CC Second and third places for Overdrive Racing's Van Loon and Chabot in Jordan
2021 Jordan Baja
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 4
March 18-20, 2021
SECOND AND THIRD PLACES FOR OVERDRIVE
RACING’S VAN LOON AND CHABOT IN JORDAN
AQABA (JORDAN) – Saturday, March 20: Overdrive Racing’s Erik van Loon narrowly missed out on outright victory in the Jordan Baja and had to settle for second overall, as team mate Ronan Chabot rounded off the podium places on the fourth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas.
Van Loon and his French co-driver Sébastien Delaunay were locked in a duel with Saudi Arabia’s Yasir Seaidan during the two days of frenetic action through the breathtaking scenery of Wadi Rum and the surrounding deserts in southern Jordan. But the Dutchman was forced to open the road on the second day in his Toyota Hilux, courtesy of leading by 26 seconds at the night halt, and Seaidan managed to force his way through to snatch the win by 5min 24sec.
“It was a tough day,” said Van Loon. “At the beginning it looked nice. We had to open and you cannot do the same speed as when you follow a car. No punctures and we drive safe to the finish but the last part of the stage was not nice, only stones and twisty and second gear. When we came here, I was delighted to come on to the podium and we are happy with second.”
Chabot and French co-driver Gilles Pillot stayed clear of trouble to set the second quickest time on the final stage to confirm their podium finish. “It was a good stage, no puncture, quite beautiful country. We enjoyed it,” said the Frenchman.
Van Loon had been the fastest driver through the opening split sections of the Wadi Rum selective section on Friday and won the first stage by 1min 27sec from FIA Baja series leader Seaidan. The Dutchman thoroughly enjoyed the stunning desert terrain, although he ceded 61 seconds of his advantage to Seaidan in the shorter second stage and reached the night halt in Aqaba with a lead of 26 seconds.
“Two beautiful stages, quite demanding and it was tough work behind the steering,” said Van Loon. “They were nice stages to drive and the road book was okay. The second stage we made a few small mistakes. We had to cross some bumpy stuff but the track went around it and we lost a little.
“The first one we win by one and a half (minutes) and we lose this one by one minute, so only half a minute between us. The problem now is that I have to start in front. It is better when he is in front. We managed well – no punctures. Séb did a good job and the car was perfect and two amazing stages. I would love to see those more.”
Chabot started strongly and was third quickest behind Van Loon and Seaidan through the first timed section and headed into the shorter of leg one’s selective sections trailing his team-mate by 9min 44sec. He consolidated his position on the podium with the third fastest time in the second test.
“Beautiful, the country was beautiful,” said the Frenchman. “No problems, but I need to try and find the road. It was difficult for the navigation. We did not get lost. It was okay.”
The 2021 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas continues throughout the summer and autumn months in Europe with five further events, starting with Baja Spain Aragon on July 23-24.
2021 Jordan Baja – result (provisional @ 15.35hrs)
1. Yasir Seaidan (SAU)/Alexey Kuzmich (RAF) Mini John Cooper World Rally 6hr 37min 51sec
2. Erik van Loon (NLD)/Sébastien Delaunay (FRA) Toyota Hilux Overdrive 6hr 43min 15sec
3. Ronan Chabot (FRA)/Gilles Pillot (FRA) Toyota Hilux Overdrive 6hr 54min 31sec
4. Saleh Al-Saif (SAU)/Oriol Vidal (ESP) Can-Am Maverick (T4) 7hr 28min 11sec
5. Meshari Al-Thefiri (KWT)/Nasser Al-Kuwari (QAT) Can-Am Maverick X3 (T4) 8hr 08min 35sec
6. Thomas Bell (GBR)/Armand Monleón (ESP) Can-Am Maverick X3 (T4) 8hr 09min 00sec
7. Claude Fournier (FRA)/Szymon Gospodarczyk (POL) Can-Am Maverick X3 (T4) 8hr 33min 48sec, etc
For further information:
Jean-Marc Fortin (E-mail: email@example.com), Overdrive S.A., rue de L’Enterprise 1, 4530 Villers-le-Bouillet, Belgium, Tel: + 32 475 762 391. www.overdriveracing.be, Facebook: Overdrive Racing, Twitter: @OverdriveToyota