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Northern Forest: What they said at the Baja after SS3 and SS4.

Gadasin: "Frankly speaking, the day was not so easy. During the first 5 kilometers we had an old propshaft with a bad vibration and when we were accelerating up to 200 km/h, it broke down. On the first loop we had only the front-wheel drive, but it was a good training, then we got used to the track. After the service we put a new propshaft and we had to attack to win back the lost time. The only thing that didn't give us the opportunity to drive with pleasure was snow, much snow. That is the reason why the studs didn't reach the surface. The car was amazing! I enjoy driving, learn to drive. With this engine it is more important not to push but to ease off at the right moment."

Zhuravlev: "Of course, we are not satisfied with the day's results. We didn't drive every stage till the end and didn't get the marks at checkpoints. We realised that it was necessary to save the car. Now everything depends on mechanics. We hope that we'll manage to restart tomorrow."

Misikov: "Considering the snowfall, the snow appears on the route again even after two passes. There're also deep ruts in the forest, and that makes driving more difficult. There're a lot of cars which are more narrow than our, and that's why it's not that easy to follow the right lines. On plain parts of the stage they drive as they can and it means that the visible trajectory is not always the best, and it's not very safe to follow them. We're second now, and we must understand if we can attack Boris (Gadasin) tomorrow of we'd better keep our current position. We'll take the decision when we see the results of other competitors."

Mironenko: "Up to the moment everything is Ok. We' ve improved throught the day. As for me, we managed to drive quite fast. If we can, I'll try to push tomorrow."

Berkut: "Unfortunately I don't know the day's result. But the feeling is that we learnt to drive this car. Though we drive not on high speed. We always have some problems, today the brakes were damaged on the last stage, we were driving the most part without brakes at all."

Oleinikov: "The track changed its character after the first loop. We're not satisfied, and our engine is not up to its best form yet as we've just revamped it. The route is very tricky, especially the first part of the "Northern Forest", where any slightest mistake can be your last one."

Loginov: "I wasn't satisfied with the first loop, it went better for the second one, and I almost liked the last pass through the stage. That means we're getting used to it, even despite the track changing radically after each pass. On the first one it was very slippery, on the next we had a better grip. I was getting used to the car."

Manfrinato: "I think our results are not very good. We pucntured a tyre and lost 6 minutes for changing it. However, we posted a very good time on the last stage. So, the evening turned out to be quite successful for us, and we have a good feeling for tomorrow. Just pity that the weather isn't consistent enough."

Brants: "Very difficult, driving over both snow and bushes. We're learning though, and it's a very good school. I have few experience, I have taken part in a winter rally only once, but that was on icy surface, while here it's a completely different story - we're driving on snow., so there's a room for improvement for us. We have to find a good rhythm and keep to it."

Laugalis: "The road is perfect. We didn't get tired. No problems yet."

Hismattulin: "The route drastically changed with every next loop. That's the influence of more powerfult cars. I'm a newcomer to this sport, and it's my first time in such a race, that's why I can't judge the situation competently. However, I can say the following about my impressions - the first loop was used by me to get the feeling, as I have never driven a car in such conditions. When we completed the stage, my co-driver, who is more experienced im motorsport, told me about the mistakes I made. i think that both the 2nd and the 3rd loops were much better for me. The roads themselves are very interesting and twisty. It begins with some inteesting parts and then, when we enter the forest, it seems like that trees are growing just on our way. We successfully made it to the finish though, however we had some big moments. "

Frolov: "It was a unique case - we hit the same tree on two passes through the stage. I've never had such moments in my driving career since 2000. And while firstly we managed to continue further, on the second time we ripped of a wheel's suspension, and the wheel got stuck in a wrong position. Firstly the tyre got shredered, and then the alloy was also destroyed. We had to cover about 40 kilometres like that. Then we put on a new wheel, but it also punctured, but the rim wasn't damaged. We made it to the finish even with such a wheel. Nobody hadn't overtaken us for more than 30 minutes and we were able to accelerate up to 100 km\h."

Savenko: "It started snowing, it was nice. Then EMERCOM helped, thanks to the guys from Petersburg. The road is good, it is plain already. In general, the driving depends on skills and luck because it is possible to leave the route."

Volikov: "The baja "Northern forest" is always nice as winter rally is very pleasant. Unfortunately the visibility was getting worse on every loop and we had to be more careful. On the first loop it was hard because of too much snow. Our main aim was to keep the speed. After driving on the rally "Dakar" it is the main component of success. One shouldn't look back at rivals."

Denisov: "Beginning from the second loop it was much easier to drive and we raised our pace. On the third stage we lost minutes because the track was rough and we just wanted to save our car. Our front reduction gear was not still perfect, we wanted to preserve the car. In general, today we are satisfied."

Varentsov: "The track is rough, a deep rut, but it is even better for our car. We are contented. It will be harder tomorrow as the moving direction on the stage will be changed. We' try to find other tyres."

Zeltins: "On the second loop nothing changed, everything was ok. We haven't learnt the results yet, but I believe they will be all right. We are ready to fight tomorrow."

2009/03/02 | 21:22 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Northern Forest

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