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This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.









Baja GB: National category crews to tackle entire Baja route.


With entries set to close for cars on Friday, July 28th, competitors have received numerous enquiries from teams wishing to register for the event. Officials have also added the additional incentive of reducing the entry fee for car competitors to £600.00 for Britain's first ever Baja.

Hopkins and Cardiff-based co-driver Gary Torosyan have entered the Baja's T1 class in a powerful petrol-engined 3,998cc Land Rover Discovery. The pair are regulars on the British hill rally scene and 48-year-old Hopkins is confident that he can reach the top three in the main T1 and T2 event category.

Ian Rochelle has a building company and hails from the village of Quatt, near Bridgnorth in Shropshire, and had intended to enter a Baja in Hungary on the same weekend as Baja GB. But he and co-driver Amanda Garratley are eager to support this exciting-new British event and spectators in Radnor forest will witness the roar of their powerful Bowler Wildcat on race weekend.

Co-driven by Robert Pugh, Ian tackled the Optic 2000 Rally of Tunisia in April this year, round two of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup, and were rewarded with a top 10 finish, behind the professional Mitsubishi and Volkswagen teams. They had no experience of Cross-Country rallying 14 months ago, but overcame driveshaft failures and clutch problems to reach the Djerba finish of one of the world's most difficult rallies. "Now I need to carry this experience forward and gain an even better result in Wales," said 37-year-old Rochelle.

Devonian Frazer Williams lives in Teignmouth and will tackle the Baja GB with Shaldon-based co-driver Dave Thomas. Williams celebrated his 39th birthday earlier this week and will line-up in Llandrindod Wells at the wheel of a 4.6-litre Land Rover, entered in the National category.

Regulations have now been finalised for the bike and quad sections and the entry fee has been fixed at a discounted £200.00 to attract a larger number of competitors to the inaugural Baja GB. Riders will be able to tackle 270 km of forestry for this reduced fee.

In addition, drivers of vehicles entered in the National category will tackle exactly the same route as competitors entered in the T1 and T2 classes and will be able to monitor their progress against the front-runners. The entry fee for the car category has also been reduced to £600.00.

"National crews will now do the whole route of the Baja, over 190 miles or 270 km of competition," said Chris Tomley, Chairman of the MSA's Off-Road Committee and Clerk of the Course for Baja GB 2006. "Hill rallies in the UK are normally around £500.00 for 100 miles, so crews are having excellent value for money here paying a little more for double the competition.

"National crews have told us that they would prefer to tackle the whole route and we have decided to make this possible in the first year of the event, where we will also be boosted by Sky television coverage and much-extended media coverage. I am also delighted by the response to the reduction in entry fees for the bikes and quads and I call upon all competitors to get their entries in as quickly as possible."

Due to the late completion of the regulations for the quad and bike sections, the closing of entries for the ACU categories has been extended to August 10th. Bike and quad runners will tackle three stages each day and be classified in a separate section of the event.

Awards will be handed out for two-stroke, four-stroke up-to-450cc, four-stroke over 450 cc and the quad class. The Clerk of the Course of this section will be Mark Vaughan from Mid-Wales, while Vic Madeley will act as machine examiner and technical scrutineer. John Collins will act as one of the ACU Stewards.

The event will be based at the Montpellier Hotel in Llandrindod Wells and kicks off with a ceremonial start at The Lake in Llandrindod Wells at 18.30 hrs on Friday, August 18th with competitors being flagged away by the Mayor of Llandrindod Wells, Councillor Tony Phillips and Lembit Opik MP. Two days of competition over a route of up to 320 kms will follow in the nearby Radnor forest complex, with the inaugural Baja GB finishing at 16.00 hrs on Sunday, August 20th.

The proposed event has the full backing of the Motor Sports Association (MSA), the Forestry Commission Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government and Andrew Davies, the Welsh Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks..

Regulations and entry information for the motorcycle, quad and car categories are available from the Baja GB office, 31 Market Street, Newtown, Powys, Wales, SY16 2PG, Tel: + 44 1686 626641, Fax: + 44 1686 626218, e-mail: [ secretary@BajaGB.co.uk ]. Regulations and event information can also be downloaded from [ www.bajagb.co.uk. ].

2006/07/19 I 16:01 CET I Editor: marathonrally.com/Neil Perkins






















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