CC South Racing guides Garces and Schroder to Silk Way Rally finish
Silk Way Rally
July 8-24, 2016
For immediate release
Sunday, July 24th, 2016
SOUTH RACING LEARNS FROM SILK WAY RALLY WITH CHILE’S GARCES AND GERMANY’S SCHRÖDER REACHING BEIJING FINISH
· South Racing’s Garces and Schröder finish 46th and 49th in Silk Way Rally
BEIJING (CHINA): South Racing took part in one of its greatest ever challenges, when it entered two cars in the daunting 15-day Silk Way Rally across Russia, Kazakhstan and China and brought both its cars to the finish ramp in Beijing on Sunday.
Despite their own fair share of problems on one of the most demanding off-road rallies in the world calendar, the Chilean duo of Hernan Garces and Luis Eguigeran guided their South Racing-run Ford Ranger to the finish ramp in 46th position.
The German pairing of Jürgen and Maximilian Schröder gave South Racing a 100% finishing record on the new event, despite severe battery issues on the unlucky 13th 367.44km special stage between Alahan and Wuhai in China. That knocked them further down the leader board to an eventual 49th overall in a Nissan Navara.
Both drivers worked tirelessly to maintain their place in the rally and that was achieved with sterling effort from the South Racing mechanics.
“The Silk Way was a great adventure for the entire team,” said South Racing’s managing director Scott Abraham. “It has been demanding and has tested everyone. Both crews were unfortunately delayed on some stages and then came back fighting. A huge thanks goes out to everyone connected with our operation, who worked tirelessly.”
After a ceremonial send-off in Moscow, the South Racing-run pair had started conservatively on the first two-kilometre special stage in Kazan and were classified in 29th and 86th positions.
The rally then passed through Ufa en route to the longer and more demanding selective sections, starting with a stage between Ufa in Russia and Kostanay in Kazakhstan. Schröder was an impressive 22nd in his Navara and Garces settled well into the pace with 38th overall.
Punishing heat welcomed teams into the Kazakh capital of Astana, but the next special stage of 293.48km took place in mud after recent heavy rains and was shortened to 223km because of an impassable bridge on the route. Schröder revelled in the conditions to hold 15th, while Garces was 37th.
The fifth section between Astana and Balkash was demanding and 568.24km in length. It ruined multiple Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel’s chance of winning the event, but Schröder and Garces set the 17th and 23rd quickest times and were classified in 16th and 25th overall.
The sixth stage into Almaty on July 14th was shortened because of storm warnings in the area and the South Racing cars reached the night halt and the subsequent rest day in Almaty in 16th and 23rd overall.
Stage seven took teams out of Almaty towards Bortala and Schröder and Garces found an impressive pace and stayed clear of trouble to record the 14th and 22nd quickest times and hold 14th and 22nd in the overall standings.
But rallies of this nature and stature have a way of biting back when the going is good and serious transmission issues hampered Schröder on the 256.93km special between Bortala and Urumqi on July 17th and cost the German several hours on the stage and a fistful of time penalties. The delay pushed him down to 53rd overall. Garces recorded the 19th quickest time and broke into the top 20 for the first time.
Punishing heat and temperatures in excess of 45 degrees Centigrade in the Turpan-Hami depression and the area around the dry Lake Ayding – one of the lowest places on earth – tested man and machine to the limit, as the ninth stage of 384.40km passed between Urumqi and Hami and the first major dunes on the event. Schröder lost further time in the sand and Garces rolled his Ford Ranger and the car sustained substantial damage. It was a fraught day for South Racing.
There was no respite on the 10th stage of 340km in China between Hami and Dunhuang, but Schröder recovered from his earlier delays to record the 19th fastest time and move back up to 40th overall.
A violent sandstorm forced race officials to abandon the special stage and the day’s action between Dunhuang and Jiayuguan and that enabled South Racing to get back on track after several long days.
Garces had rejoined the rally, after his car was repaired, and the Chilean recorded the 31st quickest time to hold 54th overall. Schröder was delayed again in 65th place and reached the end of the stage in 43rd, but battery issues cost him a lot of time in the subsequent 13th stage.
The final stage on July 23rd ran between Wuhai and Hohhot, before the non-competitive run in to Beijing the following day.
Garces survived unscathed in his Ranger to card the 45th quickest time and ensure that he headed for Beijing in 46th overall. Schröder was also able to tackle the final stage and was given a finishing position of 49th overall after his additional time penalties had been added.
South Racing was founded in 2013. Based near Frankfurt in Germany, the young, customer-driven team also has workshops in Portugal and has extensive experience of the Dakar Rally and rallying in South America.
2016 Silk Way Rally – final results:
1. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR 36hr 15min 18sec
2. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU)/Timo Gottschalk (DEU) Mini One 36hr 41min 09sec
3. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS)/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) Mini All4 Racing 37hr 05min 04sec
4. Harry Hunt (GBR)/Andreas Schulz (DEU) Mini All4 Racing 38hr 10min 05sec
5. Aidyn Rakhimbayev (KAZ)/Anton Nikolaev (RUS) Mini All4 Racing 38hr 28min 03sec
46. Hernan Garces (CHL)/Luis Eguigeran (CHL) South Racing Ford Ranger 261hr 17min 21sec
49. Jürgen Schröder (DEU)/Maximilian Schröder (DEU) South Racing Nissan Navara 266hr 15min 03sec
For further information: contact Scott Abraham, South Racing, Email: Scott.Abraham@southracing.com, Tel: + 49 172 6662880.