The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge rally raid continues in the UAE. On Monday G-Energy Team crew went to the second special stage of the race that was held along the sands and totaled 288 kilometers. The day leader was the Czech driver Martin Prokop, followed by Sheikh Khalid Al-Quassimi and the Frenchman Cyril Despres, the last year’s Silk Way marathon winner, rounded out the top three. Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov, performing in the Mini All4Racing diesel car, finished only in the ninth position due to technical problems with the braking system. Nevertheless, the crew managed to keep the position in the final classification and they are still in the sixth place in the overall standings. Konstantin Zhiltsov, co-driver, “Today’s special stage was not very successful – everything was fine, but some mechanical problems started and they affected the result more psychologically than technically. On the route we had a passage through the tunnel and three cars with journalists rushed in front of us on the way, they didn’t know where to go. We had to slow down and got stuck on one of the sandy bends. We were overtaken by Cyril Despres, and after that we followed him a part of the distance. We saw Jakub Przygonski’s car in a ditch, Despres stopped to help him, and he pulled him out. And then at the 180th kilometer, the brakes stopped working. The repair took a long time; we had to visit an intermediate service and lost 10 minutes there”. Monday was very hot; the air temperature on the route rose to + 55C in the shade, and the sand at the special stage could be described as “very loose”. This quality of surface affected the manner of driving, and for those who have ever tried to travel over the sandy coverage, we can report that fuel consumption increased to 66 liters per hundred kilometers – it was so difficult to cross the stubborn dunes. Organizers planned 3 hours and 50 minutes to overcome the special stage, predicting a high speed of its passage. Usually fast crews always come before the planned standard, but today the leader barely made it for 4 hours. Luc Alphand, the previous stage winner, stopped to repair his prototype; three hundred meters after the start the race ended for the crew of Ravil Maganov and Kirill Shubin in the T3 vehicle – the CVT axis in their Polaris RZr 1000 was cut. Yasir Saiedan stopped for repair at the liaison, and Sheikh Khalid Al-Quassimi got stuck on the track twice, but it did not stop him from finishing the
second. Konstantin Zhiltsov, “After the brake pipe replacement we raised our pace, tried to overtake those who passed us while the car was repaired, and we did it quite successfully. It is very important, who goes first and how the motorcycles rode before the cars – the road book led us through the high dunes, but we often went around them, as it was more logical. Surprisingly, today we haven’t met a single motorcyclist”. On the days of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge-2018 a mobile laboratory is working at the G-Energy Team bivouac. Every day the technical specialist the “Gazpromneft-Lubricants” company selects samples of oils working in the engine and transmission of the car, and conducts their thorough analysis. He produces this work using the mobile G-Energy laboratory equipment that includes an infrared spectrometer, an X-ray spectrometer and a viscosity gage. Every evening the team mechanics receive a detailed report on lubricants, where not only their parameters are reflected, but also the condition of the units in which they operate, which is a great help in the maintenance and repair of the equipment. Tuesday is again a hot day in the desert and there are 281 km of competitive distance of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2018 rally raid.