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– Top 10 stage finishes for both MINI John Cooper Works Rally cars (#101 & #105)
– Yazeed Al Rajhi / Tom Colsoul finish 5th to hold on to 10th place overall
– Bryce Menzies / Peter Mortensen cross the line in 9th after a challenging stage

The huge dunes on stage 12 of the 2017 Silk Way Rally provided challenges for the competitors today as they made their way from Jiayuguan to Alxa Youqi.

Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and co-driver Tom Colsoul (BEL) showed their combined experience on sandy terrain in the #101 MINI John Cooper Works Rally and reaped the rewards with a fifth place stage finish to maintain 10th position overall.

Al Rahji: “We started the stage and we didn’t push, we drove smoothly. After CP1 I tried to stop because I could see far away some dust following Bryce but I stopped for maybe 2 to 2-and-a-half minutes to let him pass and when he passed I followed him until the dunes. After the dunes, at about 80km from the finish I got stuck in one place from staying too far left, so I kept right and immediately passed a car on the right side. Again after I followed him, I saw some dust so kept even more right to get a flying finish.”

It was a more difficult stage for Bryce Menzies (USA) and Peter Mortensen (USA) in the #105 MINI John Cooper Works Rally. After getting lost and incurring a penalty, the pair finished the stage in ninth to push them down to fourth overall, but they remain positive with two stages remaining.

Menzies: “The stage started out really well, we caught Yazeed and Cyril and then after that we were kind of leading the trail. The dunes are massive; we got lost and couldn’t find the waypoint so we were searching around for about 20-25 minutes, maybe even more. It was kind of frustrating that we couldn’t find the tracks and then once everybody starting closing in, we went over one of the dunes and found everyone but by that time we’d lost too much time. I think we’re 4th overall now, so we lost a lot of time, but I think tomorrow’s more dunes, around 70% of the stage, so the competitors have to start out front and make the trail, so I hope that we can make up time just like they did today. It’s racing and especially in the rally anything can happen. We’re just going to keep fighting and pushing and we have one more day after tomorrow to take it all the way to the end – we’re still in the fight and only 14 minutes from second place overall. Tomorrow’s a new day.”

Tomorrow’s penultimate stage 13 of the 2017 Silk Way Rally takes the competitors from Alxa Youqi to Zhongwei.

Silk Way Rally 2017: Ranking after Leg 12
Driver Co-driver # Position Time
Bryce Menzies (USA) Peter Mortensen (USA) 105 4 37:47:38 +01:15:51
Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) Tom Colsoul (BEL) 101 10 40:46:30 +04:14:43

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