Great fight is expected in Spain for the victory of the sixth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rally
Second European race for the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rally, which has landed in Spain for the Baja Aragon Spain – the 6th seasonal round. The event is taking place from Friday 24 July to Sunday 26 on the rural tracks around Teruel in the autonomous community of Aragona.
Belgian team Overdrive Racing is taking part in the race with three crews, hoping to interrupt the winning streak of Mini All4 Racing driver Nasser Al-Attiyah. Emirati Khalid Al-Qassimi will replace Russian Vladimir Vasilyev who has recently undergone a heart procedure and won’t be available before the Hungarian Baja in August; Brazilian Reinaldo Varela and Pole Marek Dabrowski will complete the line-up looking for more points in the general standings.
WRC star Khalid Al-Qassimi took part in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge this season, making an impressive performance despite the lack of experience in cross country rally. With his French co-driver Edouard Boulanger he can reach the podium considering the fast gravel round of the race that suits him. “I really enjoyed the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and working with the team at Overdrive,” said Al-Qassimi. “It was a new challenge for me and a new racing discipline. This will also be something new for me. I was pleased with my performance in the dunes, now I need to carry that forward to the terrain that will face us in Spain. It will not be easy. The entry list is very strong, with some experienced names.”
After the second place in Italy last month, Reinaldo Varela and Gustavo Gugelmin are now third overall and want to give further consistency to their so far positive season in order to strengthen the position in the general standings. On the other hand Pole Dabrowski and his navigator Jacek Czachor look for an outstanding result after the disappointing tenth position of last year in Baja Spain.
Ovedrive Racing director Jean-Marc Fortin is confident about the race and strongly believes that all the three crews can catch the victory. “This is always a difficult and demanding rally with the temperatures and the tyre wear and the fact that the new rules dictate that you only have 10 tyres per car. This makes the strategy interesting for the team managers,” he said. “Maybe it helps us a little as well, because we have a little less engine torque than our rivals and, perhaps, a little less tyre wear. There is one very long stage of over 300km, so it will be important for us to make a good start to ensure we have a good road position and don’t suffer delays in the dust.”
Overdrive Racing will provide a Toyota Hilux also to the French crew of Romain Vozniak and Jean Brucy and to Russians Artur Murashkin and Alexander Zheludov; another Hilux will be driven by Kanat Shagirov and Alexandr Moroz from Kazakhstan.
Demanding high temperatures and dusty conditions are expected around Teruel, where Baja Aragon Spain is taking place. The event is starting on Friday evening with an 7,8 km prologue, while on Saturday two special stages – of 160 km and 300 km respectively – are scheduled. On Sunday one more stage of 180 km will be run before the awarding ceremony that will take place in Teruel in the late afternoon.
Source: Overdrive Racing