A mammoth 470-kilometre loop stage around the Ulaanbaatar bivouac saw plenty of drama served up at the 2019 Silk Way Rally. Not only was the fourth Silk Way stage an epic length, but it was also high-speed all the way.
But despite that Al Attiyah stayed cool and it underlined the expertise of the reigning Dakar champion.
"We did a good job throughout this very long stage. There was no problem with the car and Mathieu (Baumel) made a good job with the navigation, so no problems there either," said Al Attiyah.
"We enjoyed the Mongolian landscape, it really was incredible. We're so happy to be here and doing well at this rally," the ace Qatari driver added.
The fifth stage from Ulaanbaator to Mandalgovi will give other teams a chance to get back on the attack. The 337-kilometre timed special stage will take the Silk Way convoy as high as 1,600 metres.
It's set to be another fast stage as Mongolia continues to thrive in its role as Silk Way host.
Dutchman Erik van Loon, who has teamed up with Frenchman Sebastien Delaunay for the first time in Russia, in another Toyota Hilux is currently second while Chinese pair of Kun Liu and Hongyu Pan, in an SMG buggy are third.
The ninth edition of the action-packed Silk Way Rally that started from Speransky Square in Irkutsk, Siberia, on June 6 will finish in Dunhuang on July 16.