Friday, July 14 2017
Stage 7: Urdzhar – Karamay
Road connection: 52.10 – Special stage: 106.60 km – Road connection: 254.20 km – Total: 412.90 km
Yesterday, great news arrived to the 2WD #115 crew when the race stewards decided to give them back 5’20 for the time they spent in the wooden bridged that broke.
Eugenio Amos and Sebastien Delaunay are then placed 7th in yesterday’s special stage in 3h41’15, 25’09 behind Peterhansel and take that same position overall.
While France celebrates its national day, the Silk Way Rally arrives to China from Kazakhstan. Competitors arrived to Karamay, a town located in the north of the Xinjiang region, where the main activity for local inhabitants is oil extraction and refineries. The bivouac is located at the halls of the Expo and the thermometer climbs to 31 Celsius with some humidity.
The special stage took place in Kazakhstan and was short, aiming to let competitors the time to cross the border. The 106 km were chosen so drivers could have fun. Unfortunately, its vegetation was too tall and made these sinuous tracks with some cuts hard to see. The stage’s navigation also required lots of attention from all co-drivers with the changes of direction and the sharp turns…the tracks were hard to find. The 2WD #115 team takes the 10th place in 1h10’54, 6’58 from Menzies and Mortensen (Mini), winners of today’s stage, and are 7th in the overall position, 11’10 from Zhou/Maimon.
“We were lucky, because unlike other drivers, we were not affected by the dust that much, says Eugenio as he arrives to Karamay. It was a fun special stage and because of the lack of visibility, there was more to lose than to win in this stage. I still made a mistake when Sebastien told me to turn to the right… and I did not see anything that looked like a track so I continue to go straight… We lost about a minute and a Kamaz truck passed in front, but he was going too fast so their dust bothered us for a while. Tomorrow, we’ll get to a sandy stage, which will be different… but we lose two hours of sleep.”
Tomorrow, the last stage before rest day in Urumqi is 436 km and 250 of it will be the special stage.
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