During the time planned for administrative checks, the press-office has a few minutes to ask crew members about their hopes and expectations from the race, the process of preparing for it and the mood!

The publication will be updated as information becomes available ...

Maria OPARINA, driver, starting number 33,

“We had one test session before the race, so all the hope is for our courage. As Sergey Lebedev, the race organizer, says, “Strong ones don’t need training, and training won’t help the weak ones”. We stick to this tactic. Let readers and fans decide if we are strong or weak. The greatest difficulty for us is to unhook the ties, that is, we can change the tyres quickly, but we have problems with the ties. But, I think, we can spend about five minutes to change the tyres. There is no fear before the race, there is a kind of nervous state, I need to go through all the procedures and then I will “breathe out”. In the evening, when I pass the Prologue, I will understand I’m in the race. And now I feel something is bothering me”.

Bruno OLIVEIRA, driver, starting number 29,

“We came from Portugal, this is our first time here in Russia. This is a great challenge and adventure for us! We decided to participate in this race last year, as you know, everything is new for us here. We don’t plan to participate in the entire World Cup season. Now we are sure that we will be able to start in two races of the championship – in Russia and in Portugal. But we will move step by step and look to the future positively, maybe if we manage to finish here efficiently, our sponsors will allow us to participate in three races. It seems that we are crazy, but we didn’t have tests before the race, so we will learn how to drive on the snow right at the special stages! We will try to be careful and forget about the stopwatch. The most important for us is to reach the finish line, understand what is snow, learn a lot from other participants, and perhaps we will become more prepared for the next year. We have never driven through the snow!”


Alexey TITOV, driver, starting number 27,

“I’ve decided to participate in the whole season again! I hope it will be possible to take part in the Championship of Russia, but there’s a lot of work this year, so we will approach to each race carefully. I hope I will also be able to “grab” Kazakhstan and maybe one sandy Arab race. And I really want to drive some European Baja – I just have to look at the level, cause they “scare” us with the Europeans. So I want to see them! I’ve just participated in the “Africa Eco Race”; marathons are very, very interesting, but, unfortunately, the “Silk Way” intersects with my main job in schedule. I hope next year we will be able to participate in it”.

Boris GADASIN, driver, starting number 8,

“On the eve there was the last training for BARSes, because we had a lot of work and suspension settings before. We had the last test in real conditions, close to the competitive ones. And for NIVA there was a serious event – the crew acquaintance, the co-driver sat in the car for the first time. I hope it was enough. Our team has grown in recent years and has become quite professional that allows me not to be distracted during the race to solve some emerging issues that require the team leader’s attention. I hope I won’t be get involved at all, or only in some unusual cases, I expect that everything will go in a regular way for the team”.

Fernando ALVAREZ CASTELLANO, driver, starting number 23:

“I plan to participate in the entire World Cup season. I came to this race, because I’ve already been here and I like it, so we are here, because this is the first round of the series. The last race in Russia was not very productive, on the second day we got stuck in the snow and lost a lot of time. But I like this place, and I want to finish. Of course, I would like to be the first, if it is possible, but we’ll see the result at the finish! TOP-10 participants are excellent fast drivers, but you never know what will happen during the race and who will be at the finish. Driving on the snow is not like on the usual gravel, but there are trainings for that. Although it’s fun to drive on the snow, it’s never clear whether it will be possible to pass the turn inside or on the outside, so every driver tries to do his best. Cold weather is not a problem for us, because we are hot during the race! On the eve of the race we managed to stay in Finland with Juho Hanninen and acclimatized. It was great to train with him, he is an excellent coach and knows many specific details about the area of this cross-country rally”.

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Andrey RUDSKOY, driver, starting number 22,

“We have prepared! Now we have a super-mega-heater in the car, there are ten adjustments in it, and if you put it on a grade 3, you can open the windows (laughing). The peculiarity of the race is that they usually put air-conditioners against heat, but here is vice versa. This season we definitely want to take part in the Russian Championship. I think there are all chances to compete for leadership. And we would like to participate in the “Silk Way”, but it depends not only on us. The budget for participation is huge. We have the desire and intention, and “Africa Eco Race” showed that we are ready not only to survive during the long rallies, but also to get the results. Our car is prepared under new regulations, for example, there is increased suspension travel. So it’s worth a try”.

 Yasir Hamad SEAIDAN, driver, starting number 20,

"This year I plan to spend a season in the T1 category. This race and this season will be the first for me in this vehicle. I have never tried to drive any single car of this category – now it will be the first test. I chose a difficult way for myself, because I’m starting with a snow race. It’s really hard! Yesterday I felt it during the training. My expectations for the race: to finish, bring a good result and earn a few points. I will not try to win, only to stay in the TOP-10 overall drivers. It’s good that in this World Cup season you can choose five races for participation. I can drive and study, but I know for sure that I will bring good results from Dubai and Abu Dhabi – these are my “home” races. I am delighted I came to Russia for the second time. I liked it here last year and I enjoyed the winter race. So the current race is again a good experience for me in the new car. It is very fast after a T2 car, very, very fast, believe me! I’m not afraid of speed, but I want to finish in the race. I will push hard in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Kazakhstan. My strategy is hard learning, easy working. I will drive with a Russian co driver and communicate in the car only in English, he controls himself very well in all situations and does not switch to his native speech (laughing)”.


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