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Vladimir Chagin answers the questions “Behind the wheel”

This year’s rally-RAID “silk road” will be held for the seventh time. During this time, “younger brother” Dakar and Africa Eco Race is noticeably matured. Appointed last year by the leader of the race Vladimir Chagin does not like to work on the pattern. Here and in the interview he, contrary to the logic of the genre that asked the question first.

Shooting Chagin in the office. Now he’s a big nachalnichek Chagin in the office. Now he is the big boss

— “Behind the wheel”? Since childhood, I love your magazine! His dad subscribed, and I collected, neatly folding in the stack. The greatest interest, I have been the last page of the magazine, which was publishing about motor sport. In the seven years I started karting, where dad introduced me. For this I am very grateful to him. Doing small cars, I naturally was interested in “big” competitions: “Cup of friendship of socialist countries”, the Championships of the USSR, Europe, the world rally championship. In the late 70’s-early 80’s there was little information, the main source was Newspapers and magazines. In “Behind the wheel” I learned what competition was held and who won.

Now you 47. It turns out, you’re behind the wheel for 40 years?

— Even more. For the first time father put me behind the wheel in 6 years. It was a VAZ-2101. His feet still didn’t reach the pedals, but it cost the father to go off-road near the Kama river or in the woods, he always let me sit in the driver’s seat. Then my father bought “two” in white. When I got my license at 18, her dad gave me. I remember, while studying at the Polytechnic Institute of Naberezhnye Chelny, went to her lectures. By the way, a few years ago such a white VAZ-2102 friends gave me for my birthday. On weekends I sometimes go to pair, recall childhood.

Old mechanics…

— It’s true, I’m a fan of the manual transmission. Until he finished his career as a pilot in 2011, I have all the cars were only with the mechanics and all-wheel drive. Not to forget the three pedals. I basically believe that the machine should be only four-wheel drive. Since the beginning of the 90s I’ve always had SUVs Niva, Mitsubishi Pajero, Toyota Land Cruiser then. The principle of all-wheel drive I’m not cheating so far: this machine is safer. Especially in our unpredictable climate. However, when I finished a career, just a few days bought a Lexus LX 570 automatic transmission where I go.

And because you like motorcycles?

Yes. The family is now several motorcycles. Is, including the wife of Lena. If you get a spare moment, I’d love to change to two wheels. Ride with Lena around town or on forest roads.

Prefer a cross?

— No, only the asphalt. Off-road adrenaline in my life I have enough. By the way, I noticed that the main cause of accidents involving motorcyclists is the lack of license plates: they do not read the camera, and the man has no limitations. I always watch for the signs. Of course, sometimes boring “squeamish” on the bike 70 km/h when it develops a maximum speed of 360 km/h But there are rules. Want adrenaline rush — go to the track or sports track. I believe that it is necessary to tighten to install license plates.

Know that in 2018 in the “Silk road” for the first time made a classification for motorcyclists?

There used to be only two categories: cars and trucks. But motorcyclists all the years tightly pressed. I always approached and the pilots and team leaders in the category of “Moto”, asked to do a limited part. It adds hassle to the organizers, we need to change the timings of the whole race. But under the onslaught and the continuing pressure we decided to try it.

How has your life changed when you became the head of the race?

— Started a new life! A new stage in life. When I was a pilot, for me the primary value was my car. The main task was to win the team. In 2011 I finished career of the pilot, became the head of the team “KAMAZ-master”. Started to worry about all of our five crews. Tried, that they were equally well prepared. If someone were going slower, I would sit them in the cockpit, to motivate and suggest. Now all 125 of the crews participating in the race, began for me as a team. This is a new experience that I got. All the last race I flew by helicopter from Moscow to Beijing, and when they saw that someone broke — experienced, for team KAMAZ.

You’re knowledge of the route. If there was any temptation to help her, to prompt, to warn?

— Indeed, the ideology of rally-raids such that the participants do not know the route. This highlight. Road-Buk crews receive before the start. The principle that I adhered to, even when he was a pilot in elite sport — do not try to find out anything about the route more than they should according to the technical regulations. What is the sense to participate in the fight, if you did not win the opponent, and deceived him? Last year I lead the project “silk road”, and Sergei Savostin, my colleague on the crew, leads a team of KAMAZ. He’s my friend, but I immediately said that the principle remains. Even when Sergei comes to my office and on my Desk laid out cards, I turn them over. Should be fair game.

In 2012 I participated in the “Silk road” as a correspondent. Once the bivouac colleagues invited me to go to visit “KAMAZ”: “Chagin were treated to all the beer.” Now this situation possible?

Is a distinctive feature of the rally-raids: two weeks all participants as one family. And I think, whatever the position may be, the important thing is to remain human. In everyday terms we are in the same difficult conditions, so you need to retain human qualities, communication skills. I continue to participate in the training process of the team “KAMAZ-master”, although the time it is less and less. Still sit in the cockpit, looking to see who at what level is, what novelties appeared in cars. To feel all it’s own back is much more effective than reading reports at the helm!

What are you a driver?

— Very disciplined. I love speed and fast driving, but it was enough for me on the racetrack. On public roads I’m calm. Can be a little over the speed limit, but where the traffic situation allows without great risk to themselves or other road users.

The penalties come?

— Extremely rare. For example, say that the team “KAMAZ-master” I’m really monitoring this closely. If someone has violated traffic rules in the team car — he pays the penalty of his own money. And the belt I strapped, even if doing the tour in the area.

The”adrenaline addiction” doesn’t exist?

When I was a pilot, speed liked much more. Now I have other interests, other priorities. I like to change the format of movement — to change from four to two wheels, for example, and quietly ride out of town, to get some air.

Vladimir Chagin answers the questions “Behind the wheel”


Silk road international rally RAID (2016 rally-marathon), held since 2009 on the territory of Russia, and also — in some years — of the Central Asian States and China. The race takes place on off road terrain and public roads. The task of each crew as quickly as possible to overcome high-speed sections for a specific road-book to the route marked on the mandatory control points.

Author: Kirill SidorovVladimir Chagin answers the questions “Behind the wheel”Photo: Konstantin Yakubov

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