Vladimir Vasilyev confirmed participation in Dakar 2019

There are 11 rounds in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies; four of them are multi-day rally raids, others are short Bajas. The ninth round – Columna Medica Baja Poland – starts today in Poland; the race favourites are the same – Jakub Przygonski, Vladimir Vasilyev and Martin Prokop. These three participants are the main contenders for this season overall champion title. Vladimir Vasilyev, the G-Energy Team driver, became the FIA World Cup holder in 2014; now this treasured trophy is the main goal for Jakub Przygonski. And the Russian crew will be the antagonist to Kuba in Poland, where Vladimir Vasilyev has never been the overall winner. Last year’s voyage ended in fourth position, one step from the prize podium. At the moment, the score is 258:201 in favor of Przygonski. Baja Poland is a home round for the series leader Jakub Przygonski, where, as you know, roads and walls help. In addition, he will be supported by his compatriot and the FIA World Cup 2013 holder Krzysztof Holowczyk. The latter, participating at home, is likely to strive for an overall victory and to grab a good portion of the points from Jakub’s rivals, as both Poles are X-Raid team members. We hope that the fight will be interesting, because in addition to the above-mentioned raid “monsters”, other local stars will take part in the Baja Poland – the country champions Miroslav Zapletal, Wlodzimierz Grajek, Zdenek Porizek. Traditionally, there are several events within Baja Poland framework – rounds of the FIA Central European Zone Cross Country Championship (FIA-CEZ), the Polish Cross Country Championship (RMPST), the Czech Republic Cross Country Championship (MMCR) and the Polish Cross Country Cup (RPPST). In addition to all the competitions listed above, the Dacia Duster Elf Cup will also be held in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship – one of the most accessible ways for beginning racers to enter the world of cross country rallies. Krzysztof Holowczyk is the ambassador of this series. In total, the event will be attended by 190 sportsmen in off-road vehicles, motorcycles and quads from 18 countries. There are 113 crews in the entry list: 81 cars, 13 motorcycles, 18 quads and 1 truck. The FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies entry list consists of 26 participants. The three-day format, as it always happens at short distances, implies a very tight schedule and the competition rapidity. There will be no time to do some thinking, the race starts on Friday, and today the drivers

have driven a short seven kilometer “shakedown” that will determine the positions in the Saturday starting list. As for Vladimir Vasilyev, the G-Energy Team crew completed the Prologue in the third position, showing a good pace and speed. Jakub Przygonski became the fastest, Martin Prokop came to the finish after him – the fight in Poland promises to be very close. But one of the most positive news for today is: the G-Energy Team and Vladimir Vasilyev plan to take part in the DAKAR 2019 rally raid; Russians have confirmed it today after the legendary race presentation in Poland. “Yes, I’m really going to Dakar this year. We missed two years, now we are ready both physically and mentally”, said Vladimir Vasilyev after an official invitation from Xavier Gavory, head of the department, working with Dakar participants. Today the crew has made a recce at the Prologue track by bicycle and gone to the track in the competitive vehicle the penultimate one – the starting order has been reversed for greater entertainment and the leaders have closed the racing field. Konstantin Zhiltsov, co-driver, “We warmed up well before the Prologue, made right notes, drove not bad – the car is undamaged; there are no remarks. The rut before our crew, after the passage of all the participants was deep, it was not easy. It is racing, and all our rivals started in about the same conditions. Tomorrow is a difficult and decisive day”. The Polish Baja will be held near Szczecin and part of the off-road battle will take place on artificial routes laid along the military range. For Saturday and Sunday the crews will overcome a total of 505 competitive kilometers and another 341 kilometers of liaisons between the seven special stages, service and the finish podium, where the Baja winners will be announced on Sunday afternoon. The FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies top three overall (after eight rounds): 1. Jakub Przygonski (PL) – 258 points 2. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) – 201 points 3. Martin Prokop (CZ) – 184 points