The 6th seasonal round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies is ready to welcome drivers from 21 different countries and 4 continents.
Everything’s ready for the 24th edition of the Italian Baja, the sixth seasonal round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, which takes place around the city of Pordenone – in North-East Italy – from 15 to 18 June.
The Italian Baja this year marks a record, as the entry list includes 74 crews coming from 21 countries and 4 different continents. The battle for the final victory should involve the Overdrive Toyota Hilux of Poles Aron Domzala and Martin Kaczmarski, Frenchman Ronan Chabot and Dabe Jes Munk on the one side, and the Mini All4 Racing of Mohammed Abu Issa and Jacub Prygonski on the other side, with Russians Boris Gadasin and Andrey Novikov on G-Force Bars that are determined to battle for top positions. In the T2 category the duel is between Saudi Yasir Seaidan and Pole Tomasz Piec on Toyota Landcruiser, with Qatari Adel Abdulla on Nissan Patrol Y62 as possible underdog. The Italian Baja 2017 signs also the European debut of the electric car
Acciona 100% EcoPowered, driven by Stephane Petheransel’s wife, Spanish Andrea Mayer.
The team’s defending FIA World Cup champion and series leader Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah misses the Italian foray to concentrate on securing FIA Middle East Rally Championship points at the Cyprus Rally, although the Qatari and his French navigator Matthieu Baumel will still lead the FIA World Cup after Italy in any case.
Overdrive Racing’s CEO Jean-Marc Fortin said: “This is another busy time for everyone connected with Overdrive Racing. We have a team in China on the cross-country event there and four cars at the Italian Baja. No Nasser in Italy, because of his pre-arranged commitments in Cyprus, but Aron has an opportunity to follow up his podium finish in Kazakhstan with another impressive performance and we welcome Ronan, Martin and Jes back to the team.”
The Italian Baja takes place over a giant flood plain created from Alpine melt waters in the north of Italy and is organised by the Fuoristrada Club 4×4 Pordenone. The competitive action starts on Friday evening with the opening timed section of 19.8 km at Valvasone.
The crews will then tackle a 109 km selective section from San Lorenzo to Valvasone on Saturday morning. This ‘Cantina’ stage is then repeated twice from noon and 4pm.
The final action takes place over two passes through a special stage of 76 km between Valvasone and Rauscedo on Sunday, before the podium finish in Piazzale Venti Settembre in the centre of Pordenone.