The next stage of the Russian rally-raid championship “Route 1000” was on the Volgograd off-road. The competition was dedicated to a sad date - the 65th anniversary of the Nazis offensive on Stalingrad.

45 crews from 15 regions of the country entered the track. Cars, modified at factories and workshops, were lined up on the central embankment of Volgograd in anticipation of the go-ahead for the prologue.

“This is the fourth start of rally-raids, which I have to participate in organizing, ” says Alexey Sipatov, senior consultant to the head of the Volgograd Oblast administration. - Racers liked our Archedinsky sands and gravel-gravel roads that pass through the territory of four districts - Ilovlinsky, Kletsky, Serafimovichsky and Frolovsky. According to the conditions, they are similar to the Paris - Dakar route, where some athletes of the current competitions will go, using them as training ones. In addition to the difficult road, this is also a test by the scorching sun - air conditioning is not provided in the cars, these are the technical requirements. Given the significance of the race, the decision of the Volgograd Region Governor Nikolai Maksuta established a cup for the winner.

Meanwhile, the participants of the races examined the cars, talked with the organizers of the competition and signed autographs. I was attracted by a car remotely resembling our GAZ-67. So it is - on the hood is a gas emblem.

- The pilot Sergey Savenko became the ideological inspirer of the birth of this technique, - explained Valery Shevkov, who introduced himself as the acting mechanic of the machine. - He respects the Soviet automobile industry and wants to inspire the designers of the Gorky Automobile Plant by his example. Pride Savenko - GAZ-3110, designed on the basis of Land Rover. And this model can be rather conditionally called the GAZ-69, since there is nothing native in it: the engine from BMW, a number of components from other foreign cars, there are also our own inventions. However, while the joints are not completely balanced, sometimes malfunctions in the operation of the equipment occur.

Andrei Biryukov on a Mitsubishi with Belarusian numbers, playing for the Moscow team, friendly to all the athletes and their chances, noticed that his diesel car was slightly inferior to its gasoline “sisters” in acceleration dynamics. But he does not intend to give up, especially since he is not a newcomer to the rally.

Soon, official guests and athletes will rise on the green carpet spread on the podium of the starting gates. Deputy Governor Galina Khorosheva will remind fans and athletes of the stages of the Stalingrad battle, and will talk about the importance of motorsport, especially for the younger generation. Then the floor will be taken by the auto-patriarch Boris Tsvetkov, a former engineer-motorist, then the chief traffic cop of the region, and now the secretary of the regional public commission of the BDD:

- When motorsport was born at the time of my youth, cars - GAZ AA, GAZ A, UralZIS - went into many kilometers, for example, along the route Saratov - Stalingrad - Kharkov - Belgorod. In motorsport, character and driving skills have always been manifested, which is so lacking today. We hope you set an example!

After a short parting word, 45 crews from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov, Samara, Ulyanovsk, Zelenograd, Lithuania, most of them titled, will pass through the gates into the floodplain of the Tsaritsa River for a prologue along the kilometer route.