Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel continue to head the Rally Kazakhstan leaderboard, another stage win giving them an impressive 11 minute and 55 second advantage. Bernhard Ten Brinke and Tom Colsoul have moved up into second and are in a close battle with Jakub Przygonski and Timo Gottschalk, the crews split by just 27 seconds after over nine hours of competition.
Wednesday’s 327.47 kilometre selective section provided another fresh challenge for the crews as they headed into the Mangystau region to the east of Kenderly. Qatari star Al Attiyah once again opened the road and racked up his third consecutive stage win in the Toyota Hilux Overdrive.
“It was not an easy stage, very different to the last two days and more technical,” said al Attiyah. “I was quite happy to be pushing hard, but as first car made two or three mistakes finding the road.”
Ten Brinke set another top time, the Dutchman second fastest and three minutes 36 seconds down on the benchmark set by Al Attiyah. He and co-driver Tom Colsoul have powered up to second from fourth last night, despite stopping with a slow puncture.
Przygonski had a slow start in the dunes and completed the section in third, but the Polish reigning World Cup champion has dropped a position to third today, albeit only 27 seconds adrift of Ten Brinke.
Stéphane and Andrea Peterhansel moved up to fourth in the leaderboard courtesy of Al Rajhi’s time loss.
Miroslav Zapletal and Marek Sykora have climbed to fifth in their Ford F-150 Evo and they have a comfortable lead over the Russian MINI crew of Denis Krotov/Dmytro Tsyro.
The fourth leg of Rally Kazakhstan, the third event in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, is the second longest competitively and covers a 399.24 kilometre section which takes the crews back to the bivouac in Aktau for the remainder of the event.