Peterhansel quickest on Silk Way Rally stage 6

• Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret smash the fastest time on the 6th stage of Silk Way Rally. As they look to recover lost ground, they crossed the finish line with a comfortable 15-min cushion over teammates Sébastien Loeb / Daniel Elena.

• The Peugeot DKR Maxi keep its overall lead despite another challenging day in terms of navigation, completed in 2nd position. Sébastien Loeb / Daniel Elena set second-fastest time on today’s stage, having caught up Cyril Despres after 200km. However, they went the wrong way a few times to lose more than 10min in the last 100 kilometres of the stage.

• Running first on the road after yesterday’s victory, Cyril Despres/ David Castera have had a tougher task than anybody in finding the correct route. They finish 9th on the stage, 31 minutes slower than Peterhansel, but retain second overall.


Stéphane PETERHANSEL, Team Peugeot Total Drive
Winner of stage #6 Silk Way Rally / 10th overall (car)

“The stage today was the most beautiful that we have seen on the entire rally so far. It started off on the Steppes and then in the middle of the stage it was a mountain: really, amazing landscapes! Our Peugeot was good; there were no problems for us today.

We started 24th on the road so we had to do a lot of overtaking of other cars and trucks as well, which could sometimes be quite complicated. For me, my objective now is just to help my Peugeot Total teammates if I can.

Personally speaking, I’m only really interested in winning, so from a sporting point of view it’s maybe not so interesting for me now but I still have an important role to play for Peugeot. I think that hopefully we can still get into the top five.”

Sébastien LOEB, Pilote Team Peugeot Total
2nd of stage #6 Silk Way Rallty / 1 st overall

“We ended up driving behind Cyril from km200 onwards. The navigation was very tricky again today, we spent so much time looking for the right way! Ourselves and Cyril both made some mistakes, taking it in turns to get lost.

Also, the trucks in front of us had left the wrong marks, and that caused us some trouble as well. With all of that, we lost quite a chunk of time in the final section. On the whole, it’s not a drama but it still wasn’t great.”

Cyril DESPRES, Pilote Team Peugeot Total
9th of stage #6 Silk Way Rally / 2nd overall

“This was a really beautiful stage in the mountains, but it’s always very hard to be first on the road. So yes, we made some navigational mistakes, but we expected the day to be tough! It wasn’t an easy end to the stage with Sébastien, because one after other we ended up heading in the wrong direction.

Still we’ve got good pace so we need to carry on this way. I need to give my best tomorrow to make sure we build on our second place in the overall classification.

MINI at Silk Way Rally 2017 – Leg 6: Semey – Urdzhar

13.07.2017: Despite a difficult Leg 6, Bryce Menzies / Peter Mortensen retain third place overall.

    Despite a difficult Leg 6, Bryce Menzies / Peter Mortensen retain third place overall.

Yazeed Al Rajhi / Tom Colsoul complete Leg 6 in sixth place and break into the top 15 leaders.

American duo Bryce Menzies and co-driver Peter Mortensen (MINI John Cooper Works Rally #105) successfully completed Leg 6 in 11th place and maintain third in the overall rankings. The change in terrain as the Silk Way Rally 2017 moves further east across the Kazakhstan plains is also starting to be a factor for all competitors in this famous cross-country race to China.

Leg 6 saw the competitors taking on a special stage of 387.86km across dry and dusty tracks that also included small rocks. It was these rocks and heavy dust that led to a puncture to the Americans’ MINI John Cooper Works Rally and subsequent delay – enough to place the Silk Way Rally newcomers just outside of the top ten in 11th place at the end of Leg 6.

“Stage 6 was really fast and we went really good at the beginning. We caught the first few cars in front of us. Then we ended up getting a mystery flat tyre and this kind of set us back a little bit. We then got caught up behind some cars and it was really dusty. We fought the dust but it held us up to the end of the race. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”

Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) maintained their impressive climb up the leader board with another dazzingly display of experienced and fast rally driving. At the end of the special stage they had placed their X-raid Team MINI JOHN Cooper Works Rally car (#101) sixth across the day’s finish line. Presently they are placed 15th overall in the rankings.

Colsoul: “
Today was a completely different stage to yesterday. We had a flat tyre after 7k – we hit a stone. Then I couldn’t get the wheel off so we worked for five-to-eight minutes to get it off and get a new wheel on. After that we didn’t actually push because the result for this stage was already set. So it wasn’t a fantastic day but not a dramatic day.”

Tomorrow’s Leg 7, Urdzhar – Karamay, features a shorter (412.90km) race distance as the competitors cross the Kazakhstan border and into China.