Mathieu Serradori and Ross Branch on track to maiden victories in Rally Kazakhstan

Mathieu Serradori and Ross Branch on track to maiden victories in Rally Kazakhstan

12.06.2021: • Husqvarna’s Howes and CR6 Buggy driver Serradori claim wins on stage four • Yazeed Al-Rajhi breaks a drive shaft, gets stuck and loses chance of the win • Stage wins for Cristina Gutierrez and Eugenio Amos in T3 and T4 secti

•        Husqvarna’s Howes and CR6 Buggy driver Serradori claim wins on stage four

•        Yazeed Al-Rajhi breaks a drive shaft, gets stuck and loses chance of the win

•        Stage wins for Cristina Gutierrez and Eugenio Amos in T3 and T4 sections

Frenchman Mathieu Serradori and Botswana’s Ross Branch are firmly on track to record maiden victories in the car and motorcycle categories at Rally Kazakhstan, after the penultimate selective section of 308.80 kilometres that looped through the remote Mangyshlak Peninsula, north-east of Aktau, on Saturday.

With one stage to go before the finish of the second round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies and the first phase of the FIM Cross-Country Rally World Cup, Serradori and French navigator Loic Minaudier now have an overnight lead of 22min 53sec in the car section in their Century CR6 Buggy. Branch heads Austria’s Matthias Walkner by 4min 05sec on two wheels.

“First position today and I am very happy, but it was a fast track and the dunes were extremely difficult,” said Serradori. “I had a good feeling in the car and Loic did a good job.”

Serradori was coming under increasing pressure from Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi over the last two days and the gap was just 22 seconds at the start of the day. The Saudi pushed his Toyota Hilux hard through the opening kilometres, was fastest at the early splits and had taken a virtual overall lead of the rally when he sustained a front-right drive shaft breakage and got stuck in soft sand after the onset of rain on the day’s stage.

While Yazeed and German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz were attempting to dig themselves free, Sebastien Halpern’s MINI came over the dune and collided with them. The Saudi’s problems lifted Overdrive Racing team-mate Lucio Alvarez back into second place, although Al-Rajhi did manage to get going again with the loss of 58 minutes and still holds fourth overall. Halpern lost 40 or so minutes in his own right but was already out of contention for the podium.

“Today was very good and nice to drive, sandy tracks and dunes,” said second-placed Alvarez. “We had good navigation, some little mistakes, but we finish P2. I am happy.”

Despite the wet and tricky conditions and a delay in the dunes late on, Denis Krotov displaced X-raid MINI team-mate Matthias Ekström and moved up to third overall and the Swedish motor sporting all-rounder slipped to fifth after Al-Rajhi’s recovery. Frenchman Ronan Chabot was sixth, but Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal hit trouble and lost his place inside the top 10.

Despite being out of contention for the overall win after his tyre mousse issues, American rider Skyler Howes scaled the top step of the day’s podium again with the fastest time of 3hr 26min 48sec on his Husqvarna.

His success made little difference to the overall leader board, where Branch was fourth quickest and may have done enough to hold on for the outright victory on the final day. He was beaten by Matthias Walkner and Daniel Sanders and takes a lead of 4min 05sec over Walkner into the final morning, the African having the advantage of being able to follow the Austrian through the closing stage.

Walkner said: “It was really fast again. I gave it my all but the pace is so high. It is crazy and 60-70% of the stage it was raining. I tried to make no mistakes. You can see the line quite good so the gaps are not that big.”

Third on the day, Sanders said: “We started off on some fast tracks and we could see some clouds coming over and we had a bit of rain from 30km in to all the way to the finish line. It was hard to see at some times when we were travelling at 140-150 (km/h) and the rain is coming through the goggles. After the refuel, we hit some sand dunes and made some time back after losing some time in the morning.”

Opening the way proved costly for Sam Sunderland and the Briton was seventh on the day, dropped nearly 12 minutes to the leaders, and held fourth in the overall standings behind Adrien van Beveren. All 12 riders completed the leg but Andrew Short survived a small crash that damaged his navigational tower.

Alexsandr Maksimov recovered well from the 90-minute time loss he sustained on the third stage removing wire fencing that had become entangled in his rear wheel and crushed his rivals on the day in the quad category. But the damage had already been done for the Russian and Argentina’s Manuel Andujar will take a lead of 26min 25sec over Poland’s Rafal Sonik into the final day.

Cristina Gutierrez guided her OT3-by-Overdrive to what could be a decisive stage-winning performance to consolidate her lead in the FIA T3 section. The Spaniard and French co-driver François Cazalet hold a comfortable lead of 39min 57sec over Pavel Lebedev, after the Russian hit trouble on the day’s stage and ceded 36 minutes to the OT3 crew. Fernando Alvarez lost third place to fellow Spaniard José-Luis Pena Campo.

In the FIA T4 category, Eugenio Amos earned his third stage win of the campaign and beat Austin Jones by 4min 10sec, but the American has managed his pace to perfection after a superb start to the rally and the Monster Energy Can-Am driver holds a lead of 34 minutes after four stages. Dutchman Kees Koolen retained third in another South Racing-built Can-Am.


The scenic final stage of 267.02km runs along the Caspian shoreline to the north of Aktau City and loops in an anti-clockwise direction around the western tip of the peninsula.

- Neil Perkins, photos Rally Kazakhstan


12.06.2021 / MaP

More News

Hero Motosports Team Rally posts a strong result in stage 3 of Rally Kazakhstan
Franco Caimi achieves a top 5 position  Hero MotoSports Team Rally had a good run at the Rally Kazakhstan today with all three riders posting good results in Stage 3.   Moving past the issues faced yesterday, more >>
South American Extreme E races update
Extreme E, the electric off-road racing series, has confirmed today that it is actively seeking alternate destinations for the final two races in Season 1 due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in South America.Extreme E was due more >>
McLaren Racing to enter Extreme E in 2022
McLaren Racing will open a new motorsport chapter in 2022 when it enters a team into Extreme E, the innovative all-electric off-road series which aims to use racing to promote sustainability and diversity.   The team will compete more >>
Ross Branch Takes Control Of 2021 Rally Kazakhstan
Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team’s Ross Branch has taken the lead of Rally Kazakhstan following another strong ride on stage three of the event.   Bringing his Yamaha WR450F Rally home in third place, Branch moves up to the head of the field w more >>
Rally Kazakhstan cars, bikes and quads standings after stage 3
2021 Rally Kazakhstan Friday, June 11th, 20212021 Rally Kazakhstan – Positions after leg 3 (unofficial @ 15.35hrs):Cars1. Mathieu Serradori (FRA)/Loic Minaudier (FRA) Century CR6 Buggy    &nb more >>
Al-Rajhi closes in on Serradori after marathon stage at Rally Kazakhstan
2021 Rally Kazakhstan Friday, June 11th, 2021   •        KTM’s Sam Sunderland wins bike stage as Branch regains the lead •        Pa more >>
Stage 3 win for Sunderland at Rally Kazakhstan
Rally Kazakhstan 2021 – Stage 3Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Sam Sunderland has taken the win on the long stage three of Rally Kazakhstan. Finishing two minutes ahead of his rivals, the result moves Sunderland up to fourth in the pro more >>
Red-Lined Motorsport - New territory, fresh challenges and all to do in Upington
South African Cross Country Auto Round 3 Upington18-20 June 2021Red-Lined Motorsport in partnership with the Penta Motor Group is all set for the biggest weekend of the South African Cross County year when the series visits Upi more >>
Hero Motosports Team Rally completes stage 2 of Rally Kazakhstan
Hero MotoSports Team Rally riders steadily completed the stage 2 of the Rally Kazakhstan today, despite a tricky terrain, combined with some technical concerns. The challenges prevented the riders from building momentum during the stage.    more >>
Red Bull Desert Wings drive themselves to the top at marathon Rally Kazakhstan
  Clockwise: Matthias Walkner, Cristina Gutiérrez, Mattias Ekström & Daniel Sanders © Edoardo Bauer/Red Bull Content Pool        The Red Bull Desert Wings are putting on an exhibi more >>
Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Posts Strong Results At Rally Kazakhstan Stage Two
The Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team has continued its impressive start to Rally Kazakhstan with Andrew Short fairing best on stage two, placing third overall. Close behind in fourth was Ross Branch with Adrien Van Beveren rounding out the top five. more >>
Overall standings cars, bikes and quads after Rally Kazakhstan stage 2
Rally Kazakhstan Aktau to Kenderly , stage 2Thursday, June 10th  20212021 Rally Kazakhstan – Positions after leg 2 (unofficial @ 15.40hrs):Cars1. Mathieu Serradori (FRA)/Loic Minaudier ( more >>
Serradori and Walkner hold outright leads after day 2 of Rally Kazakhstan
•        Stage wins for Toyota’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Husqvarna’s Skyler Howes •        Austin Jones and Cristina Gutierrez continue to lead FIA T4 and T3 sections  more >>
Matthias Walkner takes overall lead at Rally Kazakhstan
Rally Kazakhstan 2021 Stage 2Thursday, June 10th 2021Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Matthias Walkner has put in another superb performance at the 2021 Rally Kazakhstan to finish as second fastest on stage two, moving himself into the provisional lead of the event. Sam Sunderland also enjoyed a strong showing, placing sixth for sixth overall wi more >>
Hero Motosports Team Rally delivers a steady performance in stage 1 of Rally Kazakhstan
Hero MotoSports Team Rally completed the first stage of the Rally Kazakhstan 2021 with all three of its riders finishing in the top-10. The trio of Joaquim Rodrigues, Franco Caimi and Sebastian Buhler finished in sixth, eighth and tenth positions respectively to hold the more >>
Ross Branch Wins Stage One Of The 2021 Rally Kazakhstan
Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team’s Ross Branch has raced to an impressive victory on stage one of Rally Kazakhstan. Completing a highly successful day for the team, Ross’ teammates Adrien Van Beveren and Andrew Short rounded out the top five, bringing home their Yamaha WR450F Rally bikes in fourth and fifth respectively. more >>
Rally Kazakhstan standings cars, bikes and quads after day 1
2021 Rally Kazakhstan – Positions after leg 1 (unofficial @ 15.40hrs):Cars1. Mathieu Serradori (FRA)/Loic Minaudier (FRA) Century CR6 Buggy              more >>
Serradori and Branch win opening desert section at Rally Kazakhstan
2021 Rally Kazakhstan Wednesday, June 9th, 2021   Frenchman Mathieu Serradori and Botswana’s Ross Branch set the fastest times and led the car and motorcycle categories outright after the first competitive selective sectio more >>
Alejandro Agag named as Autocar's Motorsport Hero
Extreme E Founder and CEO, Alejandro Agag has received Autocar’s Motorsport Hero Award, provided to a person who has made a significant impact on motorsport and, in turn, the wider automotive industry. The Awards themselves recognise and celebrate the most impressive motoring achievements over the past 12 months and the people responsible for driving the industry forward. more >>
Red Bull Desert Wings ready to roar at Rally Kazakhstan
  Clockwise: Cristina Gutiérrez, Sam Sunderland, Mattias Ekström & Daniel Sanders © Kin Marcin/Flavien Duhamel/Sebas Romero/Red Bull Content Pool        more >>
Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Dive Into 2021 FIM Rally Competition
With almost five months having passed since the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team were last in action, the squad returns to competition tomorrow at the Rally Kazakhstan, round one of the 2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. Representing the team in 2021 are three familiar and highly capable racers – Adrien Van Beveren, Andrew Short and Ross Branch – all well-prepared an more >>
KTM and Toby Price sign two-year contract extension
KTM Factory Racing are pleased to announce that Toby Price has signed a two-year contract extension, that will see the popular Australian remain with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team through to the end of the 2023 season.  more >>
Hero Motosports Team Rally kicks off Rally Kazakhstan campaign
Hero MotoSports Team Rally kicked into high gear for the second race of the 2021 season, with Rally Kazakhstan today. Carrying the Team’s flag will be the exciting trio of Joaquim Rodrigues, Sebastian Buhler and Franco Caimi, who delivered a great finish in the Andalucia Rally 2021 just the previous month.   more >>
Ross Branch fastest on opening FIM Super Special stage at Rally Kazakhstan
2021 Rally Kazakhstan Tuesday, June 8th, 2021Botswana’s Ross Branch set the fastest time of 1min 26.6sec on the shortened 2.2km super special stage that will determine the starting order for more >>
International competitors arrive in Aktau to prepare for start of Rally Kazakhstan
International visitors have now arrived in Western Kazakhstan to make their final preparations for the start of the second round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies and the opening phase of the FIM Cross-Country Rally World Cup. The event takes place ove more >>
FIA World Cup battle set to resume at Rally Kazakhstan
•        Gutierrez and Jones lead FIA T3 and T4 categories heading to Kazakhstan  Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah holds a seven-point advantage over Carlos Sainz as several of the leading contenders descend upon the more >>
Extreme E: Continental with positive interim conclusion
•    CrossContact Extreme E impresses in Saudi Arabia•    Tyres for high-performance electric vehicles developed in just one year•    Continental Publishes Exclusive Brief Documentation on PartnershipExtreme acceleration, high torque and speeds – the first sta more >>
Hellas Rally Raid Day 7: Final Stage - with video
The seventh and final day of the Hellas Rally Raid found participants in Drosato where they had to race across 73km of a special stage and 112km in total before they reached the end of this magnificent journey. more >>
Audi with Dream Team at the Dakar Rally
Mattias Ekström, Emil Bergkvist, Lucas Cruz, Carlos Sainz, Stéphane Peterhansel, Edouard Boulanger    Driver teams confirmed for Audi Sport’s Dakar project        Dakar record win more >>
Toyotas and Minis dominate strongest ever entry for Rally Kazakhstan
•        Kazakhstan set to host opening round of FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Cup for first time  The Automotorsport Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan (AMFK) today announced the strongest entry more >>
X-Raid Rally Kazakhstan preview
ABT CUPRA XE misses final in Senegal by just under a second
Racing in Dakar with the Queen of DakarSpectacular motorsport in the dunes of Senegal: At the second appearance of the Extreme E, this time on the West African Atlantic, the ABT CUPRA XE team collected further valuable championship poin more >>
Veloce Racing prove their worth with comeback success in Extreme E series
Redemption day for Veloce Racing: Chadwick and Sarrazin back in business to claim second place at Ocean X PrixIt was a story of redemption for Veloce Racing at the Ocean X Prix (29/30 May) as the sensational pairing of Jamie Chadwick and St&eacu more >>
Two from two for Rosberg X Racing after dramatic conclusion to Ocean X Prix
Rosberg X Racing teammates Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor reigned supreme once more at Extreme E’s second event in Lac Rose, Dakar, Senegal (29/30 May) with the ever-impressive duo overcoming intense pressure from their adversaries to be crowned winners of the first-ever Ocean X prix. more >>
Ocean X-Prix Driver standings after Ocean X Prix in Dakar, Senegal
EXTREME E OCEAN X PRIXDakar, SenegalSunday, May 30th 2021   1 Johan KRISTOFFERSSON 46 10 25 111 Molly TAYLOR 46 10 25 112 Cristina GUTIÉRREZ 42 12 18 122 Sébastien LOEB 42 12 18 123 Catie more >>
Ocean X-Prix Team standings after Ocean X Prix in Dakar, Senegal
EXTREME E OCEAN X PRIXDakar, SenegalSunday, May 30th 20211 Rosberg X Racing 46 10 25 11 *2 X44 42 12 18 12 *3 Andretti United Extreme E 33 9 19 5 *4 ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team 30 11 15 4 *5 XITE EN more >>
breaking -Ocean X-Prix Senegal top 3 race
EXTREME E OCEAN X PRIXDakar, SenegalSunday, May 30th 2021- Extreme E  also photo more >>
Ocean X-Prix Senegal Classification Shoot Out
EXTREME E OCEAN X PRIXDakar, SenegalSunday, May 30th 2021Provisional ClassificationShoot Out (2 Laps, 12,4 km.)1 99 (8) Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing ODYSSEY 21 2 11:17.759 - - 65,70Sara PRICEStart Line to INT 1 IN more >>
Ocean X-Prix Senegal Super Sector Classification after Semi Final 2
EXTREME E OCEAN X PRIXDakar, SenegalSunday, May 30th 20211 99 Kyle LEDUC Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing 1:50.891 4:36.470 Qualifying Round 12 44 Sébastien LOEB X44 1:52.180 1.289 4:40.415 Qualifying Round 13 6 Joha more >>


2001-2021 full copyright