Vasilyev, Terranova and Przygonski locked in three-way title fight as the head to Jordan Baja showdown

Vasilyev, Terranova and Przygonski locked in three-way title fight as the head to Jordan Baja showdown

18.09.2019: Jordan Baja 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas Three gladiators of world cross-country rallying will lock horns and battle it out for FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas at this weekendís Jordan Baja, starting in the stunning Red Sea resor

Jordan Baja 2019
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas

Three gladiators of world cross-country rallying will lock horns and battle it out for FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas at this weekend’s Jordan Baja, starting in the stunning Red Sea resort of Aqaba tomorrow (Thursday).

No outright wins, but a series of consistent finishes, have given Russia’s Vladimir Vasilyev a slender six-point advantage in the title race after six of eight rounds.

With a best result of the season being second place at the Italian Baja in June, Vasilyev’s and co-driver Konstantin Zhiltsov’s success has come on the back of the reliability of a VRT Rally Team Toyota Hilux, prepared by Overdrive Racing.

In Jordan, however, the crew will switch to one of four older specification X-Raid Minis entered in the FIA category, with both the Russian’s title rivals also running in the same Germany-based team. Because of logistical issues to transport cars and equipment to the Red Sea in a short time frame, the X-raid Minis were shipped to Jordan before Baja Poland and will not return until after the Rally of Morocco.

Argentina’s Orlando Terranova is the man in form. The Mendoza driver stormed into title contention with three successive wins in Italy, Spain, and Hungary this summer and has amassed 90 points to trail Vasilyev by six. A power steering issue cost the former series leader another potential podium at the last event in Poland.

Poland’s Jakub Przygonski is the defending champion in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies and has bounced back into contention to win the Bajas series with second place in Baja Poland at the start of the month. The former enduro rider also won the Dubai International Baja in March and now has an outside chance of securing the title. He trails Vasilyev by 17 points and Terranova by 11.

Thirty points are on offer to the winner in Jordan, with 21 for second, 16 for third and 12 for fourth, so the permutations are endless and it is very likely that the outcome will go down to the final round in Portugal in October.

Victory for Vasilyev on Saturday evening in Aqaba would give the Russian another giant step towards another FIA World Cup title to add to the FIA Cross-Country Rallies success he achieved in 2014, but a win for either Terranova or Przygonski would throw the race wide open. There are several outcomes to take to the final round if Przygonski prevails and his rivals hit trouble.

Two other drivers may have a say in the outcome as well. A fourth of the older specification Mini All4 Racings will be driven by Yasir Seaidan. The Saudi has the pace to win the event outright and will be using the stunning desert terrain in Wadi Rum as a perfect shakedown for the Dakar Rally that takes place in his homeland in 2020.

Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi is no stranger to rallying in Jordan. He won the Jordanian round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) in 2007 and has been on the MERC podium five times. The decision to tackle the Baja will see the Abu Dhabi Racing star crossing Wadi Rum competitively for the first time. The Emirati carried out a test session with French co-driver Xavier Panseri on Tuesday.

“It was a fine day where we tried to find the right balance for the car,” said Khalid. “The terrain is completely different to the last rally a few months ago in Abu Dhabi. It is less sandy, with more fast tracks, lots of canyons and wadis, which requires a different type of driving. We had to make a couple of changes and hope they will work well on the rally.”

His Peugeot 3008 DXR is a proven winner on desert terrain in the hands of the French works team: the two-wheel drive car won on its Dakar competition debut in 2017 with Stéphane Peterhansel at the wheel and Carlos Sainz made it two in a row for Team Peugeot Total the following year. 

Overdrive Racing is a Belgian car preparations team and had hoped to team up with Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa  to run a car for the Dakar-winning Qatari Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah in Jordan. However, since news broke that double FIA Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso has joined the line-up and is carrying out preparations an assault at the Dakar Rally in January 2020, Toyota’s plans changed.

T3 category front-runner Fedor Vorobyev lies fifth in the Drivers’ Championship points standings, but will be more focused on confirming a first T3 title than challenging the leading quintet in Jordan.

There are two entries in the T2 category for series production cross-country vehicles. Claudiu Barbu drives a Nissan Navara and Saudi Arabia’s Muneef Al-Salmani will be out for showroom class glory in a Nissan Patrol. A win for Barbu would give the Romanian an outside chance of stopping Latvia’s Aldis Vilcans from sealing the T2 title in Portugal. They are currently separated by 43 points with a maximum 50 available to Barbu for two wins.

The Hungarian duo of Balazs Szalay and Laszio Bunkoczi will experience their first taste of the deserts of southern Jordan in an Opel Grandland X. Guy Britton, meanwhile, has made a late switch from a T3 Can-Am to drive a Mitsubishi Pajero at the rear of the field.

Meshari Al-Thefiri leads the privateer GCC entry. A regular competitor and defending champion in the MERC 2 (Group N) category, Al-Thefiri teams up with Qatari navigator Nasser Al-Kuwari to tackle the event in a Nissan Patrol. The Saudi contingent consists of Ha’il International Rally regulars Motab and Majeed Al-Shammeri and Mohammed Al-Twijri.

There is also a National Rally category and a motorcycle section running behind the main FIA event.

In a compact route of 762.68km, 504.62km will be timed against the clock pending any last minute amendments.


Jordan takes another giant step into FIA motor sporting history when it’s first ever round of the Baja series gets underway with a short super special stage close to the centre of Aqaba from 16.00hrs.

This will determine the starting order for the first of the longer selective sections through Wadi Rum on Friday morning and precedes the official pre-event press conference on the start podium and the ceremonial start from 19.00hrs onwards.

- Neil Perkins, photos Jordan Motorsport


18.09.2019 / MaP

More News

Vorobyev and Cinotto go head-to-head for T3 glory in Jordan Baja
2019 Jordan BajaFIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas – round 7September 19-21, 2019 Fedor Vorobyev and Michele Cinotto will kick up the dust and try and survive punishing heat in the deserts of Wadi Rum, when they go hea more >>
Ata Al-Hmoud faces formidable motorcycle challenge at Jordan Baja
2019 Jordan BajaFIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas – round 7September 19-21, 2019 If Ata Al-Hmoud is to retain his Jordan Baja crown in more >>
Invaluable Rally Raid experience for Fernando Alonso at Lichtenburg 400
Fernando Alonso and Marc Coma completed an eventful but invaluable learning experience at the Lichtenburg 400 in South Africa on September 13-14 with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. Following successful training sessions in Namibia and Poland, the Spanish duo entered round five of the South African Cross Country Series, their first rally raid competition together in the Toyota Hilux.  more >>
Prost-Senna rivalry reignited as Bruno Senna joins Extreme E Driversí Programme
Extreme E, the innovative new electric off-road racing series, launched its Drivers’ Programme last week with a number of leading names in motorsport signing up and today, Bruno Senna joins the line-up. Senna, who has compete more >>
Qatar's Adel Abdulla and MMP Team 24h Tout Terrain de France review
  2019 24H Tout Terrain de France September 14-15, 2019 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 Qatar&rsquo more >>
Dakar veteran Marc Coma joins Fernando Alonso at Toyota Gazoo Racing
Marc Coma, five-time Dakar Rally winner in the motorbike class and six-time FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Champion, has teamed up with Fernando Alonso as his navigator at TOYOTA GAZOO Racing as the pair continues with an intensive rally raid training programme in the Toyota Hilux.   more >>
Reduced rates for 2020 Africa Eco Race close on Sunday
AFRICA ECO RACEJanuary 5th-19th, 2020 •        Dutch sports channel Ziggo Sport signs up for daily 50-minute broadcasts  Time is running out for competitors wishing to be more >>
Extreme E reveals world-class Driversí Programme
Extreme E, the electric SUV off-road racing series, has today launched its Drivers’ Programme, with a roster of world-class names expressing their interest in joining the revolutionary new championship. The first to commit include multiple FIA World more >>
Qatar's Adel Abdulla joins French Team for first attempt at French 24h off-road event
Terrain de France September 14-15, 2019Qatar’s Adel Abdulla will make a dramatic return to off-road rallying action when he joins a French team to tackle the 27th edition of the este more >>
Extreme E to partner with Paramax and Titan on Giant Screen / IMAX movie project
Extreme E, Paramax Films, and Titan Cinema have today announced an exclusive partnership that will see the story of the groundbreaking, all-new electric SUV off-road racing championship reach the silver screen in its largest, most spectacular and immersive form; Giant Screen / IMAX. more >>
Positive final balance sheet for Monster Energy Honda Team at the Atacama Rally
Atacama Rally 2019 2019 Cross-Country Rallies   Round WORLD3 , Post-Race Monster Energy Honda Team come away from the Atacama Rally with a good final reckoning. The team lined up four factory riders to tackle a gruelling more >>
Jordan Motorsport announces quality field for Jordan Baja
2019 Jordan BajaFIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas – round 7September 19-21, 2019  •    New Aqaba-based round of FIA Baja World Cup to be staged in Wadi Rum  more >>
Sam Sunderland leads KTM Factory Team to World Championship
Sam Sunderland (GBR) has sped his way to the 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. The British biker kept up his incredible form at Rally Atacama to win the season long rally-raid championship with a round to spare.Sunderland arrived i more >>
Final podium for Joan Barreda in the Atacama Rally
Atacama Rally 2019 2019 Cross-Country Rallies   Round WORLD3 , Stage 5 Saturday, September 7th 2019Monster Energy Honda Team rider Joan Barreda claimed a final podium place at the end of the Atacama Rally after a second position more >>
Sam Sunderland and KTM win 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship
3rd Rd. Rally 2019 – Atacama Rally (CHI)Saturday, September 7th  2019Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Sam Sunderland has won the 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship by placing as runner-up at the penultimate round of the series – the Atacama Rally in Chile.  more >>
Monster Energy Honda riders keep their podium options open in the Atacama Rally
Atacama Rally 2019 2019 Cross-Country Rallies   Round WORLD3 , Stage 4 Friday, September 6th  2019Joan Barreda finished the day as the top team rider with a third place finish at the end of the second leg of the more >>
Toby Price tops the timesheets on stage 4 of Atacama Rally
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price has won the extremely demanding fourth stage of the 2019 Atacama Rally. Teammate Sam Sunderland finished a close second, just two minutes down on Price. Matthias Walkner claimed his best result of the event so far in fourth with Luciano Benavides claiming 10th.  more >>
Extreme E announces broadcast deal with FOX Sports Asia
Extreme E has signed a multi-year broadcast partnership with FOX Sports Asia which will see the pioneering electric SUV off-road racing series screened live across Southeast Asia, starting in February 2021.The championship, which unveiled Greenland as its first confirmed location last week, is set to revolutionise motorsport and entertainment with its E- more >>
Brabec improves and finishes second in the Atacama Rally marathon stage
Atacama Rally 2019 2019 Cross-Country Rallies   Round WORLD3 , Stage 3 Thursday, September 5th 2019The third day of the Atacama Rally race has drawn to a close in Diego de Almagro, where the riders will spend the night in the temporar more >>
Sunderland sits second overall as Atacama Rally reaches halfway stage
3rd Rd. Rally 2019 – Atacama Rally (CHI)Thursday, September 5th  2019Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Sam Sunderland and Toby Price have completed day three of the 2019 Atacama Rally in third and fourth places respect more >>
Red Bull KTM Factory Team stand tall in heat of Rally Atacama
  Photo caption: Sam Sunderland, Matthias Walkner, Toby Price & Luciano Benavides © Edoardo Bauer/Red Bull Content PoolThe Red Bull KTM Factory Team are tackling the perilous dunes of Rally Atacama. After two desert s more >>
One-two for Monster Energy Honda as Kevin Benavides takes the leadership in the second stage of the Atacama Rally
Atacama Rally 2019 2019 Cross-Country Rallies   Round WORLD3 , Stage 2 Wednesday, September 4th  2019A positive all-round day for Monster Energy Honda as the team clinched the day’s top two positions: the more >>
Sunderland third fastest on Atacama Rally stage 2
3rd Rd. Rally 2019 – Atacama Rally (CHI)Wednesday, September 4th 2019Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Sam Sunderland has put in another strong performance at the 2019 Atacama Rally to post the third quickest time on the extremely fast and technical stage two. Continuing to impress on his return to rally competition, Toby Price placed more >>
Quality mileage for Fernando Alonso in Poland with Toyota Gazoo Racing
Fernando Alonso completed a successful two-day training in the Toyota Hilux on September 2-3 in Szczecin, Poland covering 700 kilometres, including sections used by the recently-concluded Baja Poland. The training course featured a variety of sand tracks, hard and soft soil, and bumpy terrain developed by rally raid specialists and the team’s logistics partner, Overdrive Racing. more >>
Strong opening stage for KTM riders at Atacama Rally
    3rd Rd. Rally 2019 – Atacama Rally (CHI)Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Sam Sunderland has successfully completed the first full stage of the 2019 Atacama Rally in second place. Also posting impressive times on the challenging route, Matthias Walkner was fifth fastest, with Toby Price and Luciano Benavides both inside t more >>
Monster Energy Honda get the Atacama Rally underway with fine results
Atacama Rally 2019 2019 Cross-Country Rallies   Round WORLD3 , Stage 1 Kevin Benavides and Ricky Brabec performed well on the first stage of the Atacama Rally. Joan Barreda and Nacho Cornejo likewise got off to a swift start in the Ch more >>
Monster Energy Honda face the opening kilometres of the Atacama Desert
Atacama Rally 2019 2019 Cross-Country Rallies   Round WORLD3 , 1 A prologue of just four kilometres got the Atacama Rally off and running yesterday with the Monster Energy Honda riders performing a notable special. The rally will have its f more >>
Guilherme Spinelli guides South Racing's new Mitsubishi L200 Triton to podium finish on debut in Brazil
27th Rally dos Sertões, BrazilAugust 24th-September 1st, 2019Brazilian driver Guilherme ‘Guiga’ Spinelli and his navigator Youssef Haddad gave their new South Racing-built Mitsubishi L200 Triton more >>
Atacama Rally- Monster Energy Honda get the action underway in the Andes on Monday
Atacama Rally 2019 2019 Cross-Country Rallies   Round WORLD3 , Scrutineering Chile’s Atacama Desert, from Monday through to Saturday, will be the battleground for the third round of the FIM World Cross-Country Rally Championship, with Mon more >>
Baja Poland: One-two win for X-raid
•    Holowczyc wins his home event•    Przygonski secures second placeThe X-raid team celebrated a one-two result at the Baja Poland, the sixth ro more >>
South Racing Can-Am Team's Vorobyev extends FIA T3 Baja seies lead after victory in Poland
Orlen Baja Poland – August 30-September 1, 20192019 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 6 Sunday, September 1st, 2019South Racing Can-Am Team’s Fedor Vorobyev moved ever closer to clinching the T3 Championship title with a second successive victory on a round of the 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas.   more >>
Overdrive Racing's Vasilyev regains FIA Baja Series lead with podium finish in Poland
2019 Orlen Baja PolandAugust 30-September 1, 2019 A valuable podium finish for Overdrive Racing’s Vladimir Vasilyev in the demanding Orlen Baja Poland, round six of the 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, more >>
Red Bull KTM Factory Team will battle dunes at Rally Atacama
photo caption Sam Sunderland, Matthias Walkner, Toby Price & Luciano Benavides © Marcin Kin/Eric Vargiolu/DPPI/Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content PoolA major test awaits the bikers of the Red Bull KTM Factory Team as more >>
Extreme E confirms Greenland as Arctic race stage
Extreme E, the pioneering electric off-road racing series, today revealed its first race location, confirming that Greenland will host the Arctic round of the championship when season one gets underway in 2021.L-R: Jess Svane, Greenland's Minister for more >>
Price and Walkner back racing on their bikes at Atacama Rally after injury.
Toby Price has set his sights on emulating Stéphane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres by winning the Dakar Rally on four wheels as well as two.As the Australian lines up for the Atacama Rally on Monday, it is his first motorcycle event since breaking his wrist on this year’s Dakar, as well as marking a return for two-wheel rival Matthias Walkner more >>
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing back in action at Atacama Rally 2019
3rd Rd. Rally 2019 – Atacama Rally (CHI)Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Sam Sunderland and Luciano Benavides have arrived in Chile to contest the 2019 Atacama Rally. Currently lying first and third in the FIM Cross-Country rallies World Championship, the two riders will be joined by teammates Toby Price and Matthias Walkner as they each return to compet more >>
Monster Energy Honda Team all set to compete in the Atacama Rally with the full squad
Atacama Rally 2019 2019 Cross-Country Rallies   Round WORLD3 , Preview Just a month and a half after finishing the Silk Way Rally, one of the season’s most gruelling races, the Monster Energy Honda Team engines are once again read more >>
Fernando Alonso Completes Successful Training with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing
Having formally announced his intention to prepare for a possible entry in the 2020 Dakar Rally earlier this week, Fernando Alonso completed three days of intensive rally-raid training with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in the Namibian desert. The reigning FIA World Endurance Champ more >>
Fernando Alonso keeps an eye on Dakar with Toyota Gazoo Racing
  After a successful campaign in the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship, Fernando Alonso and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will join forces once again in the upcoming months for a series of tests with the Toyota Hilux, the car that is expected to compete in the next Dakar Rally. more >>



Jobs Around the World

2001-2020 full copyright