CC Overdrive Racing Toyotas triumph in Baja Poland
Baja Poland – August 30-September 1, 2013
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, round 6
For immediate release
Sunday, September 1st, 2013
OVERDRIVE RACING TOYOTAS TRIUMPH IN BAJA POLAND
· Russian Aleksandr Zheludov wins Baja Poland in Overdrive-built Toyota
· Four Overdrive Toyotas in top five of punishing round of FIA World Cup
· Second, fourth and fifth places for Dabrowski, Malysz and Coffaro
· Fellow Russian Ogorodnikov finishes eighth in Szczecin-based event
SZCZECIN (Poland): Overdrive Racing enjoyed a superb result in Baja Poland, round six of the 2013 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, which finished in Szczecin on Sunday.
Four of the Belgian team’s cars finished inside the top five, with the Russian duo of Aleksandr Zheludov and Andrei Rudnitski claiming outright victory from the team’s Polish runners-up, Marek Dabrowski and Jacek Czachor.
The Venezuelan pairing of Nunzio Coffaro and Daniel Meneses maintained their excellent progress in this year’s FIA World Cup and looked set to take the runner-up spot behind Zheludov. But they were handed a 15-minute penalty for a route infringement and slipped from second to an eventual fifth place in the Team Azimut car.
Poland’s Adam Malysz and Rafal Marton were classified fourth in their Overdrive-built Hilux and the Russian duo of Leonid Ogorodnikov and Anton Nikolaev completed the event in eighth place in an Overdrive Racing-entered Toyota.
“This is a superb result for everyone involved with Overdrive Racing,” said Overdrive director Jean-Marc Fortin. “Five Toyotas in the top eight and four in the top five. Obviously it was disappointing for Nunzio to have the time penalty, but this is part of the game and this can happen. We knew at the start that it would not be easy with the Minis in the starting line-up, but we came through at the finish and I am delighted with the result.
“The rally in Egypt has now been cancelled, so we will place more emphasis on sending cars to Morocco now and we will, of course, also be present at the final round of the World Cup in Portugal before we look ahead to the Dakar.”
“It was very disappointing for me to be handed the time penalty,” said Coffaro, who retained fourth place in the FIA World Cup Drivers’ Championship standings. “It meant that I could not fight for the overall victory any more.”
On the other hand, Dabrowski and fellow former enduro riding navigator Jacek Czachor were delighted to take a career best second place on their home event with the Team Orlen Toyota.
Coffaro, Dabrowski and Ogorodnikov held third, fourth and 13th positions after the opening 11.42km prologue stage at the military shooting range at Szczecin on Friday evening, with the Overdrive-built Toyotas of Poland’s Adam Malysz and Jerome Pelichet in fourth and 10th positions.
“Dust was a real problem for us on that stage,” admitted Coffaro. “At every braking point there was dust and it was very difficult,” added Dabrowski.
Crews tackled two runs through a 165km selective section at the military area near the service park at Drawsko Pomorskie on Saturday. Aleksandr Zheludov won the stage in his Overdrive-built Protech M Sport Rally Team Toyota and moved into third position, seven seconds behind leader Krzysztof Holowczyc and 27 seconds in arrears of fellow Toyota driver Adam Malysz.
Dabrowski, Coffaro and Ogorodnikov set the fourth, fifth and 10th quickest times to hold fifth, fourth and 10th in the general classification.
Holowczyc retained the overall lead after setting the quickest time in the repeat of the morning’s stage and second, third and fourth places for Zheludov, Coffaro and Dabrowski ensured that they reached the overnight halt in second, third and fourth overall. Ogorodnikov was 10th.
Teams tackled two runs through the 68.78km Dobra selective section on Sunday before the event drew to a close at the Bartolomeo Monument in Aviators’ Square in Szczecin.
Coffaro set the quickest time in the Team Azimut Toyota by beating Zheludov by 62 seconds to move into second position behind the Russian – the new outright leader of the event in his Toyota. Fifth for Dabrowski ensured that the Pole maintained third overall, as three Toyota Hiluxes filled the podium places heading into the final selective section. Ogorodnikov climbed to ninth after on-stage gearbox delays for former leader Holowczyc.
Zheludov held on to confirm the win on the final stage with Dabrowski reaching the finish, 7min 23sec behind, in second overall. But the time penalty had been imposed and Coffaro slipped out of the top three and into fifth place.
For further information: contact Jean-Marc Fortin (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), Overdrive S.A., rue de la métallurgie 37, 4530 Villers-le-Bouillet, Belgium, Tel: + 32 475 762 391. www.overdriveracing.be