71 crews from five different continents will battle on the demanding track of Friuli.

Drivers from all the five continents are expected to take part in the 23rd edition of the Italian Baja, fourth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rally. The race will be held from 23 to 26 June on the gravel bed of rivers Meduna, Cosa and Tagliamento, attracting as every year many off-road enthusiasts.

The auto entry list counts as many as 71 crews. The main favourite is defending World Champion Nasser Al-Attiyah, who won the Italian Baja in 2008 and 2015. The Qatari – navigated by Frenchman Baumel – will drive a Toyota Hilux Overdrive with EVO Corse wheels, which this year he led to victory of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and the Sealine Cross Country Rally in Qatar. His main opponents will be Russian Vasilyev on BMW X3 and Saudi Al-Rajhi on Mini All4Racing. Also Pole Dabrowski on Hilux Overdrive and Russians Gadasin and Novikov Dabrowski – both on G-Force Proto – have good chances to get a positive result.

Amongst the participants of the Italian Baja there is also the deaf-mute driver Mohammed Al-Harqan from Qatar, he will be navigated through the sign language from hia fellow-countryman Feras Alouhche. Emma Gilmour and Sara Labuscagne on Mitsubishi Pajero will form a total female crew having won the selections of the FIA Women in Motorsport. Finally, team Jaton Racing will take part in the race with Acciona, a prototype of electric off-road car.

The Italian Baja will start on Thursday with the technical verifications, while on Friday the actual race will begin: in the morning the shakedown, at 17 the Superspecial stage that will establish the startlist of the following days. On Saturday and Sunday cars will drive twice on difficult 80 km from Sal Lorenzo to Valvasone, before the final arrival and the award ceremony, scheduled around 15,30 in Pordenone.

Source: Italian Baja