Silk Way Rally: Series stage 7 report

GOOD BUT NOT ENOUGH Another long and demanding stage it was on the Silk Way Rally. On the 347kms of the special heading to Maykop, there was still far enough distance for another upset. In the car race, although Nasser Al Attiyah managed to...

GOOD BUT NOT ENOUGH

Another long and demanding stage it was on the Silk Way Rally. On the 347kms of the special heading to Maykop, there was still far enough distance for another upset. In the car race, although Nasser Al Attiyah managed to clock the best time despite his starting position, he failed to capture enough minutes to trouble overall leader Carlos Sainz. In the truck class, it was however far more eventful. Vladimir Chagin powered to the line in outstanding fashion and moved back in 2nd spot putting the pressure on his team mate and race leader Eduard Nikolaev.

Time flies by in Russia, especially at the rhythm of the Volkswagen boys. Today, time was again ticking in favour of Carlos Sainz on the way to Maykop. Taking off third the Spaniard was naturally in the best position to control his rivals and try to clinch another special success. But it didn't quite go Sainz's way. Nasser Al Attiyah, winner yesterday had the responsibility of opening the way and did that superbly. He however tried his best to capture maximum time on Sainz, in vain. On such a fast special, it was almost impossible to change the race destiny, especially with Carlos Sainz driving the new and slightly faster model of the Race Touareg. A navigation mistake could have occurred. It didn't, at least not too drastic. At the end of the special, Nasser Al Attiyah captured his second stage win this year, his fifth in the history of the Silk Way Rally, exactly like his team mates de Villiers and Sainz.

However that record is the only one that both men share. In the overall, Carlos Sainz still has a comfortable 11'16 lead that looks to be too big for Al Attiyah to catch on the short special heading to Sochi. Mark Miller shouldn't find it too hard to keep his third spot in the GC and put three Volkswagens on the podium. The American's closest rival is Alexander Mironenko who lies over 4 hours adrift. In the same way the Russian can calmly start focusing on the final day of the rally. His main opponent, Mathias Kahle suffered a terrible setback on the halfway through the special. At kilometre 160, the German was forced to stop with transmission problems. His SMG buggy then headed to the finish towed by his race assistance truck.

In the truck race, the Tsar hit back after the nightmare he suffered on the previous day with Firdaus Kabirov. Vladimir Chagin took off behind 19 vehicles (cars and trucks) and overtook 13 of them to clock the best time of the day. He captured his third stage success on the 2010 Silk Way with a 16'45 over Ales Loprais, 16'50'' over Kabirov and 20'29'' on his young team mate, Eduard Nikolaev. While he moves dangerously closer in the GC, the Kamaz captain, now second overall is still 23'07 adrift with 16kms of racing left. A distance on which Ales Loprais will have to battle hard to try and capture 3rd spot on the podium. Thanks to his excellent stage, the Tatra driver overtakes Franz Echter for fourth position and is now only 3'09 behind the truck of Kabirov.

-source: aso

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Carlos Sainz , Franz Echter , Vladimir Chagin , Firdaus Kabirov , Ales Loprais , Eduard Nikolaev