Taklimakan Stage 7: Han Wei and Monleon win again, Lavieille is back

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After taking advantage of a second rest day in Hami, 2018 Taklimakan Rally competitors headed North of Xinjiang province toward Changji, a city close to Mongolian border. The leaders of the overall classification, Han Wei/Liao Min (Geely) in cars and Armand Monleón (KTM) in motorbikes, were the fastest in this transition stage.

Upon further deliberation, the stewards have decided the cancellation of the 30’ penalties imposed to the crews Christian Lavieille/Jean-Pierre Garcin (BAIC), Lu Binglong/Sha He (BAIC) and Liu Kun/Wu Dajun (Geely) after stage 6.

The short selective section of the day, 103,26 kilometers long, proposed a kind of field the competitors did not encounter yet. Steppes surrounded by mountains and narrow tracks of the North of Xinjiang province have replaced the dunes and sandy tracks of the East of the area. These stony and broken tracks have resulted in many tire punctures especially in car category.

The duo Han Wei/Liao Min (Geely) continues to increase his leadership in winning his fourth victory in the 2018 Taklimakan Rally. The crew of the yellow buggy #105 shows that it will be very difficult to take them out the first place of the overall ranking.

Christian Lavieille and Jean-Pierre Garcin (BAIC) finished second even though they got stuck in the dust of the other cars during more than twenty kilometers. The French duo is now third in the overall ranking thanks to the cancellation of his penalty. The second buggy Zi Yungang / Wang Zengrong (Geely) is still second after achieving once again a very good performance in finishing third of the stage. 

The eighth and penultimate stage of 2018 Taklimakan Rally will take place tomorrow on Tuesday June 12th. Competitors will compete in a timed section of 375,29 kilometers long designed as a loop around Changji. Competitors will cross the Gurbantunggut desert in a very fast stage with some crossing dunes. 68 cars/trucks and 13 bikes/ATVs are still in the race to reach Ürümqi on June 13th.

b_600_0_16777215_00_images_12-NIEUWS_Taklimakan_Rally_2018_11_06_Taklimakan18_11_06_2.jpgProvisional classification of stage 7 / Car

1. Han Wei (CHN) / Liao Min (CHN), Geely, 1h14’32’’
2. Christian Lavieille (FRA) / Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA), BAIC, + 5’’
3. Zi Yungang (CHN) / Wang Zengrong (CHN), Geely, + 1’07’’
4. Niu Bandin (CHN) / Fang Mingji (CHN), SMG, + 1’07’’
5. Zhong Lei (CHN) / Li Gand (CHN), Buggy, + 1’40’’
14. Rémy Vauthier (CH) / Jean Brucy (FRA), Optimus + 11’51’’

Provisional overall classification after stage 7 / Car 

1. Han Wei (CHN) / Liao Min (CHN), Geely, 20h35’26’’
2. Zi Yungang (CHN) / Wang Zengrong (CHN), Geely, + 9’04’’
3. Christian Lavieille (FRA) / Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA), BAIC, + 11’38’’
4. Lu Binglong (CHN) / Sha He (CHN), BAIC, + 16’52’’
5. Liu Yangui (CHN) / Hongyu Pan (CHN), BAIC, + 23’30’’
42. Rémy Vauthier (CH) / Jean Brucy (FRA), Optimus, + 98h49’34’’

Provisional classification of stage 7 / Motorbike

1. Armand Monleón (ESP), KTM, 1h27’00’’
2. Zhang Min (CHN), KTM, + 4’33’’
3. Wang Yun (CHN), Husqvarna, + 7’23’’
4. Zhao Hongyi (CHN), KTM,  + 11’03’’
5. Pablo Pascual (ARG), Zongshen, + 13’14’’
8. Eric Schiano (FRA), Zongshen, + 30’31’’

 Provisional overall classification after stage 7 / Motorbike

1. Armand Monleón (ESP), KTM, 25h14’41’’
2. Zhang Min (CHN), KTM, + 1h35’13’’
3. Zhao Hongyi (CHN), KTM,  + 1h53’00’’
5. Eric Schiano (FRA), Zongshen, + 4h33’07’’