Orlando Terranova celebrates his triumph at Baja España Aragón, Vladimir Vasilyev finished the fifth in the overall standings.
As the last year, the result of the struggle for prizes was determined at the last special stage of the race. The fight for the podium ended with a fascinating final chord among the favorites, but yesterday’s “adventures” and today’s loss of time due to a punctured wheel and driving in a dusty train on a narrow road did not allow the crew of Russians Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov to get involved into it; however, they managed to finish in the top five.
The Argentine Orlando Terranova confirmed his dominant position in the Cars category. Behind the wheel of the Mini John Cooper he set the best time at the southern special stage of the rally that the crews drove through in the morning, and became the second at the final special stage of the race, thus winning his first Spanish Baja. The second place was taken by the “best among the Spaniards” Joan Nani Roma; his spurt from the fourth position and the won SS-4 allowed him to complete the rally in the top three. Jakub Przygonski secured the third place; he managed to outrun Martin Prokop and leave him just a step away from the podium. And both of them took the lead in the FIA World Cup classification due to Vladimir Vasilyev’s misfortune.
Vladimir Vasilyev, the crew driver, “We tried to play back what we could today, we managed to climb two positions. Of course, it was impossible to get the rest. At the second special stage of the day we punctured the second wheel during the race, so we lost the “extra” two minutes. We drove a lot in the dust, caught up with the Portuguese Ramos, who started before us, and drove in his dust for a very long time. Overtaking is hard there – it’s dusty, there’s a lot of sharp stones. He didn’t let us go about 30 kilometers, however, he says that he didn’t hear the Sentinel signal – they have some own devices and you won’t check whether they work correctly or not. He noticed us visually when there was a series of back corners. He saw that we were sitting on his “tail” and let us go. But it was too late, our wheel was punctured. While we were driving in a dusty train, it was cut by stones and just exploded. We stopped to mount the spare one, and Ramos drove us around. But we overtook him again – he punctured the wheel. The roads there are not for overtaking – either narrow with stones, or dusty; there are no such places, where you can pass each other without the signals. So, if a person doesn’t let you go, you won’t overtake anyone”.
There are four more rounds of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas; the struggle of the favorites for the coveted Cup that will continue at the next race in Hungary is increasingly intriguing – the 16th edition of Hungarian Baja will take place from 8 to 11 August.