Tatra Buggyra Racing Reports “Ready for Combat” from Moscow
An evening ceremony will open the Silk Way Rally 2017 in Moscow tonight. The Tatra Buggyra Racing team, whose colours will be represented by the Phoenix racing special and its crew consisting of Kolomý, Stross and Ernst, has successfully passed the technical acceptance and is ready to start.
The respect enjoyed by this summer motor sport competition is demonstrated by its media coverage: This Silk Way Rally edition will be broadcast by 55 television stations into 196 countries of the world. The journalist staffs obviously include representatives of Motorsport TV, Euronews, Fox, and Russia 24, and China has sent here the reporter teams of Hunan TV and CCTV.
The exceptional media interest is matched by interest of racing teams to participate. According to the official starting list the battlefield between Moscow and Beijing will be populated by 41 cars and 21 trucks. As concerns the former category the role of super favourite will be performed by the Peugeot factory team in its strongest, i.e. Dakar composition including Peterhansel, Loeb and Despres. “Peterhansel defeated Loeb in two previous editions of Dakar and thus media discuss whether the nine-fold world rally champion will manage at least partial return,” informs Jan Kalivoda. The team manager was pleasantly surprised by the marketing concept of the race. “Moscow lives the Silk Way Rally, the city is fruited with banners, logos, people stop us in the streets and keep asking.“
Honza, and with him most of the Czech motor sport circles, are obviously much more interested in the truck category. Czech colours will be represented, in addition to Martin Kolomý (Tatra Phoenix), also by the winner of the 2011 edition Aleš Loprais, whose Queen will be driven by a Gyrtech engine. “The company will be very strong. Russians will place four trucks with Dakar stagers Mardeev, Sotnikov, Nikolev and Shibalov. With them De Rooy, who, together with another two pilots, will introduce a new Iveco. When we talked together he told me he would not chase it too much, for his participation would be much about testing it, but I am nearly sure he himself does not believe his own words,“ said Martin Kolomý laughing. “Three specials will be placed by Renault, with the best chance for a success probably on the side of Van Den Brink, who has tasted stage victory at Dakar. The whole top set of the MAN factory will help assure big duels on the route.“
A large technical team headed by Robin Dolejš will take care of Martin Kolomý to end with honours and perhaps with a trophy. “We are prepared and the truck can fly. As Dakar remains our priority, we test new components, which does not mean we have given up all struggle for a rank. By no means. I believe Martin will be satisfied.“
The official briefing is scheduled for Friday 3 in the afternoon local time. Three hours later the vehicles will begin entering the ceremonial podium in the Red Square. And the rest will be solely about racing. The first participants will leave parc ferme at 4 am on Saturday as the transfer to the start of the 61-kilometre-long special section is nearly 600 kilometres away.