On the 10th of August, on Sunday, the participants of “Rally Orient” finished technical and administrative commission. All three KamAZ trucks – two military and one emergency service vehicle, passed the race check up without problems and at the same day started the prologue of the Turkish rally near the ancient Urgup. 4 km 430 m, its extension, traditionally became the original demonstration of vehicle and race - drivers, taking part in the “Orient Rally - Kappadokia 2003” in front of thousands of fans of this kind of sport, who specially has come to this race.
The warming up of the trucks before the start was finished with the “sold out” notice of white – blue trucks with KAMAZ brand. Both trucks, piloting by Vladimir Chaghin and Ilghizar Mardeev, having shown the best time, were at the top of the table in truck class. On Monday, on the 11th of August, the sport cavalcade of the orient rally started the assault of the first lap of rally “ Urgup - Sultanhani – Urgup”, with the total extension about 420km, 243 km of which were the test speed area. Mountain race poses a special danger for the rally participants and more over for truck crews. Steep turns, ups and downs along bottle - necks in stony rock maze, endless abysses deprives of almost any freedom for maneuvers, needs special skills and craft of the driver and sharp intuition of the navigators. Any navigation error can bring to the standstill of the truck, which doesn’t have any chance to turn.
After the finish, Vladimir Chaghin confirmed, that the race - drivers faced such situation at the first lap already.
The most successful appeared to be the French crew headed by the well-known pilot Philippe Jacquot on MANN. From the very beginning, the French could use all advantages of their sport truck to the maximum, and what is the most important, its smaller dimension, in comparison with KAMAZ. That was the point, which determined the outcome of the competition in truck class at the first lap of “Rally Orient”. MANN of Philippe Jacquot showed the best time. After the first lap, KAMAZ of Vladimir Chaghin was the second, having lost 8 minutes, 26 seconds. Ilghizar Mardeev was the third, having lost 32 minutes 39 seconds: it was necessary to change two punctured tires.
“The KAMAZ team has a battle – mood, - commented Vladimir Chaghin on the results of the first day. Having had the baptism of fire, we were convinced, that our present rivals in truck class were set rather aggressive and were trying to use any opportunity to get the initiative. We understand that and will do everything to oppose our craft and driving experience in mountains to them”.
On the 12th of August, the participants of “Rally Orient – Kappadokia 2003” faced the most extensive high speed section “Karaghol – Kurukopry” with the length of almost 320 km.