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Baja Poland: X-raid with four Mini All4 Racing - chase for World Cup continues. | 26.08.2014


Baja Poland: Overdrive Racing with five Toyota Hilux and Nasser Al Attiyah. | 26.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Mitsubishi´s Spinelli / Haddad the new leader in the cars. | 26.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Gonçalves wins SS2 in Bikes but Coma still overall leader. | 26.08.2014


Rallyraid: Kamaz Master legend Ilgizar Mardeev tragically died in an accident. | 26.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Honda´s Paulo Goncalves wins second stage in the bikes. | 26.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Second victory of Overdrive´s Varela/Gugelmin in stage 01. | 25.08.2014













































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Northern Forest: Winter-Ice-Baja started with Prologue - G-Force premiere.






By Robb Pritchard You'd be forgiven thinking that rally-raids are about deserts and dust but the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies kicks off here in the snowy forests near St Petersburg, in the aptly named Northern Forest Baja.

Missing from the full calendar for the last two years the popular event is being run as a candidate round with the aim of being restored to its rightful place to the championship in 2014.

Event HQ is at the ski resort of Igora, 60km north of St Petersburg and 43 crews passed through scrutineering to line up in a lightly falling snow for the prologue.

4km of sweeping turns and jumps along a specially ploughed track with thick walls of snow either side was all the teams had to negotiate... but it turned into a nightmare for a couple of the top teams... although thankfully the apocalyptic fireballs were falling out of the sky few thousand kilometres from where we were...

First away was the '0' car, Boris Gadasin in the startling new G-Force. It has an opinion-polarising body-shape but the 8.2l V8 roaring through the trees sounded amazing. Top rookie at this year's Dakar Vladimir Vasiliev was first contender away dancing his older G-Force between the banks and he ended up blitzing the field, a full 6 seconds ahead of ex-WRC star Harri Rovanpera in his Mitsubishi.

"It was very difficult as everything is new for me," said the Finn. "I am used to driving with pace notes but here I need to tackle a road I don't know, with not many details from my co-driver. The last time I drove a rally without reconnaissance was 20 years ago, which is a long time!"

But not everyone got around the course without incident. Ruslan Misikov in his stunning new Nart Time BMW lost over 19 minutes. "There was a sharp turn after a crest and it looked as if it went straight on... and we got stuck on top of a snowbank with the wheels spinning. Of course, I am disappointed, we were pushing for podium."

One vehicle that caught everyone's attention, almost as much as Gadasin's, was a Gaz Elle van, a Russian version of the Transit Van. At first I thought it was running as some kind of joke, but a look at the timesheets shows that driver Alexander Kostrukov is serious. Out of the 43 starters he finished 25th!

Other names in the field include Ilya Kuznetzov, also back from the Dakar, but his Toyota Land Cruiser beached itself on the same snowbank as Misikov. Benjamin Dzeepaev got his hybrid-electric Yoh into 15th and Yuri Borovikov took his Chevrolet Niva to 11th.

Tomorrow the real action starts. Three times round a 100km loop which is a mix of fast, flowing turns over crests and tough, tight forest tracks with rocks lurking in the snowbanks. Spiked tyres are allowed but as Rovanpera is aware, the whole route is blind, crews only have a roadbook marking the junctions and the worst hazards...

2013/02/15 | 20:15 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/PRITCHARD











Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 19:14 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 18:57 | NEW




Baja Poland: X-raid with four Mini All4 Racing - chase for World Cup continues. | 26.08.2014 17:21 | NEW




Baja Poland: Overdrive Racing with five Toyota Hilux and Nasser Al Attiyah. | 26.08.2014 16:45 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Mitsubishi´s Spinelli / Haddad the new leader in the cars. | 26.08.2014 05:17 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Gonçalves wins SS2 in Bikes but Coma still overall leader. | 26.08.2014 05:02 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Nice impressions from the first days in Brazil (79) | 26.08.2014 04:53 | NEW




Baja Poland VIDEO: Official trailer of the Baja Poland FIA CC World Cup 2014 | 26.08.2014 04:32 | NEW




Donaldson CC: Test of character for the teams at South African Vryburg 450 | 26.08.2014 03:49 | NEW




Rallyraid: Kamaz Master legend Ilgizar Mardeev tragically died in an accident. | 26.08.2014 03:09 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 02:30 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 01:59 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Driving onboard with Overdrive Toyota Hilux of Verala | 26.08.2014 01:46 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Honda´s Paulo Goncalves wins second stage in the bikes. | 26.08.2014 01:28 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment video of SS01 Sunday (crash) | 26.08.2014 00:56 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Equipe Mitsubishi Petrobras crews in the first stage | 26.08.2014 00:53 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Second victory of Overdrive´s Varela/Gugelmin in stage 01. | 25.08.2014 20:01 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall & daily CARS & TRUCKS SS01 on Sunday | 25.08.2014 00:04 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall & daily BIKES & QUADS SS01 on Sunday | 24.08.2014 23:32 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: HRC´s Rodrigues "Think that has been a good day for us". | 24.08.2014 22:57 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Marc Coma wins SS01 in front of Rodrigues and Goncalves. | 24.08.2014 21:43 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Onboard NWM Ford Ranger X-Rally Team prologue | 24.08.2014 21:32 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Goncalves, Azevedo and Coma fastest in bikes Saturday | 24.08.2014 21:27 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment video of the prologue Saturday | 24.08.2014 20:57 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team in the prologue Saturday | 24.08.2014 20:54 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Varela, Baumgart and Spinelli fastest cars in the prologue. | 24.08.2014 20:29 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Team Facco meeting rolled Cestari in the prologue | 23.08.2014 21:33 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall & daily CARS TRUCKS Prologue Saturday | 23.08.2014 21:16 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall & daily BIKES & QUADS Prologue Saturday | 23.08.2014 20:41 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: HRC Honda Paulo Goncalves fastest in the bikes prologue. | 23.08.2014 20:22 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Rally started with Press Conference - Prologue on Saturday. | 23.08.2014 18:03 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Equipe Mitsubishi Petrobras - test Mitsubishi ASX | 22.08.2014 21:18 |




Rally dos Sertões: Team HRC back in action for the thrills of the Dos Sertoes | 22.08.2014 20:59 |




Verva Street Racing VIDEO: Official trailer for the unique Warsaw sport-event | 21.08.2014 20:41 |




Verva Street Racing: Carlos Sainz and Peugeot 2008 DKR premiere in Warsaw. | 21.08.2014 20:25 |




Rallyraid: The new Schlesser customer racer - 4x4 Mercedes instead of buggy. | 21.08.2014 18:32 |




Rally dos Sertões: Top brands and great beasts in bikes, quads and UTVs. | 21.08.2014 18:01 |




Carpathian Buggy Challenge: First Buggy-Challenge in Romanian mountains | 21.08.2014 17:33 |




TORC STC 2014: Crandon welcomes Popcorn Sutton´s Sportsman Challenge | 21.08.2014 16:57 |




TORC STC 2014: Fannin Motorsports suffers first ever DNF at RD8 in Crandon | 21.08.2014 16:20 |




















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