Italian Baja 2019

One Mini takes the lead, but it’s the one of Terranova

A surprising first lap, yesterday morning on “Barbeano” in the rain: k.o. for the favourite Kuba
The Argentinian takes the lead with a gap of almost 2’ ahead on Vasilyev and a notch above all other challengers, but the race along the riverbeds can reserve other surprises until the end of the track. XX best among Italians.


A quite strange Saturday at the Pordenone Fair,with some rain drops. But the flood of the Cosa and Tagliamento rivers, due to the heavy morning rain, offered a quite hard track, which tested vehicles, especially the Side by Side without windscreen and windows. A first hard Leg yesterday for the Italian Baja, without the traditional warm weather and dust, characterized by the immediate k.o. of the favourite Jakub Przygonski, who destroyed a wheel during the first attack to “Barbeano”, a Selective Section of almost 80 km from Spilimbergo to Morsano and back to Dignano. Orlando Terranova, in this way, moved to the lead of the FIA World Cup challenge with the other Mini John Cooper Works rally of the X-Raid, a notch above the hardest rivals, the Russian Vladimir Vasilyev (Toyota Hilux) and Andrey Novikov (G-Force Bars), while the Czech Martin Prokop (Ford Raptor) wasn’t able to reach the virtual podium because of mechanical troubles. Best result among Italian drivers for Amerigo Ventura (Quaddy Yamaha), who seized the 6thposition in the overall rank after a strenuous day, ahead on Lorenzo Codecà (Suzuki Grand Vitara), satisfied to have got the 7thplace. The new division decided by Acisport for the Italian Championship between T1prototypes and T3 tubulars, kept challengers quite calm before today’s final track.


FIRST LAP. Kuba jumped the gun, but just 2 km before the end of the Selective Section he had to quit the race. No third victory for the Pole driver, maybe he was pushing too much to keep the distance from his rival Terranova, who sounded quite threatening already on Friday, during the prologue. Best time of 1:02’08’’ for the Argentinian, with a gap of 58” ahead on Vasilyev’, and 1’43’’ on Novikov. Ventura is the first among Italians, getting the seven time (1:13’03’’), defeated by the prototype Can Am Maverick of the Latvian Aleksandr Dorosinskiy. Tenth position for Lorenzo Codecà (Suzuki Grand Vitara).


SECOND LAP. Times are supposed tobe shortened. On the contrary, everybody is driving slowly because of the riverbed full of mud and water and the deep fords. It is not easy to understand pilots’ qualities between mechanical troubles and electrical problems. It is Vasilyev to signe the time of 1:04’52’’, with a gap of 7” ahead on Terranova and 1’30” on Martin Prokop with Ford Raptor, although he is seizing the fourth position of the overal rank, 12’37’’ behind the South-American driver at the lead. Fifth time for the driver from Bologna Sergio Galletti (Hilux Overdrive), while the fifth place of the overall rank is gained by Ventura and Dorosinskiy had to move down. Several difficulties caused the interruption of the race for both Tecnosport drivers, Valentina Casella and Maurizio Traglio, as well as for the Can Am of Fabrizio Pietranera.


THIRD LAP. Everybody is faster, as usual when you drive quite by heart. Terranova gets the time of 1:00’13’’, with a gap of 43” ahead on Vasilyev and 49” on Prokop, but it is just the Russian with Toyota Hilux who follows with a gap of 1’52’’ in the overall rank, while Novikov is third with his G-Bars in 12’08’’.


TODAY’S MENU. Two passages along the “Gradisca” (80 km) with start at 9:10am and 11am, with a regrouping in Spilimbergo in the middle. Prize Giving Ceremony at the Pordenone Fair at 2:30pm.


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