But don’t try this at home, unless you’ve got a Russian Kamaz monster K5 truck, and experience in handling the beast.
Russia’s vast land and unforgiving weather were known throughout history for bringing even the toughest enemy armies on their knees. Today, these forces show their power in different kind of wars, like the Silk Way Rally. Trucks, cars and motorcycles are giving it their best, fighting their way through some of the most difficult road conditions possible. And when President Vladimir Putin himself sends his greetings, you know that what’s ahead of you is no joke.
This year’s edition was supposed to cover 5,500 km (3,417 miles) from Omsk, Siberia (a famous city that was inaccessible to foreign visitors until the 21st century) to Ulan Bator, Mongolia – which meant an amazing route, including crossing the Altai mountains and part of the Gobi desert.
Due to the current health risks, a last minute decision banned competitors from entering Mongolia, so the rally was cut short, but didn’t lose its challenging aspect.
In its fourth and penultimate stage, the Silk Way Rally tested everybody’s strength on its mountainous tracks. The Tatar trio of Dmitry Sotnikov, Ruslan Akhmadeev and Ilgiz Akhmezianov maintained their leading position, with the new Kamaz Master K5. A deep river crossing was decisive, leaving the other Kamaz team behind. According to Sotnikov, the difficult stages were “an excellent test of the suspensions”, which the K5 truck passed successfully.
When you’re literally worried that someone could get hurt by the unleashed K5 truck, it goes to show just how dangerous the Silk Way Rally route is. Sotnikov feared that attendees who weren’t making themselves visible were at serious risk, because the giant truck is not an easy thing to control. And the mud proved to be one of the biggest enemies, threatening to keep even trucks stuck in a rut.
But the Kamaz Master K5 made its way through all of that, with Sotnikov maintaining first position so far, on his way to the final victory.