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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: The Saturday of withdrawels and crashes.

The Italian Baja in Pordenone, also applicable for the Fia International Cross Country Bajas and for the Tout Terrain Rally Italian Championships, is brimming with excitement and entertainment. Yesterday (Saturday) the first leg confirmed the predictions of the day before; Marc Roura Blazquez on his Nissan Navara from Spain in the lead after a doing the 230km track in 02:49:23.

Provisionally in second place there is Boris Gadasin from Russia on a Nissan Pick up truck with a 1:41 gap, whilst Sandor Kis from Hungary on a South African Nissan Navara has a 6:24 gap.

Right from the start on the "Aviano" selective section there has been great competitiveness amongst the competitors. The Crew made up of Jozef e Marek Sykora from Slovakia (Mitsubishi Pajero), who were second in the prologue on Friday, was overturned 2 kilometres from the finishing line.

Later on in the race Tonino Tognana (Fornasari RR450) also faced the same setback, in exactly the same place. In order to avoid Sikora’s car he lost control and was consequently overturned several times. Although a little shocked and a few discernable dents on the car, the pilot from Padua was able to restart, suffering only a significant loss of time, which was also due to problems with gears in the Prologue. On the other hand Franco Grigoletto (also Fornasari) hit a plant and had to withdraw from the race.

Next was the "Spilimbergo" selective section. The great problem was crossing the riverbed because all competitors found water entering their vehicles. In this selective section Boris Gadasin from Russia managed to achieve the best time and momentarily went into the lead whilst Blazquez lagged slightly behind. Jens Winkelhock from Germany badly hit a stone with his ORC Mercedes ML Evo II-B, after a while of repairing the team decided also to withdraw from the race. Lukasz Komornicki from Poland (SMG Gache Buggy) was not very happy with the several water-crossings (which a very bad for a buggy) and decided to abandon the Baja.

Josef Kakrda and his Co. Petra Lesniakova from the Czech Republik "parked" their Isuzu Vehicross in one of the numerous water canals - they didn´t manage a narrow curve while passing a Military Base, hit a wall and jumped into the canal full of clear water from the nearly Italian Alps. "First we were lying on the side, but the we could manage to move the car precisely during the canal-walls. We tried to get out the car from there, but know we need a crane to get it back from there to the track" laughed Josef Kakrda.

The Belgian Vincent Thijs and Yves Rutten damaged the front of their Mitsubishi Pajero Evo after a disappointing prologue on friday (based on technical problems), Valter and Stefano Benazzato (Peugeot 604 R Proto) had to withdraw after problems with the gearbox, many cars were lying their cars on the side. Rusland Misikov from St. Petersburg in Russia, racing with a rented Dessoude Nissan Pathfinder T2, rolled his red Nissan in the second selective selection in Spilimbergo, after a while of repairing he decided to start again and to "fight back" from one of the last positions. "It was crazy" said Misikov, "we did´nt realise what happened, but we hit a ditch very fast, jumped out and rolled the cars three times. Nothing happened to us, but we damaged the car heavily and lost all windows."

Amongst the Italians there was an unexpected feat by Angelo Montico, who has changed from Quads to Cars this year, on a Mitsubishi Pajero; he achieved the best time on the riverbeds of the Tagliamento, also thanks to a perfect knowledge of the places. After mechanical assistance in Basaldella di Vivaro, the competitors repeated the Selective Sections of "Aviano" (twice) and "Spilimbergo."

Blazquez is once again the main protagonist and Montico is Fifth in the general ranking order. In addition Montico tenaciously remains in first place in the Italian Championship classification even though he had problems with his engine towards the end of the day.

In second place, for the Italian Championships, we find Mario Ricci on a Fornasari RR 450 with a 6:15 gap; following in third place is Marino Abini on a Mitsubishi Pajero with a 9:38 margin. Therefore lagging behind there is the 2006 Italian champion Roberto Ciampolini (Mitsubishi Pajero) and the 2005 champion Lorenzo Codecà (Suzuki New Grand Vitara), whilst the 1999 champion Andrea Toro (Nissan Patrol Gr) is fourth with a 9:42 gap.

On Sunday the second and last leg: two sections on "Aviano" (Starting times: 8:05am and 12:05pm) and two on "Tagliamento" (times: 9:25am and 13:25pm) with the Grand Finale at the Dream Village in Cordenons and awards on the arrivals platform.

2007/03/18 | 09269 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Italian Baja Liveteam

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