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Sealine Rally Qatar: Jutta Kleinschmidt and Fabrizia Pons back in the Desert. | 20.04.2014


Sealine Rally Qatar: Yazeed Al-Rajhi rejoins Toyota Overdrive Tam in Qatar. | 19.04.2014


Sealine Rally Qatar: Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah to compete in a Mini All4 Racing. | 16.04.2014


Breslau Rally: Rally will be more International - new full Cross-Country class. | 15.04.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot unveiled first details of Peugeot 2008 DKR Proto. | 15.04.2014


FIM World Cup: Paulo Gonçalves - "It's not about luck - it’s about hard work". | 15.04.2014


Sealine Rally Qatar: QMMF announces route for Sealine Cross Country rally. | 14.04.2014













































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Baja White Hills: Winter storm made the first battles harder then expected.








By Robb Pritchard: Thursday the crews had to deal with the bitter winter storm that raged over the prologue in the Virage motorsport centre. Friday they had to deal with it's aftermath. Drifts blocked the stage in several places and so the snow ploughs were called out...

Problem solved? Well, some countries start to have problems with infrastructure when it starts to get cold but Russia has them when it gets warm! Last night the thermometer hovered at an unseasonal 0 degrees which meant that the snow was too wet and heavy for the ploughs to move.

At first the start was delayed for 2 hours, then when everyone was at the frozen, wind-swept field that was the service park it was put back another hour and suddenly it seemed that things were hanging in the balance.

There were people stationed out around the course and they weren't too happy to be kept waiting... not the marshals of course, no one ever cares about the marshals, but the grumpy Russian traffic police manning the points where the stage crossed the public road.

The atmosphere was a bit despondent, but the FIA Observer Fred Gallagher and I cheered ourselves up by wondering into the Yoh Mobile tent where a feast was laid out for us. A bottle of whiskey was broken out and a young marshal was sacrificed and barbequed just for us...

But start it did and next to Boris Gadasin in his Range Rover Sport we sped off to find a place we thought would look interesting. He wanted to find a stretch of road where the cars would move about a lot so he could give his drivers some more advice about how to handle their G-Force Protos.

After winning yesterday's short super-special Victor Volikov was first off but by the time he came past us he'd been caught by hard charging team mate Vladimir Vasiliev, who was smiling at the finish.

“It was a long wait to get going,” he said. “We didn't push today as the track was like porridge and was also very narrow, so we were just seeing how the car handled. But if there's not too much snow tonight then we'll push tomorrow.”

Volikov was 2nd over the line but the car didn't sound well and he struggled to line it up for the mechanics, the revs racing and then nearly dying. “The gear stick was getting stuck a bit and one time I pushed it too hard and it broke while we were in 4th gear, so we had to drive for 30km in 4th,” he explained.

“We were lucky to only lose a minute to Vasiliev for that. Actually I will be happy not to be first away tomorrow. Sometimes the track was just as wide as the car and trying to fit a car down a tunnel at 150km/h was not so much fun. It was a bit like a billiard ball!”

A surprise second overall was the brand new Yoh Mobile, Russia's newest car. The mechanics who built it seem to have done a better job than those who named it.

Half of the field are running under the strict FIA rules, but the Soviet designed UAZs and Lada Nivas run in the National class and seeing as the Yoh Mobile is so new the team decided to run it in a the less strict class... so perhaps the fact that it is powered by a 3 litre twin turbo BMW engine, the same as run by the X-Raid team that just won the Dakar would go some way to explaining the fast time.

Also, the engine runs without a restrictor which gives it a massive advantage over the FIA spec vehicles... “We had a couple of little things with it,” explained Vladimir, one of the mechanics. “But nothing serious. Just a problem wit the wipers and a few bolts on the suspension came a little loose so there was some play. But the driver, Alexender Heludov said that it is almost perfect!”

Heading the T2 category in their Izuzu D-Max are the friendly Kazaksthani crew of Andrey Cherednikov and Alexander Moroz. "I didn't get a chance to drive on snow for some years so the first half of the stage was just to see how the car was, how it felt. There wasn't much grip after the cars in front had chewed the track up but once we got used to the conditions we started to push in the second half and actually I'm not surprised that the time is good enough for first," said Andrey.

Someone who didn't have such a perfect run was Sergei Savenko in his buggy. It looks a bit like a squashed Jeep with a few details of a submarine and is powered by a Honda NSX engine. “There was a tight corner in a field where 3 or 4 other cars had gone off and we went to join them,” shrugged co-driver Denis Maltsev. “It took 20 minutes to dig ourselves out of the snow and then we carried on again...”

So in the overall FIA classification the G-Forces hold a 1-2 with Volikov 3'23 behind Vasiliev and Dakar driver Anton Melnikov a further 6 minutes back in his Mitsubishi, although that will become 5 as it seems Volikov has a minute penalty for booking into a time control late. “We could have made it with a couple of seconds to spare, but we came so fast with mud flying everywhere that we scared the marshal so much he ran away...”

Everyone has their fingers crossed that no snow falls tonight. It's an early start to fit two runs of the stage in and another super-special back at the Virage centre before the prize-giving ceremony. Only 230km of slushy snow stand between the drivers and the champagne...

2012/02/25 | 03:28 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/PRITCHARD











Sealine Rally Qatar: Jutta Kleinschmidt and Fabrizia Pons back in the Desert. | 20.04.2014 15:17 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Yazeed Al-Rajhi rejoins Toyota Overdrive Tam in Qatar. | 19.04.2014 15:48 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: After a short break, four X-raid Mini are back in action | 19.04.2014 15:24 | NEW




Donaldson CC: Tovey first footballer in Imperial Auto Celebrity Challenge | 19.04.2014 15:08 | NEW




Hungarian CC: Second race, second win for Polish Chevrolet at Turkeve Cup | 16.04.2014 19:50 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah to compete in a Mini All4 Racing. | 16.04.2014 19:22 | NEW




Breslau Rally VIDEO: Official trailer of the legendary Breslau Rally Poland 2014 | 15.04.2014 23:08 |




Dakar Rally 2015 VIDEO: The Lion is back - Peugeot 2008 DKR presentation | 15.04.2014 23:05 |




Breslau Rally: Rally will be more International - new full Cross-Country class. | 15.04.2014 20:06 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Dakar Tour stopped in the Netherlands with Cyril Despres | 15.04.2014 19:24 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot unveiled first details of Peugeot 2008 DKR Proto. | 15.04.2014 19:05 |




Hungarian CC VIDEO: Short impressions Turkeve Cup - Nissan Qashqai Proto | 15.04.2014 18:53 |




Hungarian CC: Double bad luck for Hungarian Solyom Team at Turkeve Cup | 15.04.2014 18:41 |




Australasian Safari: Competitors from all around the globe - Rallysafe System | 15.04.2014 18:13 |




Dakar Rally 2015 VIDEO: Tatra-Union - Loprais and Buggyra Dakar Forces | 15.04.2014 17:39 |




FIM World Cup: Paulo Gonçalves - "It's not about luck - it’s about hard work". | 15.04.2014 17:38 |




Sealine Rally Qatar: QMMF announces route for Sealine Cross Country rally. | 14.04.2014 17:43 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Marc Coma - "We fought until the last kilometer" | 14.04.2014 17:11 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Official video impression D5 in Abu Dhabi | 14.04.2014 16:24 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Summary Vasilyev Mini All4 Racing Team | 14.04.2014 16:19 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Kazakhstan Teams Interview Sven Quandt | 14.04.2014 16:13 |




TORC 2014: Kleiman adds second Truck 2014 - keeps busy at Primm Valley | 14.04.2014 15:55 |




TORC 2014: Canadian two-truck team Sle Co Race had a challenging weekend | 14.04.2014 15:47 |




TORC 2014: Cenni wins season opener - Kvamme gets first career podium | 14.04.2014 14:26 |




TORC 2014: Hoek welcomes Nitto & Trailready with solid start at Primm Valley | 14.04.2014 14:19 |




Defender Challenge: Race2Recovery take top step on Defender Challenge RD2 | 14.04.2014 13:45 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Four Overdrive Toyota in the final Top 10 | 14.04.2014 13:18 |




Formula Off-Road: Robby Gordon wins round 3 in front of Venezuela´s EJ Viso | 14.04.2014 12:54 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Czech Loprais Tatra team now together with Buggyra Tatra. | 14.04.2014 11:17 |




Pharaons Rally: X-raid back in Egypt, the stages of the Egyptian Rally 2014. | 14.04.2014 10:41 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Vasilyev/Zhiltsov and Mini winning in Abu Dhabi. | 10.04.2014 15:31 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Surprising ADDC victory for Paulo Goncalves. | 10.04.2014 14:59 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Official video impression D4 in Abu Dhabi | 10.04.2014 10:43 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of SS03 by Team Matzker | 10.04.2014 10:41 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: 1-2-3 for the X-raid Minis, 4-5-6 for the Toyotas. | 10.04.2014 10:14 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Coma leading, Sunderland mechanical problems. | 10.04.2014 08:38 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Joan Barreda wins SS4, Marc Coma new leader. | 09.04.2014 13:57 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Riding the dunes with Vasilyev / Zhiltsov | 09.04.2014 02:43 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Vasilyev/Zhiltsov - with "support" of Schlesser | 09.04.2014 02:23 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: "Youngster" Ollie Lloyd climbed 13th pos overall | 09.04.2014 01:20 |




















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