Nizhny Novgorod, 15 September 2020 - The GAZelle Next crew of Evgeny Sukhovenko and Kirill Chapaev are the best in the Rally Sport Category at Stage 2 of the Russian Rally Raid Championship. GAZ Raid Sport ranks second in the overall tally. The Gold of Kagan was the first race after a long break with over 40 participants. They covered almost 800 km with the most challenging terrain, mostly sand, in four racing days.
GAZelle NEXT is the winner at Stage 2 of the Russian Rally Raid Championship. During four days, from 9 to 12 September, 39 national competition participants and 26 regional competition participants showcased their cross-road driving skills and reliability of their vehicles. The Gold of Kagan rally raid was initially scheduled for March 2020 but with the pandemic and restrictive measures on was postponed until last weekend. The team of GAZ Raid Sport entered the T1 and the Raid Sport categories with their GAZelle NEXT crews and the Truck (T4) category with its Sadko NEXT crews.
The Astrakhan race is unique as there are almost no roads on the route, but just impassable loose sand, dry steppe soils, covered with moguls and thorn-bushes.
The GAZelle NEXT crew of Evgeny Sukhovenko and Kirill Chapaev won the race and became the best in the Rally Sport category after Stages 1 and 2 of the Championship. The GAZelle Next team of Alexey Ignatov and Evgeny Pavlov were the fourth in their class while Mikhail Shklyaev and Alexander Filyakin on a Sadko NEXT ranked 8th in the Truck category.
GAZ Raid Sport vehicles are based on standard systems and components and that is their unique feature. Engines, frames, axles, cabins, differentials, springs, steering systems and many other components of the off-road racing vehicles are the same as used in standard versions and installed on the main assembly line.
Evgeny Sukhovenko, GAZ Raid Sport pilot:
- I’ve been to many desert races, the Gobi, the Sahara, but this one at home was still a big challenge for me. Last year we were in Astrakhan in late April, and it’s mid-September now. The sand is much different. It’s damp and thick in April. Not it’s dry, even sun-burnt. Even a small mistake may get you in a trap. The rally was a big physical and mental challenge for us. You had no chance to get relaxed, not for a moment, while driving on moguls and sand. The situation around you changed every other minute and the crew had to think several moves ahead. Just like in a chess game. Our GAZelle NEXT passed the route with almost no breaks and failures.