|Hungarian Baja: X-raid driver Vladimir Vasilyev consolidates World Cup lead.|
For the Monster Energy X-raid Team, the trip to Hungary proved to be successful. Russian pairing Vladimir Vasilyev / Konstantin Zhiltsov were fighting for the win and came in second, with Orlando Terranova (Argentina) finishing right behind them in third position.
Aidyn Rakhimbayev (KAZ) / Anton Nikolaev (RUS) also delivered in fine style by securing fifth place. Krzysztof Holowczyc (Poland), however, had bad luck: Health problems forced his Spanish co-driver Moises Terralladona into retirement with two special stages contested.
The conditions were anything but easy. Heavy rain on Friday turned the prologue on into an extremely muddy affair and although the sun was shining throughout the Saturday, the track that was used for SS2 and SS4 remained wet, muddy and slippery as it was mainly located in the woods.
The battle for the win was taken down to the final special stage. Up to that stage, Terranova and his Argentinean navigator Bernardo Graue held the lead but on the final kilometers, Nasser Al-Attiyah was just faster and secured the win. Throughout the event, the Argentinean and the driver from Qatar were involved in an enthralling fight for the lead and the win in the Hungarian Baja.
Terranova started into the event with a win in special stage one and succeeded in extending his lead on Saturday morning. Then, Al-Attiyah won special stage three but just a few hours later, the Monster energy X-raid Team driver struck back. Nonetheless, Al-Attiyah succeeded in passing Terranova on the final special stage to secure the overall win.
"I’m happy with my third place," revealed Orlando Terranova. "I contested this event with a new co-driver and honing our cooperation represented my top priority. So, it was just great that we were able to battle it out for the lead with Nasser right from the start!"
Al-Attiyah could reduce his deficit in the World Cup standings by some points but Vasilyev’s lead still amounts to more than 50 points. In the prologue, the Russian had to settle for finishing eighth but held a top-four position throughout the Saturday.
"Second place is a solid result," said Vasilyev. "And an important one for the World Cup. Nasser has to push if he wants to gain ground while we can decide if we want to just add more points to our tally or take more risks – what can be successful or result in a situation that forces us to travel home empty-handed."
Rakhimbayev also was happy with having finished fifth. He had been slightly surprised by the rain on Friday but nonetheless, he completed all the special stages without encountering any major problems. He improved kilometer by kilometer and worked his way up from 11th to 5th position.
"Quite obviously, it’ is a pity that we lost our lead in the final special stage," said Team Manager Sven Quandt. "But we can be really happy with having finished second, third and fifth. Orly got on really well with his new co-driver right from the start and Vladimir scored valuable World Cup points. And in just two weeks, he will be back in action in the Baja Poland."
2014/08/18 | 12:43 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/QUANDT