Another top 3 finish for Mini John Cooper Works on Silk Way
|Silk Way Rally 2017 – Leg 8: Karamay – Urumqi|
Munich. Following their first ever Silk Way Rally stage win yesterday, American pairing Bryce Menzies and co-driver Peter Mortensen opened today’s stage from Karamay to Urumqi in the #105 MINI John Cooper Works Rally. It was a daunting task for the duo on the final stage of the rally before entering China, but they handled it well, claiming another top three finish to retain third place overall.
Menzies led the way for the early part of the day’s 436.34km stage, which included a special distance of 250.37km that was faster and more technical than last year’s route, with many turns and uphill and downhill sections on sandy terrain.
Menzies: “Stage 8 went really well. I was a little nervous about opening but the first 20km was really quick and then there was some sand track and it got really rough; probably the roughest stage I’ve done. We pushed hard but we were passed about 100km before the finish and then we just followed them to the end, took care of the car and tried to make up some time. The MINI ran great and I felt really good. We’re happy to come away with third today and looking forward to a rest day now.”
Not far behind Menzies, in fifth position at the finish line today, was the #101 MINI John Cooper Works Rally of Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and Tom Colsoul (BEL). It was a strong stage for the pairing and sees them break into a top 10 position overall, with 9th place ahead of a rest day for all competitors tomorrow.
Colsoul: “Today was a really nice day, for the first time since the start I enjoyed every metre of the stage. We were going pretty well – I think we were third for most of the day – but about 50km from the end we got close to a bike and he just didn’t move and I think as he was not pushing anymore it affected us mentally and we didn’t push as hard as we could in that final part. That may be why we finished fifth instead of third but I’m happy and it was a really nice track.”
The Silk Way Rally 2017 competitors and support crews will now enjoy a hard-earned rest day tomorrow before the route re-commences on Monday with the competitors crossing into China to take on the challenge of the Gobi Desert.
Silk Way Rally 2017: Ranking after Leg 8