|Baja Spain: Pleasant anticipation of the Baja Spain Aragon is increasing.|
X-raid has completed its preparations for the "Baja Spain Aragon": All the administrative and technical checks have been executed and the shake downs also were successfully completed. The six cars started into the five-kilometer prologue, representing the first special stage of the rally. Nearly all the X-raid drivers have a special relationship to the short event in Spain.
This applies – first of all – to Spaniard Nani Roma. After all, he is racing in front of his home crowd. As early as in the days prior to the start, numerous fans came to see him in the service park for autographs. But the Baja also represented a special event for his career. “It’s an important rally for me,” reveals Roma. “When I won it on the motorbike in 1995, I was discovered by the team that took me to the Dakar, afterwards. And some years later, the Baja was the first rally I contested for X-raid.”
For Krysztof Holowczyc, the Baja Aragon is the fourth round in the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup. And his toughest rival in the battle for the title, Jean Louis Schlesser with his buggy, also is in Spain. “I want to score maximum points,” says the Pole. “I know that it won’t be easy as the special stages are really tricky and technical. And I also have to come up with the right strategy for the prologue. To be honest, being the first to start into tomorrow’s special stage would cost me too much time, as the others could follow my track.”
With its five Mini All4 Racing and the BMW X3 CC, X-raid represents the eye-catcher in the service park of the Baja Aragon. That isn’t located – for the first time since many years – near Motorland Aragon, not fare from Zaragoza. Host of the 30th edition of the event is the city of Teruel. It’s the location of the service park and all the five special stages will start and end, here.
“I’m really curious to find out what kind of landscapes are waiting for us at this new venue,” admits Stéphane Peterhansel. “Yesterday I saw the mountains not far away and I hope that the stages will takes us there, too. The Baja Spain is a special and well organised rally. The special stages are long and the temperatures high – that turns the entire rally into a true challenge,”
Yesterday, on Thursday, X-raid prepared for the event with a shakedown at an off-road areal near Teruel. But the team was surprised by several heavy rain showers and the temperatures dropping from 29° to 21° C. The five MINIs ALL4 Racing-Crews completed some routine laps at the 6-kilometre circuit. For the Argentinean pairing Adrian Yacopini and Marco, however, who will make the first appearance for X-raid, it was the last opportunity to test the BMW X3 CC prior to the start into the special stages. “I just can’t wait for the start,” beamed Yacopini. “The BMW X3 is great and now, we will have our first chance of racing it in anger. I learned a lot, during the shakedown.”
The Baja Spain also represents virgin soil for Stephan Schott. The German hasn’t contested a single Baja, to date. Up to this point in time, he only competed in desert rallies. “I’m going to contest the Baja Spain for the first time and I’m curious to find out what I will have to cope with. I definitely want to secure a top-10 result. The terrain of Bajas uses to be tricky and you easily end on a tree, with you car. Should I drive in a clean style and without taking unnecessary risks, I should be able to secure a good result.”
2013/07/20 | 10:55 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/QUANDT