Stage 1 was a warm up, 57kms with no liaison and a chance to test the car within the FB Park.
24th September 2017, the Dakar Series China Rally launched its first stage of the competition, which was 57km in length, full of a number of dunes and challenges. Up to now, the super driver from the knight team, Aorigele (CHN), has come in the first place with 1 hour 12 minutes and 4 seconds, followed by the driver from Toyota Gazoo South Africa Giniel de Villiers (RSA) in the second place. Han Wei (CHN) from Geely team, and Zhang Huijun from T3 Army Ant E team came in the fifth and the fourth places respectively.
Aorigele, the driver from local Alxa with his team navigator, Qin Xu, driving Nissan VK50 No. 121, have done very well in the first stage with 1 hour 12 minutes and 4 seconds, placing him in the first place so far. Giniel De Villiers from Toyota Gazoo South Africa racing team along with his navigator, Dirk von Zitzewitz, are in the second place so far by 13 seconds late driving Toyota Hilux. The driver, Han Wei from Geely Wheels team along with his navigator, Liao Min in an SMG Buggy came in the third place in the group and as a whole with 1 hour 14 minutes and 56 seconds.
Aorigele said: “The performance today was not bad but the middle part wasn’t that good. This was my fourth rally collaborating with the navigator so we did quite well. Every weekend I used to drive my own car in these dunes so it’s a lot of fun to know dunes so well ”.
Han Wei said: “Today’s 57 km appetiser was a piece of cake but we ran very happily. The track was quite challenging and we were ahead of everyone else, so we had some difficulties. Therefore, today we ran very smoothly and everything was more perfect than before. Neither of us made any mistakes. The road today was more complex and leading on the track would definitely be affected, so there were some troublesome sections.”
Giniel de Villiers said “Its great to be here, its going to be great to race here, Its going to be good preparation, to test the car in the dunes which will be very good for the Dakar.”
The championship in this group was taken by the legend, He Xudong, from the Jiangxi Isuzu team and his navigator, driving car No. 205 with 2 hours 15 minutes and 4 seconds. With his newbie navigator Jia Xiaobei driving No. 202, the driver from the Zhengzhou Nissan team Uday took the second place with 2 hours 21 minutes 53 seconds. The third place was taken by Zhang Jianfeng had his navigator Wu Xiao Guang from the Jiangzi Isuzu team.
T3 group (Side by Side)
Army Ant E team did very well today as the first two places in T3 group were taken by them. Driving No. 212 with his navigator Wang Jirong, the driver Zhang Huijun has first place so far with 1 hour 15 minutes and 20 seconds, which is the fourth place as a whole. The driver, Zhang Qiang, with his navigator Pen Yi Bo, driving car No. 320, has come in the second place while the third place has been taken by driver Deng Reng Gui and his navigator Fan Li Jun from Changchun Hanxiang Logistics team.
The driver, Jin Lei, from Sandong Jin’s Sorghum team has taken the first place so far with 1 hour 30 minutes and 2 seconds followed by Xu Zuoli from Liqui Molly team being in second place.
The total 57km of the first stage has ended and the complex sections of the desert gave the drivers the exciting feelings of the competition. The drivers have familiarised themselves with the track and the environment in the first stage of the race and will get themselves fully prepared for the following stages. The second day of 157 km is ready to kick off tomorrow.