Kazan, September 5th 2009
The president of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev blessed the rally for lucky way and gave start for the race at Saturday’s shiny day.
Inspirited with the welcome atmosphere South African Giniel De Villiers from Volkswagen won the prologue just eight month after he won the Dakar. In the truck race the fastest was Dakar champion too : Firdaus Kabirov.
On the square in front of Tatneft arena predominate friendly and in the same time red carpet air. In the end on the podium had been brought flags of 25 countries, by the amount of the representatives participate in the rally. After, the 51 cars and 20 trucks allowed to start appeared one by one in front of the public.
The super special stage was 2013 meters long and created by five times Dakar champion Vladimir Chagin, so the supporters could enjoy jumps, skidding and even first difficulties which got some crews sand trapped. But the result of the super special won’t take to account in general set-off and the next stage Kazan-Buguruslan start will be given in the start’s numbers order.
Volkswagen team with it’s four favorite crews proved their potential. Newcomer Nasser All Attiyah from Qatar temporary had been headed classification table, he made the stage in 2 minutes and 14 seconds. But legendary Spanish Carlos Sainz made it 1 second faster. The last to start Giniel De Villiers, the champion of “Dakar 2009”, on the Race Touareg improved the result by 4 seconds. And it’s just on 2 kilometres stage !
A short break in working hours allowed the Prime-Minister of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov to drive a KAMAZ-master truck, at the wheel of which the famous driver won many famous national and international races. A psychological pressure was growing very quickly in this category. It was the matter of honor for KAMAZ-master team to win on their native soil. As a result Firdaus Kabirov was the first to cross the finish line. The winner of last Dakar was driving very fast and finished the prologue for 2 min 31 sec, his result differs just 22 sec from the best result in the car category. Analysis of results immediately reminds us predictions of specialists, they were sure that there will be a hot contest in this category. And indeed the orange Iveco truck of Gerard De Rooy is just 2 seconds behind of Firdaus, and Loprais’s Tatra lose him 3 seconds.
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