On July 9, after passing through a 362-kilometer connecting section from Ulan-Ude, the 2019 Silk Road Rally entered a new country for the first time: Mongolia, where cattle and sheep are everywhere.
As the first country to participate in the Silk Road Rally, the four stages run through Mongolia from north to south, connecting Russia and China. Compared with the fast stage in the Russian Far East, Mongolia has a rich and diverse topography, and the requirements for piloting are also higher. From a racing point of view, it is not an exaggeration to call the first two stages a warm-up. Starting from the Mongolian grasslands and the 243-kilometer special stage of the third stage, the 9th Silk Road Rally has entered a real contest.
Today’s car class is extremely competitive, but it’s all behind Al Attia, who leads the way. The pressure of starting to find the way did not affect his state at all. The Qatari has been leading since CP1, and won the three stage championships of the 2019 Silk Road Rally without any suspense. Russian driver Krotov ranked second in the stage with a gap of 6 minutes and 13 seconds, and Chinese driver Han Wei ranked third in the stage with a difference of only 12 seconds.
In the post-match interview, Attiya thanked the pilot Matthew in particular. He said: “Our rhythm is very good today. We have successfully opened up some gaps. The track terrain in Mongolia is open, which brings me a new feeling. Speed In terms of speed, we didn’t put a lot of emphasis on being the fastest, because I think correct navigation is more important than speed.”
Looking at the Chinese Legion, the collective continued the stable performance of the first two stages and became the highlight of the first Mongolian stage. In addition to Han Wei, who has been in the top three for two consecutive days, Liu Kun, Wang Xiang, Zi Yungang, Zhang Ming and Chen Feng have all entered the top ten of the third stage of the car group, and Chinese drivers occupy six of the top ten in the third stage. This is an unprecedented achievement in an international cross-country competition.
Han Wei said in an interview after the game: “Today’s track is relatively fast, with an average speed of more than 100 kilometers per hour. Today’s track is not difficult, but the road is intricate, which is a test of the level of piloting. The accuracy of the road book of the organizing committee Very good, we ran relatively smoothly all the way. Compared with the slippery and muddy stage in Russia, I personally like today’s Mongolian stage and I am better at it.”
After the third stage, Attiyah initially established his dominance in the car class with a 21-minute advantage. Two Chinese drivers followed closely behind, solidly raising the water level of Chinese cars , Liu Kun led Han Wei by 1 minute and 45 seconds, and jointly locked the top three.
In the motorcycle group, the Benavidez brothers from Argentina made another great achievement, and Kevin Benavidez of the Honda team took another victory, leading his teammate Juan Barred by 30 seconds. The first stage, while his brother Luciano Benavidez from the Red Bull KTM team ranked third. In terms of the overall ranking, Kevin Benavidez is currently ranked first after the end of three special stages; British driver Sam Sunderland of the Red Bull KTM factory team is closely behind him in second place; Juan Barred ranked third.
In the truck group, Kamaz driver Kakinov, who won the runner-up in the SS2 stage, won the stage championship with an advantage of 2 minutes and 8 seconds ahead of his teammate Sparov. The Z team driver Viazovic failed to continue to win the championship, ranking third in the stage with a gap of 3 minutes and 41 seconds. In terms of overall ranking, after three special stages, Vyazovic leads the two Kamaz drivers by 4 minutes and 16 seconds, and is in the overall ranking champion of the truck group.
Distance: 476.96 km
Special stage: 470.19 km
70% gravel; 20% sand; 10% gravel
Stage 4: Galloping on the Mongolian grasslands!
This stage is a circular stage around Ulaanbaatar. The start and finish points of the stage are located 3.5 kilometers away from the Ulaanbaatar camp. Today, drivers will be greeted by dry streams and riverbeds, low hills and endless Mongolian grasslands. Riders will drive over gravel plateaus lined with picturesque rocks and salt lakes. Pay special attention to wild animals on this stage: they are also lovers of rallying! In the second half of the stage, drivers will have the opportunity to see stone pyramids and large rocks while driving. This section is crucial to the ranking of the stage, and the navigation of the leader and the speed of the driver are the keys to the victory.
Image: Song Yongchuan, Beard