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Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014


Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014


Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014













































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Baja Spain: Amazing starterfield in amazing times - and shortly after the SWR.









By Robb Pritchard These days, with the Greek crisis dominating the news and politics, Europeans are well used to being effected by what is happening in other countries... and it is the same with the Spanish Baja, Round 4 of the FIA World Cup for Cross-country Bajas.

Although it is something that happened in Russia that is the cause. Having a part of the "Dakar Series" take part on the other side of the continent a week before means, that many teams only have the resources to do either one or the other... and many chose the Silk Way Rally.

Only FIA World Cup regulars Leonid Novitsky and Jean Louis Schlesser, both noticeable absentees from the Russian marathon event, entered the 2011 Baja Aragon against a host of eager locals, but Schlesser in his rear-wheel drive buggy was always going to be at a massive disadvantage to his rival's 4x4 BMWs, Mini and Mitsubishi Racing Lancers.

And so it seemed like easy points for Novitsky as he eased his colourful X-Raid BMW X3CC off the starting ramp and into Friday's prologue stage, but straight away it was the Portuguese drive Filipe Campos who stormed into the lead.

"In Portugal diesel cars run with much bigger restrictors so the car feels 'castrated'. So it's good to come here where the rules are different, where I can really feel the full potential of the car," the Russian said.

A reporter at the Silk Way, who shall remain anonymous, was a little dismissive of the Baja Aragon, claiming that the field was made up of Dakar B-team drivers, those who scrap in the dust and sand for places just outside the Top 10, but I think that does a lot of the drivers a big disservice.

Certainly, if Leonid Novitsky, current Cross-country world champion and 2011 World Cup points leader, was thinking that he'd just have to pick up the pace a bit to bag some easy points he was very much mistaken. In fact he was comprehensively out-driven.

The dusty Spanish tracks are fast and rocky and even though the July sun wasn't quite as harsh as normal, perhaps making it a little easier on the drivers and mechanical components, but the 617km route could never be described as easy. There are no easy routes in rally-raid. It was also great to see such a wide variation of vehicles n the event.

We've perhaps become quite used to seeing the BMWs and the slightly wacky Racing Lancers, but Rui Sousa was in contention for a podium in his Isuzu D-Max until his clutch went and Portuguese T2 champion Nuno Matos was again in his stunning new Opel Astra Proto.

Add to these the SAM Mercedes, the hulking Opel Antara of Hungarian Szalay Balazs, G-Force's monstrous G-Force Proto and the amazing looking new Mini, here driven by Yser team boss Bernardo Moniz Maia to 8th place, and you have an amazing selection of cars competing on some the toughest tracks in the world of motorsport. I have never quite understood why the WRC gets relatively so much coverage, even the almighty Dakar seems constantly starved of airtime.

And the Baja Aragon also has it's place on the list of motorsoprt greats. Now into its 28th year names like Vatanen, Lartigue, Peterhansel and Al-Attiyah have been etched into the winner's trophies and for 2011 a new one joined them.

After 17 years of trying Filipe Campos unleashed the latent power of his BMW to win every stage apart from the last to claim a dominant victory, ahead of 2009 Dutch national rally champion Bernhard Ten Brinke in his Racing Lancer.

Going into the final stage in third Novisky was perhaps looking forward to the lower step of the podium but three punctures in the stage cost him a lot of time. Baja cars only carry two spares and they could have had a picnic in the time it took to wait for Moniz Maia to arrive in his Mini All4 to donate his spare. 7th place was certainly not what he came here hoping for and his corner of the X-Raid service area was a rather subdued one.

Four time Baja Aragon winner Schlesser could only manage 10th place in the end - but was winning the 2-wheel drivce category. He´ll surely be looking forward to the Pharaons Rally in Egypt at the beginning of October where his buggy will come into its own.

The next round of the FIA World Cup will be in Hungary on the 25th of August and recovered from the gruelling Silk Way Rally where rally-raid new-boy Vladimir Vasliev sensationally won a stage, last year's winners G-Force will be back to join the world class field.

(My grateful thanks goes to Deny and Alex from the Konoba in Hum, Croatia for letting me use their internet)

2011/07/25 | 03:12 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/PRITCHARD












Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:24 |




Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014 02:40 |




Defender Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of the series by Bowler Rd 4 Wales | 29.08.2014 01:31 |




Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014 01:27 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014 00:47 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:10 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:08 |




Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014 16:33 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014 04:57 |




Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014 04:48 |




Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014 02:20 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 01:56 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 00:44 |




Rally dos Sertões: KTM’s Marc Coma hangs on to overall lead in dos Sertoes. | 27.08.2014 23:48 |




Rally dos Sertões: Paulo Gonçalves clinches victory in SS04 - the longest stage. | 27.08.2014 23:32 |




Desafío Inca: German manufacturer battle - X-Raid Mini vs SAM Mercedes CC | 27.08.2014 19:26 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:29 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 17:55 |




Rally dos Sertões: Both Ford Rangers reached top speeds above 175 km/h. | 27.08.2014 17:07 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Onboard with X-Rally Ford Ranger Baumgart / Cincea | 27.08.2014 16:35 |




Rally dos Sertões: Stagewin for Toyota´s Varela in S3 but Spinelli still leader. | 27.08.2014 16:19 |




Rally dos Sertões: Goncalves - "Hope to ride hard without making mistakes" | 27.08.2014 16:00 |




Rally dos Sertões: Marc Coma wins again in Bikes and remains the leadership. | 27.08.2014 15:35 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 19:14 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 18:57 |




Baja Poland: X-raid with four Mini All4 Racing - chase for World Cup continues. | 26.08.2014 17:21 |




Baja Poland: Overdrive Racing with five Toyota Hilux and Nasser Al Attiyah. | 26.08.2014 16:45 |




Rally dos Sertões: Mitsubishi´s Spinelli / Haddad the new leader in the cars. | 26.08.2014 05:17 |




Rally dos Sertões: Gonçalves wins SS2 in Bikes but Coma still overall leader. | 26.08.2014 05:02 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Nice impressions from the first days in Brazil (79) | 26.08.2014 04:53 |




Baja Poland VIDEO: Official trailer of the Baja Poland FIA CC World Cup 2014 | 26.08.2014 04:32 |




Donaldson CC: Test of character for the teams at South African Vryburg 450 | 26.08.2014 03:49 |




Rallyraid: Kamaz Master legend Ilgizar Mardeev tragically died in an accident. | 26.08.2014 03:09 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 02:30 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 01:59 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Driving onboard with Overdrive Toyota Hilux of Verala | 26.08.2014 01:46 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda´s Paulo Goncalves wins second stage in the bikes. | 26.08.2014 01:28 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment video of SS01 Sunday (crash) | 26.08.2014 00:56 |




















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