El Matador wins Silk Way Rally

Carlos Sainz steers his Volkswagen (AFP Photo / Martin Bernetti)
Spaniard Carlos Sainz has become the winner of the Silk Way Rally in the car standings, while Russian Firdaus Kabirov was the best among the truck drivers.

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev gave the starting orders to the final stage between Turkmenbashi and Achgabat in Turkmenistan.

The Silk Way rally route went through three countries – Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. It took off in Kazan, in the Russian republic of Tatarstan, on September 5.

Two-time world rally champion Carlos Sainz crossed the finish line first. ‘El Matador’ was some 22 minutes faster than his nearest rival, Mark Miller. The race became a triumph for Volkswagen, as all of the three men on the podium were using their cars.

The best of the Russian car drivers – Ruslan Misikov – was third, 4 hours and 44 minutes behind Sainz.

KAMAZ driver Firdaus Kabirov finished more than an hour ahead of second placed Gerard de Rooy from the Netherlands.

The Russian grabbed the lead in the middle of the week after his countryman, and fellow KAMAZ man, Vladimir Chagin lost a wheel and retired from the race.

After the finish, the drivers and teams have filed a request to the organizers, asking them to make the Silky Way Rally an annual event.