Sunday (July 16) was the rest day in Urumqi.
It provided a chance for the drivers and crews of the 2017 Silk Way Rally to recharge their batteries before six final days of racing. The coming stages promise promise to be intense, especially across the breathtaking sand dunes of the Gobi Desert.
Current leader of the T2 category Adrian Di Lallo had a scare in Saturday’s eighth stage. The Australian was forced to stop and fix a mechanical problem after hitting a bump. He eventually finished over six hours behind stage winner Sebastien Loeb.
“Yesterday, we hit a pretty big bump in second gear, and we broke some mounting bolts, which then caused us to stop. We had to make a repair on the side of the road, just using straps that we had, so that we could continue. We continued at a very slow speed, but we decided not to take assistance, and to get to the finish line under our own steam”, said the Australian.
He and his co-driver Hiroaki Suzuki may be over 14 hours clear of their closest challengers, but anything could happen over the coming stages. The finish line in Xi’an is still a long way off.
The Silk Way resumes with Monday’s (July 17) ninth stage between Urumqi and Hami, which will see the competitors tackle the first proper dunes in a long 421-kilometre special.