Hungarian Baja, si comincia
Le verifiche amministrative e tecniche si svolgeranno al Varasi Sportcsarnak nel pomeriggio di domani, giovedì 14 agosto, mentre venerdì mattina - giorno di ferragosto - dopo la cerimonia di apertura i partecipanti affronteranno la prima prova speciale di circa 57 km con partenza alle 16,30 per la prima moto. Sabato invece ci saranno 4 speciali con partenza della prima moto alle 7: i piloti ripeteranno i due settori da 54 km e 96 km per due volte, prima di rientrare a Papa per le premiazioni al Varasi Sportcsarnak che si terranno in serata.
La gara raggiunge quest'anno dunque, la sua undicesima edizione e vanta nel suo palmares i nomi di Nasser Al Attiyah che la vinse nel 2008 al volante di una Bmw, Boris Gadasin nel 2010 e 2012 con il G Force Proto, Leonid Novitskyi sempre con Bmw ed infine Nani Roma lo scorso anno con la Mini X Raid. E proprio quest'ultimo team arriverà quest'anno in Ungheria con uno squadrone, ben 4 Mini X Raid. Il Monster Energy X-raid Team insieme al Team X-raid (il team clienti per capirci) questa volta saranno capitanate da Orlando Terranova - l'anno scorso era Nani Roma la punta di diamante della squadra - e al volante delle Mini All4 Racing ci saranno stavolta Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL) insieme a Moi Torrallardona (ESP) al via anche nel 2013, i russi Vladimir Vasilyev e Konstantin Zhiltsov attuali leader della Coppa del Mondo e Aidyn Rakhimbayev (KAZ) / Anton Nicolaev (RUS).
Ma oltre alle Mini al via c'è anche un altro squadrone importante che è quello della Toyota Overdrive che schiera al via tre vetture. In questo caso il ruolo di capitano lo giocano i due polacchi Marek Dabrowski e Jacek Czachor anche se in realtà nelle fila del team c'è un signore di nome Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah che si aggiunge al Team che schiera appunto Marek e Adam Malysz al volante di tre Overdrive Racing Toyota Hiluxes. Per la Coppa del Mondo si tratta della settimana gara dell'anno e l'Italia sarà rappresentata da il duo Trivini Bellini su Mitsubishi mentre nella lisat degli iscritti figurano anche Zapletal e Gadasin.
Fra le due ruote invece al via ci sono Alessandro Ruoso ed Alex Zanotti oltre alla compagine portoghese composta da Rui Oliveira, Pedro Bianchi Prata, oltre allo spagnolo Oriol Escale che fa sempre parte del team di Pedro. Simone Toro e Stefano Cavaciuti correranno con i loro quad, mentre negli Utv troviamo, immancabili, Graziano Scandola, Gianmarco Fossà e Raffaello Manenti.
The event is based at the historic baroque town of Pápa in Veszprém county and takes place on August 14-16. Administration checks will take place at the Varasi Sportcsarnak on Thursday afternoon (August 14) and Friday (August 15) morning, before the ceremonial start and the first 55.5km stage take place on Friday evening. Four timed selective sections of 73.5km, 120.5km, 73.5km and 120.5km are planned for Saturday (August 16), before the event reaches a conclusion with the prize giving ceremony at the Varasi Sportcsarnak in Pápa on Saturday evening.
About the car we have to record Al-Attiyah returns to the team with whom he won the Saudi Arabian Ha’il Baja and will drive a car similar to the one he plans to drive at the 2015 Dakar Rally. The Qatari has experimented with several cars this season, but is relishing the prospect of adding to the 106 points he has already scored in this year’s FIA World Cup that have catapulted him into third place in the points’ standings behind Russian driver Vladimir Vasilyev and Saudi Arabian rival Yazeed Al-Rajhi. Al-Attiyah – winner of the Hungarian event in 2008 - will again be co-driven by the experienced Frenchman, Matthieu Baumel. Dabrowski and Malysz hold fourth and sixth in the FIA World Cup standings in the Team Orlen Toyotas and head to Hungary with their respective Polish co-drivers Jacek Czachor and Rafal Marton. The pair have achieved several consistent results this season with the V8-powered Hiluxes that are run by the Belgian Overdrive team in conjunction with Hallspeed of South Africa. “We are delighted to welcome Nasser back to the team,” said Overdrive Racing’s team director Jean-Marc Fortin. “He will be with Overdrive Racing and Toyota in Hungary and Poland, for sure. We have a strong three-car line-up and will be pushing hard for the win. Nasser needs to get back into contention for the championship and what better way to do that than to take a win in Hungary.” The Overdrive Racing team’s best result to date on the Hungarian Baja was third overall for the Venezuelan driver Nunzio Coffaro last year.
Main rivals for the Overdrive trio this weekend include championship leader Vasilyev, Czech Miroslav Zapletal, Russian Boris Gadasin, Pole Krzysztof Holowczyc and the Argentinean Orlando Terranova.In the Baja Aragon, Terranova and his team-mate Nani Roma battled it out for the win throughout the event. In the end, the Argentinean was just a few seconds behind Nani Roma and had to finishing second. This time, in the Hungarian Baja, Terranova wants to attack again. For his Polish team-mate Holowczyc it’s the third appearance, this year. He already contested the Dakar Rally in January and the Sealine Cross Country Rally in Qatar.Meanwhile, Vasilyev has got another goal, in the seventh round of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup. The Russian currently is the World Cup leader with a 51-point lead over second-placed Yazeed Al Rajhi and a 65-point lead over Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah who follows in third position. Vasilyev wants to extend his World Cup lead and with a win, he could add another 30 points to his tally. Rakhimbayev is going to make his third appearance at the wheel of the MINI ALL4 Racing. For the Kazakh, familiarising himself with his new racing car still represents the main ambition.
The two-day Baja will be started this Friday afternoon with the first 55.5-kilometre stage. On Saturday, the competitors will have to contest another four special stages. The first and the third with a distance of 73.5 kilometres, with 120.5 kilometres having to be covered in the second and the fourth.Team Manager Sven Quandt: “With a total distance of about 600 kilometres, the Hungarian Baja is extremely short. So, you just mustn’t make any mistakes. Vladimir in particular must get through safely to keep on scoring points. It goes without saying that it would be perfect if he should succeed in extending his lead without having to take unnecessary risks.”
Orlando Terranova: “Some weeks ago in Spain I was just beaten by a few seconds but I’m going to again give my very best in Hungary. At the same time, the special stages are far shorter, here and therefore, even the slightest mistake could make a big impact. The MINI itself always worked fine, so far and therefore, our chances look bright.”Vladimir Vasilyev: “We scored several points in Spain but we certainly could have secured a better result. Nonetheless, we mustn’t overdo it, here. Should we keep on securing top-three or top-four results, thing’s look promising, for us. With just two days, the Baja in Hungary is rather short and we have to focus on finishing without encountering any problems.”