February 23rd 2008, 01:18

Is there enough gloss on Russian roads?

Strange question, isnТt it? For any Russian the answer is clear. But itТs not as evident as it seems! Had Russian word, used for defining gloss, been said in Finnish, it would have got completely another meaning, much more relevant to the conditions.


Our geographical neighbors use the word “loska” (which is quite consonant to Russian “gloss”) as a definition of snow-and-dirt on a road during the thaw period. Today this “gloss” covered the superspecial stage and its entrance. But it didn’t bring any beauty - it was difficult to pass few meters on foot or by car and not to make cars or clothes dirty. On the other hand, those conditions made runs much more spectacular.

Superspecial stage configuration does not allow rally cars to show their main qualities – no suspension trials, no tricky places. But a lot of slush, allowed the drivers to create fountains, no matter how they coped with them! 4WD monsters used all possible approaches in order to pass the water obstacles (but still not real obstacles for them!) – straightways, sideways, only not backwards! Even borders in face of snowbanks couldn’t hinder their drive – Leonid Novitcky was the first one, who ran over them. But for some it was not as easy. One crew spent a lot of time there with no damages to the car, but time was lost…

 However, rally-raids marathon character is well known for gaps being easily cut and positions taken away within a single stage – the real race will start only tomorrow! Superspecial stage provided another moment to be proud about: almost all the spectators were familiar with rally subject; there were also some professional drivers among them. So, today the phrase “sea is calling, soul is singing” got the direct meaning for them: with big interest did they follow the runs of their collegues, furrowing “the waters of the superspecial ocean”.
But all the positive emotions from the race activities weren’t able to warm up spectators standing in the rain and wind. The big tents prepared by the officials did help a lot. There were not only radiators and heaters, but also food and fresh-prepared hot shashliks. Spectators weren’t disappointed and enjoyed their rally time, observing the “gloss” (in both meanings) of driving performance.

 Igor Chervonen


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