Overall look at the Rally
2017 Motorcycle Division Awards Shared by Korea, Japan and Mongolia
Rally Mongolia 2017 has returned to the holy grounds of Zoumod.
This is a truly strange and surprising place that makes you think you are seeing a mirage of a desert island far off in the ocean. Whatever route you take the course is never flat and smooth and the hot wind from the desert sucks up the strength from the rider’s bodies. Yet on the other hand, the amazing sights amidst the desolate landscape give a kind of spiritual lift that sharpens the five senses.
This is exactly the kind of experience that enhances your memories of Zoumod.
This marathon stage included 2 courses to Zoumod. The Etap 1 bivouac was a night of deep stillness without even a cough to break the silence. After reaching the goal the cars were placed in “parc ferme” or namely a closed park where no servicing of the vehicles was allowed until the next day. The rally vehicle mechanics set off from Ulaan Bataar heading out on the long drive to Zoumod.
This stage is the power focus of the first half of the rally. Taking overall first and second place by auto manufacturer for a while were the Can-Am Maverick X3 cars making their very first rally appearance. These machines have superb stability and running performance. They get a further boost from the 900cc turbo 3-cylinder Rotax engine that delivers 170 horsepower in a vehicle body weighing less than 700 kilograms (1543 pounds).
These two vehicles maintained their 1st and 2nd race positions up to the final stage of the rally, with the Toyota Tacoma team in hot pursuit. However, Toyota ultimately grabbing the 2nd and 3rd race positions which was an interesting turn of events.
People had a hunch that the rally competition from hereon would involve big changes in vehicle designs.
In the motorcycle division on the other hand, #7 Yoshio Ojima gave a great performance from the very start of the rally. However, after finally pulling away from 2nd place he was extending his ample lead when he crashed in the final stage. He got right back in the race but he and the machine lost their 30 minute margin while also dealing with the mental stress. The final victor was #19 Ryu Myung Gul showing overwhelming speed and world-class navigation skills. However, Mongolia’s top rider #1 Battur Baatar who was victorious last year and this year converted to the auto division, was delayed by mechanical trouble from the early stages of the rally. Yet he still did superbly, making it to the trophy stand as one of the winners from three countries.
The year 2017 saw a good response to the new directions tried by the SSER Organisation that also helped make us newly aware of how great Mongolia really is. Our overall view is that this is a truly epoch-making rally and we give it high ratings as a place for people to again gather and compete.