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Northern Forest: "What they said" after Stage 1 (Saturday).

Alexey Berkut (Russia): Everything is fine. However, we are going first on the road, so it is quite hard to drive: Track, snow... We’ve lost quite a lot of time because of that. On the wide clean roads it is ok, but in the forest it is harder and we had to slow down. The road is great, superb!

Janis Naglis (Latvia): Great! Very nice and pleasuring! The route is made very professionally. We have not a second to be bored. There are no oddities that we sometimes see on other competitions. Everything is very professional - as in the FIA Marathonrally Worldcup. The cold is ok. Of course, it is a bit hard for the car but we always can heat it and prepare it for this cold. This is the winter that makes the difference.

Ruslan Misikov (Russia): I didn’t see the results yet. The wide roads are good indeed but there’s much snow in the forest and the road is cleaned too narrow. If you hit the road side with a wheel, the car starts going to a side. The main problem is the cold - our hands and legs are freezing and so is the windscreen. Bad visibility, but as far as I know from the service conversations, we all have the same problems, so this is equal for everyone.

Christian Lavieille (France): I am glad I came to this rally. It is true that this is my first snow race. And I even drive such a car for the first time. The road book here is different but the stuarts work is good and we are happy with everything. We just have problems with the rear brakes and our Terratrip does not work. We hope it all will be fixed by tomorrow and we will continue. We are accepted here very good. Everything is very nice. I would only prefer more turns on the route. We have an original car and it’s very heavy but it is good for the first time.

Alexander Zeludov (Russia): Everything is going well, no problems with the car. We are driving carefully and are taking no risk. We need to finish and half of the race is yet to go. The route is interesting. The second round was faster, as the forest roads became more rough. There was a lot of snow in the forest in the first round and it was very slick.

Kirill Shubin, co-driver of Binyamin Dzhepayev (Russia): We have a fight with Yuri Borovikov. Hope that the road will be broken after two rounds, so we will have an advantage. Yuri has chosen the tires for the wide rough roads and winning seconds from us due to this choice, but these tires work worse on the broken road. But, of course, if the road will be a total wreck, he will change the tires again.

Dominique Housieaux (France): It is my first winter racing experience. It is clear that the track is slippery: Snow, ice and so on. First day we spent adapting. Second day was more successful. We made three SS. First one we drove accurately, because we were afraid of icy tracks. Through the second SS this fear was gone and we have adapted our car. On the third SS we raced even faster. We did SS2 5 minutes better than SS1 and SS3 was one minute faster. We forgot about freezy weather and it felt hot in the car. Local people are very friendly, you are very-very warmharted. We are pleased to be here.

Boris Gadasin (Russia): There was no problems today, everything is going well. It was a bit difficult to overtake other cars because snow powder hanging in the air didn’t let us approach close enough that the guys could see us. And because of the previous day technical difficulties we were 11th on the start, we had to spend a lot of time overtaking other participants. Yesterday we have lost belt that drives power steering pump. And there is such a gear that it was impossible to steer without this device. So we drove slowly and lost 1.5 minutes. Thus we got bad starting position.

Alexey Kuzmich, co-driver of Pavel Loginov (Russia): We drove very slow on the first SS, because it was very cold. Our windshield was getting foggy and even electric warming didn’t help. Additionally it was very slippery - the track wasn’t beaten-in yet. Next SS was faster, and we improved our result significantly. We overtook Zhiltsov and Soloviev. On SS3 we overtook Dzhepayev but it took some time, so the result was a bit worse.

2007/02/25 | 09:23 CET | Editor: Northern Forest Liveteam

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