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– The two MINI John Cooper Works Rally cars (#101 & 105) successfully complete Leg 9 inside top ten.
– Yazeed Al Rajhi / Tom Colsoul finish leg 9 in ninth.
– Bryce Menzies / Peter Mortensen deal with punctures to finish in tenth place.

Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and co-driver Tom Colsoul (BEL) were the first of the MINI crews to head out on Leg 9 with the desert-type special stage in view. Dunes, dust and heat were the toughest competition today for this MINI Family crew and it affected their Leg 9 result. The #101 MINI John Cooper Works Rally crossed the special stage finish line in ninth.

Al Rahji: “Today it was a good stage. I don’t know what was going on but the temperature was very high. It was ok but we lost a bit in the middle. We followed Bryce in the middle of the stage but then another car came along so we had to push. So we drive but don’t push too hard, just a little bit.”

It was the same dust and heat story for the #105 MINI John Cooper Works Rally as they entered the first big dunes in Chinese territory. The dunes then made way for some harsh tracks and harsher off-road tracks in the valley sections. These areas and tough navigation played their part in holding back Menzies but not nearly as much as the two punctures that lost them positions and time. The pair eventually followed the other MINI John Cooper Works Rally across the finish point in tenth place.

Menzies: “Leg 9 started out really well in the dunes. We caught competitors pretty quick and we ran behind them. Then we saw a front runner had pulled off a little but he’d hit a ditch and we think he had ripped one of the corners off. After that we were kind of just playing cautious knowing that we’d made up a bunch of time on him. We were then sitting behind another car in its dust and got a flat tyre. We were changing that but two cars went by us. Then we missed a road and then got another flat towards the end. All in all a decent stage but very tough – it’s worn me out for sure.”

Tomorrow’s Leg 10 of Silk Way Rally 2017, Hami – Dunhuang, takes in 517.53km, of which 360.28 are special stage consisting of fast and technical sections with lots of changes in direction.

Silk Way Rally 2017: Ranking after Leg 9
Driver Co-driver # Position Time
Bryce Menzies (USA) Peter Mortensen (USA) 105 5 27:22:40 +06:12:24
Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) Tom Colsoul (BEL) 101 14 30:57:14 +09:46:58

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