FRENCH POWER REIGNS AT THE ENTRY TO THE GOBI
Peugeot’s Peterhansel and Cottret take Hami-Dunhuang stage, while Martin Van Den Brink takes the win for Renault, to extend his overall lead.
‘Peter’ the sentinel
Another day in the Chinese furnace as the Gobi Desert nears saw Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret (Peugeot DKR 2008), in their role as rapid assistance, triumph on Stage 10. The leaders ran as one through the heat and over the tracks through the Hami Basin.
Second overall, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena (Peugeot DKR 2008) were runner-up today at 01’15”. Harry Hunt and Andreas Schulz (MINI ALL4 Racing) were third best at 03’03”. 2016 Silk Way Rally leaders, Cyril Despres and David Castera (Peugeot DKR 2008) were fourth at 03’35” and now have a 09’57” lead with 4 special stags remaining.
Yazeed Al Rahji and Timo Glottschalk (MINI ALL4 Racing) completed the Top 5 at 04’13” to the leaders and are third overall with a comfortable 17’46” cushion to fourth in the general classification Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov (MINI ALL4 Racing). Harry Hunt and Andreas Schulz complete the overall Top 5
VDB bounces back
Martin Van Den Brink and this Renault crew bounced back today after cooling issues yesterday. The Dutch driver knew he had 6 minutes in hand when he caught the first of the Kamaz. With 40kms left in the special stage, the right-rear tyre on the Renault Sherpa began to shred and the crew continually fed air to the problem corner, while hoping the other tyres would hold to together. VDB muscled went on for the win by 02’51” from second overall, Airat Mardeev (Kamaz). The Dutchman now has a 04’32 from the Russian in the general classification. The Kamaz trio of Anton Shibalov, Edouard Nikolaev and Dmitry Sotnikov completed the Top 5. Third overall, Shibalov is now at 09’20” to the leader, Van Den Brink.