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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: 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











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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