Taklimakan Stage 8: Binglong Lu and Pascual win stage 8. Stage 9 cancelled
The last timed section (9) of 2018 Taklimakan Rally, initially planned to be tomorrow, was cancelled by the organization. The standings will only be approved at the end of the rally by the Race Director. Barring surprises, Han Wei / Liao Min (Geely) and Armand Monleón (KTM) should claim 2018 Taklimakan Rally victory.
Stage 8: CHANGJI > CHANGJI : 595,15 km | Liaison : 164,38 km | SS : 375,29 km | Liaison : 55,48 km
Stage 8, 595,15 kilometers long, was designed as a loop around Changji. Competitors have crossed the Gurbantunggut desert where they faced small dunes crossing and gravel tracks. The timed section, 375,29 km long, was competed in a very high pace, an average speed of 123 kmh for the best cars.
In being fifteen minutes quicker than Han Wei / Liao Min (Geely), only fifth, the Chinese crew of BAIC Lu Binglong / Sha He is getting closer in the overall standing. The third position of the day is for the French duo Christian Lavieille / Jean-Pierre Garcin (BAIC), third in the overall as well. The loser of this final round is the crew Zi Yungang / Wang Zengrong (Geely), second this morning. The teammates of Han Wei and Liao Min in Geely Auto Coopetires abandoned all hope for a win of Taklimakan Rally because of a roll-over luckily without gravity.
The goal this morning for the Daming KTMR2R Rally team was to keep its one-two-three position in the overall standing. Armand Monleón, Zhang Min and Zhao Hongyi decided to ride together during the whole stage in order to be more reactive in case of problems. This team strategy of the KTM motorbikes was benefic for Pablo Pascual (Zongshen) who grabs the victory of the stage. The Argentinian rider is still fourth of the overall, before Eric Schiano who will finish the race in the Top 5.
Competitors will join Ürümqi tomorrow morning by the road where the winners of each category will officially be celebrated.