After cancellation of the well-known “Silk Way Rally" this year, the Russian Automobile Federation in contribution with general Sponsor of Cross-country Championship – G-Energy decided to organize a 4-days event with the status of the 3rd round of Russian CC Championship.

The route of new race “The Great Steppe 2014" was laid by a distance of 1000 km on territories on south of Russia - in Kalmykia and Astrakhan which are well remembered to crews participated in “Silk Way Rally" and "Gold of Kagan".

The program of the race included four racing days. On July 9th participants passed through the solemn start in the well-known Chess town in Elista and had a warm-up Prologue, and in the next three days crews were faced up with full-fledged marathon special stages with a daily distance on 300-400 km. The solemn finish and rewarding took place on July 12th at walls of the Astrakhan Kremlin.

The joined team NARTTIME and VRT supported by the team partner G-Energy, took part in this race with two crew – Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov and Andrey Dmitriev/Sergey Talanstev – both on BMW X3CC.

From the first kilometers both crews turn into the fight for a victory. The race game started in fast tracks of Kalmikia for the first two days of race and then the route changed with appearing of sandy seines and two big ergs where organizers established some control points obligatory to passing.

Vladimir Vasilyev together with Konstantin Zhiltsov won three special stages and celebrated a victory in race.

Vladimir Vasilyev: "We did our best and achieved the main goal – to win the race! The route was pleasant even though in the Astrakhan steppes there were several parts with a very rigidly, hard and bumpy tracks! This race became good preparation for the FIA World Cup stage in Spain which starts in some days".

Konstantin Zhiltsov: "Typical Astrakhan stage, rigid, lethal. We went the first and some places, before service, and the dune road before the erg “Big brother", on feelings, even nobody checked. There after winter and rains such holes and ditches, very bad road! The cheerful episode was on the Big brother. We took the dune three times. The first time came well, I shout to Volodya: "More to the left! ", and it turns to the right. We passed to the right of a waypoint. Then we came back, the second time we could not catch the waypoint again. Only on third time we passed accurately, and then about thirty minutes went laughed at this episode. Shots will be interesting. And so a stage passed without problems! We are happy with the results".

Thus, after three stages of the Russian Cross Country Championship Vasilyev/Zhiltsov have 100% productivity with three overall victories from possible three!

The second crew of team Andrey Dmitriyev/Sergey Talantsev for the first three days did a great work and had chance to consolidate command success and to finish on the second place, but the destiny disposed differently. For 48 km to the finish clutch burned down, and independently the crew didn't manage to reach a finish line. Nevertheless, the acquired experience and skills will undoubtedly be useful in further fight in the Russian CC Championship.