Al Rajhi remains third after SS10, but Stage 11 cancelled due to sandstorm

by Umar Hassan

Yazeed Al Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk remained the top MINI All4 Racing crew overall in third place after Stage 10 of the Silk Way Rally.

However, today’s 609.66 kilometre Stage 11 was cancelled due to a sandstorm, which meant frustrated car and truck competitors had to make their way in convoy to the Jiyayuguan bivouac in preparation for tomorrow’s Stage 12.

Britain’s Harry Hunt and Andreas Schulz were the lead MINI All4 Racing crew after Stage 10, finishing third after a great performance on the stage, placing themselves overall in fifth place.

Al Rajhi and Gottschalk completed the stage in fifth place, which was enough for the pair to stay overall in third. Russia’s Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov were relentless in their pace on the stage as they secured sixth, which was enough to keep the Russian duo in fourth place.

Aidyn Rakhimbayev and Anton Nikolaev were seventh after the stage, leaving them overall in sixth position. While Bauyrzhan Issabayev and Vladimir Demyanenko completed the last of the five MINI All4 Racing crews in eighth place overall after Stage 10 to complete five MINI’s in the top ten.

Hunt was happy with his performance on today’s stage. It was a good clean stage with no real problem. I’m happy. It was quite bumpy in the middle and my neck and arm are still quite bad. But it was fast and so the heat didn’t really cause a problem even though it was still 45-degrees. I didn’t think we would get to our present position after getting stuck in the first, second proper stages. There are still some big days to go so… who knows?”

Al Rajhi added It was a good track even though it was very bumpy and, at 190 km exactly, we lost the power steering. But we made it ok to drive the last kilometres, and finally we did well and not lose too much time, maybe three or four minutes.”

Thursday’s Stage 12 is the longest stage of the Chinese route on the Silk Way before teams and crews move lower down into the valley area, which includes some hard-packed terrain.

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