Silk Way Rally – Rest day at Almaty bivouac – Video from the 7th day
At the mid-way point of the rally the bivouac is busy with factory teams checking off all the work to be done in a meticulous manner…
Despite the clouds hovering above the Tian Mountain range, the sun beats down on the Almaty bivouac. The atmosphere during the Silk Way Rally rest day is neither one of relaxation nor joy. At the mid-way point of the rally the bivouac is busy with factory teams checking off all the work to be done in a meticulous manner…”The rest day is a big day for our mechanics”, explains MINI X-Raid Team Managar, Tobias Quandt. “All the parts and liquids are checked and we take apart and clean the gearboxes. The other parts are changed according to their usage…”
For their part, the amateur teams do not have the same resources and thus they make simple checks and give their cars a good cleaning. “Our Tarek buggies are extremely solid”, says French driver Yves Fromont. “We simply check the key parts and give the car an intensive cleaning.”
At the conclusion of this very particular day, during the briefing, all the competitors will be brought together by Silk Way Rally Director Vladimir Chagin and Deputy Director, Frédéric Lequien, to show their solidarity with the victims of the Nice attack, with a particularly emotional minute of silence.
Luc Alphand: “Everything will be decided in China”
Silk Way Rally Ambassador and Sporting Consultant, Luc Alphand gives us his impressions at the mid-way point of the 2016 Silk Way Rally. “The first week of the race has already been very interesting. The particularly demanding navigation in Russia and Kazakhstan played an important role. As expected, the Peugeot DKR2008s dominated the early part of the rally, but the MINI ALL4 Racing entries are still in contention. Stage 5 between Astana and Balkhash, the longest of the rally claimed its first major victim, pre-rally favourite, Stéphane Peterhansel.
With two cars at the top of the order, Peugeot cannot afford another error. In the truck category, the Kamazs are also running strong, but they must, nevertheless, pay close attention to the Renault Sherpa of Van Den Brink and the Maz of Viasovich who has shown he can compete for a strong result. The Chinese portion of the rally promises to be exciting. There will be dunes, sand and navigation and it will be a battle just to the finish line in Beijing.”
Tomorrow : The big mountains
Before crossing into China the crews will take on the final special stage of 76.86km in Kazakhstan, at the foot of the Tian Mountain range. While not being a long stage it will be particularly technical with a portion of the special stage run on the high-altitude plains at between 2,000 and 2, 2600 metres above sea level. Once the Chinese border is crossed, another 419.20kms of liaison to reach the Bortala bivouac to conclude the 581.57km stage.
Almaty, 7,000km from Nice
At nearly 7,000kms from Nice, the Almaty bivouac learned of the tragic circumstances from last evening. The organizers and all the Silk Way Rally competitors wish to extend their most sincere condolences to the victims and their families of this latest active of terrorism. It is with heavy hearts that the caravan continues tomorrow morning towards Beijing and maintains the spirit of the leader of the “Croisière Jaune” expedition, Georges-Marie Haardt, nearly a century "to abolish the world’s geographical, cultural and political borders…”
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