Stage eight of the Silk Way Rally saw the two frontrunners once more bolster their leads. Peugeot’s Sébastien Loeb is now ahead in the car class by one hour eight minutes and 41 seconds.
“It was a very good first part of the rally, I have to say. We are leading with more than one hour, which is great. I think we didn’t make any big mistakes in the start of the rally. The new evolution of the car is working very well, the feeling is very good,” he said after the stage.
The Karamay to Urumqi stage was both the first to be held in China and the first to take place on sandy tracks.
Cyril Despres finished second, coming in five minutes and six seconds behind his Peugeot teammate.
Winner of the seventh leg, Bryce Menzies finished third, while in fourth place was Stephane Peterhansel.
In the last stage before Sunday’s rest day, Kamaz-Master racer Dmitry Sotnikov edged further ahead in the trucks. The win – his third in four days – gives him a nine-minute, 45 second lead over teammate Anton Shibalov.
Six stages remain before the finish in Xi’an.