10-11 June 2017 hospitable Cherkasy region hosted the II stage of Ukrainian Rally Championship “Rally Uman”. It was for the first time in the history of national motor sport to conduct such premium-level race in Uman city. But the history of rally in Cherkasy region dates back to the last century, when the city hosted USSR Championship “Rally Slavutych”. So, motor sport fans and professional racers had an opportunity to watch the renewal of traditions, under the sponsorship of Alebot Group this time.
The nature of Central Ukraine is very picturesque, but there are not many roads which would have an attraction for traditional rally. But the organizers of this stage of competitions succeeded to find and equip two special road sections: Uman – 7.05 km and Hromy – 15.04 km. It is dirt road, and soil is very slippery here. The main intrigue was that it’s completely new route which is not familiar to any rally participant. So, all the crews were on equal footing, and the only factors affecting the racing were crews’ professionalism, integrity and technical health of cars.
After the official opening ceremony which took place at main square of Uman city on Saturday, and after podium presentation of all crews and cars, the rally participants shared their impressions of new track and their anticipations towards the rally racing.
There is a slight lack of high-speed sections at the first part of the track, but the track itself is well-prepared in the whole. The second special road section is particularly interesting due to its jambs and hill ramps. Generally speaking, the organizers made a great work having taken the rally back to Cherkasy region. It’s a festival for both sportsmen and all the people. So, take my great thanks for this, – Yurii Shapovalov, the pilot-in-command of Crew №7 commented on
The racing track is very well prepared. It is of particular interest that no one of the participants of the II stage of Championship had ever driven it before. We’ll have a very interesting race tomorrow and it’ll show what everyone is worth of, – Serhiy Rudkovskyi, the pilot-in-command of Crew №9
Regardless of great efforts on race preparation done, not only sportsmen, but also organizers of the contest were very excited. Mykola Machnevych, Director of Boleko Transport Company belonging to Alebor Group, Co-Organizer of the II Stage of Ukrainian Rally Championship in this interview to AUTOSPORT TV told:
We succeeded to make the II Stage of Ukrainian Rally Championship spectacular and crowded with people. We hope that there also will be a lot of spectators at rally racing track as well. The preparatory works provides for taking a great deal of safety precautions. We have done everything in our power as organizers. The track and grandstands are constructed and equipped according to FAU Safety Plan. We want the competition to be held at the highest level, thus, being organizers, we worry a bit about safety at certain sections of race track
Actually, it‘s worth worrying, as far as rally is extreme and risky sport. The cars slipped along the track at a speed of 30-40 meters per second and pilots just would not have enough time to react to the unforeseen obstacle. But, luckily, everything was really great and at the highest level. Despite of swirls of dust made by the cars racing along the track, there were a lot of visitors. Vasyl Kulynych shared his impressions of the contest:
Uman rally rocks! The coolest idea was to held it on the outskirts of suburb village called Hromy (in Ukrainian language it means “thunders”) – today it was really thundering here
Not only those visitors who came to see the event had a possibility to watch the race. Organizers took care for arranging on-line broadcasting of the contest, so everyone who wanted could see the tough struggle of professional pilots for victory. Sportsmen had a lot of work loads, but they coped with them perfectly, there were only machinery to fail sometimes. Thus, among 20 crews who started in 4 car groups, only 13 cars had successfully passed all special track sections. It’s a matter of interest that the oldest racing car GAZ-2410 which had been participating in rally since 1984, went through all the sections of race track. This motor sport veteran was run by Crew №16 – Andriy Panenko and Serhiy Korobeinykov. We can confidently say it’s a real victory, though the crew took 13th place.
As for winners, they became obvious during the first rides already. These are Crew №10 – Ruslan Topor and Maryna Perova from Odesa and winners of last stage of Chumatskyi Shalyakh Rally Championship – Crew №10 – Borys Gandzha and Yehen Sokur. These pilots had tough fight since the time of Chumatskyi Shalyakh Rally Championship. This time the victory was taken by Ruslan and Maryna. Further competition between these crews we’ll see during Kyivska Rus in early September.
Photo: Oleksandr Vasylyuk, AutoTV.