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Transiberico Rali: Russia´s G-Force Motorsport at Transiberico.

From Igor Chervonny, [ ]: "How come a white woman appeared on a stage in Morocco"? That's the phrase by Russian crew Co-driver Vladimir Demyanenko, which explains everything the G-Force Motorsport Team from Russia has faced so far in the Rali Transiberico 2009. He said this during SS3, when the heat in the car made him feel like he was in Africa. The awful heat which Russian people are not got used to, was the central plot in G-Force Motorsport's adventure on this event. We understand it's not an excuse, but that's the reason of why the team has been silent for such a long time...

But let's start with the beginning. And the beginning is quite long, because the team's race began much in advance before the real rally actually started. First we ran (yes, even really on feet, over Saint-Petersburg) in order to get a shengen visa for our mechanic, but for some bureaucratic problems failed to obtain it. So we "lost" one of our most experienced mechanics just before such a difficult race as a round of the World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies. However, we didn't give up and continued our preparations.

Two G-Force Motorsport assistance crews set off almost a week before the race to reach the destination in time. Though, misfortunes continued striking the growing squad. On the Russian border one of the crews wasn't allowed to leave the territory of our country. And man that was the most important assistance crew - a big truck will all major spare parts and service systems inside it! It took us almost two excess days to return the truck to the team's headquarters, unload it, put some of the spares into two light off-road vehicles and a trailer and drive them in Portuguese direction again.

Can you imagine who were among those people who drove 5.000 kilometres with a trailer from Russia to Portugal? Yes, the drivers themselves - Boris Gadasin and Alexey Denisov! That's the mileage they covered on the eve of the race - almost without food and sleep. And still they did start on the event and are still competing! However, all those adventures mentioned above put a lot of additional pressure on the team already during the race. For example, the senior managing staff of G-Force Motorsport had to help their mechanics by driving assistance cars on liaisons and sorting out things they hadn't been originally supposed to do. All for one aim - so that our crews could have a rest and prepare for tackling the stages.

In Russia we have a proverb - "Happy is the person who has a lot of friends". Vodafone Rali Transiberico 2009 showed that G-Force Motorsport are all very happy - and moreover - lucky to have so many good friends and partners. As was mentioned in the first news from the race, the Prolama team (run by Rui Sousa) helped us before the event - and continued doing so during it! For example, Mr Sousa himself drove with the me to help us find some high-quality tools in Portugal when the team needed them at the Bivouac in Castelo Branco (of course, as in Murphy's law, those tools were left in the truck which had to be left in Russia, 5.000 kilometres away from here...). More help came from our compatriots in Georaid Team Russia. They also provided G-Force Motorsport with some useful devices which due to the circumstances we didn't possess here.

But if not for the heat (with temperature rising up to +43 C in shade), all that would have seemed quite mere troubles. Solar activity was what made both men and machinery suffer especially acutely and heavily. Both G-Force Motorsport crews (#6 - Boris Gadasin and Vladimir Demyanenko and #28 - Alexey Denisov and Dmitriy Kozhukhov) were first hit by the fuel system overheating problems on their cars. And while for the latter it meant "just" a great loss of time, the former had to retire on the second stage of Leg 1.

However, the leader of the 2009 FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas Boris Gadasin stayed optimistic despite all the troubles. He was amazed by how well two new systems that had been installed in the car before the race worked - the advanced power steering and the front sway bar. Leg 2, though held in the territory of Spain, didn't bring any changes to the team's fortunes - both crews retired due to a heat shock which hit both of drivers during SS3. And while Boris Gadasin managed to finish the stage, Alexey Denisov had to stop halfway through the stage and be delivered by helicopter to a mobile hospital for health inspection. After an hour of intensive treatment did he feel much better and even expressed his desire to restart the next day under superally rules.

This passage we must devote to explanation of why it all happened like that. Both crews were stuck behind slower cars. It was especially evident in case with Gadasin, who was about to drive 7th on the road, but was late at the start and hence had to make his way through some much slower cars. Unfortunately it didn't work out, and it wasn't the crew's fault. Only first ten kilometers could they drive at full pace, as soon they were slowed by a Defender car for about 30 kolimetres, and later drove 70 kilometres behind a very slow crew #33 (Lino Carapeta/Rui Antonio) until almost the very end of the stage when Boris gave in and stopped pressing. All the time during that period our crew was using Sentinel overtaking alarm, but it was ignored by the competitor ahead.

Boris and Vladimir didn't write any applications about this at the finish just because our crew wasn't worried about their own results and wouldn't want to spoil some others' race. Our team however considers that the FIA should pay more attention to the unsporty behavior of some crews and check safety systems of all the crews. That's really important, because in some cases it not only influences the performance, but sometimes even health, just like it happened to Alexey Denisov. He couldn't overtake the car in front of him, moreover he made some dangerous mistakes because of the dust from the car ahead. Don't forget about the heat, three-layer overalls and helmets.

So, after a bunch of unsuccessful attempts to get ahead of his slower rival, Alexey felt bad when he breathed in too much dust and a hot air. Having stopped, the crew requested for a medical helicopter which delivered Alexey to a mobile hospital. The medical service of the rally was very professional and made all the necessary treatments to make sure the driver was Ok, and only after that did they let him go. He didn't start the second loop, of course - it was too dangerous.

SS8 Classification (159,72 km)

01) Filipe Campos I X-Raid BMW X3CC I 1.42.18
02) Carlos Sousa I Mitsubishi Racing Lancer I at 1.44
03) Nicolas Misslin I Mitsubishi Pajero MPR13 I at 3.35
04) Nani Roma I X-Raid BMW X3CC I at 8.24
05) Alexander Mironenko I Nissan Navara I at 9.24
06) Guerlain Chicherit I X-Raid BMW X3CC I at 11.08
07) Rodolphe Deveaux I Mitsubishi Pajero MPR13 I at 13.09
08) Bernardo Moniz da Maia I X-Raid BMW X3CC I at 14.44
09) Hélder Oliveira I Nissan Pathfinder I at 15.45
10) José Dinis Lucas I Mitsubishi Pajero DiD I at 16.06

Overall after SS8

01) Guerlain Chicherit/Tina Thorner I X-Raid BMW X3CC I 15.11.08
02) Hélder Oliveira/Filipe Palmeiro I Nissan Pathfinder I at 1.16.27
03) Bernardo Moniz da Maia/Joana Sottomayor I X-Raid BMW X3CC I at 1.32.14
04) Rodolphe Deveaux/Luís Ramalho I Mitsubishi Pajero MPR13 I at 1.50.08
05) José Dinis Lucas/Luís Tirano I Mitsubishi Pajero DiD I at 2.21.47
06) Lino Carapeta/Rui António I QT Wildcat I at 2.24.34
07) Fernando André/Luís Gomes I Renault Mégane I at 2.27.54
08) Alexander Mironenko/Sergey Lebedev I Nissan Navara I at 2.39.44
09) Pedro Silva Nunes/Paulo Torres I Mitsubishi Pajero I at 2.49.02
10) Artem Varentsov/Roman Elgin I Toyota Land Cruiser 100 I at 3.15.08

2009/06/23 | 13:28 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Igor Chervonny

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