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Silk Way Rally '17 - STAGE 4 - Kostanay – Astana

#1
LEG DISTANCE: 908,80 KM
SPECIAL DISTANCE: 373,22 KM
LEG 4. TOWARDS AKMOLA


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First stage of the rally with two selective sections. The first special stage starts on a rather fast soil track, then it becomes more hostile along a big river to end up around Kazakh cultures. The second stage is fast between cultivated fields. Then 342kms of road section to reach the capital of Kazakhstan.

LIVE TRACKING

OVERALL STANDINGS (Before this stage)
 
#2
Sébastien Loeb (Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi n°104) in the cars and Martin Kolomy (Tatra Phoenix n°311) in the trucks dominated this 4th stage of the 2017 Silk Way Rally between Kostanay and Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The rally’s longest day (908 km) saw a number of upsets out on the piste, including Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret running out of road and in the process losing all chance of final victory for the second time in a row…

Key Points

*Cars: Peter slips off, Loeb pulls away

*T2: Di Lallo back in the lead

*Trucks: Kolomy and De Rooy tooth and nail

*Tomorrow: “Direction Semipalatinsk”

Cars: Peter slips off, Loeb pulls away…

Particularly superstitious, Stéphane Peterhansel must be starting to think that Kazakhstan is his ‘unlucky’ country. One year to the day after his 2016 edition crash, the Peugeot driver once again rolled his car, just 43 kms into the first special, as he was chasing after piste opener and team mate Sébastien Loeb, aboard his 3008DKR Maxi. Fortunately neither Peterhansel nor his co-driver were hurt in the accident but they were unable to restart without the intervention of their assistance truck, an operation that cost them more than 2h30 overall.

A ranking that Loeb, once again untouchable today, now completely dominates, leading the second placed car of Cyril Despres by 1h07m55s. A gap in part explained by the third member of the Peugeot Sport team once again slipping off the track and finishing the special over 50 minutes down.

Another front runner to run out of road was the American Bryce Menzies (Mini John Cooper Works n°105) who had to be pulled out by a friendly Kamaz before finishing more than 41 minutes behind the 9 times King of WRC.

Even without major incident, second placed man over the two specials, Yazeed Al Rajhi (Mini John Cooper Works n°101) gave away more than 20 minutes to the leader, while the front runners’ various problems allowed Frenchmen Eugenio Amos (Buggy 2 Wheels Drive n°115) to complete the day’s podium. Fourth on the special, Christian Laveille (Baicmotor n°108), is now third overall, 1h12m35s behind the leader.

T2 Category
Di Lallo back in the lead

“Today's specials were treacherous and true rally raid stages in every sense of the word - the conditions were tough. I couldn't be happier with the way the car and my co-driver Harry Suzuki, performed today.”

All smiles at the finish, Adrian Di Lallo was clearly delighted with his third T2 stage victory. The Australian is now almost 11 minutes ahead of the Japanese driver Akira Miura (Toyota Land Cruiser n°133).

Trucks: Kolomy and de Rooy tooth and nail

The longest stage of the rally also saw some major upsets in the truck class, while up at the front of the race Gerard De Rooy (Iveco Powertsar n°302) and Martin Kolomy (Tatra Phoenix n°311) fought it out tooth and nail.

In the beginning it looked like it was the Dutchman who was going to come out on top, but in the end it was the Czech who took both specials to finish just 21 seconds ahead. Overall Kolomy increases his lead on De Rooy to more than 11 minutes. On home ground, the Kazakh Artur Ardavicius (Iveco Powerstar n°310) took third place, both on the stage and overall.

Without stopping to help out Despres and his Peugeot and Menzies’ Mini, the Kamaz of Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz-Master n°303) and Anton Shibalov (Kamaz-Master n°312) would have no doubt finished higher up the rankings - almost as if the Blue Armada were in no hurry to move into attack mode…

Among those running into problems on the special were van den Brink (Renault ‘Sherpa’ n°301), whose truck briefly caught fire, yesterday’s winner Siarhei Viazovich (MAZ n°304), who put his truck on its side at km 378 and Pascal De Baar (Renault n° 308), victim of more mechanical woes. All three slide down the rankings as a result…

ROAD BOOK
Tomorrow: “Heading towards Semipalatinsk”

Heading east into the vast plains that run all the way to the Chinese border and Semei, the frontier town in the Oblys region, this 5th stage (849.54 km) also features the longest special (484.47 km) of the first half of the rally. Comprising of long fast sections across the steppes, drivers will have to be careful not to get carried away. Navigation will play a key role, as the route runs between numerous lakes, providing a sumptuous background to the race.

Quotes
Cars

Sébastien Loeb (FRA/Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi n°104):
“We started this morning with the intention of driving at a good pace and as the stage went by I didn’t see anybody coming. When we got to the assistance point before the second special I was told what had happened to Stephane and Cyril. I didn’t back off on the second half and Daniel did a great job navigating. As far as the rest of the race is concerned we will try and stay concentrated as the rally is long and we also can have problems and loose time…”

Bruno Famin (FRA/Directeur de Peugeot Sport):
“Tonight was supposed to be the shortest service of the rally because the assistance trucks were scheduled to leave around midnight. Now it is going to be difficult to stick to that plan. Strategically we started the race with 3 cars all which could become rapid assistance vehicles for their team mates. Nothing has really changed at the moment, even if their rankings this evening will modify their different approaches.”

Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU/Mini John Cooper Works n°101):
“Today everything went OK, car OK, co-driver OK - just one puncture. We drove safe and steady and didn’t attack too much because where there is mud it is really slippery.”

Eugenio Amos (Ita/Buggy 2 Wheels Drive n°115):
“In the first part of the special I saw that we were passing a few cars in the slippery bits. I therefore decided to attack a bit harder in the second bit and then we started to overtake even more people. I really didn’t know I could go so fast with this car. It is the first time I’ve ever past a truck. Normally they pass me!”

Bryce Menzies (USA/Mini John Cooper Works n°105):
“Everything was going well. We passed 7 cars and then I was braking into a 90 degree left. I went off into the wet grass before falling into a hole. We had to wait nearly 20 minutes before a Kamaz truck stopped to pull us out. After that I drove a bit more carefully to get safely to the finish.”

Peterhansel (FRA/Peugeot 3008DKR n°106):
“It is pretty incredible because the crash we had today is exactly like the one we had last year. We arrived in a dip too fast. The car came off the ground and landed sideways breaking a wheel. We rolled three or four times. I don’t often break cars and I’m starting to think that the Silk Way doesn’t like me… If we manage to start again I will play the same role as last year (support driver) until the end of the race.”

Trucks
Martin Kolomy (CZE/Tatra Phoenix n° 311):
“I really like these kind of conditions. I like them so much that I am always quick when it is like this. My truck is also good here because we have long shocks that work well on tough pistes. We won’t change our settings and we won’t do anything stupid but we will keep attacking…”

Gerard De Rooy (NLD/Iveco n°302):
“We had fun in the mud. I’m going to end up liking these conditions. It was quite slippery at the end of the first special and I was surprised that they started us on the second. We saw a MAZ on its side and two Peugeots in difficulty.”
 

Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
#5
Loeb made a gap of over an hour between him and the second place... Loeb is not from this world.
So do you think he will win at Dakar next year? I almost wonder if Peterhansel is sandbagging, he never seems to make mistakes like rolling at Dakar.


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