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Breslau Poland: Rally on standby by Military because of actual political situation. | 18.07.2014


Breslau Poland: The truck-legends are back - scrutineering - Ford Ranger. | 12.07.2014


Breslau Poland PHOTOS: First Impressions of the Scrutineering in Recz (60). | 12.07.2014


Africa Eco Race: End of preferential rates - review rally presentations Europe. | 04.07.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Carlos Sousa switch from Great Wall to Mitsubishi Petrobras. | 04.07.2014


Hungarian Baja: 2014 is promising a big challenge for 11th edition in Hungary. | 03.07.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot 2008 DKR - first test, new detailed technical data. | 03.07.2014













































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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












Breslau Poland: Rally on standby by Military because of actual political situation. | 18.07.2014 09:56 |




Breslau Poland RESULTS: Daily results after SS01 Recz / Recz roundcourse | 13.07.2014 23:38 |




Breslau Poland: The truck-legends are back - scrutineering - Ford Ranger. | 12.07.2014 15:17 |




Breslau Poland PHOTOS: First Impressions of the Scrutineering in Recz (60). | 12.07.2014 14:29 |




Africa Eco Race: End of preferential rates - review rally presentations Europe. | 04.07.2014 15:44 |




Rally Raid VIDEO: Special tuned and loud Nissan Patrol RB25DET from Bulgaria | 04.07.2014 15:14 |




Red Bull Romaniacs: The most diversified Extreme Enduro track ever in 2014 | 04.07.2014 14:24 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Carlos Sousa switch from Great Wall to Mitsubishi Petrobras. | 04.07.2014 11:21 |




Baja Deutschland VIDEO: Summary of Dutch competitors in Germany in June | 04.07.2014 10:37 |




TORC 2014: Douglas continues to run up front - finishes Third in Round 7 | 04.07.2014 10:17 |




Hungarian Baja: 2014 is promising a big challenge for 11th edition in Hungary. | 03.07.2014 22:28 |




TORC 2014: Barlow Motorsports - All four cars had various levels of success | 03.07.2014 22:22 |




Dakar Rally 2015 VIDEO: The all-new Peugeot 2008 DKR buggy - first preview | 03.07.2014 19:08 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot 2008 DKR - first test, new detailed technical data. | 03.07.2014 18:48 |




Donaldson CC: The African sands deliver their verdict in the Dakar Challenge | 03.07.2014 18:18 |




TORC 2014: Team Kleiman Off Road Racing - "Big House Brawl" Race Report | 03.07.2014 18:11 |




TORC 2014: Ross Hoek gets first PRO-4x4 Podium - third place in round 8 | 03.07.2014 17:55 |




Donaldson CC VIDEO: Impressions Toyota Team Kalahari Botswana Desert race | 03.07.2014 17:48 |




Donaldson CC: Rhide SA´s Brian Baragtwanath wins Quads Dakar Challenge | 03.07.2014 17:38 |




Donaldson CC: Bertholdt / Rousseau win free entry for the Dakar Rally 2015. | 03.07.2014 17:17 |




Donaldson CC: History repeats in Special Vehicles Class in Botswana rally | 03.07.2014 15:40 |




Donaldson CC: Taylor / Murphy win Toyota Botswana 1000 Dakar Challenge. | 03.07.2014 15:17 |




OiLibya Morocco: Organizer NPO unveils details of the 2014 stages in Morocco. | 27.06.2014 14:22 |




OiLibya Morocco VIDEO: Official trailer for the OiLibya Rally in Morocco 2014 | 27.06.2014 14:04 |




Dakar Challenge: Team Rhide SA ready for the Dakar Challenge in Botswana | 26.06.2014 18:52 |




FIA CC World Cup: UAE study points way to increasing safety to saving lives. | 26.06.2014 17:48 |




LOORR 2014: Solid weekend at Miller sport park in Utah for Casey Currie | 26.06.2014 17:02 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Japanese Hino truck already preparing for 2015 Dakar Rally | 26.06.2014 16:59 |




Dakar Rally 2015: X-raid strikes back - Dakar winner Roma extends contract. | 25.06.2014 17:33 |




ULTRA 4 Europe: Second day report ULTRA 4 race in Italy - by Robb Pritchard | 25.06.2014 14:43 |




AXCR Asia CC Rally: Outlander PHEV to tackle rally for second straight year. | 25.06.2014 14:14 |




AXCR Asia CC Rally VIDEO: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Hybrid in AXCR Rally | 25.06.2014 14:08 |




Donaldson CC: Desperate times for Special Vehicles in Botswana 1000 desert | 25.06.2014 13:53 |




TORC 2014: Flying Dutchman Mike Vanden Heuvel prepares for Crandon Brush | 25.06.2014 12:59 |




TORC 2014 VIDEO: Impressions from TORC Series by Amsoil round Bark River | 25.06.2014 12:57 |




TORC 2014: Dale Chestnut wins RD2 and leads TORC Classix Championship | 25.06.2014 12:46 |




TORC 2014: Steve Barlow and Adrian Cenni take PRO-class podiums in BR | 25.06.2014 12:45 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Former Winner Nasser al-Attiyah to switch to Toyota 2015. | 24.06.2014 17:54 |




LOORR 2014: Team Toyo’s Kyle LeDuc captures third successive sweep in Utah | 24.06.2014 17:15 |




Baja Rally: Mexican rally adds new Adventure Bike Expert class for 2014. | 24.06.2014 16:54 |




















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