2017 SWR: Bryce Menzies fourth in the overall standings
• Al Rajhi with problems
• The field crosses the border to Kazakhstan tomorrow
On Saturday, the Silk Way Rally started into its seventh edition. With their MINI John Cooper Works Rally vehicles, the two pairings, Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) / Tom Colsoul (BEL) and Bryce Menzies / Pete Mortensen (both USA), hit the road from Russia across Kazakhstan to Xi’an, China. With two special stages contested, Menzies holds fourth position in the overall standings and Al-Rajhi follows in 23rd.
The first stage with a total distance of 726.95 kilometres took the competitors from Moscow to Tcheboksary, Russia. In the 61.43-kilometre special stage Al-Rajhi and Colsoul finished fourth. For the pairing these kilometres were the first they covered jointly. Al-Rajhi’s regular co driver, Timo Gottschalk, had a motorbike accident a few weeks ago and can’t contest the Silk Way Rally due to his injuries. “Unfortunately we had no opportunity to practice together in the run-up to the event,” the Saudi explained. “Therefore, we will need some time for familiarising ourselves with one another. But basically the cooperation already works well.” Their team-mates, Menzies and Mortensen, finished fifth.
Today, on Sunday, the field had to cover the 785.63 kilometres to Ufa, Russia, including the 157-kilometre special stage. Menzies finished fourth but Al-Rajhi wasn’t so lucky, today. With 30 more kilometres to go he slipped in a two-metre deep hole and had to wait for help. Therefore, he arrived in Ufa only in 27th position.
After the two short special stages contested on Saturday and Sunday the competitors will have to race 329.25 kilometres against the clock. Altogether, they will have to cover more than 800 kilometres. With the special stage contested, the field will cross the border to Kazakhstan. The route will be fast and features many changes of direction.
Silk Way Rally – Overall standings after SS2:
1. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / J.-P. Cottret (FRA) Peugeot – 2h 33m 31s
2. C. Depres (FRA) / D. Castera (FRA) Peugeot – 2h 37m 03s
3. S. Loeb (FRA) / D. Elena (FRA) Peugeot – 2h 34m 50s
4. B. Menzies (USA) / P. Mortensen (USA) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 2h 45m 31s
5. W. Han (CHN) / L. Min (CHN) SMG Buggy – 2h 51m 02s
23. Y. Al-Rajhi (KSA) / T. Colsoul (BEL) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 4h 45m 10s