ETAP-2 8 AUG. 2016 (EN)


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L:24.38km S:192.99km L:6.90km S:274.32km L:18.07km  TOTAL:516.66km
L:24.38km S:267.42km L:18.07km  TOTAL:309.87km 【SM_class】



Today all rally cars start out together in a run aiming for the South Gobi desert and then make a return loop to Sayhan Ovoo in what amounts to a hard, high-speed piste stage made up of two SS. From the group start point the course runs in a straight line some 50 kilometers long. A helicopter appears overhead, the start flag drops and the scene widens into giant clouds of dust that seem like a huge cavalry battle from the days of Genghis Khan.

The top position is taken up by riders No.1 and 2 on their KTM 450 Rally bikes who give an overwhelming performance. One wonders who among these two bikes will be the winner? The Onoue team on the Jimny does not appear to have recovered today from their first day of navigating trouble but might become a formidable challenger from tomorrow onwards. The three BMWGS motorcycle team from Korea retired from today but pledged to stage a comeback next year.



「The lost holy grounds of the lama」

We spend two nights here in this valley camp. The other side of this valley once had a town long ago where people lived together along with some 1,500 monks. Now it has been abandoned and traces of that past life still remain in the historical ruins there. Walking around and taking a look there is a real experience. The scene there while lit by the light of the setting sun sets a special tone that moves one’s heart. In the days of the former Soviet Union the monasteries of the lama were severely persecuted and almost all of them were abandoned. Today will prove the highlight of the first half of the rally. All the rally cars start out simultaneously and we keep driving intently in the great plains to the south. Today’s course is an extremely high speed route. A town just visible at the end of the prairie is the rally CP. The SM class separates from the rally course at this check point (CP). The rally route again passes close to town and we then pass through valleys joined by trees that are quite rare in the Gobi, we will finally arrive at a town in the southern Gobi desert. The SS-1 will end at this town. After refueling, SS-2 starts from alongside a small airfield. The Gobi highway scenery gets more beautiful and lusher the further north we go. We reach the SS-2 goal set up just before the town there. At the liason (untimed section of route) we cross a river and refuel after passing through town.





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