Classic passenger car “Pobeda” converted to electric celebrates the most successful year in its history

The Electric Marathon which was held for the seventh time finished in St Petersburg on 6 June. This year’s race started in Monte Carlo and the winner was awarded a cup named in honor of the legendary Russian race driver Andrei Nagel.

For the first time, the antique GAZ-M 20 “Pobeda” built in the USSR which has been taking part in the race since 2011 was able to finish ahead of the competitors in the modern Tesla cars.

Jüri Tamm, head organizer of the competition: “I am happy that the Pan-European marathon rally has reached its final stages. 10 countries, 10 days, and 5000 km is a remarkable achievement. I am delighted to state that we had intermediate finishes in 29 cities this year where the cars could be charged and the teams reenergized thanks to our partners, so they were able to move on. We proved that good planning and preparation enables to drive an electric vehicle between European countries and cities with different levels on stationary charging infrastructures, although perhaps not always most conveniently. Many of the shortcomings highlighted by the participants in the Electric Marathon will certainly find solutions.”

It is symbolic that the winners were awarded by Mr. Arkady Dvorkovich (Russia), President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) and the Skolkovo Foundation. The ceremony was held within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). Arkady Dvorkovich: “It is a form of art to compete on European roads without violating any traffic rules. Charging of electric vehicles, often in places with no stationary charging networks, calls for an even greater masterclass. Yes, the Electric Marathon can be compared to a game of chess which requires the ability to think sharply, analyze, and plan. I would like to warmly congratulate all teams. You have made history.”

Meelis Merilo (Estonia), owner and developer of the “Pobeda” and captain of the team: “I would like to thank my team. The victory would have remained a dream without the support of Joosep and Kudres”. Regarding plans for the future, Merilo added that he will certainly continue developing his vehicle and competing and… unlike Elon Musk, he is not planning to launch his “Pobeda” into space. There are still many things that can be improved and made more environment-friendly on planet Earth.

Christjan Esnaux (France), the young captain of the team of the International University of Monaco (IUM) which only lost the first place due to having earned only one more penalty point than winner, added: “Competitive and interesting race, through many different countries and after many hours of intense driving, the finish just makes you feel so rewarded and successful”.

Jüri Tamm, head organizer of the competition, believes that the marathon rally of 2019 may be deemed successfully finished. He added that the route of the annual rally is always somewhat different and becomes increasingly difficult and long, demanding different skills and characteristics from the participants.

We would like to extend our gratitude to MEGAFON, the Foundation of Prince Albert II of Monaco, Foundation the Future Motherland, ROSSETI, ROSCONGRESS, e-Line, the Hungarian Olympic Committee, the National Olympic Committee of Belarus, the National Olympic Committee of San Marino, the Rimini International Airport, the Port of Genoa, Russian Embassy in Estonia, Belarussian Embassy in Estonia, Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Estonia.