End is good, all is good. The MKR Technology North Bohemian truck driver is a sensational winner of the final stage of this year's Silk Way Rally in Russia. Martin van den Brink proved that if he did not have an initial technical problems with a turned-over wheel, he could aspire for the highest positions. In the final stage, he also left all the Kamaz trucks behind.
"Martin had nothing to lose. Everything bad had already happened to us in the first stage, but even then it was not a piece of cake. This year's Silk Way was bloody demanding for our mechanic team, and Martin just wanted to show what he and our machine can do, so he went for it. He wanted to win and he did it well. We could not have really imagined a better ending," Daniel Kozlovsky, technician from Roudnice and from MKR Technology team, summarized this year Silk Way.
This year's Silk Way Rally was extraordinarily different. Just a few days before the start, the organizers announced that only seven stages will take place and the whole race will take place only in the country of Russia. The only day before the start, due to family reasons, Gert Huzink, the second driver of the Renault Trucks from Roudnice, had to withdraw from the race. Martin van den Brink started, but due to the torn lower pin of the axle he turned over the right front wheel. The mechanics could not get to the truck for a long time and the repair took over the next full day. With assessed penalty it was impossible to get a good overall position, but neither van den Brink of Mammoet Rally Sport nor his support team MKR Technology did not want to give up. The Dutch rider jumped twice on the silver position and took gold in the last stage. As a final test, five-hundred-kilometre transfer with a two-hundred-kilometre timed section finishing on Red Square in Moscow, awaited for the drivers. And it was here, where van den Brink arrived in the best time. All the Kamaz trucks queued behind him. The second Nikolaev lost nearly two minutes. The last person on podium was Sotnikov, who had lost the overall victory due to the difficulties in the previous stage. Overall win went to Andrey Karginov, followed by his compatriots on the Russian machines Mardeev, Shibalov, Kupriaynov and Nikolaev. Golden van den Brink after initial penalty stayed in the final eleventh position with a loss of more than two hundred hours. "Who would have thought the gold at the end was easy, is utterly wrong. Martin floored it in such a way, that his tire caught fire and the fire-fighters had to extinguish the fire. This only demonstrates, which load the machine has to go through and that Martin does not spare it at all. Thanks to that, we also have something to celebrate, although sometimes it's really on the edge. But this is a rally that you need a goodbit ofluck,"concluded Kozlovsky, who had been a technician for van den Brink for several years. Martin's son Mitchel replaced him and is now experiencing the first feelings of victory.