Al Rajhi and Gottschalk win penultimate Silk Way Rally stage for MINI

by Umar Hassan

Yazeed Al Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk claimed the penultimate Stage 14 win in the 2016 Silk Way Rally.

Al Rajhi and Gottschalk won the 754 kilometre Wuhai-Hohhot leg in Stage 14, making sure they remained the lead MINI All4 Racing crew while Team Peugeot-Total’s Cyril Despres and David Castera have won the 2016 Silk Way Rally, meaning Al Rajhi and Gottschalk keep their overall final position of second place.

Britain’s Harry Hunt and Andreas Schulz finished third on Stage 14 to keep his overall position of fourth. While the Russian duo of Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov were fourth, retaining their overall position in third.

Aidyn Rakhimbayev and Anton Nikolaev were the penultimate MINI All4 Racing crew to finish the stage in seventh, meaning that four of the five MINI All4 Racing crews are in the top five overall final positions for the 2016 Silk Way Rally.

Bauyrzhan Issabayev and Vladimir Demyanenko completed the last of the five MINI All4 Racing crews to finish in tenth place.

Al Rajhi said after winning Stage 14 “The Silk Way has been a good rally – we’ve improved a lot and have learnt a lot of different roads. The car is strong and performed well, that’s the most important thing. It has been a very hard rally and some of the stages were very tough. But, I’d definitely like to come back!

Hunt was happy to finish fourth place, adding “I’m so happy to have achieved fourth in the Silk Way Rally – I’m over the moon and couldn’t have hoped for anything more. It’s a great rally but it was a lot harder than I expected and I personally found it harder than the Dakar. The stages were longer, the liaisons were longer and the days were longer. The heat was difficult to cope with but some of the scenery was fantastic!

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