The representative of Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed al-Rajhi left behind yesterday’s failure and was able to show the fastest time on the second special stage of the Rally of Kazakhstan between the cities of Aktau, Kenderli and Monday.
But the pilot the Mini All4 Racing has received the penalty in 100 hours because he missed most of the first day of competition. Qatari Nasser al-Attiyah, managing the Toyota Hilux Overdrive Racing was able to snatch the lead from pole Jakub Pshegorsky.
“Today, all good, but we have a big penalty,” said al-Rajhi. “Winning the rally is already out of reach and we will try to enjoy the race and to get new information. After 75 km I caught up with Nasser and Cuba (Pshegorsky). I was fast from the start. At the first dune I saw the dust, and for a second I was able to catch up with them, we were close. I followed by Cuba, wanted to support it. It was a great stage. In some places there is a lot of water, dunes were very difficult to pass, they were driving very slowly. For cars of class T2 that was even more difficult, the road was washed out in several places, some crews got stuck in them. But the finishing stage was high-speed.”
Day’s itinerary 368 miles ran through the city Ushtagan in the South of Zhanaozen oil and gas basin to the finish in 28.5 km from the Kenderli resort Area. On the track there were two checkpoint — near Ushtagan after 102.92 km to the East of Zhanaozen on 223.22 km. stretch of sand dunes up to the first checkpoint time, caused great difficulties for riders of class T2 and participants of the national championship within the FIA World Cup.
Al-Attiyah and his French co-driver Matthieu Baumel lead in the rally with an advantage of 3 minutes 39 seconds ahead Pshegorsky on the second Mini. “I was able to get the leaders of the rally, and most important,” said al-Attiyah at the finish in the picturesque Kenderli on the Caspian sea coast in the South-West of Kazakhstan, “the Yazid is very far away, but he won the first stage. My goal is to have a good race and now we are in the lead with a good advantage. We will try to strengthen the leadership, it was a new track, and it’s not just. We have never been in places like this, and we are very happy. Never in my life have I seen such dunes”.
A flat tire has become a problem for Pshegorsky at the stage where the size of the dunes made the pole to be surprised. “Today we started the first. It was a good long step. In some places, the miles passed very slowly. The dunes were huge. We didn’t expect to see these dunes in Kazakhstan. Then, we had two, even three punctures. We lost almost 4 minutes with this problem. For the last 40 km we also had a puncture, and we finished on a run-flat tire and lost another. But the speed was good, and we are still in the game. Tomorrow we will try to be faster.”
Another pole Aron Domzale was able to win their rivalry with the pilot Hummer H3 Miroslav Zapletal. Last year’s winner Yuri Sazonov finished day two in fifth place, while his compatriot Yerden Shagirov — the sixth.
Lithuanian rider Antanas, Juknevicius became the sixth in the stage, thereby reducing the lag from Shagirova, while the Qatari Mohamed Abu Issa was able to show for the ninth time on stage, which has moved to 8th place in the overall standings.
Air, Sedan from Saudi Arabia ahead of Qatar pilot Adel Abdullah after complex of dunes, which cost the crew a class T2 lot of time. The President of the Federation of auto / Moto sports of Kazakhstan Marat Abykayev and other also lost a lot of time in the sand, finishing in third place in class T2.
The Frenchman Claude Fournier was the only participant to T3 after leaving Patrice Garusta on Sunday evening. Fournier lost a lot of time to checkpoint 1.
Monday — as it was:
Strong winds dictate the weather conditions in Kenderli and the surrounding areas on Sunday and a few days earlier. Pshegorsky meanwhile, led a rally peloton on the second stage with a length of 368 km, the launch of which was given in 100 km from Aktau and further through the desert, the vast land ruled by the camels, the sand dunes to finish in 28.5 km from the location of the camp on the shores of the Caspian sea.
Patrice Garust, a member of the class of T3 was not able to continue the fight. His mechanic, following to the sink equipment in Aktau on Sunday, turned the Polaris RZR 1000. FIA technical delegate Lionel Carre after an immediate check determined that a damaged frame..
Mechanics of TOK Sport team repaired the transmission, which was the cause of the gathering at the first stage, the car Adel Abdullah. Mohamed Abu Issa was able to cope with the problems, the race returned and al-Rajhi, repairing the suspension after the incident on Sunday. Arvizu was allowed to start the fifth after Braided and Abu ISA.
Victor Horoshavtsev began the day in eighth place and tenth at the start, but the Russians have experienced problems with the turbine on his BMW X3 CC immediately after the start. Back at the start of the stage, he went directly to Kenderli, passing the finish line. Al-Attiyah went Pshegorsky and had the advantage of 6 seconds over the pole at the point of control Ustalane, but in better shape had al-Rajhi.
It surely was the fastest rider of the stage, although his partner on Mini Abu Issa was delayed for half an hour. Marat Abykayev and other Claude Fournier, Pavel Loginov, Dmitry Paulov and Zhanat Zhalimbetov lost time in a series of sand dunes before checkpoint 1.
The stage took place at the big loop in the desert East of Zhanaozen. Al-Rajhi was able to catch al-Attia and Pshegorsky to the second point on the second segment to the dunes. Three of the crew went close on the track behind them was Domzale and braided.
Pshegorsky lost time for elimination of multiple tire puncture, crossed the finish line pole on a deflated tire. Al-Rajhi has created enough separation to win this stage.
The third stage in 421 km the longest of all, the start will be at 7.6.km from the bivouac near Kenderli resort Area, South of the city of Zhanaozen, further into the heart of Mangystau region. Then the route turns in a South-easterly direction and leads to the finish line near Kenderli through the small town of Seneca.