|Baja Poland: Toyota Overdrive set to run with Erik Korda and Szymon Ruta.|
Overdrive Racing will field two Toyota Hiluxes for Polish driver Szymon Ruta and Hungarian Erik Korda in this weekend’s Baja Poland, round six of the 2012 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallys.
Korda, who finished sixth overall in last month’s Baja Hungary, again teams up with fellow Hungarian co-driver Csaba Fábzán, while Ruta is joined by Sebastien Rozwadowski in a second car. The Polish duo will run under the Orlen Team banner and join the Belgian preparation team for the first time after the driver tested the car earlier in the season.
"It has been a busy few days since the Hungarian Baja," admitted Overdrive team director Jean-Marc Fortin. "We are excited to have two cars in this weekend’s race. Szymon will be racing the Hilux for the first time after a successful test in Qatar earlier this year."
He added: "This is a development event for him and he will then be racing in Morocco to gain more experience of the cross-country discipline. It is also great to have Erik and Csaba in the team again and I am hoping for a strong result from them."
Ruta has competed in the T2 category of the cross-country racing discipline and has also taken part in the FIA European Rally Championship with a Peugeot 207 S2000 on events as diverse as his home Rally Poland, the Madeira Rally, Rally Bulgaria, the Turkish Bosphorus Rally and the demanding Rally d’Antibes Côte d’Azur in France.
Korda set an impressive pace in his home Baja two weeks ago and will be hoping for a top five finish on his second event with the Toyota. He has driven a wide range of cars in cross-country and WRC-type rallies for several seasons and is hoping to gain as much experience in the Hilux as possible before embarking upon a programme of Czech and Hungarian championship events in 2013.
The Overdrive duo face competition from the two main FIA World Cup title protagonists, Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei of Dubai and Frenchman Jean-Louis Schlesser, in addition to Baja Hungary winner Boris Gadasin and his Russian team-mate Vladimir Vasilyev. Poland’s Krzysztof Holowczyc also features on the provisional 37-car international entry list and makes a one-off appearance on his home event with Portuguese co-driver Filipe Palmeiro.
Action gets underway in Baja Poland on Friday evening with the ceremonial start at Soldier Square in Szczecin Bezrzecze at 16.30hrs (CET) and this will be followed by a 12.70km Prologue stage, starting at 18.20hrs.
The first of the longer selective sections (93.30km) gets underway at 9.30hrs on Saturday morning and this will be followed by a longer 240.10km special in the afternoon. A shorter 55.8km selective section is run on two occasions on Sunday morning and early afternoon and the podium finish is planned for 15.30hrs.
The Overdrive Racing Toyotas were built in South Africa in conjunction with Toyota Motorsport South Africa and Hallspeed and are powered by the 4.6-litre V8 engine that conforms to the latest FIA regulations. Overdrive is based at Villers-le-Bouillet, near Huy in Belgium.
2012 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies after round 5
01. Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei (UAE) I 107 pts
02. Jean Louis Schlesser (FRA) I 102 pts
03. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT) I 60 pts
04. Boris Gadasin (RUS) I 58 pts
05. Yayha Al-Helai (UAE) I 52 pts
06. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) I 50 pts
07. Ilya Kusnetsov (RUS) I 47 pts
08. Lucio Alvarez (ARG) I 42 pts
09. Patrick Sireyjol (FRA) I 32 pts
10. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) I 30 pts
10. Costel Casuneanu (ROM) I 30 pts
12. Reinaldo Varela (BRA) I 28 pts
13. Miroslav Zapletal (CZE) I 24 pts
2012/09/05 | 18:35 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/PERKINS