MINSK, 15 July (BelTA) - MAZ-SPORTauto crew piloted by Aleksandr Vasilevsky came in fifth at Stage 9 of the Silk Way Rally through Russia, Mongolia and China, BelTA learned.
Stage 9 from Alashan to Jiayuguan was 501km long, with a 290km special section. It was a fast route, mostly set along sandy roads, dunes of the Gobi Desert.
MAZ truck piloted by Aleksandr Vasilevsky showed the fifth time of 4:00:41, 38 minutes behind the leader Anton Shibalov of KAMAZ-MASTER. The Belarusian crew is sixth overall, losing over 5 hours to the leader.
“The route was worse than yesterday: sand hills, dunes, bad washed out road with pits. Even the 30km fast section was a bit washed out closer to the finish line. We had to brake every 100 meters or to risk moving forward without slowing,” pilot Aleksandr Vasilevsky noted.
Aleksei Vishnevsky's crew encountered problems with rear axle drive. The crew turned back and headed to the start of the special stage. They arrived at the finish line using the road, got penalized (100 hours of penalty time) but will be able to drive the last special stage.
The leading MAZ driven by Sergey Viazovich had to withdraw from the race. The truck rolled off a high crest and onto its roof. The unharmed crew flipped the truck back and traveled some 200 meters before the vehicle came to a stop. Initially, the crew thought that their truck would be able to continue but at a closer inspection they understood that the truck was impossible to repair and thus had to retire
The last stage will be a difficult one. The length of the special stages will be 255km.
Silk Way Rally 2019 started in Russia's Irkutsk on 6 July and will finish in China's Dunhuang in 10 days. The race features timed sections in Eastern Siberia, Mongolian steppes, Chinese plains and also sand sections with dunes of the Gobi desert. The route exceeds 5,000km, half of which are special stages.More about Sport