CC Peterhansel climbs to second with fastest time in Astrakhan loop stage


SILK WAY RALLY, July 9-16, 2011

For immediate release
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011


- Poland’s Krzysztof Holowczyc sets second fastest time
- X-raid team holds first and second in overall rankings

ASTRAKHAN (Russia): The Monster Energy X-raid Team recorded the first and second fastest times on the fourth leg of the 2011 Silk Way Rally, a punishing loop stage around Astrakhan, on Wednesday.

The French duo of Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret set the fastest time of the day in the team’s MINI All4 Racing and moved up to second place in the overall classification. Poland’s Krzysztof Holowczyc and Belgian co-driver Jean Marc Fortin recorded the second quickest time in their BMW X3 CC and maintained the overall lead in the grueling cross-country rally.

The team’s second BMW X3 CC, crewed by Alexander Mironenko and Sergey Lebedev, suffered a minor setback and the Russian duo slipped to fifth in the rankings.

Peterhansel began the special stage behind his Polish teammate and quickly passed the former European Rally Champion. Holowczyc remained in close attendance, but got stuck for several minutes towards the end of the special and lost time to the stage-winning Frenchman.

Peterhansel eventually won the special by nine minutes. “It was a very long sandy stage with many off-road sections,” said Peterhansel. “Especially when you are traveling off-road, you must be very careful. The Silk Way Rally only lasts one week, but the stages are much longer than the Dakar.”

Holowczyc was content with the runner-up spot. “It was nice to drive behind the master (Peterhansel – nine-time Dakar winner),” said the Pole. “I hope he is not angry with me. The stage lasted for six hours and the navigation was very difficult. To see the way was not so easy!”

Mironenko lost time in a hole on the stage and was forced to wait for assistance. The crew made emergency repairs to the car and then the Russian was delayed again in soft sand. This was truly a day that we want to forget as quickly as possible,” said Mironenko. He finished the special in an unofficial 17th position.

"For Stéphane and Krzysztof the day went very well,” said Monster Energy X-raid team boss Sven Quandt. “It was too bad that towards the end Krzysztof was stuck. Stéphane is now second in the standings, but Alexander lost some positions. The drivers must recover well now because there is a long day tomorrow.”

Tomorrow’s (Thursday) timetable begins with a 55km road section to the start of a 689km special stage in the direction of Stravopol. This will be followed by a short liaison of 21km to the overnight halt. Navigation across the vast Russian steppes will not be easy and water crossings and mountains will be prevalent towards the end of the stage.

Silk Way Rally - 3rd Stage @ 15:30hrs:
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) MINI All4 Racing 5h 56m 48s
2. Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL)/Jean-Marc Fortin (BEL) BMW X3 CC 6h 05m 52s
3. Aleksandre Zheludov (RUS)/Andrey Rudnitskiy (BLR) Nissan 6h 06m 52s
17. Alexander Mironenko (RUS)/Sergey Lebedev (RUS) BMW X3 CC 8h 20m 41s

Silk Way Rally - Overall Standings after 3rd Stage @ 15.30hrs:
1. Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL)/Jean-Marc Fortin (BEL) BMW X3 CC 20h 35m 46s
2. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) 22h 37m 59s MINI All4 Racing
3. Aleksandre Zheludov (RUS)/Andrey Rudnitskiy (BLR) Nissan 22h 41m 30s
5. Alexander Mironenko (RUS)/Sergey Lebedev (RUS) BMW X3 CC 24h 18m 17s

Further information and photos are available at www.x-raid.de or contact Stefanie Szlapka or Thomas Quandt at X-raid GmbH, Tel: + 49 (0) 6147 204 670, E-mail: s.szlapka@x-raid.de or t.quandt@x-raid.de.


Date issued: 13/07/2011

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