Automotive

Loeb leads, Mini snags stage win as Silk Way Rally nears its climax

Loeb leads, Mini snags stage w...
Peugeot currently has first, second and fourth spots locked down in the Silk Way Rally
Peugeot currently has first, second and fourth spots locked down in the Silk Way Rally
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Kamaz is a fixture of endurance rallies worldwide
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Kamaz is a fixture of endurance rallies worldwide
The Silk Way Rally is getting down to the business end
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The Silk Way Rally is getting down to the business end
The Silk Way Rally takes its toll on both driver and car
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The Silk Way Rally takes its toll on both driver and car
Peugeot holds the top two spots in the Silk Way Rally 
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Peugeot holds the top two spots in the Silk Way Rally 
Dmitry Sozkniov and his Kamaz tackle the mud of the Silk Way Rally 
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Dmitry Sozkniov and his Kamaz tackle the mud of the Silk Way Rally 
Tatra is going head-to-head with the Kamaz team, but Kamaz is leading the trucks at the moment 
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Tatra is going head-to-head with the Kamaz team, but Kamaz is leading the trucks at the moment 
Peugeot and Red Bull have formed a formidable partnership in the world of endurance rallying 
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Peugeot and Red Bull have formed a formidable partnership in the world of endurance rallying 
Some stunning drone shots from the Silk Way Rally 
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Some stunning drone shots from the Silk Way Rally 
Mini has snagged its first stage win in the Silk Way Rally 
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Mini has snagged its first stage win in the Silk Way Rally 
Siarhei Viazovich kicks up the mud in his Maz 5309RR
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Siarhei Viazovich kicks up the mud in his Maz 5309RR
Stephane Peterhansel gets all out of shape in his Peugeot 3008DKR 
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Stephane Peterhansel gets all out of shape in his Peugeot 3008DKR 
The Toyota Hilux is a popular choice for smaller teams competing in races like the Silk Way Rally 
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The Toyota Hilux is a popular choice for smaller teams competing in races like the Silk Way Rally 
Vehicles great and small take on the Silk Way Rally 
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Vehicles great and small take on the Silk Way Rally 
Aliaksei Vishneuski and his Maz truck in the wilderness 
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Aliaksei Vishneuski and his Maz truck in the wilderness 
Most Opel Mokkas live in congested city centers, but this one is ready for off-road action 
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Most Opel Mokkas live in congested city centers, but this one is ready for off-road action 
Binglong Lu is flying the flag for Baicmotor 
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Binglong Lu is flying the flag for Baicmotor 
Mikhail Kostrukov in a very battered Gaz 33027
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Mikhail Kostrukov in a very battered Gaz 33027
Anton Shibalov is competing in a Kamaz 
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Anton Shibalov is competing in a Kamaz 
The Silk Way Rally pits teams against a huge array of different conditions 
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The Silk Way Rally pits teams against a huge array of different conditions 
Peugeot is leading the Silk Way Rally in its 3008DKR Maxi, while Stephan Peterhansel (pictured) is currently sitting in fourth place
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Peugeot is leading the Silk Way Rally in its 3008DKR Maxi, while Stephan Peterhansel (pictured) is currently sitting in fourth place
Martin Kolomy tackles the Silk Way Rally in his Tatra Phoenix 
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Martin Kolomy tackles the Silk Way Rally in his Tatra Phoenix 
Spare a thought for the driver and co-driver forced to take on the Silk Way in a vehicle with no real doors or windows
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Spare a thought for the driver and co-driver forced to take on the Silk Way in a vehicle with no real doors or windows
BAICMotor is trying to prove its credentials by nailing the world of endurance rallying 
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BAICMotor is trying to prove its credentials by nailing the world of endurance rallying 
Trucks like this Maz 5309RR still get some air on the Silk Way Rally 
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Trucks like this Maz 5309RR still get some air on the Silk Way Rally 
Cyril Despres takes on a steep downhill in his Peugeot 3008 DKR 
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Cyril Despres takes on a steep downhill in his Peugeot 3008 DKR 
Geely is another Chinese manufacturer taking on the Silk Way Rally 
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Geely is another Chinese manufacturer taking on the Silk Way Rally 
Another Toyota Hilux takes on the Kazakh wilderness
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Another Toyota Hilux takes on the Kazakh wilderness
Long-distance rallies like the Silk Way are the toughest tests of modern cars 
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Long-distance rallies like the Silk Way are the toughest tests of modern cars 
The Silk Way Rally organisers have done a great job covering their event, with some stunning photography 
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The Silk Way Rally organisers have done a great job covering their event, with some stunning photography 
A Kamaz truck hammers through the wilderness in the Silk Way Rally 
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A Kamaz truck hammers through the wilderness in the Silk Way Rally 
The Silk Way Rally is entering its closing stages now
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The Silk Way Rally is entering its closing stages now
Iveco is going after Kamaz in the T1 class of the Silk Way Rally 
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Iveco is going after Kamaz in the T1 class of the Silk Way Rally 
Red Bull is deeply engaged in the world of motorsport, and long-haul rallies are no exception 
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Red Bull is deeply engaged in the world of motorsport, and long-haul rallies are no exception 
Langui Liu takes on the Silk Way Rally in his BAICMotor entrant 
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Langui Liu takes on the Silk Way Rally in his BAICMotor entrant 
The empty plains of Russia, Kazakhstan and China host the Silk Way Rally 
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The empty plains of Russia, Kazakhstan and China host the Silk Way Rally 
Ales Loprais has had a tough rally thus far, but his Tatra 815/2 continues to soldier on
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Ales Loprais has had a tough rally thus far, but his Tatra 815/2 continues to soldier on
Vehicles great and small take on the Silk Way Rally 
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Vehicles great and small take on the Silk Way Rally 
The Maz Sportauto team is chasing Kamaz in the Silk Way Rally 
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The Maz Sportauto team is chasing Kamaz in the Silk Way Rally 
No, this isn't a delivery truck... It's the Gaz2704EB
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No, this isn't a delivery truck... It's the Gaz2704EB
A Polaris side-by-side works its way through the rocky countryside 
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A Polaris side-by-side works its way through the rocky countryside 
Peugeot currently has first, second and fourth spots locked down in the Silk Way Rally
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Peugeot currently has first, second and fourth spots locked down in the Silk Way Rally
Stunning scenery on the Silk Way Rally 
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Stunning scenery on the Silk Way Rally 
Spare tires are a crucial part of any endurance rally vehicle's kit 
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Spare tires are a crucial part of any endurance rally vehicle's kit 
Geely is taking on the Silk Way Rally 
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Geely is taking on the Silk Way Rally 
Kamaz is a fixture of endurance rallying 
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Kamaz is a fixture of endurance rallying 
A Kamaz truck hammers through the wilderness 
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A Kamaz truck hammers through the wilderness 
Mini is finally on the board with a stage win at the Silk Way Rally 
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Mini is finally on the board with a stage win at the Silk Way Rally 
Mini is finally on the board with a stage win at the Silk Way Rally 
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Mini is finally on the board with a stage win at the Silk Way Rally 
Mini is finally on the board with a stage win at the Silk Way Rally 
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Mini is finally on the board with a stage win at the Silk Way Rally 
Mini is finally on the board with a stage win at the Silk Way Rally 
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Mini is finally on the board with a stage win at the Silk Way Rally 
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The Silk Way Rally is entering its final stages, having rolled through Russia and Kazakhstan. Sebastien Loeb is still leading the way in his Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi, but the pack hasn't given up the fight yet. Bryce Menzies secured the first stage win for Team Mini X Raid overnight, inching closer to the second-placed Peugeot 3008 in the process. Here are some of the best pictures from the middle legs of the 2017 Silk Way Rally.

Last time we checked in, Sebastien Loeb was sitting pretty in first place. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the flying Frenchman is still leading the way in his Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi. This rally is essentially a two-week long torture test for the Maxi, which is 20 cm (8 in) wider than the regular DKR, and has a 10 cm (4 in) broader suspension track. Don't be surprised if Peugeot lines up at next year's Paris-Dakar with a fleet of DKR Maxis.

Alongside Peugeot, Mini is arguably the best-known team taking part in the Silk Way Rally. At the moment, Bryce Menzies and co-driver Peter Mortensen have managed to open up a two-hour gap to the fourth-placed Baicmotor team, and sit 34 minutes behind the second-placed Peugeot 3008DKR of Cyril Despres. That sounds like a massive gap, but rallies like the Silk Way are conducted over vast distances in rough conditions. One puncture is all it takes for Mini to be nipping at the heels of the French race leaders.

Peugeot and Red Bull have formed a formidable partnership in the world of endurance rallying 
Peugeot and Red Bull have formed a formidable partnership in the world of endurance rallying 

Although harsh, the countryside through which Silk Way Rally competitors are racing is utterly stunning. Having started in Moscow and wound through Kazakhstan, the rally has now entered China. It wraps up on July 22 in Xi'an, by which point the teams will have covered almost 10,000 km (6,214 mi) of harsh, unforgiving terrain.

The organizers are working hard to make the rally a must-see fixture on the global motorsports calendar. The race is being broadcast in almost 200 countries, while the event website offers live tracking and up-to-date results for those playing along at home.

Check out our gallery for the best images from the middle stages of the 2017 Silk Way Rally.

Source: Silk Way Rally, BMW

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