Kazakhstan is hosting the third round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies – one of the longest competitions in the series calendar, consisting of six full-scale racing days. The second racing day ended with Nasser Al-Attiyah dominance. The Qatari confidently brought his Toyota Hilux to the finish of 424-km long special stage. The crew spent 3 hours 42 minutes and 14 seconds to overcome the route laid along the steppe roads and a sandy massif. Today’s special stage was the longest in the rally route. It was challenging for the co-drivers: multikilometer runs on high-speed steppe roads and even greater number of forks, where you need to follow the course carefully. After the first third of the speed distance the track took the crews down from the plateau; the road turned into a real trial with dangerous cliffs and stones. Many ravines also forced the crews to be alert and slow down in the right places. After overcoming all the obstacles of the trial section, the riders saw the first sands and then returned to the steppe zone. The second best time at the finish was set by Bernhard ten Brinke; the successful result allowed the crew to move up to the fourth place in the preliminary classification after two days, that was occupied by Vladimir Vasilyev the day before. The Russian, fighting for the title, had not the best day. In the course of the special stage in the BMW Mini All 4 Racing of the G-Energy Team the ball bearing broke off that caused the drive and brake system failure. Vasilyev and Zhiltsov carried out a feasible repair themselves, praising the mechanics who supplied the car with the necessary parts.
However, at the day finish Vladimir Vasilyev decided to abandon further struggle, the co-driver handed in the control card and navigation equipment. Vladimir Vasilyev, driver, “It was not an easy day, we completed the special stage in the tenth position, but after that I decided to stop participating in the competition. Despite the fact that we all thoroughly prepared for this race, and it rightfully occupies a special place in the list of favorite rounds for its excellent organization, I had to interrupt the performance. Work issues required urgent decisions, and I need to return to business processes. I wish good luck to my rivals; I regret that I can’t share the joy of being at the Rally Kazakhstan finish with them. The G-Energy Team crew has left the competition; and the drivers, continuing the race, will tackle four more intense days of this sports week, after which we will know the name of the new standings leader of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies.