In a short special of just 61 timed kilometres, Dutchman Ton van Genugten's IVECO Trakker finished in third place, just over 2 minutes behind the winner and ahead of teammates Gerard de Rooy's and Artur Ardavichus's IVECO Powerstars.
Gerard de Rooy finished in fifth position and Kazakh pilot Artur Ardavichus in sixth place just 5 seconds behind the team leader.
Today the race will take the drivers from Tcheboksary to Ufa in a second stage that will require the competitors' best driving skills.
The 7th edition of the Silk Way Rally is underway. The first special stage started yesterday early in the afternoon after a long transfer from Moscow: 61 km on the banks of River Volga ending at the bivuac hosted by Tcheboksary airport. Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO mastered the muddy and slippery track, with Ton van Genugten, IVECO's man of the day, finishing the stage in third place on board his #306 Trakker. He crossed the finish line just +2m03s from the first position.
Gerard De Rooy and his new IVECO Powerstar finished in the top 5 +4m01s behind the winner. "We started slowly this short stage to take confidence with the truck: the new Powerstar feels good even on the mud – said Team leader De Rooy – The heavy rain has complicated the driving because it's not easy to see, but for the first day of Silk Way Rally I think we did a good job! We didn't risk anything and the renovated IVECO behaved very well".
Artur Ardavichus didn't take risks either behind the wheel of the second IVECO Powerstar (#310) and achieved a 6th position in this first stage: the Kazakh driver, on board with Belgian co-pilot Bruynkens and Dutch mechanic Huisman, closed the day placing the third IVECO truck in the top 6.
Today Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO will be engaged in the 2nd stage, which will take them from Tcheboksary to Ufa with a leg distance of 785,63 km and a special stage of 157 km. The "Grand Kazan Track" will require the best driving skills of the Team's drivers because is sometimes narrow and technical and some parts are very fast and winding.
Stage 1 results – Silk Way Rally 2017
1. Martin Kolomy (Tatra) 49m43s
2. Ales Loprais (Tatra) +51s
3. Ton Van Genugten (IVECO) +2m03s
4. Siarhei Viazovich (Maz) +2m35s
5. Gerard De Rooy (IVECO) +4m01s
6. Artur Ardavichus (IVECO) +4m06s
Starting order for SS2 – 9th July
06.52h Kolomy (Tatra)
06.56h Loprais (Tatra)
06.58h Van Genugten (IVECO)
07.06h Viazovich (Maz)
07.10h De Rooy (IVECO)
07.12h Ardavichus (IVECO)