As the longest and toughest off-road rally that has the most difficult stages and crosses the most provinces in China, the China Grand Rally (CGR) has drawn great attention and support from off-road aficionados at home and abroad since its inauguration.
This is the third year of CGR. The success of the previous two editions boosted the international influence of Chinese auto sport, further promoted auto brands and products, and drove the development of the regional sports industry and derivative industry chains through the Rally. Especially the event showed off-road aficionados the beautiful scenery along the route and drove the development of local tourist resources. All unveiled camps for the event excel in both landscape and culture, such as Jinsha Island in Zhongwei, the Swan Lake in Alxa Left Banner and the populus euphratica forest in Ejin Banner.
As the longest and toughest off-road rally that has the most difficult stages and crosses the most provinces in China, CGR is known as "Oriental Dakar". With 13 stages, eight camps and a full length of over 8,000 kilometers (including special stages measuring 2,205 kilometers), 2015 China Silk Road Rally will depart in Xi'an, the ancient capital of 13 dynasties, cross provinces such as Shaanxi, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia and Gansu, and finish in Dunhuang like the previous editions.
The organizing committee reduced the break time from two days last year to half a day this year. Even the Dakar Rally known as a "devil race" gives one day off for car maintenance and driver rest. This means that drivers will face more intense and continuous competition. At this point, CGR 2015 will be as tough as the Dakar Rally.
CGR 2015 is eye-catching with a host of strong competitors from home and abroad, including well-known Stéphane Peterhansel who will compete for Peugeot. With a lot of loyal fans in China, he is a legend who has won 11 of 13 Dakar rallies he competed in. As the champion in the previous two editions of CGR, "Haval Team" will face challenges from world top teams like Peugeot as well as Chinese teams led by Panda.
Of course, "Haval Team" boasts tremendous overall strength and a world top logistics team this year. The team has competed in many international rallies and achieved the sixth grade, which is the best result of Chinese teams in the Dakar Rally. This year, the team will field two pairs: Christian Lavieille/Garcin Jean-Pierre and Han Wei/Pan Hongyu who just won the 2015 Taklimakan Rally. They have rich experience in off-road competition, as well as a more mature and calm mindset. Just as Christian said, CGR is a wonderful journey to him and he enjoys it very much.
As Haval's opponents are far stronger than ever, whether it will register a third straight win has drawn wide attention. It is foreseeable that CGR 2015 will present more highlights and competition will be extremely fierce. Then "Haval Team" will repay off-road aficionados with an unprecedented visual feast.