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Italian Baja 2007 Special-Newssection (FIA International Baja Cup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Italian Baja 2007, 1st round of the FIA International Baja Cup. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Italian Baja: 75 car-competitors to start at the Italian Baja 2007.

Today (Friday) the FIA Cross Country Cup for Bajas 2007 is opened with the Italian Baja - and the entries are more international than ever. 77 competitors in the car class and 26 competitors in the quad class passed the technical scrutineering on Thursday and Friday morning, including teams from Italy, Spain, Slovakia, Czech, Japan, Hungary, Russia, Poland, Qatar, Germany, United Kingdom, Israel, Portugal, Brazil, Belgium and Lithuania.

No official manufacturer teams, but many professional cars (like from Nissan Spain, Dessoude, Technosport, ORC, SMG Gache or Bowler) are competing for the first FIA Baja title in 2007 - the chances to get a place on the podium are mixed as never before. The fastest car in the line-up is definitely the black SMG Gache Buggy from France, driven by the Polish Lukasz Komornicki - for him it is the first time in a buggy after some years with Mitsubishi and Nissan 4x4-cars. "The car could reach between 205 and 220 km/h" said a member of the SMG-Team - this could be interesting, because the 2007 Italian Baja has many straight routes, especially on Sunday.

The "stars" of the Italian Baja are not only coming from Italy - they had to drive some more kilometers to start in the south of Europe. Ex-Dakar-winner Kenjiro Shinozuka from Japan, last year´s winner Marc Blazquez from Spain, Jozef Sykora from Slovakia, Sandor Kis and Laszlo Palik from Hungary, Alexey Berkut and Ruslan Misikov from Russia and Jens Winkelhock from Germany are some of the "big names" in the race.

The field is (as usual) dominated by different Nissan- and Mitsubishi-Cars, but just as the competing champions also the other listed cars are various and interesting. Prototypes, based on Peugeot and Renault, the "strange" Italian Fornasari (which looks like a sportscar), lots of Isuzu D-Max, three Bowler, a Hungarian Volkswagen Touareg and an armada of Suzuki Grand Vitara (they drive their own challenge) are setting colored points.

Two cars are especially interesting: The new Mercedes ML-Class Evolution 2 from the German rally-developer ORC is built to beat rallycars like X-Raid BMW. It is not only the first Baja for these cars, it is also the first duel between two different ORC Mercedes ML Evo 2 ever. From the ORC-factory-team a new ML-Class Evo 2 starts with touring-car specialist Jens Winkelhock and ex-KTM Moto-Factorydriver Juergen Mayer. As a private customer team the German Sven Knorr and Torsten Frohlich will drive the second (rebuilt) ML-Class Evo 2.

The Italian Baja will be driven in three rounds including a 6 kilometer prologue in the near of a golf-range on Friday. The first leg on Saturday is based in the near of the village "Aviano" and about 44 kilometers long. As on the second leg on Sunday, which is about 46 kilometers long and based near the village "Spilimbergo", all participants have to drive four rounds each.

2007/03/16 | 11:39 CET | Editor: MR/Italian Baja Liveteam

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