As many of our followers must know, our team Manager, Mechanic and navigator Nicolas “Nico” Ambriz had the opportunity to participate in the “Silk Way Rally”, from July 9th to 24th. A huge amazing race which started in the Red Square of Moscow, Russia, to finish in the Bird’s Nest, in Beijing, China.
Ambriz was invited by Damen Jefferies, Californian race cars builder and racer, who attended the race in order to deliver two Avenger race cars, one to be driven by the team´s owner Tin Jun Fan and the other by Jefferies. Nico was meant to prep both cars during the entire rally (14 days).
After some days of uncertainty, Nico was officially part of the team and flying to Moscow on July 2nd where the journey would begin…
The race finally started with Tin Jun Fan finishing in the position 23rd and Jefferies in 28th in the 1st stage, a good start for the team. The 2nd stage was canceled due to weather conditions and in the 3rd stage Fan rolled his car having to abandon the race… The following days Damen did a great job, reaching the Top 10 one day and winning stage 6, an awesome result that unexpectedly became the last stage Jefferies would run…
After rolling in the 3rd stage, Tin Jun Fan was no longer able to race since the car was damaged and had to abandon the rally, what made him change his mind after stage 6 to take his other car (the one Damen was driving) and finalizing the Californian’s competition.
Obviously, the Chinese couldn’t stay in the race because the car was under Damen’s name and the “Xiangyang Modern City Team” was out of the race. That is probably the 1st time that a team abandon the race without problems in the race car and after winning a stage.
After abandoning the race, Nico yet traveled for two days with Damen and the Chinese guys, until Damen got back to the States, but Nigo had other plans in mind…
At that point of the race Nico have had already in touch with the Canadian team Aldo Racing of David Bensadoun and Patrik Beaule. With nothing to lose but to finish the Rally, Nico offered to stay and help to Aldo Racing for the rest of the rally, helping out with the daily maintenance like oil change, cleaning filters and stuff like that. There were some heavy days with Aldo Racing but nothing serious.
Bensadoun had a great race holding the 12th position overall during the last 5 stages, even when he rolled over his car the next to last day, having not important damages on the Tacoma race truck to get save and sound to Beijing.
Driving through one of the cities in China, suddenly they got into a heavy traffic area, a car jam, after slow driving some miles, they got to the root of the traffic jam, one Chinese guy stopped in the middle of the way to wash his car, not a joke! He found a water leak or a hose beside the road and decided it was a good moment to give his car a bath… ???
After starting the race, Nico sent us a photo of something like a sort of sandwich which, to say the less, looked gross, he opened and in between some pickles and cabbage was laying a big roll of meat with a funny appearance. Of course, nevertheless, he ate it.
Working and driving.
The first days of the race, Nico had to work during the night and drive during the day. Since his team mates were not very reliable at the steering wheel he rather driving until the fatigue of the days beat him, deciding to get a lift jumping into Boucou’s truck to go from one bivouac to the next. When he arrived, the Chinese guys asked him why he didn’t go with them, and Nico told them that he couldn’t work at night and drive during the day. After that they drove and he was able to rest during the day.
After finishing the Silk Way Rally and meeting new people for him in the off road industry, he got a proposal to participate in the “China Grand Rally” and it is possible that he attend the race in the Asiatic country. Thay might happen, but if not at least to be considered is an achievement and a proud. Best luck with that Nico, hoping you make it as well!