Cross-Country – Marathon adventure for the cross-country contenders | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Cross-Country – Marathon adventure for the cross-country contenders


Silk Way Rally, round three of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies

As the only Marathon Rally on the calendar, the third round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, the Silk Way Rally (July 01-11), will be the ultimate competitive adventure. Crossing the territories of the Russian Federation and Mongolia during 10 days of competition, the epic route traverses 5,200 kilometres of forestland, desert, mountain passes and swamps as the contenders vie for supremacy over more than 2,800 competitive stage kilometres.

After all the required pre-event documentation and scrutineering, the ceremonial start in the city of Omsk, Russia, on July 1 marks the beginning of the Silk Way Rally, which makes its debut on the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies calendar this year. From here, the route progressively heads east through Siberia until reaching Ulgii in the extreme west of Mongolia at the end of the third leg. Adding to the endurance challenge is a two-day Marathon Stage, which starts on the sixth leg. The first part is a loop in and out of Khovd, where only the competitors themselves can service their cars, while the second section of the Marathon Stage takes the crews over a long 313 kilometre selective section around Altai, where they are then reunited with their teams and service crews at the end of the leg. Two more days of action follow as the contenders head towards Ulaanbaatar. The final day, July 11, a relatively short but high-speed selective section loops in and out of the capital city, before the winners of the 11th edition of the Silk Way Rally are crowned at the prize-giving ceremony that evening.

Yazeed Al-Rajhi and returning British co-driver Michael Orr top an impressive provisional entry list and the duo will once again be in action in their Toyota Hilux. As the leading contender in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies standings who is competing on the Silk Way Rally, the Saudi Arabian will be looking to repeat his 2018 victory and capitalise on the absence of his closest rivals.

Vladimir Vasilyev and Aleksei Kuzmich are yet to claim points in the series, after disappointing outings in both Spain and Kazakhstan. Competing in the MINI Cooper Countryman, Vasilyev - the reigning champion of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas - will definitely be hoping for better luck on home territory.

Seasoned cross-country competitor, Guerlain Chicherit, is navigated by Alexandre Winocq in the Century CR6, the car that came so close to victory in the hands of fellow Frenchman Mathieu Serradori on the last round in Kazakhstan. Chicherit, who won the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies in 2009, is sure to be another contender for victory despite a five-year break from cross-country rallying. Denis Krotov and Konstantin Zhiltsov are sixth in the World Cup standings thanks to a fine second place on the previous round and will be competing in the MINI John Cooper Works Rally. Miroslav Zapletal and Marek Sykora were just outside the top 10 in Kazakhstan and are fielding a Ford F150 Evo, as usual.

Behind the powerful T1 vehicles is an impressive field of T3 competitors headed by Frenchmen Lionel Baud and Loic Minaudier in a PH Sport Zephyr, and Fernando Alvarez and Laurent Lichtleuter. Spaniard Alvarez claimed a fine eighth overall in Kazakhstan and took second in the category to sit second in the T3 standings. Pavel Lebedev and Kirill Shubin will be competing on home soil in their Can Am Maverick X3 XRS and are fourth in the standings after claiming the final podium position on the previous round. They are joined by a host of contenders in the category, including the all-female crews of Anastasia Nifontova/Ekaterina Zhadanova and Maria Oparina/Liudmila Petenko, also in Can Am machinery.

The T4 field is equally impressive with the American/Brazilian crew of Austin Jones and Gustavo Gugelmin topping the entries. With two category victories to his name, Jones has a 27.5 point advantage over Kees Koolen in the standings, with Italian Eugenio Amos third, a further seven points adrift. Dutchwoman Gesina Pol joins Koolen in the co-driver’s seat, and France’s Axelle Roux Decima will be alongside Matthieu Margaillan. Three crews from Turkmenistan have also entered T2 Nissan Patrol machinery.


Total distance   

5,248 km

Selective section distance:

2,821 km

Number of selective sections:



Yazeed Al Rajhi/Michael Orr

Toyota Hilux Overdrive

Vladimir Vasilyev/Alexey Kuzmich

MINI Cooper Countryman

Guerlain Chicherit/Alexandre Winocq

Century CR6

Denis Krotov/Konstantin Zhiltsov

MINI John Cooper Works Rally

Miroslav Zapletal/Marek Sykora

Ford F150 Evo

Jérôme Pelichet/Pascal Larroque

MD Optimus

Andrey Cherednikov/Meiram Tleukhan

Ford F150 Evo

Grzegorz Brochocki/Grzegorz Komar

Toyota Land Cruiser

Evgenii Sukhovenko/Kirill Chapaev

GAZ 33027

Aleksei Ignatov/Evgeny Pavlov

GAZ A22R23


Wednesday June 30



From 09:00 hrs


Thursday July 1


Pre-event press conference

13:30 hrs

Ceremonial start, Omsk

18:00 hrs


Friday July 2

Leg 1, 87 km

Saturday July 3

Leg 2, 132 km

Sunday July 4

Leg 3, 133 km

Monday July 5

Leg 4, 296 km

Tuesday July 6

Leg 5, 440 km

Wednesday July 7

Leg 6, 385 km (Part 1, Marathon Stage)

Thursday July 8

Leg 7, 313 km (Part 2, Marathon Stage)

Friday July 9

Leg 8, 421 km

Saturday July 10

Leg 9, 393 km


Sunday July 11


Leg 10

217 km

Podium/Prize-Giving, Ulaanbaatar

18:00 hrs

Post event press conference

20:00 hrs


FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies (Drivers)


Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)

29 points

Lucio Alvarez (ARG)

27 points

Mattias Ekström (SWE)

27 points

Carlos Sainz (ESP)

22 points

Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU)

21.5 points

Denis Krotov (RUS)

19.5 points



FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies (Co-drivers)


Mathieu Baumel (FRA)

29 points

Armand Monleon (ESP)

27 points

Emil Bergkvist (SWE)

27 points

Lucas Cruz (ESP)

22 points

Dirk Von Zitzewitz (DEU)

21.5 points

Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS)

19.5 points



FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies (T3 Drivers)


Cristina Gutierrez (ESP)

58 points

Fernando Alvarez (ARG)

37.5 points

Jose Luis Pena Campo (ESP)

20.5 points

Pavel Lebedev (RUS)

18 points

Annett Fischer (DEU)

18 points

Eric de Seynes (FRA)

15 points



FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies (T4 Drivers)




Austin Jones (USA)

59.5 points

Kees Koolen (NLD)

32 points

Eugenio Amos (ITA)

25 points

Khalifa Al-Attiyah (QAT)

20.5 points

Diego Martinez (ARG)

13 points

Hernan Garces (CHL)

12.5 points