Taklimakan Rally 2023: S2 - Flat Tire and Getting Lost in the Stage

Taklimakan Rally 2023: S2 - Flat Tire and Getting Lost in the Stage

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Aksu - Makit : 710km
Liaison : 168km
SS : 254km
Liaison : 288k

Stage 2 witnesses the first bivouac transfer in the 2023 Taklimakan Rally. The rally will travel from Aksu to Kashgar with the first bivouac in Kashgar settled in Makit. The special stage has separate starting points for the Auto and the moto category, which is the first time in the history of this rally.

For both categories, important turning points marked in the road book is the key of a successful navigation. The messy stones in the riverbed and Gobi as well as the dust caused by the passing-by racing vehicles will challenge the racing teams. Meanwhile, this is also a stage with amazing landscape covering canyon, gobi, salt lakes and rolling montains, which could be regarded as a compensation for the long-driving distance.

The special stage for auto starts from the canyon and stretches into the Gobi and riverbed road section, during the 254 km special stage, if the pilots and co-pilots could have a short break between the intense competition, they would admire the beauty of the remote pastry and rolling mountains.

Liu Yangui, who won the 2nd place with BAIC in the 2019 Rally finished the 1st place in this stage, in the interview, he mentioned: “The first 20 km the road is almost entirely covered by the water due to the rain yesterday. After that we have 2 times flat tires caused by the sharp stones hidden in the track, we lost 4 minutes to change the tires and thanks god we did not have to change another one because we only carry 2 spare tires. I own my victory to my co-pilot Chen Feng who has found all the waypoints without any mistake. We had a special day.”

In front of the moto pilots, a 190 km special stage awaits them. At the end of the stage, a traditional ceremony by the local kirgiz tribe is organized to welcome the conquerors of the stage.

French pilot Neels Theric maintains his performance and finishes the first place today, followed by local driver Yakepu and Bredley John Cox from South Africa. According to Su Nier, who finished the 6 place today, “I plan to finish today in top 5, because tomorrow we will start the desert stage and I don’t want to be the first to open the road, so 4th or 5th is the right place for me. Today motorcycles have the speed limit of 130km/hour, and 80% of this stage is high-speed section, for me it is easier to find the waypoint compared with yesterday.”

Tomorrow, the rally continues to the stage 3. Though the timed section of SS3 is only 138 km, the overall difficulty soared rapidly. The entire stage resembles an irregular rectangle, the pilots will experience the comprehensive challenge by crossing the dunes from four directions.

Overall Classification Auto after SS1
1.Liu Yangui(CHN) / Chen Feng (CHN), BAIC, 3 04’09”
2.Han Wei (CHN) / Ma Li (CHN), SMG, +1’37”
3.Zhang Huijun (CHN) / Peng Yibo (CHN), CR6, +7’34”
4.Zi Yungang (CHN) / Wang Zengrongg (CHN), Yun Xiang, +9’30”
5.Wang Shilin(CHN) / Tian Lei (CHN), CR6, +9’44”

Overall Classification Moto after SS1
1.Yakepu (CHN), KTM, 3 41’04”
2.NEELS Theric (FRA), KOVE, +2’43”
3.Bredley John Cox (RSA), KTM, +3’53”
4.Fang Mingji (CHN), KOVE, +7’54”
5.Su Nier (CHN), KOVE, +11’23

Source Taklimakan Rally

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