winner in the PRO turbo category. Vyacheslav Efimov from the MobiDick Team took the first place in the PRO+ classification.
Numerous spectators came to support the snowmobile rally-raid competitors, for whom the Silk Way Snow Journey became a three-day festival of music, outdoor activities and good mood. After the Ceremonial Start rapper DONI, the nominee for the RU.TV music award, gave a concert for the competitors, fans and guests. During all the days of the rally-raid an exposition of the car- moto- and snowmobile vehicles was open for spectators. To make the festival truly unforgettable, a variety of activities were organized at the Naikom Arena for both adults and children: a performance by the Night Wolves motorcycle club, quad biking, tubing; animators organized broom hockey and futsal, there was a food court with national cuisine and a gift shop.
The past festival would not have been possible without the full support of Rustam Minnikhanov, the Rais of the Republic of Tatarstan, the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan, as well as Nail Magdeev, the mayor of Naberezhnye Chelny, and assistance from the authorities of Tukaevsky and Menzelinsky Districts. The Rally Directorate also thanks Nail Khubbatullin, head of the Naikom Arena, who welcomed the Silk Way Snow Journey bivouac.
The first chapter in the history of the Silk Way Snow Journey International Snowmobile Rally-Raid is behind us, but this is only the beginning of the development of the Silk Way Series. The Project Directorate will continue to create new formats and events that will allow everyone to find their own way in motorsport and get the most positive emotions from technical sports.
The Silk Way Snow Journey is only beginning, so the competitors have even more exciting adventures ahead of them!
Silk Way Snow Journey International Snowmobile Rally-Raid
Overall standings (TOP-5)/ coincide with PRO category:
- Ilya Shcheglov (Doctor_32 / Lynx Rave RS600) – 5h59:18
- Albert Sharafiev (Naikom Extreme Motocross / Lynx Xterrain BR 850 ETEC) +1:39
- Alexey Popov (Nart Time / Lynx RaveRE800 ETEC) +5:48
- Vladislav Leonov (Naikom Extreme Motocross / Arctic Cat M 8000 Sno Pro) +6:51
- Anton Kuklin (RM Sport / RM Vector551i) +11:03
PRO turbo category:
- Ruslan Misikov (Nart Time / Xterrain RE 900 ACE turbo R Powder Max) – 6h51:21
- Irek Gilfanov (Naikom Extreme Motocross / Arctic Cat Bearcat 660) +47h34:34
- Vyacheslav Efimov (MobiDick / Arctic 1500) – 28h11:00
The first ever Silk Way Snow Journey International Snowmobile Rally-Raid was organized with the support of the Tatneft group of companies, Sibur -Kazanorgsintez, Tavros, Kazankompressormash JSC (HMS Group), NART, AVG, Yelabuga Battery Plant, Volgopromprodukt CJSC, as well as Russkaya Mekhanica (Russian Mechanics) and RUSAK that provided the Organizers of the event with vehicles to work on the track and ensure the safety of the competitors.
We would like to thank our media partners especially the with the Rossiya Segodnya media group and the sports editorial office of RIA Novosti Sport became the general information partners of the snowmobile rally. We are pleased to note that the information support for the pilot project was provided by the federal TV channels Russia 24, NTV, MATCH TV, 360 TV channel, the Izvestia Multimedia Information Center (REN TV and 5TV channels, and the IZ.RU website). The national video hosting RUTUBE continues cooperation within the framework of the Silk Way Series, and at this rally the Yappy vertical video application joined us, both are part of the Gazprom-Media holding.