Elista, Russia: Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah extended his advantage to an unofficial 4min 34sec after the first half of a Marathon stage between Astrakhan and Elista in southern Russia on Sunday.
But the stage win came at a cost and the Overdrive Racing driver and French co-driver Matthieu Baumel completed the 365km timed section in two-wheel drive. With no service assistance permitted on a Marathon stage, the team that is running with the support of Red Bull, the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), Ooredoo Qatar and Toyota GAZOO Racing faces the prospect of tackling the second half of the stage in two-wheel drive on Monday.
England’s Harry Hunt and Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al Rajhi remain in close contention.
Al Attiyah, driving a Toyota Hilux, was first on the road for the second successive day and the Qatari maintained his advantage at PC1, after 148km, from Al Rajhi and Hunt. Joan Roma had failed to finish the stage on Saturday after complaining about neck pain, but the Spaniard was back in harness for the second special and started out from 11th on the road. He finished the stage in fourth place.
Al Attiyah kept his lead through PC2 (328km) and survived the muddy conditions to take the stage win in a time of 3hrs 12min 11sec. But the Qatari had sustained transmission issues on the track and completed the day in two-wheel drive.
With no service assistance permitted at the overnight bivouac in Elista on the first half of the Marathon stage, the crew faced the prospect of the return to Astrakhan on Monday in two-wheel drive.
2018 Silk Way Rally – positions on SS2:
1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Toyota Hilux Overdrive 3hrs 12min 11sec
2. Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU)/Timo Gottschalk (DEU) MINI John Cooper Works Rally 3hrs 13min 45sec
3. Harry Hunt (GBR)/Sebastien Delaunay (FRA) Peugeot 3008 DKR 3hrs 14min 15sec
4. Joan Roma (ESP)/Alex Haro (ESP) MINI John Cooper Works Rally 3hrs 18min 23sec
5. Matthieu Serradori (FRA)/Fabian Lurquin (BEL) MCM Original 3hrs 20min 28sec
6. Andrey Rudskoy (RUS)/Evgenii Zagorodniuk (RUS) G-Force Proto 3hrs 25min 26sec
7. Dennis Krotov (RUS)/Dmyrro Tsyro (UKR) BMW X5 3hrs 35min 11sec