Silk Rally – Al Attiyah still on top, Kabirov takes the lead


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Janaozen, Kazakhstan, September 9th 2009

Giniel De Villiers won today’s stage and Nasser Al Attiyah increased his lead on the overall standing. Vladimir Chagin in the other way lost any chance to win in the trucks race. The crew of KAMAZ-master lost a wheel 7 km before the finish.

Everything is going well for the Volkswagens! Some people keep being amazed by Nasser Al Attiyah’s risky driving but he is still confident and keeps pushing. On the 5th stage the Qatari attacked Sainz again. Starting on the 3rd row he made up a simple plan. At first, overtake Mark Miller and then get after Carlos Sainz, who opened route today. Plan had been completed apart from a little puncture. But he ends up with an extra advantage of 4 minutes. In addition tomorrow’s stage, 514 km long on the way to Turkmenbashi, will be open by Giniel De Villiers, so it makes the task for Nasser even easier. Today South African started the 4th and won 7 seconds faster than Al Attiyah.

Candidates for the 5 place had much more troubles, many of them couldn’t fulfill their plan. Up to this morning Christian Lavieille was considered the most likely candidate to gain the 5th row, he was leading the pack by quite a lot. But he wasn’t lucky enough, his transmission broke down and Lavieille had to drop out of the race. Phillipe Gache, who showed not such bad result yesterday, fall as a victim as well: the engine of his buggy caught fire on the route. But all that benefited to Mattias Kahle, whose main competitor becomes Aleksey Bercut, 21 minutes behind him.

Big trouble happened in the trucks race as well – Vladimir Chagin got a big problem. In the morning he leaded the race and showed the best time on the CP1 and had really good chance to increase his leading overall. But 7 km to the finish Chagin lost a wheel from his Kamaz. Even with Ilgizar Mardeev’s help the King crossed the finish line two hours laters.
Firdaus Kabirov, the Dakar champion, is now leading the race. On the second place, De Rooy, is 27 minutes behing the KAMAZ-master crew. Ales Loprais is taking advantage of Chagin’s wheel and Mardeev stop to help his teammate and is now 3rd overall.