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Al Attiyah stays on top of Silk Way Rally

Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel

Bengaluru, July 10: Qatar's three-time Dakar Rally champion Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah and his French co-driver Mathieu Baumel took their Toyota Hilux to a fourth consecutive stage win to remain on top of the 2019 Silk Way Rally.

On the loop around the Ulaanbaatar bivouac, Al Attiyah and Baumel were in a class of their own as they were able to open the road and still secure stage wins.

"We enjoyed the Mongolian landscape, it really was incredible. We're so happy to be here and doing well at this rally," said Al Attiyah, who is eyeing his maiden victory in the FIA event, after having finished second last year.

The year's Silk Way Rally is a candidate race for possible future inclusion in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies.

Epic length

Epic length

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.

Good job

Good job

"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.

Special stage

Special stage

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.

Action packed

Action packed

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.

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Story first published: Thursday, July 11, 2019, 11:41 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 11, 2019
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