|Italian Baja: Slippy conditions in Italy, prologue shortened for kilometers.|
The Italian Baja today is 18 years old, that’s to say it is old enough to deserve the World Cup. The adventure Fia World Cup for Cross Country Rallies starts from Pordenone: it’s a honour for the city and a right prize for the perseverance of the Fuoristrada Club 4x4, which always worked hard to bring it back to the highest level.
This afternoon the Rally started with the Prologue near the city Pordenone - and it was a nice, sunny weather, but bad road conditions. Mud and slippy roads waited for the participants - and the track was shortened for 7 kilometers on the first day.
Surprise: After X-raid BMW decided only to come with the Russian Leonid Novitskiy and his German Codriver Andreas Schulz, the spectators saw a second X3CC in Italy. The former FIA World Champion Miroslav Zapletal and Tomas Ourednicec from Czech Republic started with the second BMW instead of their Hummer H3 - and were running good in the first day.
In the results we also had a surprise: The Spaniard J. Roca and his Codriver J. Ferrer made the Super Special in the fastest time with 5:39 minutes - 1 second before the Germans Matthias Kahle/Dr. Thomas Schuenemann in their SAM Mercedes 35CC and the Russian Boris Gadasin in his G-Force Proto (5:44). Best X-raid were Novitskiy/Schulz on 4th position (5:49). French "Patron" Jean-Louis Schlesser and his codriver Jean-Paul Forthomme had to fight with the slippery conditions, received 9th position after 10 kilometers.
Bad minutes for the German FIA-newbees Ingo and Silke Kaldarasch in their Lennson CC Mercedes, prepared by the "G-Raid"-Team: They lost control in their first meters of FIA-history, 800 meters in front of the finish line they were too fast, slipped from the street and rolled their Mercedes. "Everything is fine, the car only small damaged" says Kaldarasch after the race.
Tomorrow the stages are called after "Jean-Louis Schlesser" and are also shortened. The first cars will start in 8:30 in the morning, at 9:00 in the evening there will be a night-race.
2011/03/18 | 21:42 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY