Posted on July 11, 2019

The fifth stage of the 2019 Silk Way Rally plunged the convoy deep into the Mongolian wilderness. There was an exhibition of high-speed offroad racing across all categories as leading competitors put on a show for local fans.

Picking up a fifth consecutive car class stage win on the route between Ulaanbaatar and Mandalgovi were Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) and co-driver Mathieu Baumel (FRA). The unstoppable duo put on another amazing display which saw them open the route and win the stage. No wonder they arrived at the Mandalgovi bivouac with huge smiles on their faces. “The car is going great, I’m enjoying driving here and Mathieu (Baumel) is doing a great job with the navigation. The landscape is really incredible, so nice. We’re seeing a lot of different animals and it’s a pleasure to be racing here in Mongolia.” – Nasser Al-Attiyah. Al-Attiyah and Baumel’s Toyota Hilux is now nearly 40 minutes clear of their closest rivals in the car category.

There was also a dominant display of leading from the front in the bike race as Sam Sunderland (GBR) took the second part of the marathon stage in his stride. The Red Bull KTM Factory Team rider and his bike were kept away from the service crew last night due to marathon stage rules. The marathon stage meant that Sunderland had just the one set of tyres for yesterday’s 470km of racing and today’s 337km. The 2017 Dakar bike race winner did a great job looking after his bike and tyres to further extend his overall lead.

“It was the second day of the marathon so normally the tyres are a bit shot, but the bike has been great. I’m feeling good and I’ll just try and keep pushing until the end.” – Sam Sunderland. Sunderland is being backed up by his fellow Red Bull KTM Factory Team riders Luciano Benavides (ARG) and Laia Sanz (ESP). Benavides is currently second in the overall classification and Sanz has moved into the Top 10 after some consistent riding. “Yesterday and today I felt really good. The rhythm on both days has been good and the speed has been improving.” – Laia Sanz

The high-speed nature of the stages in Mongolia mean that the bikers especially have to maintain 100 percent concentration while racing. On stage five Joan Barreda (ESP) crashed out while third overall in the general classification. On the previous day it was Anastasiya Nifontova (RUS) who saw her race end prematurely. Nifontova was thrown from her bike when it hit a hole on stage four. The Russian rider was taken to hospital with a suspected fractured collarbone. “This is the first big competition that I will not finish. I made it this far, but now it’s over for me. I will be back next year to try again for sure.” – Anastasiya Nifontova

Team Kamaz Master were able to turn the tables slightly on truck race leader Siarhay Viazovich (BLR) during stage five. Andrey Karginov (RUS) won the stage to cut seven minutes out of Viazovich’s overall lead. Karginov’s Kamaz team-mate Anton Shibalov (RUS) set the second fastest time of the day in the truck race, while Viazovich was third on the stage. “We’re fighting to win back time. We have enough experience in this sport to know that you must keep fighting until the last metre of the last stage.” – Andrey Karginov

There’s another monster distance to cover for stage six tomorrow as the convoy departs for Dalanzadgad. The timed special stage measures a total of 408 kilometres. The terrain will mostly be the fast tracks that have come to characterise the Mongolian section of the Silk Way Rally.

2019 Silk Way Rally: Stage 5 Results

Car: Top 3
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Mathieu Baumel (FRA)   Toyota Hilux   02:43:14
2. Mathieu Serradori (FRA)/Fabian Lurquin (BEL)   Buggy   +00:03:07
3. Eric Van Loon (NLD)/Sebastien Delaunay (FRA)   Toyota Hilux   +00:07:39

Bike: Top 3
1. Sam Sunderland (GBR)   KTM   03:05:31
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG)   Honda   +00:01:33
3. Paulo Goncalves (PRT)   Hero   +00:02:47

Truck: Top 3
1. Andrey Karginov (RUS)   Kamaz   02:45:28
2. Anton Shibalov (RUS)   Kamaz   +00:04:18
3. Siarhay Viazovich (BLR)   MAZ   +00:06:52

2019 Silk Way Rally: Overall Rankings after Stage 5

Car: Top 3
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Mathieu Baumel (FRA)   Toyota Hilux  11:46:41
2. Kun Liu (CHN)/Hongyu Pan (CHN)   SMG Buggy   +00:37:25
3. Jérome Pelichet (FRA)/Pascal Larroque (FRA)   Optimus   +00:43:14

Bike: Top 3
1. Sam Sunderland (GBR)   KTM   12:44:26
2. Luciano Benavides (ARG)   KTM   +00:13:44
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG)   Honda   +00:17:18

Truck: Top 3
1. Siarhay Viazovich (BLR)   MAZ   12:33:05
2. Anton Shibalov (RUS)   Kamaz   +00:16:04
3. Andrey Karginov (RUS)   Kamaz   +00:19:35