SS1: Xi’An-Zhongwei (Sunday, August 30)
After a week of careful preparation, the China Silk Road Rally kicked off today (Sunday). The first day’s programme featured a total distance of 695km, including 102km of competitive action on a cocktail of hard-packed ground, dirt and stones. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret were first into the test, ahead of last year’s winner Christian Lavieille (Haval) and Cyril Despres/David Castera.
#181 Stéphane Peterhansel: “It was a warm-up stage after a run-out section of 565 kilometres. It’s great to be running competitively in the latest version of the 2008 DKR. It’s nice to see that the development work has paid off. The car is easier and more fun to drive and the engine is responsive. This is a long event so we started fairly cautiously. There was a problem with the organisers’ GPS which led to a bit of stress, but it wasn’t hugely important on this stage. Tomorrow will be all sand. Running second will be almost ideal.”
Provisional standings SS1: