Italian Baja 2022

AlRajhi gains his third seal


Pordenone,10th July 2022_ Tree days as an undisputed master and absolute dominator. Yazeed AlRajhi joins officially the “3 seals club” (2014, 2021, 2022), with the “zar” of the odds Boris Gadasin (2007, 2009, 2011) and the bronze “skeet man” Nasser Al-Attiyah (2008, 2015, 2016). The Italian Baja rolled out carpet red as the sun of July for the Arab Knight on his Toyota Hilux Overdrive, always leading the competition, from the beginning to the end, on the beds of Meduna, Cosa and Tagliamento, always the fastest in the four selective sectors for a total of 354 km covered in 4:23’01’’0.


Glory sectors. Friday the Saudi AlRajhi started at the speed of light on the prologue “Valvasone” of 14,3 km punching at 10’07’’1, with Lithuanian Benediktas Vanagas (Toyota Hilux Gazoo) at 20’’8 e Argentinian Juan Cruz Yacopini teammate Overdrive at 31’’6. Yesterday the double “Zoppola” step 112,48 km created a strong fracture between the crews. In the first attack AlRajhi crosses the line at 1:26’02’’4, Vanagas crashes and loses a life, Portuguese Joao Ferreira at 1’45’’1 and Polish Michal Maluszynski at 4’21’’2 both on the throne with their Mini John Cooper Works Rally, in this order also in the provisional classifications.




Everybody improves the second time, with the forerunner lowering to 1:21’55’’9, Ferreira at 1’29’’0, Vanagas recovered at 3’37’’9, but second to last in the overall while Maluszynski is third at 9’23’’5 total. The stage finishes with Amerigo Ventura (Quaddy Yamaha) eight overall serving a penalty of 2’, otherwise he would have been right behind Brazilian Cristiano De Sousa (Can-Am Maverick), side by sides T3’s opponent.




Grand finale today with “Dignano” (115,09 km) storing the last surprises. AlRajhi keeps the control and remains the fastest: 1:24’55’’6, victory and important points to relaunch himself in the World Cup. Ferreira gives away 1’20’’7 but closes second at 5’06’’7, a really good result in terms of the Fia European Cup. Maluszynski leaves the stage with his stalled Mini, Vanagas obtains the third place of the sector but remains out of the Top 20, De Sousa third on the podium with a gap total of 22’31’’1, defending the lowest step from Miroslav Zapletal (Hummer H3 Evo)’s ambitions. The Czech driver precedes Ventura who now celebrates a fifth overall to be framed.


Carlo Ragogna Press Office Italian Baja

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