After a well-deserved rest day,The Silk Way Rally returned to action with a short but intense timed-sector run in the high-mountain plains at between 2,000 and 2,600 metres above sea level.
Cyril Despres, had a day to remember in his Peugeot, as he extended his lead in the general classification. The Frenchman was the fastest on the 77km stage from Almaty in Kazakhstan to Bortala in China.
Despres left his compatriot Sébastien Loeb in his wake coming home 02’46” ahead of his stablemate and the nine-time world rally champion, to extend his overall lead to 10’46”.
Vladimir Vasilyev maintained his podium potential with a best time of 04’10” leaving his third overall. The Russian’s gap to the top of the GC is fourteen minutes.
Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Mohamed Al Rahji was the eighth fastest on the stage. The 34-year-old is currently fourth in the GC, twenty minutes off the leader.
In the truck category, Martin Van Den Brink underlined his good form when he took another stage win in his Renault Sherpa.
Previous GC leader Edouard Nikolaev had a day to forget after he lost more than one hour after a disastrous stage.
Anton Shibalov was second best on the stage, seven seconds off the pace of Van Den Brink and trails the Dutchman by 06’35”.