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The first two stages (St 7 and 8) within Chinese territory produced close racing over the weekend and also gave the MINI ALL4 Racing family reason to celebrate on Sunday evening after Stage 8, when the MINI ALL4 Racing crew of Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and Timo Gottschalk (GER) took the stage win.Mini Silk16 Leg9 (1)

The smile on Al Rajhi’s face didn’t tell the complete story, though. His win came after a fierce day of racing through long grass and harsh surface tracks.

“It was a difficult stage, very rough, but we push and push,” said Al Rajhi. “We held a good position from the start to the finish. We attack and not stop. But it was very rough and it was very high temperature for the engine in the grass, and the air-conditioning was struggling and so my drinking bottle was emptied very early. So, a good result really.”

Today’s Stage 9 of 719.55 km, Urumqi to Hami, didn’t net Al Rajhi // Timo Gottschalk the same winning result. They got stuck for a short while and also had a problem locating one of the waypoints. Al Rajhi commented that the stage was fast and very bumpy and was better suited to buggies. However, a solid fourth place at the end of the stage places them in third place overall.

Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) and Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) in MINI ALL4 Racing #103 also put in exceptional performances over the weekend. Stage 7 saw a result of third place, and fifth in ST 8. Today’s Stage 9 saw the Russian duo finish in sixth place to see them go fourth overall.

Harry Hunt (GB) and Andreas Schulz (GER) in MINI ALL4 Racing #105 did exactly what they threatened to do after the official Friday rest day by breaking into the top ten group. At the end of Sunday’s Stage 8 and a sixth place finish, the pair had settled into sixth position overall.

Stage 9 brought another good effort from the Englishman and the experienced co-driver Schulz. The stage line was crossed in a fine fifth place despite time lost also getting stuck in sand. Hunt // Schulz have now moved up one position to fifth overall.

Mini ALL4 RACING #106 of Aidyn Rakhimbayev (KAZ) / Anton Nikolaev (RUS) continues to maintain good pace with top ten finishes in the stages. Presently they are the fourth of the four MINI ALL4 Racing bunched in the upper tier of competitors and hold sixth overall after Stage 9.

Bauyrzhan Issabayev (KAZ) / Vladimir Demyanenko (RUS) in MINI ALL4 Racing #109 are also in the thick of the action for top ten placements. St 7 and St 8 netted 10th and eighth placings respectively. Today’s Stage 9 finished with them in 11th place and they are now eighth overall.

Tomorrow’s Stage 10, Hami to Dunhuang, will see the competitors reach 2000 mt in elevation and face tracks that are littered with rocks.

For further information about the Silk Way Rally 2016, please visit:

Silk Way Rally 2016: MINI ALL4 Racing Overall Classification after Stage 9

Position Driver Co-driver # Team Time
3rd Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) Timo Gottschalk (GER) 103 X-raid Team +00h:27m:22s
4th Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) 101 G-Energy Team +00:40:25s
5th Harry Hunt (GB) Andreas Schulz (GER) 105 X-raid Team +01:19:45
6th Aidyn Rakhimbayev (KAZ) Anton Nikolaev (RUS) 106 Astana Motorsport +01:22:58
8th Bauyrzhan Issabayev (KAZ) Vladimir Demyanenko (RUS) 109 Astana Motorsport +02:01:48

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