KERIYA > KERIYA : 388,35 km Liaison : 148,3 km SS : 187,1 km Liaison : 52,95 km
LIU YANGUI (BAIC) IS GETTING CLOSER,
MONLEÓN (KTM) HAS NEVER BEEN SO CLOSE TO HIS WIN!
The penultimate stage of the 2019 , a loop around Keriya, offered the leaders a last opportunity to compete on the tracks of Xinjiang. This was the eighth stage, and as many victories for Armand Monleón (KTM) in the motorcycles category. Amongst the cars, the victory goes to Zi Yungang / Wang Zengrong (Geely). Christian Lavieille / Jean-Pierre Garcin (BAIC) lost time after breaking a drive belt.
The eighth and penultimate stage of the 2019 Taklimakan Rally, 388.35 kilometres long, offered 187.1 kilometres of timed sections. The competitors enjoyed a rather technical special stage, crossing wadis and passing dunes on relatively solid sand thanks to the recent rains.
Although they did not win Stage 8, Liu Yangui / He Sha (BAIC) achieved the best operation of the day. Coming second, the Chinese crew took advantage of the race to get closer to the first place in the overall ranking. Indeed, after leaving first this morning thanks to their victory yesterday, the leaders Christian Lavieille and Jean-Pierre Garcin (BAIC) have, for the first time since the start of Taklimakan Rally, experienced a mechanical problem on their BJ40. "We broke the belt at kilometre 120, and obviously we lost a little time changing it. Everything is fine though! Only thirty kilometres to go tomorrow", explained the French driver who lost 15’. Zi Yungang / Wang Zengrong (Geely) achieved the best time and won in Keriya their second victory in the 2019 Taklimakan Rally. Their teammates Liu Kun / Pan Hongyu (Geely), rather discreet until now, finally won a convincing result by finishing third. On the eve of the final, the fight promises to be exciting between the two contenders with only 5'15'' between them.
While the suspense remains in the auto category, Armand Monleón (KTM) goes straight ahead towards a fourth victory in the motorcycles. The Spanish driver won his eighth stage victory. "For me it was the most beautiful stage of the rally, the most technical but also the most fun to ride," said the titleholder before adding "Even if tomorrow's special stage is short, a lot can still happen. I have to stay focused until the finish line". New double for the KTM R2R team as Zhang Min (KTM) finished second 25'09 '' behind the leader and ahead of Yakenan (KTM) by 36'16 ''.
Tomorrow, the 2019 Taklimakan Rally competitors will enter into the final stage of the race. Between Keriya and Hotan, they will travel 395,01 kilometres, with only 34.38 kilometres of timed section, before celebrating all the finishers during the traditional award ceremony in the evening.
Provisional classification stage 8
1. Zi Yungang (CHN) / Wang Zengrong (CHN), Geely, 3h19'47''
2. Liu Yangui (CHN) / Sha He (CHN), BAIC, + 1'38''
3. Liu Kun (CHN) / Pan Hongyu (CHN), Geely, + 8'56''
4. Wang Hai (CHN) /Li Pengcheng (CHN), BAIC, + 11'17''
5. Qi Dongliang (CHN) / Liu Jifeng (CHN), BAIC, + 14'17''
Provisional overall classification after stage 8
1. Christian Lavieille (FRA) / Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA), BAIC, 27h36'52''
2. Liu Yangui (CHN) / Sha He (CHN), BAIC, + 5'15''
3. Xu Aili (CHN) / Wen Zhigang (CHN), Geely, + 2h02'00''
4. ZI Yungang (CHN) / Wang Zengrong (CHN), Geely, + 2h26'48''
5. Zhang Ming (CHN) /Qin Xu (CHN), Geely, +2h45'34''
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