5th stage of Russian rally raid championship “Riga Baja” finished with “RE Autoclub” triumph – first place took Janis Naglis/Reinis Trups from Latvia and second place – Tapio Suominen and Markku Hurskainen from Finland. Toms Brants/Martins Tuters at a third place with “OSCar” (Latvia).
Already for third year, “Riga Baja” is one of the Russian rally raid championship stages. This is second year when in Latvia is held last stage of Russian championship, where during “Riga Baja” are declared Russian rally raid championship leaders.
From September 21-23 in Jekabpils, Krustpils, Madona and Viesite surrounding off roads best results from Russian rally raid championship showed – Sergey Savenko/Deniss Malchev (“GAZ 69”, “TSN”) and Vladimir Vasilyev/Vitaly Jevtehov (“G-Force Proto”, “G-Force”).
Finnish rally driver Tapio Suominen is more known as successful classical rally co-driver, assisting Tony Gardemeister in world championship stages. At the moment Gardemeister is running rehabilitation processes after “Silk Way” rally raid, where he had serious back injury. As Suominen’s co-driver assisted Markku Hurskainen, he had participated only in local rallies.
Finnish duet took the leading positions already after the second special stage, maintaining a leading position till the finish, where they needed to overcome almost 500 kilometers long rally raid stages. Suominen/Hurskainen didn’t become the “Riga Baja 2012” champions – in the last Sunday’s rally raid stage, to start the stage, he used illegal help from outside. The judges put 15 minutes penalty time as in a result Naglis/Trups became “Riga Baja” champions. In the awarding ceremony, Janis Naglis (President of the Latvian Automobile Federation) and “in the name of the fair game” gave their champion trophies to Finnish sportsmen, admitting that they were faster.
In “Riga Baja” T2 category as champions became Andrey and Vladimir Novikov (“Toyota LC 80”). As national class category champions became Bogdan Vavrenuk and Sergey Demjanenko (“UAZ”). In Russian rally raid championship team class category won “NRT-Motosport”. In 2012 Russian rally raid championship four stages were held in February – „Belogorje”, April – „The Gold of Kagan”, June – „Simbirskij Trakt” and in July – „Silk Way”. Last stage crucial competitions for Russian champions were held in Latvia – „Riga Baja”.
“Riga Baja 2012” results: