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Silk Way Rally: Rally officially cancelled - "Nobody wants to visit Russia now". | 23.04.2014


Sealine Rally Qatar: Stage victories for Al Attiyah, Sunderland and Abu Issa. | 23.04.2014


Australia 2014: Robinson / Skinner winning AORC opening round in Kalgoorlie. | 21.04.2014


Sealine Rally Qatar: Jutta Kleinschmidt and Fabrizia Pons back in the Desert. | 20.04.2014


Breslau Rally: Rally will be more International - new full Cross-Country class. | 15.04.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot unveiled first details of Peugeot 2008 DKR Proto. | 15.04.2014


FIM World Cup: Paulo Gonçalves - "It's not about luck - it’s about hard work". | 15.04.2014













































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Northern Forest: Nice duels between G-Force Protos and Latvian Mitsubishi.







By Robb Pritchard: For the last couple of days thunderous Russian skies have been on the news but Saturday morning it was thunder in the frozen forests as prologue winner Vladimir Vasiliev blasted away in his awesome sounding 7l V8 G-Force...

In Russia the clocks don't go back in winter so at 9.30 as crews took their furry boots off and headed off into the trees the skies were still dull from a gloomy dawn...

Three runs through the same 100 km long stage was what was in store, a route of fast and sweeping roads that suddenly dive off into tight and rough tracks threading through the endless forest. And every twist and turn is lined by unforgiving snow banks waiting to catch out any who slip wide...

An hour and 18 minutes later it was Vasiliev first at the finish, but after loosing 2 minutes changing a tyre he punctured on a sharp tree root he wasn't first on the time sheets. Leading the field was Jouni Matti Ampuja, a driver perhaps overshadowed in the pre-event build up by his well-known team mate Harri Rovenpera.

"We only did 10 km of testing before the race so we didn't really know what to expect," he said. His name might be new to most people but he has 15 years of rallying experience in his native Finland so is certainly not new to driving fast on snow and ice.

RE Auto Klub team mate Rovenpera had a rather less successful 1st stage in the sister Mitsubishi after a roll cost some 25 minutes. "The road is harder than I thought," he smiled and the 2nd loop wasn't any easier as he lost power steering...

In 3rd place after the 1st stage was Evgeni Firsov in his in his Nissan, just 2 minutes behind Vasiliev. But trying too hard to win the stage had a spin, which made him determined to push even harder...

With a clear run through Stage 2 Vasiliev took 3 minutes out of a rather shocked Ampuja, although the Finn was slowed by struggling with a failing 3rd gear. "I have to hold the gear stick in so it's quite hard to drive," he explained. "And 3rd is the gear I use the most." But any hope of pushing for a win on the last stage was lost when he also lost 2nd and 4th.

Moving up to 3rd was the 2nd G-Force of Victor Volikov, co-driven by his son Anatoly. "The 1st stage was really slippery because of the fresh snow as the studs in the tyres couldn't get down to the hard ice underneath, but the 2nd stage went much better for us although the gap to the car behind us is not so big."

Firsov was just 35 seconds behind and wanted the last place on the podium... but pushed too hard again, caught a tree and rolled over a snow bank dropping down to a eventual 6th.

In my time I have seen many Land Rovers at the end of a tow-rope but never one behind a G-Force. But as is often the case in Russia, things weren't quite as they seemed.

"Something went wrong on the car and we went straight into the trees," explains Ukraine's Bogdan Novitsky. "Many crews stopped to try and help but no one could get us out but then Mikhael Lisyak came in his Land Rover. He managed to get us out but it cost him the radiator... which is why we towed him to the finish."

A Mitsubishi without a full compliment of gears wasn't going to be able to challenge Vasiliev and he took it easy through the last stage, although his time was 1,5 minutes faster than the 2nd pass. The highest placed rookie in the deserts of the Dakar came home to the frozen forests and adds another trophy to his growing collection. Ampuja was relieved that he could get around the last stage and took 2nd 6 minutes behind.

"I never raced in Russia before but the atmosphere here is great and I'd like to thank my team, RE Auto Klub. I think that I'll be doing some more rally-raids with them in the future" said Ampuja.

It also seems that we'll also be seeing more of Rovanpera in the World Cup as he was impressed with his first experience in Russia. “The organisation here is great and the next idea is definitely to go to Italy and then maybe some more races as well, but we'll need to sit down and talk with the team.”

The immediate rally-raid future is the Italian Baja on the 14th - 17th March, where Vladimir Vasiliev is the reigning champion. And one footnote that also relates to the future. Boris Gadasin was running as the '0' car... and had he been in the race he would have won!

01) Vladimir Vasiliev / Vitaly Yevtyekhov I G-Force Proto I 03:50:22
02) Jouni Matti Ampuj / Tapio Suominen I Mitsubishi I 03:56:16
03) Viktor Volikov / Anatoly Volikov I G-Force Proto I 04:05:45
04) Evgeniy Firsov / Vadim Filatov I Nissan I 04:13:44
05) Dmitriy Ievlev / Aleksey Shaposhinikov I Nissan I 04:29:20

2013/02/18 | 12:05 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/PRITCHARD











Silk Way Rally: Rally officially cancelled - "Nobody wants to visit Russia now". | 23.04.2014 11:42 | NEW




Dakar Rally 2015: Dakar Tour has visited Tokyo and the Japanese competitors | 23.04.2014 11:05 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Stage victories for Al Attiyah, Sunderland and Abu Issa. | 23.04.2014 10:56 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Marc Coma - "Terrain completely different to Abu Dhabi" | 21.04.2014 17:59 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Joan Barreda - "Really pleased with the stage in Qatar" | 21.04.2014 17:34 | NEW




TORC 2014 VIDEO: "Duel in the Desert" impressions of the Primm Valley race | 21.04.2014 17:14 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Al Attiyah, Holowczyc and Vasilyev first winner in the cars | 21.04.2014 15:48 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Honda´s Barrera and Sonik the early bike / quad leader | 21.04.2014 14:56 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar VIDEO: Rally scene and short interviews before the start | 21.04.2014 14:29 | NEW




Australia 2014: Robinson / Skinner winning AORC opening round in Kalgoorlie. | 21.04.2014 13:39 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar VIDEO: Overdrive Toyota Hilux testing before the rally | 21.04.2014 13:33 | NEW




Australia 2014: GHR Honda Team dominates Condo 450 Rally in the bikes | 21.04.2014 13:21 | NEW




SCORE 2014: Armin Schwarz and AGM aim for podium at Imperial Valley 250 | 20.04.2014 18:59 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Team Honda HRC to defend championship leadership | 20.04.2014 18:50 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Competitors from 18 countries to start in Qatar Monday | 20.04.2014 18:23 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Jutta Kleinschmidt and Fabrizia Pons back in the Desert. | 20.04.2014 15:17 |




Sealine Rally Qatar: Yazeed Al-Rajhi rejoins Toyota Overdrive Tam in Qatar | 19.04.2014 15:48 |




Sealine Rally Qatar: After a short break, four X-raid Mini are back in action | 19.04.2014 15:24 |




Donaldson CC: Tovey first footballer in Imperial Auto Celebrity Challenge | 19.04.2014 15:08 |




Hungarian CC: Second race, second win for Polish Chevrolet at Turkeve Cup | 16.04.2014 19:50 |




Sealine Rally Qatar: Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah to compete in a Mini All4 Racing | 16.04.2014 19:22 |




Breslau Rally VIDEO: Official trailer of the legendary Breslau Rally Poland 2014 | 15.04.2014 23:08 |




Dakar Rally 2015 VIDEO: The Lion is back - Peugeot 2008 DKR presentation | 15.04.2014 23:05 |




Breslau Rally: Rally will be more International - new full Cross-Country class. | 15.04.2014 20:06 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Dakar Tour stopped in the Netherlands with Cyril Despres | 15.04.2014 19:24 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot unveiled first details of Peugeot 2008 DKR Proto. | 15.04.2014 19:05 |




Hungarian CC VIDEO: Short impressions Turkeve Cup - Nissan Qashqai Proto | 15.04.2014 18:53 |




Hungarian CC: Double bad luck for Hungarian Solyom Team at Turkeve Cup | 15.04.2014 18:41 |




Australasian Safari: Competitors from all around the globe - Rallysafe System | 15.04.2014 18:13 |




Dakar Rally 2015 VIDEO: Tatra-Union - Loprais and Buggyra Dakar Forces | 15.04.2014 17:39 |




FIM World Cup: Paulo Gonçalves - "It's not about luck - it’s about hard work". | 15.04.2014 17:38 |




Sealine Rally Qatar: QMMF announces route for Sealine Cross Country rally. | 14.04.2014 17:43 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Marc Coma - "We fought until the last kilometer" | 14.04.2014 17:11 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Official video impression D5 in Abu Dhabi | 14.04.2014 16:24 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Summary Vasilyev Mini All4 Racing Team | 14.04.2014 16:19 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Kazakhstan Teams Interview Sven Quandt | 14.04.2014 16:13 |




TORC 2014: Kleiman adds second Truck 2014 - keeps busy at Primm Valley | 14.04.2014 15:55 |




TORC 2014: Canadian two-truck team Sle Co Race had a challenging weekend | 14.04.2014 15:47 |




TORC 2014: Cenni wins season opener - Kvamme gets first career podium | 14.04.2014 14:26 |




TORC 2014: Hoek welcomes Nitto & Trailready with solid start at Primm Valley | 14.04.2014 14:19 |




















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