Pordenone, 6 July 2023_ Four days of Italian Baja at the Pordenone Interporto with visit on the beds of Meduna, Cosa and Tagliamento. Today the challenge valid for the World Cup FIA Cross Country Baja and the Italian Cross Country and Side by Side Championship starts, even if the day will be dedicated entirely to the checks on the vehicles (technical) and on the contestants (sportive), in a skirmish game before firing up the engines to switch them off only Sunday, after over 400 km of timed path.
62 the crews at the starting line, of which 37 enrolled in the Word Cup race and 25 in the National one. Global fest with 4 continents and 25 Nations represented. A free show for those willing to reach the fords, from Dignano to Morsano al Tagliamento, accepting the sacrifice of a little hike, since you can't reach the race track directly with your vehicle.
Tomorrow the prologue on Meduna’s bed starts at 15:30 from Zoppola (near the Bingo) to Cordenons (ex Colonia) for almost 10 km. Saturday the double selective sector Pasch of 131 km, starts at 9 to 14, from Cordenons to Dignano. In the evening the award ceremony at the Interporto for the tricolor challenge, while the World Cup one ends Sunday after the last selective sector Dignano of 131 km, starts at 8:30, which will have the opposite direction with a stop at the Pasch. Award ceremony for the world cup at 13.
In the 30th anniversary of the race, celebrated in the Gala dinner tomorrow night in San Quirino with over 300 guests - among them a special one, Angelo Sticchi Damiani (president ACI Italia), two absolute champions comparing, the defending world champion for rally raid, Nasser Al-Attiyah, five times winner of the Dakar, including the last one, and the World Bajas champion 2021 and 2022, Yazeed Al-Rajhi. The Qatari driver on Gazoo Racing’s Toyota Hilux and his Saudi rival with a Hilux Overdrive, challenge between two pilots that won the Italian Baja three times and now aim to even the record of four titles set by French Pierre Lartigue (1994-1997) with an incredible Citroen Zx Rally Raid. Chasing the podium also the current T3 world cup leaders, Argentinian Fernando Alvarez Castellano on Can-Am Maverick, and for T4, the french Jeremie Warnia on Polaris Razor.
For what concerns the Italian Bajas Cup it’s a fight between three for success: the favorite Manuele Menegozzi on Toyota Hilux (first in the ranking), but beware of the two Suzuki New Grand Vitara of the defending champion Alfio Bondonaro and the ace in this speciality Lorenzo Codecà (11 titles).
Among the side by side Vehicles, Elvis Borsoi (Can-Am) and Amerigo Ventura (Yamaha) are enrolled to the world championship (Like Bordonaro and Codecà), but they’re gaining points also in the tricolor series, where, ready to perform as protagonists, we have Federico Buttò (Can-Am), leader also in T3, and Andrea Tomasini (Yamaha), first in T4, both from Pordenone.
Carlo Ragogna Italian Baja press office