|Silk Way Rally: X-raid extends lead - Sven Quandt "Thanks to the Kamaz guys".|
After three long days racing across Russia, the Monster Energy X-raid team only had to tackle a relatively short 168 km special stage against the clock between Stavropol and Maykop on the Silk Way Rally on Friday.
The French pairing of Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret were pipped to the stage win by the Russian driver Vladimir Vasijev and duly set the second fastest time in their Mini All4 Racing, a mere 1:24 minutes behind the G-Force Proto driver. Krzysztof Holowczyc and Belgian co-driver Jean-Marc Fortin finished the short special in third and maintained a comfortable overall lead in the classification.
Peterhansel was the fastest driver on the track for much of the stage, but had to stop and change a flat tyre. The delay cost the Frenchman about three minutes and the day's stage win. "Too bad we had to stop short," said a disappointed Peterhansel. "Especially since the test was very nice to drive today. The navigation was not too difficult for the stage. "
Holowczyc was content to complete the section - the penultimate stage of the event before the finish in Sochi on Saturday – without problems. He now has a lead of nearly two hours in the overall standings and must avoid any risks on the final day. “It was a beautiful stage," said the Pole. "For us the primary concern was not to have and problems and get through the special.”
Mironenko and Lebedev were not without their own problems on the day’s stage. Their BMW X3CC slipped on a small hillock with the tail over the edge and the front wheels hanging in the air. They lost around 15 minutes before the car could be put back on all four wheels. They maintain fifth overall. "We are pretty shocked," said the Russian. "But Kabirov in the Kamaz helped us and pulled us back."
"For the team, it means that we hold our existing positions and hope that nothing will happen at the last minute," said Monster Energy X-raid team boss Sven Quandt. "Tomorrow it will be only 16 (km) and nothing should really happen anymore, but we still have to be careful. Thank you to the Kamaz guys who saved our Alexander."
2011/07/15 | 20:06 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/PERKINS/QUANDT