Pordenone, 7 July 2023_ The time has come. After weeks of chatter it’s now time to fire up the engines.
This morning the shakedown near Valvadrom from 8:30 to 11:30 to determine the “health” of the vehicles. In the afternoon, at 15 o’clock, the official start of the Italian Baja 2023 at the Pordenone Interporto, rapid transfer near the Bingo, close to the bridge on the Meduna and the start at the 15:30 of the “Zoppola”’s prologue: 10,07 km to the former Cordenons colonia that will result in the first ranking.
To get the ball rolling the defending rally raid world champion, Nasser Al Attiyah on a Toyota Hilux Gazoo Racing, that comes back here after seven years since his third title (2016). Principal rival Yazeed Al Rajhi on a Toyota Hilux Overdrive, winner of the last two editions, defending world champion of the FIA Bajas Cup and hungry a wolf. It’s going to be a challenge between two of the biggest stars of the Cross Country sky, a demonstration of how the Italian Baja is highly considered by the specialists.
The raced organized by the Fuoristrada Club 4x4 Pordenone is turning thirty and this evening at the San Quirino’s Centro Magredi the gala dinner with many special guests, including the president of Aci Italia, Angelo Sticchi Damiani, is taking place - during it the pilots are going to pick the positions for tomorrow. The lot of the principal protagonists comprehends other two Toyota drivers such as Juan Cruz Yacopini and Denis Krotov, second and third in the provisional world ranking, three bishops with X-raid Team’s Minis Cooper Works Plus, Joao Ferreira, Krzysztof Holowczyc and Michal Maluszynski, the outsider Miroslav Zapletal on a Ford 150F Evo.
The Italians in the world cup race will chase after one more piece of glory after concluding tomorrow evening in the national race. It’s a “yellow” duel between the Suzuki Grand Vitara of the defending champion Alfio Bondonaro (3 doors) and that of the former champion Lorenzo Codecà (5 doors), involving also the co-drivers from Pordenone Stefano Lovisa and Mauro Toffoli. Among the SSV the favorite is Federico Buttò on Can-Am Maverick.