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Baja Spain Aragon 2009 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Bajas)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Baja Spain Aragon 2009, third round of the FIA Worldcup for Cross Country Bajas. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Baja Spain: Eventful Saturday for Russian Boris Gadasin.

The second leg of the Spanish Baja was really eventful. Now the Team "G-Force Motorsport" like to share with you some most interesting moments of the day. Though it's common to start with good news, we however let ourselves to step aside traditions as it's the G-Force Motorsport team that the most important news of the day were about.

Boris Gadasin's start position wasn't as good as we predicted yesterday because of Krzysztof Holowzyc who was 3 seconds faster on the prologue and hence had to start ahead of our crew today. However on the real stage it turned out that the pole was driving slower than Boris, and on 23rd minute the Russian caught up with his rival's dust trail.

Despite this fact Boris and his co-driver Vladimir Demyanenko set 6th time on CP1. However the fortune soon turned away from them, and following a ford on the 90th kilometre the crankshaft sensor failed and the engine stopped. Exactly the same problem hit Nasser Al-Attiyah in 2008 in Italy, but the Qatar was lucky to escape big penalty as his misfortunes happened on a short superspecial stage. Returning to the subject, it was interesting that the Russians didn't go much further from the ford than their experienced French colleague Pierre Lartigue, whose Citroen C4-alike dangerously beautiful prototype refused to continue with a flushed engine.

Later in the evening, when Boris' car had been towed to the service park, mechanics found out that the guilt for that huge disappointment lay on a faulty crankshaft sensor... It was quickly removed and changed, and the crew decided to continue tomorrow in order to complete the route and show some respective times. But it will hardly influence their overall result, so in terms of points the round seems to be lost anyway.

Thus another appearance on the Spanish land once again proved unsuccessful, but we're not alone with this "Iberian curse" as we found out at the service area. For one of our main rivals in the International Cup, Miroslav Zapletal, it's his fourth time competing in the Spanish Baja. All his previous attempts to conquer the race ended in retirements, and according to the Czech driver's manager this year they were going to finally see the chequered flag. And though there were some minor brake problems on Miroslav's car today, he's nevertheless lying 8th in the general classification after Leg 2, and we sincerely wish our competitors good luck in reaching the finish line with the highest possible result.

Main fight for the overall victory will most probably unfold between the X-Raid drivers: Stephane Peterhansel and Nani Roma. Today the two mentioned were head and shoulders ahead of other competitors, even visually, increasing their advantage by minutes rather than seconds. Eventually Stephane won both stages but his lead over Nani remained just a mere 27 seconds. At the same time the driver holding third position, Filipe Campos, came to the evening service 4 minutes behind "Peter".

Here is what Stephane told us: «The day wasn't so bad for me. You know, I haven't driven since the last Dakar, so I didn't do races for 6 months. It's my first time with this car, and I came here to learn to drive the BMW. Now, I think, we're leading, but we only have a few seconds of advantage. It was very nice to drive today, very nice stages, so I got a lot of pleasure. There's also a good atmosphere inside the team, I'm again with my friend Nani Roma. We've been friends for a long time. Also everybody in the team is very nice with me and my co-driver».

Legendary Jean-Louis Schlesser started the race in a newly-built buggy, so he hadn't tried it before in competition mode. That's why he used the first big stage to get used to his rear-wheel drive car's behavior, and than attacked on the next stage. The progress was evident: while on SS1 he finished only 20th, on SS2 he managed to come 10th overall! It was also pleasant to hear that the Frenchman, like some other titled drivers, praised Gadasin's own speed and the big potential of his car. That means that big teams start to see in us equal rivals, and that is actually what we've been aiming at since the team's launch and the G-Force Proto's construction.

The second F-Force Motorsport crew of "Fast" and "Ronin" were driving carefully and consistently in their Isuzu D-Max. They showed quite high results, but couldn't avoid some technical problems either. The most serious one came when the rear dampers' piston rods broke, which cost them some lost time. As we use Donerre shock absorbers for the Proto, and are planning to install our partners' dampers into Isuzu also, there were no spare units at the service. Tomorrow the guys will try to be both quick and cautious at the same time so that the car endures the rest of distance.

The race hasn't actually been kind on Russian crews so far as you could notice. For example, the crew of Alexander Mironenko and Sergey Lebedev got a 1 hour penalty for coming late to the Parc Ferme yesterday following a time-consuming change of a broken gearbox. Today they started brilliantly by posting 5th best time on the morning stage, but on the next one they couldn't find the right rhythm and completed the day not as high in the standings as they could have. Artem Varentsov and Roman Elagin, competing in the Production category, were also not able to fight for a high result due to a failure in the turbocharger. So the crew of Yaroslav Solovjev and Konstantin Zhil'tsov now appears as the highest-placed Russian car in the Spanish Baja - they're 15th overall.

The amount of spectators on stages was once again impressive, even despite the heat. All hills and climbs around the road were occupied by motorsport fans, but the most popular places were fords and river crossings, of course, no matter how wide or deep they were. Some avid supporters even swam in such streams and looked at the action in the fountains of splashes from the racing cars passing by. Organization was once again perfect, starting with rational and comfortable for spectators closure of roads and ending with showering the road in order to avoid dust in spectators' areas. If only they could prepare an English version of the "Poins of Interest" book next time...

2009/07/26 | 22:48 CET | Editor: MR/Igor Chervonny/R. Konya

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