Today’s programme (Monday) included a morning’s rest for everyone involved in the rally, followed by a two-kilometre super-special at the beginning of the afternoon. The short test, which was broadcast live on CCTV5, China’s biggest television channel, took the form of a rallycross circuit with a passage over a dune to add to the entertainment.
Although organised for spectators, there was no taking the stage lightly. First of all because it counted towards the overall classification and, secondly, it decided the start order for tomorrow competitive action which promises to be very dusty. Stéphane Peterhansel / Jean-Paul Cottret were second fastest, while Cyril Despres / David Castera posted the sixth-best time.