Vladimir Vasilyev wins the Baja RAF Northern Forest

Vladimir Vasilyev wins the Baja RAF Northern Forest

07.02.2021: The first round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas ended with a confident victory of Vladimir Vasilyev and his co-driver Alexey Kuzmitch. On the final day of the Baja RAF Northern Forest, the Vasilyev/Kuzmitch crew showed the best time at each s

The first round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas ended with a confident victory of Vladimir Vasilyev and his co-driver Alexey Kuzmitch. On the final day of the Baja RAF Northern Forest, the Vasilyev/Kuzmitch crew showed the best time at each special stage and made the victorious finish.

During the previous three days of the cross-country baja, the weather in the Leningrad Region pleased the organizers and participants – frost about -15C and night snowfalls made it possible to keep the track in perfect condition. Today has not been an exception – it was snowing at night, and the frost did not decrease.

On Sunday, the participants had to overcome two special stages with a total length of 188 kilometers. In the morning, the second leg winner Andrey Novikov drove the first to the track. But it immediately became clear that Vladimir Vasilyev would not allow anyone to claim for the victory at the ninth special stage.

And so it happened! As a result, at the finish line of the first Sunday special stage, Vasilyev was the first, and Andrey Novikov, who became the second, lost more than two minutes to him. The third and fourth results were shown by Denis Krotov and Sergey Uspensky; Boris Gadasin rounded out the top five.

The final special stage results did not differ much from the results of the ninth one – Vladimir Vasilyev became the fastest again, and Andrey Novikov was his main pursuer once more. But then the situation was different. Sergey Uspensky and Denis Krotov swapped places, and Yury Arshansky rounded out the top five this time.

According to the preliminary results of the three-day race, Vladimir Vasilyev won the Baja RAF Northern Forest for the third time in his career. Andrey Novikov took the second place, losing about eight minutes to the winner. Boris Gadasin finished the third, losing more than half an hour to the race winner; in addition the most experienced Petersburger won the T3 standings.

Vladimir Vasilyev, driver, crew #201, “Everything’s OK! The race is gorgeous, and the weather, most importantly, is gorgeous too! There’s frost and sun, a wonderful day. But yesterday the weather let us down. It decided to test me, I see, there was much snow. I liked it – the weather is really winter. Even yesterday’s blizzard didn’t spoil it, but gave its own charm.

This year I haven’t planned to go to the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, I will participate in the marathons and the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies. I’m not sure if I take part in the whole season, let’s see how it goes, we plan to drive marathon races. And we drove this baja for the warm-up, we have to pass the home race”.

Andrey Novikov, driver, crew #203, “We had a wonderful day, the weather was excellent, the race took place, we finished, everyone is safe and sound, the track was wonderful, the strongest won. What more can be said? Everything is very cool. See you again on the tracks”.

Boris Gadasin, driver, crew #210,  “It was a calm day for us, because we had a fairly good margin relative to our rivals, so the task was to reach the finish line without unnecessary risk. We tried to do it on the track – we drove the first special stage a little bit faster, and at the second one we went neatly so as not to damage the wheels.

I liked the race, this year there is wonderful weather, wonderful conditions for the service – the fact that it was made inside warm boxes for the first time is really great and I would like to immediately book a box for the next year. The track was interesting, and the rivals were interesting too – there were all the components of a good race”.

Andrey Rudskoy tried to win back one position to the last minute and get into the top five – at the finish he lagged behind Nifontova, who took the fifth place, by a little more than one minute.

Evgeny Sukhovenko had the fourth result, being only seven minutes from the podium. Anastasia Nifontova, together with co-driver Ekaterina Zhadanova, showed an excellent fifth result in the overall standings and the second one in the T3 standings. This is the best result for all female crews in the history of the Baja RAF Northern Forest.

And if in the top six the positions did not change on the last day, the situation in the group of pursuers has undergone serious changes. Alexey Ignatov, who took only the tenth place at the end of Saturday, passed Aldis Vilcans and Claude Fournier.

In addition, Tatyana Sycheva stopped on the track due to technical problems, after Saturday’s special stages she took the seventh place. As a result, Ignatov finished the seventh, Fournier became the eighth, Vilcans took the ninth place and Anvar Ergashev rounded out the top ten.

Vladimir Vasilyev also became the winner in the RAF Cross-Country Championship standings.

Lina Arnautova,    Olga Eremeeva- photos bajarussia

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/vladimir-vasilyev-baja-russia-raf-northern-forest---219097.html

07.02.2021 / MaP

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