Al-Attiyah and Baumel combine for historic Silk Way Rally car title

Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team

Duo fastest in all nine special stages as Sunderland and Shibalov also win.

Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) and co-driver Mathieu Baumel (FRA) set the fastest time on all nine of the timed special stages at the 2019 Silk Way Rally to make history as Sam Sunderland and Anton Shibalov also triumphed in China.

Here is all you need to know:

– After 5,000km through the tough terrains of Russia, Mongolia and China, 2019 Dakar Rally champion Al-Attiyah steered his Toyota Hilux to a unique slice of rally-raid history.

– Al-Attiyah and Baumel have won every race they have entered this year to leave their rivals in the dust and lead the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies.

– They finished an incredible 1hr25m04s ahead of Chinese duo Wei Han and Liao Min with Frenchmen Jérome Pelichet and Pascal Larroque back in third.

– Al-Attiyah, 48, said: “This was an incredible race from beginning to end. The start in Russia, passing Mongolia and crossing the dunes here in China. We are so happy.”

– Baumel, 43, added: “When you have a driver like Nasser with you, it helps a lot. To win all the stages is something I never thought would be possible.”

– In the bike category, 2017 Dakar Rally winner Sunderland claimed the first Silk Way Rally staging on two wheels for Red Bull KTM Factory Team.

– The 30-year-old Briton said: “There were huge contrasts in terrain. In Russia we were in the forest, like Sardinia style. Then we were in Mongolia for the fastest stages I have ever ridden in my life. Then really physical days in China to finish things off.”

– Argentine Luciano Benavides, who was fifth in his first full FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship season, said: “In the last few days I had too many mistakes. Overall, it was a good rally and now we’re looking forward to the rest of the world championship.”

– Spaniard Laia Sanz, who came seventh, revealed: “It’s been a really nice rally with very good organisation. I had some really good days in Mongolia.”

– In the trucks, Russian Shibalov held off Team Kamaz Master rivals Andrey Karginov, Ayrat Mardeev and Sergey Kupriyanov for a comfortable victory.

– Shibalov said: “The race was always interesting. Every day there was something new to discover. Things have turned out great for us, but it was a tough battle.”

2019 Silk Way Rally overall result:

1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Mathieu Baumel (FRA) Toyota Hilux 24:25:29
2. Wei Han (CHN)/Liao Min (CHN) SMG Buggy +01:25:04
3. Jérome Pelichet (FRA)/Pascal Larroque (FRA) Optimus +01:43:39

1. Sam Sunderland (GBR) KTM 26:12:47
2. Andrew Short (USA) Husqvarna +00:20:22
3. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA) Yamaha +00:21:01
5. Luciano Benavides (ARG) KTM +00:36:50
7. Laia Sanz (ESP) KTM +01:56:26

1. Anton Shibalov (RUS) Kamaz 26:01:40
2. Andrey Karginov (RUS) Kamaz +00:25:22
3. Ayrat Mardeev (RUS) Kamaz +00:52:05
5. Sergey Kupriyanov (RUS) Kamaz +04:12:41

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