Rafał Sonik claimed the victory of the fourth stage in Mongolia and the fifth consecutive stage overall. The Polish driver has won all the Silk Way special stages in Genghis Khan’s country and will enter China on Saturday as the unquestionable leader in the quad category. Arkadiusz Lindner was back after a forced, one-day break and finished the stage second.
On Friday, the participants of the great race along the Silk Road faced over 400 kilometers of the special stage. However, the organizers planned a 130-km long neutral zone in the middle of the stage, so the time was calculated from the 277th kilometer. Curiously, the eliminated section turned out to be the hardest one. “We drove in fesh fesh for many kilometers. Good thing we didn’t have to race for seconds there because it might have gotten out of hand,” reported Rafał Sonik.
Yet again, the leader of the Silk Way Rally proved to be the fastest quad driver, winning the fourth and the last stage in Mongolia. “From the very beginning, the plan was to win the rally with faultless navigation, technical driving, a well-prepared vehicle, and a steady pace. So far, the strategy has been successful, so I’m going to stick to it till the finish line in Dunhuang. The section I covered today might have been one of the fastest in my career. It was flat and hard. You had to be wary of stones and rocks and careful about the navigation because we were following a maze of paths and tracks,” Sonik described his experiences.
The second position in the quad class went to Arkadiusz Lindner, who now has little chance to fight for the victory due to the several-hour penalty. Nevertheless, there is still a possibility to gain points in the general classification. “I like leading and set the pace for the race. I dislike being the last one to go, so I didn’t feel comfortable at the starting line today. The priority now is to reach the finish line and collect precious points in the general ranking, rather than to be the fastest,” said Lindner.
The Polish motorcyclists did very well on the 6th stage from Mandalgovi to Dalanzadgad as well. Adam Tomiczek checked in at the finish line with the second time and advanced to the top ten (9th position). Maciej Giemza moved up to the 11th spot.
While Saturday brings a break from racing, the participants will have to go a long way from Dalanzadgad to Bayinbaolig, across the Chinese border. The caravan is facing a 500-kilometer drive. “We have great memories of Mongolia. We blasted through it very quickly. Even though we spent a few long hours on the road each day, we were moving along at high speed. I think, at this point, everyone feels those thousands of kilometers in their wrists and knees. Mental exhaustion is real too; treacherous terrains require full focus. Looks like there are surprises and changes in store for us, including the landscape and the temperature. What is best about our rallies is that we can drive for hours, surrounded by unspoiled natural landscapes, with no sight of people or settlements. Maybe just a yurt here and there. It’s a fantastic feeling and a profound experience that makes you remember the Mongolian steppes for a long time,” “SuperSonik” summed up the competition of the last few days.
Stage VI results
1. Rafał Sonik (POL) 3:03.53
2. Arkadiusz Lindner (POL) +5.54
3. Aleksander Maksimow (RUS) +12.26
1. Rafał Sonik (POL) 19:34.45
2. Aleksander Maksimow (RUS) +1:59.21
3. Arkadiusz Lindner (POL) +66:07.20