CAP TO PORTALEGRE: VLADIMIR VASILYEV AND G-ENERGY TEAM ON THE START-LINE OF THE FINAL ROUND OF FIA WORLD CUP
Nine FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup rounds have been contested and the battle for the titles has been taken down to the season finale, Portugal's Baja Portalegre. With 216 points on their tally, Russian pairing Vladimir Vasilyev / Konstantin Zhiltsov and their MINI ALL4 racing travel to Portugal as World Cup leaders. 20 points behind Qatar's Nasser Al-Attiyah follows in second position. 30 points will be awarded in the Baja Portalegre and so, the spectators may look forward to a close and hard-fought season finale.
More than 200 competitors registered in race with 95 cars and 50 of them in FIA World Cup Event. With 20 points, Vasilyev will open the car's race with first starting number #501 and holds a rather comfortable lead in the championship. For the Russian, finishing fourth in the Baja Portalegre will be enough for securing the title – no matter what result Al-Attiyah will achieve on the wheel of Ford HRX.
Vladimir Vasilyev: "As always we are ready for the fight, and we intend to work for our goal accurately. Me and my co-pilot have an experience and understanding of specifics of the Portuguese route, I was here two times therefore the main task will conduct the race and to go quickly and steadily. Baja is short, concentration and avoiding of mistakes are important. I hope that the team will work for 100%".
Konstantin Zhiltsov: "We carried out prestarting tests and the car is good prepared for race. Concerning weather the rain is expected by meteo in days of race, therefore to us is important to choose the type of tyres we will use. On this subject we have some ideas. As for strategy on race, it simple – to bring the program of participation in FIA World Cup to the final and to win a title. We understand that in race always can happen but to wait and race slowly is not correct. Therefore we will fight, run the race quickly, accurate, reliable. Besides Nasser Al-Attiyah, in our team two strong rivals – skilled Philipe Campos and young fast guy Ricardo Porem as well as a lot of other good crews entered in race.
The Baja Portalegre will be started at Friday with a 5.5-kilometre prologue. Saturday comprises two special stages with distances of 200.41 and 212.61 kilometres. Both the prologue and the special stages will be contested around the city of Portalegre, not far from the Spanish border.
"A challenge for those who go on. A dream for those who stay behind." This is how the founder of the Dakar Rally, Thierry Sabine, once described his inspiration for the most fascinating rally event on the international motorsport calendar. Since 1978, courageous drivers on motorcycles, quads, in cars and trucks have been demonstrating their ability as they make their way through the desert on the world's most infamous endurance rally.
Up to 2008, the event was held exclusively in Africa, and was initially known as the "Paris-Dakar Rally" due to the location of its start and finish. Over the course of time, the route and the start and finish locations have changed several times. In 1995 the rally started elsewhere other than Paris for the first time. "Paris-Dakar" became "Dakar". Then, in 2009, the unsettled political situation in some African countries saw the event moved to South America, where it has been held since – and has lost none of its original appeal.
All this makes the Dakar Rally a unique challenge for man and machine. Unlike rallies such as those in the World Rally Championship (WRC), this marathon rally does not take place on designated, blocked-off roads and routes, but on open, largely unmarked terrain. Each entrant must first and foremost rely on his/her driving skills.
The competitors must complete up to 800 kilometres per day – a nerve-wracking, two-week marathon, during which the organisers only allow the drivers one rest day. No wonder more than 50% of entrants retire from the Dakar Rally each year. Whatever happens, every day will be an exciting day once the Dakar Rally gets underway again in January 2014.
Date of birth: 11.08.1969
Hobbies: rallys, hunting, winemaking
Place of birth: Tver / RUS
Family status: married, 3 daughters and one son
Place of residence: St. Petersburg / RUS
10th place Dakar 2014 3rd place OiLibya Rally of Morocco 16th place Dakar - Best first time entrant 2nd place Silk Way Rally 1st place Russian Rally Raid Championship 2nd place Russian Rally Raid Championship 1st place Italian Baja 3rd place Baja Spain Italian Baja Silk Way Rallye - One stage win First Rally Raid participation
Date of birth: 19.05.1977
Hobbies: cross-country rally, alpine skiing, parachute, wakeboarding
Place of birth: Dnepropetrovsk / UKR Familienstand: married, 2 daughters
Place of residence: Dnepropetrovsk / UKR
10th place Dakar 2014 3rd place OiLibya Rally of Morocco 16th place Dakar - Best first time entrant 2nd place Silk Way Rally 1st place Russian Rally Raid Championship 2nd place Russian Rally Raid Championship 1st place Italian Baja 3rd place Baja Spain