Team Leader Gerard De Rooy finishes Stage 11 in 7th position, ahead of his teammates.
Spanish co-pilot Marco Ferran Alcayna moved from Van Genugten's Trakker to Ardavichus' Powerstar to replace injured Serge Bruynens. Bart De Gooyert is Van Genugten's new co-pilot.
The 11th stage of the 2017 Silk Way Rally between Dunhuang and Jiayuguan, situated at the western end of the Great Wall, was the eve of the two stages considered to be the most enjoyable but also the toughest of the rally.
Yesterday morning Gerard De Rooy started at 9.09 after his teammates, and crossed the line on his IVECO Powerstar #302 in 2h35m13s, just 5m45s from the winner. "Our truck is finally really good, we had a clean stage without stops and problems – explained Moises "Moi" Torrallardona, Gerard's experienced co-driver – We drove sometimes faster and at times slowly, the track was soft at the start and harder at the end but we enjoyed it very much. Now we are waiting for the big dunes of tomorrow: Gerard is one of the best drivers on sand and the truck is ok." In spite of the good result, Team leader De Rooy lies in 14th position of the overall.
There was an important change in the crew of Powerstar #310 driven by Artur Ardavichus: due to a stressed nerve incurred on a violent impact during a special stage, Belgian co-driver Serge Bruynkens had to retire from the rally. Marco Ferran Alcayna, Ton Van Genugten's co-pilot, has replaced him and will continue as Ardavichus's co-driver until the end of the rally. Dutchman Bart De Gooyert will join Ton Van Genugten and expert crewmate Bernard Der Kinderen crew on board the IVECO Trakker #306.
"Today the stage was really technical like yesterday, fast and bumpy. I'm sorry for the physical problem that forced Serge to retire from the race before the end but, unfortunately, it's part of the game" explained the Kazakh pilot. Ardavichus finished the 11th stage in eighth position just 14s behind De Rooy. He maintains his 5th place in the general ranking with a good advantage of more than half of an hour on Kamaz pilot Eduard Nikolaev.
Ton Van Genugten drove his IVECO Trakker slowly in the first part of the stage to test his new crew, then picked up speed. "We quickly developed a good feeling with Bart, mechanic and co-driver, and this allowed us to make our race in the best way." He crossed the finish line in 2h44m04s.
Today, July 20th, will take place one of the two toughest stages – from Jiayuguan to Alashan – with beautiful dunes at the beginning and more at the end. Navigation will play the lead role in this stage where all types of terrain will be represented. Pilots will need to call on their best driving abilities. Stage length: 483.79 km of which 254.75 km of special.
Stage 11 results – Silk Way Rally 2017
1. Martin Kolomy (Tatra) 2h29m28s
2. Anton Shibalov (Kamaz) +0m49s
3. Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) +1m07s
4. Airat Mardeev (Kamaz) +3m18s
5. Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz) +3m40s
7. Gerard De Rooy (IVECO) +5m45s
8. Artur Ardavichus (IVECO) +5m59s
10. Ton Van Genugten (IVECO) +15m12s
Overall classification – Silk Way Rally 2017
1. Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) 33h58m25s
2. Anton Shibalov (Kamaz) +14m54s
3. Martin Kolomy (Tatra) +29m23s
4. Airat Mardeev (Kamaz) +31m59s
5. Artur Ardavichus (IVECO) + 1h54m59s
9. Ton Van Genugten (IVECO) +8h33m26s
14. Gerard De Rooy (IVECO) + 215h28m34s
Starting order for SS12 – 20th July 2017
07.42 Martin Kolomy (Tatra)
07.44 Anton Shibalov (Kamaz)
08.02 Gerard De Rooy (IVECO)
08.04 Artur Ardavichus (IVECO)
08.09 Ton Van Genugten (IVECO)