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Baja GB 2007: Italian Baja Winner Boris Gadasin enters Baja GB 2007.

The Russian crew of Boris Gadasin and Alexander Mironenko, winners of this year's Italian Baja, have entered Baja GB 2007, which takes place in mid-Wales on August 17th-19th. The Nissan Navara crew are chasing a maiden FIA International Cup for Bajas title after winning the Italian round of the series and retiring during leg three of the recent Baja Spain Aragon. A points-scoring finish in Wales, followed by a top result on the final round in Portugal in October, could well catapult the Russian crew to a maiden FIA title, as Mitsubishi's Stéphane Peterhansel - the winner of the recent Spanish round of the series - will not be present in Wales or Portugal.

Gadasin will drive the Nissan that Scotsman Colin McRae used in the Transiberico Rally, although the Belgian Overdrive Team car, which runs under the management of former FIA Group N World Rally Champion and former Nissan factory driver Grégoire de Mevius, will be fitted with a new engine for the Welsh event. The Russian also finished 31st overall in this year's Transiberico Rally, the opening round of the FIA Cross-Country Rallies World Cup, at the helm of a Proto Dessoude.

He will be joined on the Baja GB entry list by the Italian crew of Andrea Spinelli and Monica Buonamono, who will compete in a 3.2-litre Mitsubishi Pajero in the T2 category. Fellow Italians Guiseppe Fornasa and Enso De Michelis will take part in a Fornsari RR 450.

The Belgian crew of Vincent Thijs and Johan Bude bolster the international contingent at the wheel of a Mitsubishi Pajero and Spanish championship contenders Francesc Rodrigues Termens and co-driver Jordi Vilalta Casas will take part in a 3.2-litre Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero entered in the T2 category.

Middleton Stoney-based off-road enthusiast Henry Webster and co-driver Sarah Suter, the Chepstow-based daughter of the chairman of the Baja GB organising committee Chris Tomley, will take part in the National 'A' category in a Friesian Racing Land Rover Discovery. Webster is a member of the organising team for BORC events and recently tackled the Scottish Hill Rally.

Last year's motorcycle champion Lee Edmondson had intended to tackle a Junior European Championship round in Finland over Baja weekend, but the Cannock-based youngster has confirmed that he will defend his two-wheel crown in the saddle of a four-stroke Honda CRFX 250. "I couldn't resist coming back to defend the title and lining up against my brother on his new KTM," admitted Lee. "It would be nice to win back-to-back Bajas."

Other entries received this week in the motorcycle category include Newcastle's Brian Eland at the helm of his KTM LC4 Enduro in Class B2, Telford computer worker Chris Bickerton on a KTM 525 MXC, Oxford's Paul Howard on a KTM 525 MXC and Macclesfield's Laurence Barber on a KTM 525. Ulverston's Tony Brooks (Honda XR400 R), Caister-on-Sea's Neil Tanner (Sherco 450) and Abingdon's Lee Peck (KTM 400) have registered in Class B1. Both Peck and Howard are entered under the Team Desert Trax banner.

In 2006, the quad category was fiercely contested and the first three entrants in this year's Baja GB are Daniel Upton, 17-year-old rookie Naomi Ridley and Bradford's Mark Calzoni. Upton finished 12th overall in the motorcycle category in 2006 and second of the quads behind winner Matt Lee, although Upton is convinced that he can take his Bombardier Renegade to quad success on this occasion. Ridley is the daughter of off-road and hill rally enthusiast Russell Ridley and rides a Yamaha Raptor on her first Baja outing. Calzoni rides a Yamaha Raptor 700.

Event officials have confirmed that the Sporttraxx tracking system will not be used this year, because the mid-Wales forest area offers poor GSM reception which is vital for the accurate use of the technology. Competitors will therefore be issued with road books only and do not need to acquire tracking units from event officials.

2007/08/02 | 11:10 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Neil Perkins

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