URUMQI, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The 2018 Taklimakan Rally started its third stage in Shanshan, northwest China's Uyghur Autonomous Region on Tuesday. All racers fought for higher speeds in hope of gaining a better overall position.
The stage is very different to the desert tracks that racers have had to contend with recently. The Shanshan stage covers nearly 327 kilometers and was mainly composed of Gobi and canyon tracks, especially in the last 400 kilometers.
Sun Ping, a racer from De Sheng Group finished this stage with a time of 2:47:47 to become the winner of the stage and win the "Golden Helmet".
"As a pilot I was faced with a great challenge on the track," said Sun Ping's pilot Wang Ping. "Especially when we entered into the area that was 400 kilometers from the starting point, the terrain was very complicated, but we kept our pace very well. We will also try and keep a relaxed mindset in the following competition."
Zhang Min from Daming Mining won the motorcycle group stage. In his opinion, the biggest difficulty during the competition was in keeping a precise heading.
After the end of this stage, Zi Yungang and Wang Zengrong (pilot) from Shanxi Yunxiang took first place in the overall rankings in the automobile section; Lu Binglong/Sha He (pilot) and Han Wei/Liao Min (pilot) are sharing the second place.
In the motorcycle section, Chinese racer Zhang Min tops the overall ranking while Pablo Pascual from Zongshen Cyclone and the defending champion Armand Hernandez from Daming Mining followed in second and third place respectively. The racers will enjoy the first rest day of the 2018 Taklimakan Rally and prepare for the next stage on Wednesday.