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– Both MINI John Cooper Works Rally cars complete penultimate 2017 Silk Way Rally stage
– Yazeed Al Rajhi / Tom Colsoul finish ninth to maintain 10th place overall
– Bryce Menzies / Peter Mortensen cross the line in 11th after a challenging stage

The penultimate stage of the 2017 Silk Way Rally proved to be one of the biggest challenges yet for the MINI competitors as they made their way from Alxa Youqi to Zhongwei. More huge sand dunes dominated the day’s 690.31km route where the optimum way to tackle the stage was believed to be to ‘surf’ the ridges of the dunes, but this proved tough.

Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and co-driver Tom Colsoul (BEL) brought the #101 MINI John Cooper Works Rally across the finish line in ninth position to maintain 10th place overall with one leg remaining, despite getting stuck for almost 45 minutes.

Al Rahji: “We drove smooth and safely in the stage and didn’t push but in one place, on the flat between the dunes, we got stuck. We tried to use a jack, but it was no use because of the dunes and the soft sand. We waited 45 minutes for one truck to take us out and then we continued slowly to the finish.”

The challenges were even bigger though for Bryce Menzies (USA) and Peter Mortensen (USA) in the #105 MINI John Cooper Works Rally who had another difficult stage. Menzies remains positive ahead of tomorrow’s final stage despite finishing today in 11th and experiencing delays that have pushed the pair down to 9th overall.

Menzies: “It was a pretty tough stage today – a lot of dunes and ditches. It was really rough on the body and on the car and then about 30 km from the end, we got stuck. We put the jacks down and they didn’t come back up. We had to dig for three hours and take the jacks out of the car; once we did that we got out pretty easy and just worked our way to the finish. Rough day but it’s all part of the learning curve and we’ll just keep going tomorrow.”

The 2017 Silk Way Rally concludes tomorrow’s as the competitors complete the final stage from Zhongwei to the finish point in Xi’an China.

Silk Way Rally 2017: Ranking after Leg 13
Driver Co-driver # Position Time
Bryce Menzies (USA) Peter Mortensen (USA) 105 9 45:52:15 +04:05:50
Yazeed Al Rajhi(KSA) Tom Colsoul (BEL) 101 10 47:15:44 +05:29:19

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