SS6-Taklimakan Rally 2018
Taklimakan Rally Stage 6: The Longest and Toughest Journey
June 9th ushered in the longest and toughest section (Stage 6) of Taklimakan Rally 2018. The special stage ran around Hami, covering 491km from Nanhu Reservoir to SDIC Power Station. Participants set off at 6:50am.
The route began with a gully stretch dotted with loose rocks, a recipe for damages and being stuck, followed by Xinjiang’s famous badlands and undulating gravel tracks. Their deceptive solid surface give way to a soft under layer - driving past the car in front on either side would get you stuck; navigating a new path might give rise to unexpected barriers. Only rich rally experiences can be called upon to choose the right path.
Thereafter, the desert track presented an onslaught of rolling sand dunes. The cars weaved through the yardangs like ships navigating at sea - swerving right and left, bobbing up and down. A slight distraction would run the car into soft mounds or cause an overturn.
Sixty kilometers of gravel pits came after the desert. These seasoned drivers who have thundered down countless uneven and convoluted tracks seemed apprehensive in face of such terrain. Next up, the vehicles raced through canyons that stretch for dozens of kilometers interspersed by an assortment of big and small particles. Together with a dizzying maze, this section proved to be the rally’s most treacherous and complicated.
Despite being battered mentally and physically by the dreary distance and complicated terrain, the racers of Team Navara upheld their professionalism and completed Stage 6 of the competition.