Isuzu Motorsports ready to race in largest event of its kind in China: China Silk Road Rally

Australian team Isuzu Motorsports is ready to compete in the gruelling 13-day 'Dakar-style' off-road endurance race that begins with a ceremonial start in Xi'an, China on August 30, 2015, and concludes in the ancient city of Dunhuang on September 11, 2015.

In an Isuzu mu-X 'T2' production class car sporting race number 173, driver Adrian Di Lallo and co-driver Harry Suzuki will cover 5,617 kilometres, of which 2,189 kilometres are competitive stages through China’s most remote and spectacular terrain.

Di Lallo said that he is excited about racing across new territory.

"I've been to China before, but not to race - there are so many unknowns, but that's what makes it exciting. I'm looking forward to racing on unchartered territory," the 41-year-old said.

"I feel as prepared as I can be – I'm in good shape, the car is fantastic, and we have a really experienced team."

"Our goal is to win our class," Di Lallo said.

The 'T2' production class permits only safety and minimum modification to the vehicles, whereas the 'T1' full-specification competition car is heavily modified and often has little similarity to the one on the showroom floor except for the body shape.

The Isuzu mu-X is built from a showroom-spec 4x4 model and retains its standard three-litre turbo-diesel engine but has been tuned to maximum capacity to produce close to 180kW of power and 600Nm of torque (up from 130kW / 380Nm).

The high-torque diesel engine handles desert and tough road conditions with better fuel economy than its petrol counterparts, which means less fuel to travel the same distance reducing the car’s overall weight.

"We'll be putting the car, and ourselves, through the paces, and treating the terrain with a great deal of respect," Di Lallo said.

This year's China Silk Road Rally has attracted an impressive list of local drivers and riders, with several leading international teams set to challenge the largest event of its kind ever to cross the Land of the Dragon.

Famous veteran participating this event includes frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel and his long-time co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret top the entry list. Often referred to as 'Mister Dakar' or 'Peter', Peterhansel is the most successful cross-country rally driver/enduro rider of all time. The 50-year-old has won the Dakar Rally – the world's most famous long-distance endurance race – on no less than 10 occasions.

The event is organised by the China Silk Road Rally Auto Sports Management Company Limited, in association with CCTV Sports and Entertainment Company Ltd. and the Beijing Motorsports Development Company, with the full cooperation of the Federation of Automobile Sports of China (FASC) and the support of the sporting bureaux of several Chinese regions.

Scrutineering and administration will be centred inside the park of the Legend of the Tang Empire in Xi'an on August 26 and August 27 and the facility will be used until the start of the opening 102.30km selective section on August 30.

Overnight halts will then be located at Golden Sands Island in Zhongwei on August 30 and at Swan Lake in the prefecture of Alxa Zuoqi Left Banner between August 31 and September 1. The bivouac then moves on to the Populus Euphatica forest in Ejina on September 2 and a horse racing course in the prefecture of Alxa Zuoqi Right Banner on September 3-5.

The Marco Polo bivouac will host teams and officials in Zhangwe on September 6-7 and the rally visits the Xuanbi Great Wall in Jiayuguan on September 8, before moving to the ancient town of Dunhuang on September 9 until the finish of the final selective section on September 11. The prize giving ceremony will take place in the Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel later that evening.

Quick fact about Xi'an

Population: 4.482 million (2000)
Province: Shaanxi
Area: 9,983 km²

Xi'an is a large city and capital of Shaanxi Province in central China. Once known as Chang'an (Eternal Peace), it marks the Silk Road’s eastern end and was home to the Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang dynasties' ruling houses. In Xi'an's surrounding plains are the famed Bingmayong (Terracotta Warriors), thousands of life-size, hand-moulded figures buried with China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.

30 August 2015 : Off to a good start

The third edition of the China Silk Road Rally is underway. Sixty-five cars and trucks and 16 motorcycles left the Xi’an bivouac very early this morning with a police escort to minimise the risk of traffic delays.

After a long liaison section of 565.30km from Xi’an to the start of the stage in Taoshan, competitors eased into the event with a reasonably straightforward special stage of 102.30km, much of it on dusty tracks.

In a T2 production class Isuzu mu-X carrying race number 173, Isuzu Motorsports driver Adrian Di Lallo said if today was a sign of things to come, the China Silk Road Rally was shaping up to be an awesome event.

"The mu-X performed perfectly today and Harry (Suzuki) and I enjoyed ourselves," the 41-year-old said.

"Besides one small navigational issue that cost us about five minutes, and being stuck in dust for about 30 kilometres, it was a great first day."

"The stage resembled a mini Dakar stage and I'm looking forward to another great day tomorrow," Di Lallo said.

Chinese driver Han Wei edged into a slender early lead after the opening special stage of between Xi’an and Zhongwei.

Despite a flat tyre, the Haval driver and navigator Pan Hong Yu benefited from warm, dry and dusty conditions to post the target time of 1hr 23min 22sec. They held a slender lead of just 10 seconds over the French duo of Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret in the first of the two factory Peugeot 2008 DKRs.

Isuzu Motorsports finished the day in provisional 16th place outright.

"I'm happy with that result – imagine if we didn't lose five minutes!" Di Lallo said.

The second liaison section of 29.60km brought teams to the overnight bivouac at Tengeli Lake in the inland Chinese city of Zhongwei, a level city of over 1.1 million people in west-central Ningxia Province.

2015 China Silk Road Rally – positions after SS1:

1. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval Great Wall

1hr 23min 22sec

2. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

1hr 23min 32sec

3. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

1hr 25min 04sec

4. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval Great Wall

1hr 26min 58sec

5. Liu Yan Gui (CHN)/Sha He (CHN) Mitsubishi L200

1hr 28min 21sec

16. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS) / Harry Suzuki (AUS) Isuzu mu-X

1hr 42min 36sec

Tomorrow (Monday), the second leg begins from Zhongwei with a liaison section of just 21.15km to the start of a short special stage of 62.92km. With organisers stating that an average speed is about 25km/h, the technical stage might be short but is likely to challenge competitors. A second liaison of 225.65km guides teams into the overnight halt at Swan Lake in the city of Alxa Zuoqi Left Banner in Inner Mongolia.

31 August 2015 : Short but extremely tough

Stage 2: Zhongwei – Alxa Zuoqi Left Banner, Inner Mongolia, total distance 309.72km Liaison, 21.15km; stage 62.92km; liaison, 225.65km.

Day two of the China Silk Road threw up challenges for competitors. The short 62.92km stage was very technical and included a series of tricky dunes and sandy terrain.

Eleven-time Dakar champion Stéphane Peterhansel, posted the day’s fastest stage time.

Isuzu Motorsports team in the T2 mu-X car number 173, Adrian Di Lallo and Harry Suzuki, found today’s stage challenging and lost over three hours.

"Those dunes were really gnarly and really difficult to read," Di Lallo said.

"We lost quite a bit of time as a result of issues with the GPS and our tyres today – a couple of times the tyre rolled off the wheel rim due to the low pressures we had to run on the sand."

"The GPS sentinel which allows us to inform other competitors that we want to pass, and tells us when a car is stopped on course isn’t working as it should – we nearly ran into other competitor today who was behind a dune and as a result of avoiding him, we got stuck for over an hour."

"Besides that, the car performed faultlessly and is in great shape. Today was our ‘bad day’ – that’s out of the way now. We’re ready to fight back tomorrow."

They currently sit in 46th position after finishing the day's stage in 5hr 15min 22secs.

Competitors stay overnight at the bivouac at Swan Lake in Alxa Zuoqi Left Banner, Inner Mongolia.

Tomorrow (Tuesday), competitors tackle a loop stage through Inner Mongolia. The selective section begins just over a kilometre from the bivouac and runs for 152.62km, before a short liaison section of 4.31km brings teams back to Alxa Zuoqi.

Quick Facts about Alxa Zuoqi Left Banner

Population: 143,089 (2013)
Area: 80,412 km²

Alxa Left Banner (a Banner is an administrative division) has an average elevation between 800 to 1500 meters above sea level and a large part of the Banner is desert. The banner is subdivided into four subdistricts, 9 towns, and 6 sumus (smaller administrative divisions). Ethnic Mongols make up 27 per cent of the banner population.

UNOFFICIAL Results

2015 China Silk Road Rally – positions on SS2 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR:

1hr 19min 09sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR:

1hr 20min 01sec

3. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval:

1hr 20min 51sec

4. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao (CHN) Mitsubishi Pajero MPR11:

1hr 21min 22sec

5. Liu Yan Gui (CHN)/Sha He (CHN) Mitsubishi L200:

1hr 24min 53sec

46. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu mu-X:

5hr 15min 22sec

2015 China Silk Road Rally – overall positions after SS2 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR:

2hr 42min 41sec

2. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval:

2hr 44min 16sec

3. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR:

2hr 45min 05sec

4. Liu Yan Gui (CHN)/Sha He (CHN) Mitsubishi L200:

2hr 53min 14sec

5. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval:

2hr 55min 48sec

46. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu mu-X:

TBC

1 September 2015 : Third stage cancelled

THIRD CHINA SILK ROAD RALLY LOOP STAGE
CANCELLED ON SAFETY CONCERNS

Race officials have been forced to cancel Tuesday’s third stage of the China Silk Road Rally on safety concerns. Communications issues meant that the team had no option other than to nullify the loop stage around the Swan Lake bivouac near Alxa Zouqi in Inner Mongolia.

"We have encountered communication problems and that means there is no communications link between race control and marshals, so we were left with no option other than to cancel the stage," said clerk of the course Hubert Auriol.

Adrian Di Lallo expressed his disappointment on the cancellation.

"Obviously we’re disappointed not to be racing today, however, safety always has to come first, no question. We’re looking forward to the rest of the event."

Tomorrow (Wednesday), the route heads from Alxa Zuoqi to the city of Ejina Qi and runs for 720.47km. A liaison of 121.91km takes competitors to the start of a fourth selective section and a second liaison guides the field into the overnight halt.

The stage has been shortened from 203.75km to 159km to conserve an area of vegetation and the second liaison section modified accordingly.

Ejina Qi is situated in the former northwest of the province of Gansu and has been a banner of the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia since 1956. It runs under the administration of the Alxa League.

2 September 2015 : Making ground in China Silk Road Rally

Stage 4, Wednesday 2 September: Alxa Zuoqi – Ejina Qi, 720.47km Liaison, 121.91km; stage 159.00km; liaison, 439.56km.

Isuzu Motorsports made up some good ground on stage 4 as they finished the 159km stage of the China Silk Road Rally that traversed through the desolate wastelands of Inner Mongolia between Alxa Zouqi and Ejina Qi, on Wednesday.

In a ‘T2’ mu-X car number 173, Adrian Di Lallo and Harry Suzuki’s results reflected their enjoyment in the car racing, clocking the fastest T2 stage time of 2hr 22min 22secs.

“We had a great day, passing many cars on stage,” Di Lallo said.

“The stage went from flowing to rough and heavy, sand in patches. The car felt right at home on these tracks – they are reminiscent of tracks we have in central Australia.”

Co-driver Harry Suzuki said that the mu-X felt good and was suited to the stage.

They finished the day’s stage in 29th position and sit in 45th position outright after a receiving a time penalty on stage 2 for not finishing with in the allowed time. However, the time penalty is under review by the stewards as the reason for the result is the malfunction of the GPS equipment given by the rally organizer.

The French duo of Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean Paul Cottret extended their overall lead to nearly nine minutes.

The Peugeot 2008 DKR driver clocked a time of 1hr 48min 52sec on the tricky special stage and, as teams headed towards the overnight bivouac in the Populus Euphatica forest in Ejina Qi, the 11-time Dakar champion had managed to pull away from the two factory Havals of Christian Lavieille and Han Wei and Peugeot team-mate Cyril Despres.

A traditional folk show was put on by local authorities in Ejina Qi on Wednesday evening to welcome competitors and officials to the bivouac.

Di Lallo said that it had been raining steadily overnight and was expecting interesting and challenging conditions on stage 5.

Today (Thursday), the route of the 2015 China Silk Way Rally heads out of Ejina Qi and across Inner Mongolia and the Badain Jaran Desert to an overnight halt at Alxa Right Banner.

A liaison of 198.60km takes teams to the start of a 271.73km selective section and another link of 304.10km brings crews to the overnight halt at a horse racing course in the prefecture of Alxa Right Banner.

UNOFFICIAL Results

2015 China Silk Road Rally – positions on SS4 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

1hr 48min 52sec

2. Zu Guanghai (CHN)/Chen Ginghai (CHN) Buggy

1hr 52min 01sec

3. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

1hr 54min 16sec

4. Fan Tingjun (CHN)/Lui Bo (CHN) Xiongfeng Buggy

1hr 55min 59sec

5. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao (CHN) Mitsubishi Pajero MPR11

1hr 56min 05sec

29. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu mu-X:

2hr 22min 22sec

2015 China Silk Road Rally – overall positions after SS4 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

4hr 31min 33sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

4hr 42min 15sec

3. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

4hr 42min 33sec

4. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

4hr 50min 04sec

5. Liu Yan Gui (CHN)/Sha He (CHN) Mitsubishi L200

4hr 54min 37sec

45. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu mu-X

pending steward’s review

3 September 2015 : Good run continues

Stage 5, Thursday 3 September: 774.43km
Liaison, 198.60km; stage 271.73km; liaison, 304.10km

Isuzu Motorsports’ good run continued on the demanding fifth selective section of the China Silk Road Rally between Ejina Qi and Alxa Youqi Right Banner in Inner Mongolia.

Driver Adrian Di Lallo and co-driver Harry Suzuki in their Isuzu mu-X ‘T2’ class car finished the stage in 20th position outright with a time of 3hr 52min 05sec.

“Today was super. The stage was very long and challenging with a lot of mud and heavy sand with rolling dunes and flat out salt flats, similar to some stages in the north west of Australia and parts of Argentina,” Di Lallo said.

“Both the car and crew love these endurance type stages – bring on more we say! The mu-X didn’t miss a beat.”

“The car collected a fair bit of mud on the stage, so we’re going to aim for every puddle during our 300-kilometre drive to the bivouac, you know, to help out the service crew with the clean up.”

The team is in 43rd position outright after a receiving a time penalty on stage 2, however that penalty is still under review by the stewards.

The special stage started in the desert village of Wentugaole and finished at Alateng Aobao. The stage finish location achieved notoriety in November 2011 when it entered the Guinness World Records’ list for hosting the largest-ever camel race with 555 entries. This has since been beaten by a larger race, held in northwest China.

Team Peugeot Total hammered home its advantage with the French duo of Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret claiming their third successive stage win in a time of 2hr 49min 42sec in slippery and wet conditions.

Their fellow crew of Cyril Despres and David Castera finished 5min 23sec behind. The result also means that five-time Dakar winner, Despres, was able to pull clear of Han Wei and strengthen his hold on second place in the overall standings.

“It was a very nice track, quite fast, but it was slippery because we had some rain from the start to the finish,” said Peterhansel. “The last 40km were very twisty on a big sandy track. It was fun.”

Tomorrow (Friday), the event remains at the bivouac in Alxa Youqi, while competitors tackle a loop stage through Inner Mongolia.

A run out of 221.35km to the start in Menggen Bulage will be followed by a selective section of 201.79km and a 76.55km link guides teams back to the overnight halt.

UNOFFICIAL Results

2015 China Silk Road Rally – positions on SS5 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

2hr 49min 42sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

2hr 55min 05sec

3. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

3hr 01min 36sec

4. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

3hr 02min 38sec

5. Wei Hong Jin (CHN)/Guo Jun (CHN) Xiongfeng Buggy

3hr 02min 42sec

20. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu MU-X:

3hr 52min 05sec

2015 China Silk Road Rally – overall positions after SS5 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

7hr 21min 15sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

7hr 37min 10sec

3. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

7hr 44min 09sec

4. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

7hr 52min 42sec

5. Liu Yan Gui (CHN)/Sha He (CHN) Mitsubishi L200

8hr 15min 01sec

43. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu MU-X

pending steward’s review

4 September 2015 : Clean run on Dakar-style stage

Stage 6, Friday 4 September: Alxa Yuoqi – Alxa Youqi, 499.69km
Liaison, 221.35km; stage 201.79km; liaison, 76.55km.

Another clean run for Isuzu Motorsports on today’s 201.79km ‘Dakar-style’ demanding desert stage, which started at the outpost of Menggen Bulage and finished at a desert museum in the outermost reaches of Inner Mongolia.

Driver Adrian Di Lalloand co-driver Harry Suzuki in their Isuzu mu-X ‘T2’ class car, number 173, finished the stage in 27th position outright with a time of 3hr 34min 13sec.

“The stage started in fast flowing heavy sand hills, much like the terrain found inland from the Western Australian Midwest coast, then it ran across the top of a rocky mountain range that was very much like the Andes before finishing off with a nice dune crossing,” Di Lallo, the 41-year-old driver said.

“The challenges we faced today included sheer drop offs in the dune field, which have left the T2 mu-X in need of some minor cosmetic surgery on both bumpers.

“All in all, we had a most enjoyable day with a good, clean run on a "Dakar style" stage. We're ready for more tomorrow.”

The team is in position 41 outright after a receiving a time penalty on stage 2, however that penalty is still under review by the stewards.

Meanwhile, Team Peugeot Total’s Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret continued to pull away from their rivals.

The Peugeot 2008 DKR driver carded a time of 2hr 29min 49sec for the 210.79km SS6.

Peterhansel’s time was 3min 03sec quicker than the stage set by Peugeot colleague Cyril Despres and his navigator David Castera and it meant that the 11-time Dakar champion returned to the bivouac in Alxa Yuoqi with an unofficial overall lead of 19min 08secs.

Tomorrow (Saturday), competitors tackle a second loop stage through the Inner Mongolian desert wastelands and around the bivouac in Alxa Youqi. A short liaison of 30.10m takes teams to the start of the 237.08km special stage in Laohuanjia and a transfer of 124.67km brings the survivors back to the bivouac in Alxa Youqi for a third night.

UNOFFICIAL Results

2015 China Silk Road Rally – positions on SS6 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

2hr 29min 49sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

2hr 32min 52sec

3. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

2hr 34min 32sec

4. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

2hr 36min 02sec

5. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao (CHN) Mitsubishi Pajero MPR11

2hr 36min 37sec

6. Liu Yan Gui (CHN)/Sha He (CHN) Mitsubishi Panda L200

2hr 51min 52sec

27. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu MU-X:

3hr 34min 13sec

2015 China Silk Road Rally – overall positions after SS6 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

9hr 51min 04sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

10hr 10min 12sec

3. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

10hr 18min 41sec

4. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

10hr 28min 44sec

5. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao (CHN) Mitsubishi Pajero MPR11

10hr 59min 48sec

43. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu MU-X

pending steward’s review

5 September 2015 : Best day yet

Stage 7, Saturday 5 September: Alxa Yuoqi – Alxa Youqi, 391.85km
Liaison, 30.10km; stage 237.08km; liaison, 124.67km.

The demanding tracks of the seventh selection section around Alxa Youqu in Inner Mongolia suited the ‘T2’ Isuzu mu-X, as well as Isuzu Motorsports driver Adrian Di Lallo and co-driver Harry Suzuki

In car number 173, the Australian duo finished the stage in 19th position outright with a time of 3hr 19min 06sec.

“Today was our favourite stage of the China Silk Road Rally so far,” Di Lallo admitted.

“Definitely not a stage for the ill-prepared or faint-hearted. It was a real mixed bag that could have been in Argentina – fast flowing rally roads and long runs up dry rocky riverbeds, dune crossings and even fesh-fesh!

“The mu-X loved every kilometre of the special stage and so did Harry and I. We’ve earned ourselves an ice-cream for no mistakes made in either side of the cockpit and no damage to report.”

Climbing to 38th position outright, Isuzu Motorsports are making good ground. The team received a time penalty on stage 2, which is still under review by race officials.

It was business as usual at the front of the car race, with Team Peugeot Total’s Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cotttet extending their lead over Cyril Despres and David Castera to 22min 03sec with another fastest time. Despres clocked the second quickest time and his hold on second place was strengthened still further when Haval rival Han Wei sustained a flat tyre after 105km and dropped several minutes.

Tomorrow (Sunday), competitors head out of Alxa Youqi and take a 29.56km liaison section to the start of the eighth stage at Shazaohaizi. The day’s special winds its way through remote terrain in the Badain Jaran Desert for 167.35km and finishes at the town of Tiekuang, before a longer liaison of 178.83km takes crews to the overnight bivouac in Zhangye.

Zhangye is a prefecture-level city in the northwest of the Gansu province and is situated on the southern border of Inner Mongolia. The city has also hosted a regular round of the Chinese Rally Championship (CRC) since 2011 and has a purpose-built stadium, which can be used for super special stages with cars competing in pairs.

The China Silk Road Rally concludes on Friday, September 11, 2015 in Dunhuang.

UNOFFICIAL Results

2015 China Silk Road Rally – positions on SS7 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

2hr 30min 56sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

2hr 33min 51sec

3. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

2hr 39min 55sec

4. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao (CHN) Mitsubishi Pajero MPR11

2hr 42min 25sec

5. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

2hr 42min 39sec

27. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu MU-X:

3hr 19min 06sec

2015 China Silk Road Rally – overall positions after SS7 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

12hr 22min 00sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

12hr 44min 03sec

3. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

13hr 01min 20sec

4. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

13hr 08min 39sec

5. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao (CHN) Mitsubishi Pajero MPR11

13hr 42min 13sec

38. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu MU-X

pending steward’s review

6 September 2015 : Hit a bump in the road

Stage 8, Sunday 6 September: Alxa Yuoqi – Zhangye, 375.74km
Liaison, 29.56km; stage 167.35km; liaison 178.83km.

Isuzu Motorsports won the T2 category of the three-day competition held within the China Silk Road Rally on stages five, six and seven called the Alashan Dessert Challenge, and received a trophy in a ceremony on Saturday night held in Axla Youqi.

After the high of winning a minor competition, Isuzu Motorsports has hit a bump in the road of their China Silk Road Rally campaign.

About 35 kilometres into special stage eight, the ‘T2’ Isuzu mu-X number 173 was reduced to two-wheel drive, which made tackling the dune crossing too risky.

Driver Adrian Di Lallo and co-driver Harry Suzuki instead opted to withdraw from the stage and drive the car to the bivouac for repairs.

“We were going really well and pushing hard in a dry river bed when we hit a hidden rock quite hard,” Di Lallo said.

“Initially, we thought everything was miraculously okay until we discovered a few kilometres on, at the start of the dune crossing, that we had in fact damaged a driveline component leaving us with only two-wheel drive. It was too risky to go on, so we took the sensible decision to head to bivouac so the crew has plenty of time to repair it, ready for us to rejoin tomorrow.

“It’s a shame, but that’s racing,” Di Lallo resigned.

Isuzu Motorsports was issued with a 100-hour time penalty as a result of withdrawing from stage eight and sit in 41st position outright. A decision from the stewards regarding the time penalty issued on stage two is yet to be received.

Isuzu Motorsports will rejoin the rally on stage nine.

“It’s a bit of a come-down after the great honour of winning the dessert challenge.”

Stage eight’s 167.35km special started at Shazaohaizi and finished in the town of Tiekuang, before crews made their way, via a liaison of 178.83km, to the Marco Polo bivouac in Zhangye.

Chinese driver Lui Kun snatched an unlikely victory of special stage eight. The Mitsubishi Panda MPR11 pilot carded a time of 2hr 29min 52sec and that propelled him to the top of the day’s leader board, with Haval’s Christian Lavieille clocking the second quickest time to remain in fourth overall.

The two leading Team Peugeot Total 2008 DKRs of Stéphane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres avoided serious trouble on the demanding stage and the third and fourth times ensured that the French duo reached Zhangye in first and second in the overall standings.

Tomorrow (Monday), is a short day by China Silk Road Rally standards. A short liaison of 32.33km will take crews to the Zhangye stadium, where competitors will tackle a 2.01km super special stage that will feature in a live one-hour CCTV broadcast. Teams will then return to the bivouac to prepare for the next desert stage on Tuesday.

The China Silk Road Rally concludes on Friday, September 11, 2015 in Dunhuang.

UNOFFICIAL Results

2015 China Silk Road Rally – positions on SS8 (Cars):

1. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao (CHN) Mitsubishi Panda MPR11

2hr 29min 52sec

2. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

2hr 33min 37sec

3. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

2hr 37min 05sec

4. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

2hr 37min 55sec

5. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

2hr 39min 33sec

Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu MU-X:

dnf

2015 China Silk Road Rally – overall positions after SS8 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

14hr 59min 05sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

15hr 21min 58sec

3. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

15hr 40min 53sec

4. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

15hr 42min 16sec

5. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao (CHN) Mitsubishi Pajero MPR11

16hr 12min 05sec

41. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu MU-X

pending steward’s review

7 September 2015 : Super special stage

Stage 9, Monday 7 September: Zhangye - Zhangye, 66.72km
Liaison 32.33km; stage 2.01km; liaison 32.38km.

All competitors took part in the televised 2.01km super special stage in the Zhangye stadium today.

Today was the shortest day of the 13-day rally and French driver Christian Lavieille, despite the damp conditions, mastered the slippery track better than the rest to pip rally leader Stéphane Peterhansel to the fastest time by just one second. The action was beamed live around China for one hour by CCTV5.

The leading cars were separated by mere seconds and status quo remained at the head of the leader board.

Isuzu Motorsports driver Adrian Di Lallo and co-driver Harry Suzuki entertained the crowd in their mu-X, car number 173.

“The atmosphere at the super special stage was electric, making it fun to be a part of,” Di Lallo said.

“We tried our best to put on a good show for the local crowd, complete with a small off-piste excursion,” said Di Lallo, referring to an incident where they slid wide in the mud.

The team were thankful for the short day today because it gave them extra time to test the car in readiness for tomorrow.

“The boys have done a fantastic job to get the mu-X race-ready for tomorrow. Hitting the rock on the dry river bed yesterday did a bit more damage than we first realised,” Di Lallo said.

Tomorrow (Tuesday), competitors leave Zhangye on a liaison of 54.05km to the start of a 175.89km special stage at Pingshan Lake. The special finishes in Gaotal and a second liaison of 191.10km guides teams to the bivouac at the Xuanbi Great Wall in Jiayuguan.

Jiayuguan City is a prefecture-level city in the northwest of Gansu province and is most noted for the nearby Jiayu Pass, the largest and most intact pass on the western end of the Great Wall of China.

The China Silk Road Rally concludes on Friday, September 11, 2015 in Dunhuang.

UNOFFICIAL Results

2015 China Silk Road Rally – positions on SS9 (Cars):

1. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

1min 16sec

2. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

1min 17sec

3. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao Min (CHN) Mitsubishi Panda MPR11

1min 18sec

4. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

1min 19sec

5. Liu Yan Gui (CHN)/Sha He (CHN) Mitsubishi Panda L200

1min 20sec

46. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu MU-X:

11min 40sec

2015 China Silk Road Rally – overall positions after SS9 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

15hr 00min 22sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

15hr 23min 21sec

3. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

15hr 42min 12sec

4. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

15hr 43min 32sec

5. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao Min (CHN) Mitsubishi Pajero MPR11

16hr 13min 23sec

38. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu MU-X

pending steward’s review

8 September 2015 : One with the lot

Stage 10: Zhangye - Jiayuguan, 421.04km
Liaison 54.05km; stage 175.89km; liaison 191.10km.

Isuzu Motorsports Adrian Di Lallo and co-driver Harry Suzuki reported today’s stage 10 of the China Silk Road Rally between Zhangye and Jiayuguan was challenging for man and machine.

Despite the challenges, Isuzu Motorsports in their mu-X car number 173 finished special stage ten impressively in 17th position outright, and in a display of good sportsmanship by also taking time to stop and assist other competitors.

“Just when we thought we’d seen stages with everything, today was a ‘cop the lot burger’,” Di Lallo said.

“It started out with really slick mud, before a long run up a not-so-dry river bed. We then went back onto a muddy track that was heavily broken away. The stage ended with a small dune crossing and a fast sandy track through breakaway country.

“It was a great stage, unlike anywhere else. It was tough on both humans and the car, but of course we’re fine and the mighty mu-X did more than her fair share – we snatched out a Hilux on the stage and then towed a fancy European T1 car 150km to the bivouac.”

Isuzu Motorsports, who sit in 36th overall, found time to play the ‘Good Samaritan’ role and helped to extricate Leonidas Marmolejo’s 4WD Jaton Racing Team Toyota Hilux [car 171] from a tricky spot on the stage and then towed Jan Mooij’s stricken McRae Evolution [car 172] to the bivouac.

The day’s start was delayed by one hour, while race officials used a helicopter to check that dry river beds would not be a problem after incessant overnight rainfall. The stage eventually started as planned from Pingshan Lake and finished in Gaotal, before crews to the bivouac near the Xuanbi Great Wall in Jiayuguan.

Clerk of Course Hubert Auriol said that as well as the risk with the river beds, the problem was that the first 48km was on a dirt track designed for the WRC and very slippery when wet.

The weather hasn’t dampened the Isuzu Motorsports team.

“It has been raining non stop and it’s freezing so we’ve taken to sleeping in a shipping container in the bivouac to stay warm and dry – that’s rally raid for you, it’s all good fun,” quipped Di Lallo.

Meanwhile, the crew were able to take in the Great Wall of China and sample local specialities on-route to the bivouac.

At the front of the pack, Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel pipped Chinese driver Han Wei to the stage victory by just 19 seconds.

The Peugeot 2008 DKR driver, partnered by Jean-Paul Cottret, clocked a time of 1hr 57min 40sec and that also enabled him to extend his outright lead over fellow Team Peugeot Total driver Cyril Despres by just under five minutes. Despres and navigator David Castera finished the stage in fourth after losing time through navigational errors.

Dunhuang is a county-level city in the northwest of Gansu Province and was a major stop-off point on the ancient Silk Road. It is situated in a rich oasis containing Crescent Lake and Mingsha Shan mountain.

The China Silk Road Rally concludes on Friday, September 11, 2015 in Dunhuang.

UNOFFICIAL Results

2015 China Silk Road Rally – positions on SS10 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

1hr 57min 40sec

2. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

1hr 57min 59sec

3. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao Min (CHN) Mitsubishi Panda MPR11

1hr 59min 35sec

4. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

2hr 02min 35sec

5. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

2hr 03min 46sec

17. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu MU-X:

2hr 31min 24sec

2015 China Silk Road Rally – overall positions after SS10 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

16hr 58min 02sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

17hr 25min 56sec

3. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

17hr 40min 11sec

4. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

17hr 47min 18sec

5. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao Min (CHN) Mitsubishi Pajero MPR11

18hr 12min 58sec

37. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu MU-X
100hr time penalty received on SS2 (appeal pending) and SS8

217hr 39min 26sec

9 September 2015 : The best result yet

Stage 11: Jiayuguan - Dunhuang, 574.12km
Liaison 82.61km; stage 244.10km; liaison 247.41km.

In an impressive performance today, Isuzu Motorsports in their ‘T2’ Isuzu mu-X, car number 173, finished special stage 11 of the China Silk Road Rally between Jiayuguan and Dunhuang in 14th position outright.

The 244.10km special started in cool and overcast conditions at Shazaouyuan and finished near the ancient Silk Road city of Qiaowan.

In the fastest ‘T2’ production car of the day, Isuzu Motorsports driver Adrian Di Lallo and co-driver Harry Suzuki were pleased with their performance.

“The mu-X loved the first section of the stage, we were doing great speeds and passed several cars,” Di Lallo said.

“The road then changed to a rough canyon track so we eased back to preserve the car, which we did successfully, and then we pushed at high speed along the next section of river bed. The stage finished with rough and rutted sandy track then finally winding through another canyon.

“We got caught in dust from a slower car in front of us and lost a few minutes, but overall, the men and the machine did well today.”

Isuzu Motorsports sit in 36th position overall.

Meanwhile, Team Peugeot Total’s Cyril Despres and David Castera claimed their first victory on the China Silk Road Rally, when the duo guided their Peugeot 2008 DKR to claim today’s fastest time.

Five-time Dakar winner Despres has been largely in the shadow of Peugeot team-mate and rally leader Stéphane Peterhansel on this event, but the former KTM factory rider came good when it mattered and snatched victory on the fast and dusty stage from Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret by just 30 seconds, after the rally leaders sustained a flat tyre.

Tomorrow (Thursday), competitors tackle the penultimate stage of the China Silk Road Rally – a loop stage around Dunhuang. After a liaison of 142.41km, a selective section of 161.75km starts at Suo Yang Cheng and finishes in Hanxia. A link section of 66.35km then takes competitors back to the bivouac.

The China Silk Road Rally concludes on Friday, September 11, 2015 in Dunhuang.

UNOFFICIAL Results

2015 China Silk Road Rally – positions on SS11 (Cars):

1. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

2hr 31min 13sec

2. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

2hr 31min 43sec

3. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao Min (CHN) Mitsubishi Panda MPR11

2hr 32min 41sec

4. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

2hr 33min 21sec

5. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

2hr 36min 49sec

14. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu mu-X:

3hr 02min 27sec

2015 China Silk Road Rally – overall positions after SS11 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

19hr 29min 45sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

19hr 57min 09sec

3. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

20hr 13min 32sec

4. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

20hr 23min 57sec

5. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao Min (CHN) Mitsubishi Pajero MPR11

20hr 45min 39sec

36. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu mu-X
100hr time penalty received on SS2 (appeal pending) and SS8

220hr 41min 53sec

10 September 2015 : And it keeps getting better for Isuzu Motorsports

Stage 12: Dunhuang - Dunhuang, 370.51km
Liaison 142.41km; stage 161.75km; liaison 66.35km.

In an another impressive performance today, Isuzu Motorsports in their ‘T2’ Isuzu mu-X, car number 173, finished special stage 12 of the China Silk Road Rally in 12th position outright.

Isuzu Motorsports has been the fastest ‘T2’ production car in seven of 11 stages run (stage 3 was cancelled) in the China Silk Road Rally thus far.

The penultimate 161.75km selective section started at Suo Yang Cheng and finished in Hanxia, before teams returned to the Dunhuang bivouac via a liaison of 66.35km.

Driver Adrian Di Lallo said that he and co-driver Harry Suzuki were flying on today’s super fast stage.

“We were flying – literally. There were many un-noted gutters appearing out of nowhere, one of which caused us to fly through the air in a nose-scraping moment. The mu-X was unscathed but we reckon it would’ve made the highlights reel for ‘cars that fly’ for sure,” said Di Lallo.

“The stage was a real car buster, so we eased back where we needed to, and passed several cars as we got the opportunity.

“The stage started off in fast flowing hard-packed track, then it got really gnarly and rutted through river beds for another 50 kilometres before opening up into high speed sand tracks on a run up to a mountain range. The last section was a nice run along a canyon wall followed by a winding river bed run on the canyon floor.”

Isuzu Motorsports moves up two places to sit in 34th position overall.

Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel won the 12th special stage and is are now just one day away from claiming outright victoriy.

Peterhansel and navigator Jean-Paul Cottret secured their seventh stage win of the campaign in the Team Peugeot Total 2008 DKR and take a lead of 33min 14sec over team-mates, Cyril Despres and David Castera, into the final stage on Friday. Despres was first on the road after Wednesday’s stage win but lost time with a flat tyre.

Tomorrow (Friday), is the final day of the 2015 China Silk Road Rally and features a short loop around Dunhuang, before the ceremonial finish and prize giving.

A liaison of 7.88km takes competitors to the start of the 13th 222.42km selective section at Dang He. The competitive action again finishes at Hanxia and a liaison of 66.35km returns the finishers to Dunhuang.

The China Silk Road Rally concludes on Friday, September 11, 2015 in Dunhuang.

UNOFFICIAL Results

2015 China Silk Road Rally – positions on SS12 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

1hr 31min 34sec

2. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao Min (CHN) Mitsubishi Panda MPR11

1hr 35min 49sec

3. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

1hr 35min 56sec

4. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

1hr 37min 44sec

5. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

1hr 38min 43sec

12. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu mu-X:

1hr 53min 31sec

2015 China Silk Road Rally – overall positions after SS12 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

21hr 01min 39sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

21hr 34min 53sec

3. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

21hr 52min 15sec

4. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

21hr 58min 53sec

5. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao Min (CHN) Mitsubishi Pajero MPR11

22hr 21min 28sec

34. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu mu-X
100hr time penalty received on SS2 (appeal pending) and SS8

222hr 35min 24sec

11 September 2015 : Grand finale

Stage 13: Dunhuang - Dunhuang, 296.65km
Liaison 7.88km; stage 222.42km; liaison 66.35km.

Today’s T2 stage wins brings the total to eight from a possible 12 for the Isuzu Motorsports team. In their ‘T2’ Isuzu mu-X, car number 173, they finished the final stage of the China Silk Road Rally in 17th position outright, finishing the event in 34th position outright.

Driver Adrian Di Lallo said that today’s final stage was nothing short of a challenge

“We started with 80 kilometres of sand and dunes which we were able to tackle with ease. It then transitioned through some extremely rough wash away country then into a long dry river bed which is where we were able to pass a few cars,” Di Lallo said.

“The final sector of the stage was a rough and rutted high speed sand track and that’s where the mu-X came into its own, and where we passed a few more T1 competitors.

“The stage finished off with a run up the same canyon floor as yesterday.

“To sum up, we have enjoyed competing in the China Silk Road Rally. We are obviously disappointed with the result but we came away with a wealth of knowledge both on the capabilities of the car, the life of critical parts and the importance of a cohesive team.

“Although we didn’t come away with the win we were chasing, we have come away winners in many other ways. We proved that the mu-X is a most capable T2 competitor at the highest level and we feel confident in being able to produce results in the future. Amen!”

Co-driver Harry Suzuki said he was pleased with the overall performance. “We’ve proven that the car is good and we have a good team, yes, I’m happy.”

Team Peugeot Total confirmed a superb one-two finish in the car category of the China Silk Road Rally with the quickest two times on the 13th and final Dunhuang loop stage on Friday.

Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret finished 31min 27sec in front of their fellow French pairing of Cyril Despres and David Castera to give the evolution version of the 2008 DKR a first outright victory. The success was an excellent confidence boost for the team as it prepares for a second Dakar Rally with the 2008 DKR in January 2016.

The event was organised by the China Silk Road Rally Auto Sports Management Company Limited, in association with CCTV Sports and Entertainment Company Ltd. and the Beijing Motorsports Development Company, with the full cooperation of the Federation of Automobile Sports of China (FASC) and the support of the sporting bureaux of several Chinese regions.

UNOFFICIAL Results

2015 China Silk Road Rally – positions on SS13 (Cars):

1. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

2hr 06min 45sec

2. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

2hr 06min 52sec

3. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

2hr 08min 32sec

4. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

2hr 09min 10sec

5. Wei Hong Jie (CHN)/Guo Jun (CHN) Xiongfeng Buggy

2hr 12min 10sec

17. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/ Harry Suzuki (AUS), Isuzu mu-X:

2hr 44min 35sec

2015 China Silk Road Rally – overall positions after SS13 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

23hr 10min 11sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

23hr 41min 38sec

3. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

24hr 01min 25sec

4. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

24hr 06min 45sec

5. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao Min (CHN) Mitsubishi Pajero MPR11

25hr 05min 45sec

34. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/Harry Suzuki (AUS) Isuzu mu-X
100hr time penalty received on SS2 (appeal withdrawn) and SS8

225hr 19min 59sec

WINNERS OF INTERNATIONAL MANUFACTURERS AWARD AT CHALLENGING 13-DAY CHINA SILK ROAD RALLY 2015

13-days: Xi’an – Dunhuang, China
30 August – 11 September 2015
Liaison 3,428km; Competitive 2,189km; Total distance 5,617km

In an Isuzu mu-X ‘T2’ production class car sporting race number 173, Australian driver Adrian Di Lallo and co-driver Harry Suzuki covered 5,617 kilometres through China’s most remote and spectacular terrain in the gruelling 13-day ‘Dakar-style’ off-road endurance race, the China Silk Road Rally.

The event began with a ceremonial start in Xi’an, China on August 30, 2015 with 65 cars at the starting line, and concluded in the ancient city of Dunhuang on September 11, 2015.

After a fortnight of tough off-road racing in conditions ranging from high humid temperatures to freezing cold and torrential rain, Isuzu Motorsports has earned the coveted International Manufacturers Award at the China Silk Road Rally.

Driver Adrian Di Lallo said that the award was a testament to both the professionalism of the team and the durability of the car.

“We are very honoured to be named winners of the International Manufactures Award, and to be honest, it was quite a surprise considering we had a couple of issues,” Di Lallo said.

The team lost time in stage 2 after an issue with the event-fitted GPS, and withdrew from stage 8 after hitting a rock and damaging a drive component.

Isuzu Motorsports won eight of 12 stages run at the China Silk Road Rally in the ‘T2’ category and finished in overall 34th position outright. Stage 3 was cancelled on the grounds of safety concerns.

“At the end of a good day’s racing, there’s no better feeling knowing you’ve given it your all behind the wheel of a car that’s performed well,” Di Lallo said.

“We attacked this event smartly – we pushed, and pushed hard, when we could. And when conditions dictated, we backed off. Preservation of the car to cross the final day’s finish line was our goal, and I’m proud that we achieved that.

“We were chasing an overall class win, and although we didn’t come away with that, we are thrilled with the International Manufactures Award win – a great trophy for our cabinet.

“We have come away with a wealth of knowledge both on the capabilities of the car, the life of critical parts and the importance of a cohesive team.

“The team worked really well together, despite our different cultural backgrounds. Together, we’ve proved that the mu-X is a most capable T2 competitor at the highest level and we feel confident in being able to produce results in the future.

“To sum up, we have enjoyed competing in the China Silk Road Rally and look forward to next year.”

Co-driver Harry Suzuki said he was pleased with the overall performance. “We’ve proven that the car is good and we have a good team, yes, I’m happy.”

The event was organised by the China Silk Road Rally Auto Sports Management Company Limited, in association with CCTV Sports and Entertainment Company Ltd. and the Beijing Motorsports Development Company, with the full cooperation of the Federation of Automobile Sports of China (FASC) and the support of the sporting bureaux of several Chinese regions.

UNOFFICIAL Results

2015 China Silk Road Rally – overall positions after SS13 (Cars):

1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

23hr 10min 11sec

2. Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

23hr 41min 38sec

3. Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

24hr 01min 25sec

4. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

24hr 06min 45sec

5. Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao Min (CHN) Mitsubishi Pajero MPR11

25hr 05min 45sec

34. Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/Harry Suzuki (AUS) Isuzu mu-X
100hr time penalty received on SS2 (appeal withdrawn) and SS8

225hr 19min 59sec

Stage winners (Cars)

SS1

Han Wei (CHN)/Pan Hong Yu (CHN) Haval

SS2

Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

SS3

Cancelled

SS4

Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

SS5

Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

SS6

Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

SS7

Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

SS8

Lui Kun (CHN)/Liao (CHN) Mitsubishi Pajero MPR11

SS9

Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Haval

SS10

Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

SS11

Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

SS12

Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

SS13

Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA) Peugeot 2008 DKR

Stage winners (T2 class cars)

SS1

Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/Harry Suzuki (AUS) Isuzu mu-X

SS2

Francios Marcheiz (FRA)/Thierry Pacquelet (FRA), Peugeot Total team, Toyota Landcruiser

SS3

Cancelled

SS4

Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/Harry Suzuki (AUS) Isuzu mu-X

SS5

Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/Harry Suzuki (AUS) Isuzu mu-X

SS6

Francios Marcheiz (FRA)/Thierry Pacquelet (FRA), Peugeot Total team, Toyota Landcruiser

SS7

Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/Harry Suzuki (AUS) Isuzu mu-X

SS8

Francios Marcheiz (FRA)/Thierry Pacquelet (FRA), Peugeot Total team, Toyota Landcruiser

SS9

Francios Marcheiz (FRA)/Thierry Pacquelet (FRA), Peugeot Total team, Toyota Landcruiser

SS10

Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/Harry Suzuki (AUS) Isuzu mu-X

SS11

Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/Harry Suzuki (AUS) Isuzu mu-X

SS12

Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/Harry Suzuki (AUS) Isuzu mu-X

SS13

Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/Harry Suzuki (AUS) Isuzu mu-X

Performance summary of Isuzu Motorsports
Adrian Di Lallo (AUS)/Harry Suzuki (AUS) ‘T2’ class Isuzu mu-X:

SS1

Stage win, 16th outright

SS2

46th outright, issues with event-fitted GPS

SS3

Cancelled

SS4

Stage win, 29th outright

SS5

Stage win, 20th outright

SS6

27th outright

SS7

Stage win, 19th outright

SS8

Withdrew (hit a rock and damaged a drive component)

SS9

Super Special Stage, 46th outright

SS10

Stage win, 17th outright

SS11

Stage win, 14th outright

SS12

Stage win, 12th outright

SS13

Stage win, 17th outright