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This is the single-news section of the news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Northern Forest: Boris Gadasin wins Russian Snow-Baja

On Sunday the Northern Forest Winter-Baja - the only Baja in Snow - was finished with the second Stage in the near of St. Petersburg. The Russian Boris Gadasin could secure his leadership from the first stage and finished the rally as First with his Nissan Navara Pickup only 2:03 minutes in front of Ruslan Misikov (Russia, Mitsubishi L200) and 2:52 minutes before the Latvian Janis Naglis (Mitsubishi Pajero). Last year´s winner Alexey Berkut lost some time on Sunday and finished the Baja as Fourth.

The last leg was the same route as on Saturday, but only driven in two rounds about 86 kilometres each without service-area - and in the backward direction. This made the leg especially different: The route was not even slippery than the day before, the spikes of the tires made it harder and scratched a line into it. But even this made it difficult, because the ideal-line was now in the false direction. "Curves are dug into backwards. Each time you go sweeping front wheels tend to hit snow border and rear ones are sliding" said Rusland Misikov, head of the organizing Nart-Time Rallyteam. "At first I thought that I’m making one mistake after another and got upset a bit. But then I thought it over and understood that everyone is in equal position - and that is what matters to me."

There was a reason for using the same lap for five special stages - only a few local roads are used in winter. Most of them are bound with snow and thus closed till spring. Many hours of hard work even with heavy landmoving machinery needed to clear kilometer after kilometer. Fortunately there were no snowfall on competition days.

Dominique Housieaux and his navigator Jean-Michel Polato (Ralliart Mitsubishi Pajero) finished the Baja as the best French Team on 5th position, FIA Marathonrally Worldcup T2-Champion Christian Lavieille and his Co Arnaud Debron were 8th overall, Jacky Bourgin and Gerard Ancement (Mitsubishi Pajero) reached position 18. Happy with the race but not with many luck finished the fourth participant from France, the 25-times Dakar-Competitor Etienne Smulevici. Like Lavieille he started with a rented Toyota Landcruiser and missed the finish-line after technical problems. "I needed some time to learn to drive under this special conditions, my last race on snow was 14 years ago" said the French after the Finish. "But it was quite interesting, the Organisation made a very good job and it was a special experience for me."

30 from 36 cars reached the finish-line after the last stage, only one accident happened. A Russian participant - the oldest competitor in the Russian Rallyraid-Championship - rolled his UAZ-Car 40 kilometres after the start but first could start again. But he lost his concentration and so he rolled his car a second time only 10 kilometres before the finish. In the second crash the car was totally damaged, but luckily nobody were injured.

"This is a good result for our Rally" said Organizer Ruslan Misikov on Sunday Evening. "No serious problems happened during the race. Amasingly no protests were filled also. Everything went as smooth as possible. This makes us hope that eventually more foreign racers will come to "Northern Forest" to compete. This is a unique chance to try challenging winter race without sacrificing european comfort in the meantime."

The Russian Winter-Baja was observed by the FIA-Agent Marc Roy, who was also happy with the result of the Baja. "The Organisation has already matched European standarts and you can see and feel, that they are working with a great pleasure. Everything was well, also the small details before, during and after the race. Now it is very important the the foreign participants to tell other Foreigners about this Baja what was happening here - to gather even more participants for this race. It is always not easy to place a new Baja in the FIA European Baja Cup - especially when it´s outside of the Middle-European Countries, which have a big lobby inside the FIA. We all now, this is not the fairest way."

The Northern Forest was finished officially with the price-giving ceremony - and also with this the Organisation made a great job. Normally after the price-giving "all it´s over" and every is going home - not in Russia. The hosts presented a great after-party with live-music, shows, losts of Russian food and drinks and a great entertainment for competitors, mechanics, their friends and relatives, sponsors and press. Except the snow, country and temperature another special detail, which makes the Northern Forest Baja to a special and interesting event.

2007/02/27 | 09:23 CET | Editor: Northern Forest Liveteam

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