Official Release: The MINI JCW Rally team of Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and Bryce Menzies have completed the first 726.95km stage of the 2017 Silk Way Rally, including a 61.43km special section , in exactly the same time today.

The official ranking shows Al Rajhi in 4th position at the finish line with new co-pilot Tom Colsoul in the #101 MINI John Cooper Works Rally. While fellow MINI competitors, Bryce Menzies (USA) and Peter Mortensen (USA) in the #105 MINI John Cooper Works Rally, are ranked 5th despite having completed the stage in exactly the same time as Al Rajhi.

Both drivers completed the first leg of the 15-day challenge in a recorded time of 00:45:40. Al Rajhi and Colsoul started the day strong in 2nd position but lost some time during the highly technical middle section of today’s leg. However, he regained the advantage by taking the lead in the final special stage of the day to complete the leg in 4th place.

Menzies and Mortensen put in a more consistent performance across all stages on their return to long distance rally driving, maintaining 4th place throughout the majority of the day before slipping to 5th during the final stages.

Both drivers are encouraged by the results and have successfully used the opening leg to perfect the final set-up of the MINI John Cooper Works Rally.

Colsoul: “As expected, it was not the easiest stage ever; the stage was difficult with a lot of mud, the road book was difficult, the roads were not easy to see and this was the first time that me and Yazeed have ever driven together. It was not an easy task and me and Yazeed both made some mistakes but we did quite well and can be happy with the result. We are looking forward now and focusing on trying to drive and navigate without mistakes in the next stages because the challenge of the Silk Way Rally is not going to get easier.”

Menzies: “Today’s stage was very slippery, wet grass fields so we went off track a little bit but all in all everything felt good. The car was good and we’re really looking forward to tomorrow’s stage.”