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Munich. The final stage of the 2017 #silkwayrally proved to be an anti-climax today with leg 14 being cancelled due to heavy rain overnight in China’s Zhongwei region. The competitors instead completed a final 100.67km as a lap of honour to bring the gruelling 15-day challenge to an end after competing over almost 10,000km across Russia, Kazakhstan and China.
The final results of this year’s race have been declared as the finishing positions from the end of leg 13, with Bryce Menzies (USA) and Peter Mortensen (USA) in the #105 #minijohncooperworksrally placed ninth overall and Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and co-driver Tom Colsoul (BEL) in the #101 #minijohncooperworksrally one place behind them in 10th.
The outcome doesn’t truly reflect the strong performance of the #mini competitors across the course of the #rally. Menzies and Mortensen matched the pace of the frontrunners from the outset, ranking in the top five overall after every stage except the final one. For six stages – almost 50% of the event – the American duo were inside the top three and in contention for a podium, even winning a stage on day seven.
Menzies started stage 12 in 2nd position overall, but after facing challenges with the massive sand dunes of the final two stages, the #105 #minijohncooperworksrally driver lost several places, ending leg 13 in ninth position on the leader board. Having viewed the event as a learning curve and staying positive throughout, the pair were hoping for a strong final stage from Zhongwei to Xi’an to finish the #rally in a position more reflective of their overall position. However, today’s cancellation put an end to those hopes.
Fellow #mini competitors Al Rajhi and Colsoul also started strong, with a fourth place finish on day one, but day two brought challenges and a significant penalty, leaving the pairing in 41st place overall. By leg eight, the #101 #mini John Cooper Work #rally was briefly back inside the top 10 overall. The collective experience of Al Rajhi and Colsoul showed through in the final stages and the duo were able to attain and keep 10th place overall for the final three stages.
While the #mini competitors in the 2017 #silkwayrally can now enjoy a well-earned rest, for #mini and X-raid the weekend’s #racing is not yet over. Three drivers and co-drivers are contesting the Baja Aragon in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies until tomorrow.
Silk Way #rally 2017: final ranking
Yazeed Al Rajhi
Tom Colsoul (BEL)
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