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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 White Hills: New FIA-candidate in the Russian snow to start this weekend.






By Robb Pritchard: Images of a a bright-orange Hummer chasing a pea-green Mini across the South American landscape are still fresh in our minds but now it's time for the 2012 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies.

March in Italy will see crews come together for the first round of a championship that will take them so some of the world's toughest rally-raid events, which this year includes the UAE, Qatar, Tunisia, Morocco, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Egypt and Portugal.

But the first race of the year is not in the dust or sand, but the frozen landscape of Russia. The "White Hills Russian Baja" is a candidate event vying for full inclusion into the 2013 calendar and is the only truly winter event.

The race is organised by the Belgorod Off-Road Team, who for those that followed my Africa Eco Race reports, were the ones who kindly drove me through Africa in their chase car. Based in a motorsport centre called Virage a 115km stage ploughed out through the rolling hills outside the city of Belgorod will be run 3 times making a 345km event, with short super-specials at the beginning and the end.

No foreigners have braved the infamous Russian winter but although F1 has Vitaly Petrov and Evgeni Novikov is impressing in the WRC it's rally-raid that Russian drivers really seem to excel in. Finns are famous in rallying because they are used to the speed of the roads in their native forests and some joke that maybe the Russians are good at rally-raid because they are used to their terrible state of their roads.

Leonid Novitsky in an X-Raid BMW X3CC won the 2011 FIA World Cup and two-time Baja Championship winner Boris Gadasin was 3rd in his self-built G-Force Proto. Russia also took the Production Cup trophy as Ilya Kuznetzov dominated the T2 class in his Toyota Land Cruiser. It might be a local event but the field is full of quality with ex-Russian champions and Dakar drivers...

The first Super-Special was a 3km long slither around a rally school training circuit which is part of the Virage motorsport complex. A few days ago it was -20 but today it's a balmy -4, which for me is still damn cold, especially when the wind is blowing the snowstorm sideways with such a force that it stings my face. I was worried about pneumonia but the Russians said that spring must be coming soon...

Last year a new name popped up on timesheets as Vladimir Vasiliev drove some giant killing performances, leading the Pharoans Rally on his first sand-based event and winning a stage of the Silk Way Rally and he was first away in his monstrous 7 litre V8 G-Force Proto. His team mate is experienced driver Victor Volikov, stepping up from T2 to the top class and it was interesting to see how the two different drivers tackled the stage.

Vasiliev tore around attacking every corner and widening the course here and there as he slid into the snow banks and powered out of them sending the snow almost as high as the following helicopter while Voikov, co-driven by his son Anatoli, drove much more precisely, sliding the car around between the banks instead of through them.

I was standing next to team leader Boris Gadasin and over the wind he said, "Victor is faster," and he was right. Victor beat Vladimir by 3 seconds. It was also a good opportunity to ask him what is new on the cars for 2012. "Well, we've developed the steering and have new dampers from Donnere to improve the handling as well as a redesigned engine bay that will make it easier for the mechanics to get to the engine."

Most talked about car in the field is the Yoh-Crossover which will become Russia's newest car when it starts production at the end of the year. Boris was also interested in it. "Alexandra Zhelunov is a strong driver and the car is well built. Also the National class which they are competing in is quite open so it will be interesting to see what they have made." They made it around in a promising 5th place behind a well-driven Lada Niva.

Tomorrow the crews will twice tackle the 115km loop around the white hills of Belgorod and the weather will be much the same; snow and high winds. Right now the wind is howling through the gaps in the press centre windows like something out of a Steve King novel, my boots are on the radiator drying and I am looking forward to a long hot shower to thaw me out before tomorrow.

2012/02/24 | 13:35 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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