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Siberia comes to a close, Moscow beckons

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FRANKFURT – Aug 28, 2013: Siberia makes up almost 80 per cent of Russia’s vast land mass and the All-New Mazda3s involved in the 2013 Mazda3 Hiroshima to Frankfurt Challenge Tour have almost got it conquered.

Having spent the last 25 days making their way across Siberia, the eight All-New Mazda3 hatchbacks have completed the 2,130 kilometre fifth stage and arrived in Tyumen.

With only a few hundred kilometres to drive until the convoy waves farewell to Siberia - one of the most rugged, but beautiful regions on the planet - the challenging six week cross-continental tour has Moscow in its sights.

Still almost 2,500 kilometres from the Russian capital, the fifth stage continued to test the SKYACTIV–G 2.0-litre petrol engine All-New Mazda3s.

Large potholes, the general poor quality of Russian “bitumen” and rocks the size of watermelons lying on the road damaged the suspension on one of the new-generation Mazda3s late in the fourth stage.

Fortunately a local Mazda dealer got some spare parts flown in overnight and the aluminium metallic coloured hatch was back on the road to maintain its rightful place in the convoy.

With the suspension damage the only serious issue faced so far, there was almost a close encounter of the smokey kind when a jerry-can suffered a 20-litre leak in a car driven by a heavy-smoking Russian journalist. After a quick clean-up danger was averted; however the strong smell of leaked fuel saw the car being driven with all four windows down and hatch up.

While the tough driving conditions have played a part in trying to stop the stylish All-New Mazda3s as they head west, the colossal journey is proving that the All-New Mazda3 is reliable, durable and the SKYACTIV technology offered in one of Australia’s most popular cars is indeed outstanding.

Two-thirds of the event is complete and the media convoy now starts the penultimate stage of the 15,000 kilometre event ending in Moscow.

The 2013 Mazda3 Hiroshima to Frankfurt Challenger Tour is an event modelled on long-distance drives held in 1977 and 1990. Over 30 days, eight All-New Mazda3 hatchbacks will complete seven stages across two continents, five countries and through over 30 cities ending in Frankfurt on September 7.