Yazeed Al Rahji won the Silk Way Rally in the cars category.
The 36-year-old was crowned on the podium set up in the Red Square in Moscow, where he was able to savour his win in this event, at the end of a week’s thrilling racing between between Astrakhan and Moscow.
Aboard the X-Raid Mini, the Saudi experienced just one puncture across seven days of racing. And although he never won a stage, he still finished an hour ahead of his nearest rival.
At his third time of trying he was the first to mount the podium in Moscow and enjoy the party.
I'll be back
A delighted Al Rahji said he loved the race so much, he'll be back next year: "Thank you to the organisation, thank you to everyone who supports this rally because it is a very high-class race and for sure next year we come again to win this race."
Nasser Al Attiyah took three stage wins and would have easily won had he not lost four-wheel drive on three separate stages. It was Nassers first time for eight years and he loved the experience.
Simply the best
"I am happy to finish, said second-placed Al Attiyah. "We had a problem on all the previous stages so second place is a really good result. Thank you to the team, thank you to everybody who helped us. A really fantastic race, thanks to the organisation. The Silk Way Rally is one of the best races in the world."
Third overall in the cars category was the Frenchman Mathieu Serradori (Fra/Buggy SRT n°108) who said it had been an emotional journey: "I’m very happy to be at the finish, on the podium, it means a good future for the SRT.
"It was very emotional for my team, my family, for my co-driver, for myself. The Silk Way Rally was really a good experience.
"We were very well received in Russia, the organisers did a formidable job, the conditions weren’t always easy but it was the same for everyone. Very happy indeed!"
Harry Hunt took the stage victory, his second of the rally. But the British driver had a torrid rally finishing last in the general classification.
In the trucks category Andrey Karginov managed his Kamaz the best to win by more than 18 minutes over team-mate Ayrat Mardeev. All the Kamaz had issues over the rally, but Karginov spent the least time stationary.
And when needed was able to be the fastest. This means he has won all the major Cross Country rallies, in Africa, South America and Russia.
Dreams can come true
The Russian said it was his dream to win the Silk Way Rally: "I was hoping to win. Every participant who comes here hopes for a good result. It's been 10 years that I have been coming to the Silk Way Rally. I was first in Africa and on the Dakar but never here. It was my dream to have this trophy and this tiger will bring back good memories.
Winner of the stage was Maarten Van Den Brink, happy to push on the last day