HUNGARIAN BAJA: “IT WILL NOT BE EASY TO WIN OR REACH THE PODIUM…"
Only days to go until the 11th edition of HunGarian Baja, 7th round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, we asked the leading crew, Russia's Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov about the upcoming event.
RISE Network: We are about halfway through the Word Cup. How can you summarise the first part of the season?
Vladimir Vasilyev: We are totally satisfied with the first part of season. We were able to score as much points as we can and took the lead in overall standing with a good advantage.
RISE Network: How do you see your chance for the overall victory?
Konstantin Zhiltsov: We have a good position for the second part of season and our main goal to get points in each race, because the rivals are strong and it is still a strong battle for podium of World Cup.
RISE Network: What kind of memories do you have from HunGarian Baja?
Vladimir Vasilyev: The Hungarian race is traditionally a rather difficult, technical World Cup competition, where we have to fight with a lot of good and experienced drivers. My last memories of Hungary are not very good, because of some technical problems we could not engage in as expected. However, this year we are going to participate with X-Raid team, which is a great team so I hope that we will not come across any technical problem.
RISE Network: What do you expect from yourself at this year's HunGarian Baja and what is your main goal for the race?
Vladimir Vasilyev: Our goal is to achieve the best possible result at the HunGaria Baja. We hope to manage to collect the most points possible, because for us it is very important for the overall competition.
RISE Network: What can be your strong point at the HunGarian Baja?
Vladimir Vasilyev: Our strong points are the reliable car and experienced crew.
RISE Network: What's your opinion about this year's field?
Konstantin Zhiltsov: This year the level of rivals and the number of skilled drivers are very high. Last year 2-3 crews were fighting for a podium, but this year we see at least 6 of them who race each event and score points. We have a lot of fast pilots in X-Raid staff and Overdrive, of course, including Nasser, Dabrowski, Terranova, Holowzcyc as well as Gadasin and Zapletal. It will not be easy to win or reach the podium.
"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