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AUTO - SILK WAY RALLY 2016 PART 2The penultimate Stage of the 2016 Silk Way Rally saw the MINI ALL4 Racing crews complete the Wuhai-Hohhot route. The 754km leg was mainly sandy terrain with fast tracks, but the dunes towards the end of the route were a challenge for even the most experienced drivers.

Speaking after their Stage 14 victory, Al Rahji said: “The Silk Way has been a good rally – we’ve improved a lot and have learnt a lot of different roads. The car is strong and performed well, that’s the most important thing. It has been a very hard rally and some of the stages were very tough. But, I’d definitely like to come back!”

“It’s been a hard rally with some difficult navigation,” added Gottschalk. “The Silk Way has some very demanding stages, and compared with the Dakar, it is a very big adventure. I expected that there would be some long days for sure, but I didn’t expect the stages to be so hard.”

Meanwhile, the MINI ALL4 Racing crew of Harry Hunt (GB) and Andreas Schulz (GER) brought their #105 across the line in third place. The result has enabled them to retain their fourth position in the overall standings.

“I’m so happy to have achieved fourth in the Silk Way Rally – I’m over the moon and couldn’t have hoped for anything more,” said Hunt. “It’s a great rally but it was a lot harder than I expected and I personally found it harder than the Dakar. The stages were longer, the liaisons were longer and the days were longer. The heat was difficult to cope with but some of the scenery was fantastic!”

The Russian duo of Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov (X-raid Team) completed Stage 14 in fourth place and were the third MINI ALL4 Racing team home today. Their result means they maintain third spot in the standings overall.

“The Silk Way has been a good rally,” said Zhiltsov. “Today was a good race, not too difficult, although the dunes section was tricky.”

Aidyn Rakhimbayev (KAZ) and Anton Nikolaev (RUS) of MINI ALL4 Racing #106 completed the 14th Stage in seventh place, while Bauyrzhan Issabayev (KAZ) and Vladimir Demyanenko (RUS) finished in 26th place. Rakhimbayev completes the rally in fifth place overall with Issabayev in tenth.

Rakhimbayev said: “I’m happy and pleased with my achievements. I enjoyed contesting the Silk Way Rally, it was an interesting challenge.”

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

Silk Way Rally 2016: MINI ALL4 Racing Overall Classification after Stage 14

Position Driver Co-driver # Team Time
2nd  Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) Timo Gottschalk (GER) 103 X-raid Team +00h:25m:51s
3rd  Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) 101 G-Energy Team +00h:49m:46s
4th Harry Hunt (GB) Andreas Schulz (GER) 105 X-raid Team +01h:54m:47s
5th Aidyn Rakhimbayev (KAZ) Anton Nikolaev (RUS) 106 Astana Motorsport +02h:12m:45s
10th Bauyrzhan Issabayev (KAZ) Vladimir Demyanenko (RUS) 109 Astana Motorsport +05h:08m:09s

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