|Italian Baja: Entries closed, Jean-Louis Schlesser to start in Italy next week.|
Entries are closed for the Italian Baja. The competition, which will start next weekend, will represent the opening race both of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars and trucks and the unedited FIM Bajas World Cup for bikes and quads.
At the very last moment the organisation got the entry of the biker Alberto Basso, protagonist of the last two editions. This time the competition is valid for the World Cup and the biker from Porcia is ready to ride his Honda 450 to get a fantastic trio of victories.
Among quad riders there are competitors coming from Russia, Spain, France, Hungary and even from the U.S.A., as the Uruguayan Luis Henderson (Yahama) lives in Miami; no rider from Italy.
Curiosity is increased by the foreseen performances of the three trucks: The MAN driven by Elio Moro, the Mercedes of Giulio Verzeletti and the Iveco of Renato Rickler, which re-propose the T4 category nine years after the success gained by the Hungarian trio Szalay/Darazsi/Lener.
Leader of the scene will be mostly FIA cars, thanks to the favorite Russian Boris Gadasin with his G-Force Proto, who aim to the top of the General Rank. Last year the "Tsar" from Saint Petersburg had to fight against the driver from Moscow Leonid Novitskiy with his Bmw X3.
This time his greatest challenger will be the "Sultan" Khalifa Al Mutaiwei with a Mini All4 Racing - and "Grand Master" Jean-Louis Schlesser, who also signed "last minute".
The French driver has a monstrous curriculum caracterized by five World Cup Rally Rraid (from 1998 to 2002), two Dakar (1999 and 2000), two prototype championships (1989 and 1990) and two Italian Baja (1998 and 2002). Last year in Pordenone he has obtained the fifth place overall, the first of the two-wheel drive.
The Italian "Bigs" will chase victory in the national championship, especially the pluri champion Lorenza Codecà (Suzuki) and his challengers of the Ralliart Team - nine crews representing all race’s categories - leaded by the favorite Riccardo Colombo (Mitsubishi).
2012/03/10 | 16:37 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/HS/IB