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Silk Way Rally – Leg 8: Mini rivals Peugeot





18 July 2016


Stage 8 of the Silk Way Rally was taken by Yazeed Al Rahji and Timo Gottschalk in their Mini, however second, third and fourth place were all taken by the Peugeot 2008 DKRs.

Stage 8 was the longest of the rally, with a 905.35km run from Bortala to Xinjiang province’s capital Urumqi, including a punishing 257km competitive section which featured some very rough portions, as well some complex off-road driving in searing heat.

Cyril Despres
“It was a long day. The stage was very twisty and quite badly cut up through the corners in many places. It could have been very easy to make a mistake. We found it impossible to stay close to Sébastien because we were unsighted in his dust, although we managed to shorten the gap a bit on the off-road sections. Cross-country rallying is all about endurance and there is still a very long way to go, and we don’t expect what’s still to come to be easy. My direct rivals aren’t novices and they all have around 15 years’ more experience than me. It will be important to keep a cool head.”

Sébastien Loeb
“We are both pleased with our day despite the fatigue and heat. It was an interesting stage to drive and we overtook Cyril about 30km after the start. We always knew this one would be complex for the guy running at the front of the field but there comes a moment where you need to be prepared to take risks. We just tried to find the right path, drive how we felt comfortable and keep clocking up more experience. Al Rahji was able to benefit from our wheel tacks to catch us. Tomorrow will be another day, so it will be important to get in some decent rest.”

Type of Terrain
– 90% tracks (sand 60% / dirt 30%)
– 10% off-road: sand and dirt hard-packed desert terrain
Conditions:  Off-road navigation by compass bearing, plus rough, twisty tracks
Weather: Sunny; little cloud cover; temperature between 26°C and 35°C; no wind; humidity: 22%
Average Speed: 80kph

Classifications
Provisional stage 8 classification
1.Yazeed Al Rahji (SAU) / Timo Gottschalk (DEU), Mini, +3h10min24s
2.Sébastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MC), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +0min31s
3.Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +0min55s
4.Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +4min19s
5.Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS), Mini, +5min09s

Provisional leaderboard
1.Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, 15h24min02s
2.Sébastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MC), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +6min58s
3.Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS), Mini, +14min50s
4.Yazeed Al Rahji (SAU) / Timo Gottschalk (DEU), Mini, +15min42s
5.Aidyn Rakhimbayev (KAZ) / Anton Nikolaev (RUS), Mini, +37min31s
37. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +9h15min20s