|Silk Way Rally: Peterhansel and the teeth-less farmer - Holowczyc pushed.|
Poland’s Krzysztof Holowczyc and Belgian co-driver Jean-Marc Fortin snatched victory for the Monster Energy X-raid Team on the fifth stage of the 2011 Silk Way Rally between Astrakhan and Stavropol in Russia on Thursday. They duly increased their lead in the overall standings. The Pole fought a duel with Aleksandre Zheludov’s Nissan for the first part of the day’s special, but the Russian slipped behind as the stage progressed.
"At the beginning I could not find the right pace," said Holowczyc. "That is why I did not want to push too much. But then Zheludov passed me when we changed a flat tyre. I did not want to stay in the dust so I began to push harder." Later in the stage, the Pole caught Peterhansel and remained behind his teammate. "We saw that there was something wrong with him and stayed behind to help in case we were needed."
The Frenchman suffered problems with the cooling system for the turbocharger after around 150km of the stage and had to stop twice to refill the system with water. "It was disappointing, but we made the best of it to finish in second place. There were some nice tracks near the finish, including an uphill pass through grassland."
Peterhansel had a special encounter when he visited the farm to ask for water to fill the cooling system. "I came with the helmet, ran into the yard and there was an old woman with no teeth," said the Frenchman. "She was quite shocked when she saw me. Then I winced. The men had recently slaughtered a lamb and were about to pull the skin off! They were very friendly and gave me water."
Mironenko was pleased with his third position for the team. "Of course we are pleased with the result," he said. "We had to stop twice to change a tyre."
Team boss Sven Quandt was satisfied with the day’s performance. "I think it’s very good that Krzysztof remained where he was at the end of the stage to ensure that Stéphane and he both reached the finish safely. I was wondering how fast the Nissan (Aleksandre Zheludov) was pushing today."
2011/07/14 | 19:20 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/QUANDT