GAZ vehicles became silver and bronze winners of Stage 2 of Russian Rally Raid Championship: Baja ‘Archeda Sands’ was held in Archeda-Don sands massif in Volgograd Region. It is one of the northern-most deserts in Russia. The rally course distance exceeded 700 km, of which 450 were special stages. Hard and very rough steppe roads interspersed here with heavy-going sands and barchans.
Crews of GAZ Raid Sport team ranked second in Raid Sport category (the crew of Evgeniy Sukhovenko and Kirill Chapayev on GAZelle NEXT) and third in T1 category (the crew of Alexander Rusanov and Evgeniy Pavlov, also on GAZelle NEXT).
Close-fought battle continued to the very last meters before the finishing line. Tellingly, the gap between the crews winning 2nd and 3rd places after a 450-kilometer race was only 28 seconds.
The Volgograd race is traditionally one of the most difficult in the Russian rally raid championship. Over four days of racing the sportsmen covered more than 800 arduous kilometers on hard steppe roads, hardly-passable sands of the Archedo-Don sands massif and high-speed stretches in the vicinity of chalk mountains. Out of the 34 starting crews only 22 vehicles made it to the finish.
Vyacheslav Subbotin, sports director of GAZ Raid Sport Team:
- In late 2021 requirements to the automobiles, competing in Raid Sport category, were changed. Previously engine displacement was limited to 3 liters, now the limit has been lifted. As a result, a crew on prototype with an engine displacing 7.2 liters is competing in our class. For comparison: our sports GAZelle NEXT is powered by standard engine of 2.8-liter displacement, uprated to 200 hp. It is clear that the objective power output indicators are not in our favor. But constructive reliability of our trucks and pilots’ mastery always help us achieve high results.