In preparation for the 2016 Silk Way rally the ALDO Toyota rally truck was totally stripped and every bolt and nut was check and replaced if there was even a minute crack and even a new colour scheme was added (but not in this photo). Then, during its trial runs last May in Slovakia, it ran flawlessly. (Photo-ALDO Racing)
A 10,000 km Rally Raid Across Central Asia for David Bensadoun and Patrick Beaulé
Montreal, Quebec - The ALDO Rally-Raid Racing Team of Canadians David Bensadoun and Patrick Beaulé is ready for the start of the sixth running of the Silk Way Rally scheduled to run July 8-24, 2016 from Moscow to Beijing. After skipping the 2016 Dakar Rally, Bensadoun and Beaulé decided to enter the off-road transcontinental Silk Way Rally, a 10,734 km journey. The rally, which is held on the challenging roads where Europe meets Asia, has 4,105 km of selective timed sectors that will take them from southern Russia to the vast unknown steppes and steep canyons of Kazakhstan. Leaving the land of the wanderers, the raiders will enter the massive Goby Desert and mountain roads of China. This transcontinental edition is the longest-ever planned Silk Way Rally and the first to reach the Chinese Capital City of Beijing.
To be more than ready for such a gruelling race, the ALDO technical team has been hard at work since spring, overhauling the Toyota Tacoma Overdrive. Patrick Beaulé, who is also the technical director of the team, spent several weeks in Europe overseeing the work done by his team. The truck was totally stripped and every bolt, nut and part was check and replaced if there was even a minute crack. In its last run at the 2015 Dakar where the team finished fifth overall in the privateer class, the Toyota proved very reliable and trustworthy, so there were no major changes added for this event.
"The improvements we made on the Toyota for the rally last year proved reliable and beneficial for the comfort of the crew, so we focused this year on making the truck more durable," said codriver Patrick Beaulé. During our trial runs last May in Slovakia, it ran flawlessly and afterwards, everything was cleaned and double-checked.
"There is more to this rally than the one we ran at the Dakar as far as vehicle maintenance goes," continued Beaulé. "Overdrive, our official truck parts supplier is not attending the Silk Way and cannot provide us with whatever parts we might need, so we had to double up on some crucial spares. This situation adds up to the unpredictability of this adventure, because there is no clear picture of what awaits us at the Silk Way."
All the ALDO Racing rolling stock material has left Montreal and Slovakia and is en route to Travermünde in North Germany from where it will depart with the rest of the European contingent for Moscow. On July 2, they will make a two-day ferryboat crossing of the Baltic Sea towards Helsinki, Finland. Then, a two-day 1,125 km journey will take them to Moscow where they are scheduled to arrive in the afternoon of the 5th. Beaulé will be flying out on July 3rd and Bensadoun the following day.
"Everyone has done their part to adequately prepare the ALDO Racing Team for the Silk Way, so now its my turn to lead the way," said driver David Bensadoun who is in fine physical form this year after suffering a painful Achilles tendon rupture just prior to the start of his last Dakar. "This year, I am 100% fit and training hard for this event. I am ready for this new challenge."
The participation of ALDO Racing in the Silk Way Rally is the result of a partnership with the ALDO Group, E.F. Walters, Stingray, SAJO, Vitesse Transport Corporation, the OEC Group and Fesh-Fesh Investments.