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The sixth edition of the Silk Way rally started in spectacular style with a timed Super Special Stage (SSS) to determine the next day’s Leg 2 starting order. The spectators at Kazan, location for SSS, were treated to high speed action as each competitor strived to beat the clock.

The MINI ALL4 Racing duo of Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) and Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) were the first of the MINI ALL4 Racing family to roll up to the start line. They finished the early evening race in second position, just four seconds off from taking the number one slot.

MINI ALL4 Racing #103 of Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and co-pilot Timo Gottschalk (GER) were fourth from the start line and retained this position at the end. Needless to say Al Rajhi was in good spirits after the prologue.

Al Rajhi: “The ground was very soft. I think everyone was surprised at how soft it was. We tried to stay in top five for the start tomorrow and succeeded. My plan is to push for tomorrow and learn at the same time. This is the first time for me in this race but I know we have a very good car in the MINI ALL4 Racing and a very good team and we can fight hard to win this race.

Harry Hunt (GB) and Andreas Schulz (GER) also put in a determined effort and were rewarded with seventh place and just eight seconds off the lead car. “It was good,” said Hunt, before smiling and adding:“ Short and sweet…

“It was a small amount of driving compared to what we have in store for the next two weeks. There were plenty of jumps for the spectators and they seemed to like it. This is only the start and it is such a long rally. To finish would be a result but obviously we are looking to do well… top ten, hopefully more. We’ll see.

The fourth of the MINI ALL4 Racing family to cross the finish line was that of Aidyn Rakhimbayev (KAZ) / Anton Nikolaev (RUS) in eighth. Fellow Astana Motorsport crew Bauyrzhan Issabayev (KAZ) / Vladimir Demyanenko (RUS) in MINI ALL4 Racing #109 was the last of the family to place and did so in 12th.

With the five MINI ALL4 Racing all completing Leg 1 (SSS) within the top 12 positions, the scene for the first major rally section (Leg 2) Kazan-to-Ufa is set to be an exciting one.

For further information about the Silk Way Rally 2016, please visit: http://www.silkwayrally.com

Silk Way Rally 2016: MINI ALL4 Racing

Position Driver Co-driver # Team Time
2nd Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) 101 G-Energy Team +00:00:04
4th Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) Timo Gottschalk (GER) 103 X-raid Team 00:00:05
7th Harry Hunt (GB) Andreas Schulz (GER) 105 X-raid Team 00:00:08
8th Aidyn Rakhimbayev (KAZ) Anton Nikolaev (RUS) 106 Astana Motorsport 00:00:10
12th Bauyrzhan Issabayev (KAZ) Vladimir Demyanenko (RUS) 109 Astana Motorsport 00:00:15

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