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Technically difficult start: results of the first stage of the RSKG SMP

15. 06. 2022

On June 10-12, the Yuka ADV Team performed at the first stage of the Russian Circuit Racing Series (SMP RSKG) at the Smolensk Ring Circuit. Two pilots represented the team, and 92 pilots from different parts of Russia took part in the stage. The Russian Automobile Federation has held the tournament as part of the Championship and Cup of Russia since 2014 with the support of SMP Racing, a program to support and develop motorsport in Russia.

The start on the Smolensk Ring took place immediately for six classes of cars – S1600, Touring-Light, Touring, Super-production, CN Sport Prototype, as well as SMP Historical.

The track configuration includes 13 turns (of which eight lefts and five rights), 586 meters is the longest straight line, and the circle length is 3357 meters.

On June 10, qualifying races were held on the track, according to the results of which the drivers’ positions on the starting grid are distributed. Alexey Savin and Alexander Salnikov of the Yuka ADV Team took 9th and 10th, respectively. In the second race on Sunday, according to the rules, they had to take 1st and 2nd places at the start.

The drivers’ cars – Hyundai Solaris – were explicitly prepared for pilots and fit the technical requirements of Touring-Light class cars. It was possible to pass administrative checks without a single comment.

However, technical difficulties began at the qualification stage. Alexander Salnikov’s car drove slower and slower with each attempt. Four ignition coils burned out during the day, although the wiring diagnostics did not show any deviations. It was possible to establish the cause only late evening after checking the fuel. The technical commissioner reported that excessive water content was found in Alexander’s fuel. It was not possible to establish how the water got into the fuel.

Alexey Savin’s brake pads and discs were wholly replaced, and hubs and wheel studs were serviced and replaced.

After qualifying, many cars got a surplus to be in the same competitive weight as all cars.

On Saturday, the first race and an extensive show program were scheduled at the circuit. Thousands of spectators went to Verkhnedneprovsky to spend the beginning of a long weekend there. And then the unexpected happened. A powerful cyclone covered the Smolensk region on Saturday morning. As a result, there was a chance of a fantastic spectacle in the “rain Grand Prix”  format when the drivers’ mistakes became much more critical, which means that the enjoyment and unpredictability of the competition increased by many times.

However, the downpour was so heavy that the races did not start. The organizers decided reschedule all four starts to Sunday. As a result, the drivers and teams had a double load on Russia Day weekend, and they had to test themselves and their equipment in two daily battles. According to the data, the organizers also noted that on June 11, about two thousand spectators gathered at the racetrack, they did not see the races but took part in entertainment events.

Many could try themselves as a driver with the help of a virtual reality zone, wander around the auto-tuning exhibition, walk along the pit lane, get acquainted with racing teams, as well as participants in competitions, plus attend concerts, and watch dance shows.

This year there were a lot of accidents, annoying technical fixes, non-standard strategic decisions, and brilliant victories at the Smolensk Ring. On Sunday, the participants gathered at the start eight times. The drivers of the “Touring,” “Super-Production,” “Touring-Light” and “S1600” competitions performed together as part of the combined races.

Unfortunately, Alexey Savin could not complete either of the two races due to technical reasons. In the first one, his car’s drive was torn off on lap 10 out of 18. And in the second, there was a sharp power reset already on the second lap due to problems in the battery.

Alexander Salnikov completed both races: in the first he came eighth, and was last in the second.

The technical meltdown upset the driver from Minsk. However, the team’s support and the mechanics’ spirit immediately made everyone optimistic. With even greater perseverance and zeal for victory, the Yuka ADV Team began preparing for the second stage of the NSR RSKG in Nizhny Novgorod.

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