– Russia’s Vasilyev moves back ahead of Poland’s Przygonski and into second
– Qatar’s Adel Abdulla and Frenchman Patrice Garrouste fastest in T2 and T3 sections
A third fastest time in four days in Rally Kazakhstan enabled Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi to double his outright lead to over eight minutes as teams tackled a fourth selective section of 398.57km between Kenderly and Aktau City on Thursday.
Al-Rajhi said: « Today we had our first puncture after 16km. We changed it very fast and then we had a second puncture after 200km and we had to drive around 180 (km) with no spare. I started fourth but we attacked like hell. You need to find good places to overtake. It was not easy to overtake (Martin) Prokop. Luckily we were in a chott and we managed to get through. »
With the rally returning to Aktau City for the remaining two overnight halts, a mere 8min 38sec separates first from third position in a MINI lock-out of the podium positions. FIA World Cup leader Jakub Przygonski and Belgian navigator Tom Colsoul slipped back to third in the second X-raid MINI John Cooper Works Rally and now trail the Russian duo of Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov (MINI Cooper Countryman) by 33 seconds.
The Russian complained that he lost time in the dust of other vehicles on a stage where several of the leading cars were running close together for long periods. Zhiltsov commented: “It was a really interesting special stage, dust, fesh-fesh and difficult dunes. I don’t remember the dunes like that. There were a lot of drops and sharp dunes and vegetation in the sand. Everything okay except for an incident with the Sentinel. We will see.