After successful performance on “Dakar-2014” Vladimir Vasilyev confirmed his cooperation with German X-Raid team for the FIA World Cup 2014 program.
The main goal for Vasilyev will be the fight for a victory in the FIA World Cup, therefore the pilot invited the skilled Russian navigator Konstantin Zhiltsov to join him in the crew. For the last 3 years Zhiltsov was in top-3 of the World Cup together with Jean-Louis Schlesser.
Baja “Russia – Northern Forest 2014” which will take place in the status of the first round of FIA World Cup and Russian Cross-Country Championship 2014 becomes the first joint race of crew Vasilyev/Zhiltsov.
The unique winter Baja will pass from February 14 to February 16 with the race HQ in well-known ski resort “Igora” near St.Petersburg. Organizers prepared about 400 km of the race distance on the high-speed snow and ice tracks which should be passed by competitors in three racing days.
Vladimir Vasilyev: “Baja “Russia – Northern Forest 2014″ is one of my favorite races. The main feature, of course, is in covering. It is a winter race which is impressed with its speed and beauty. When the snow dust takes off from the wheels, you drive in beautiful wood feeling the frost and bright sun, and when the trees are just 5cm from the mirror of your car, all this are rather fascinating and adrenaline is guaranteed.
Last year I won the race, and of course, I wish to win again. But I will have another race car than last year. I will drive Mini All4 Racing – the car which will be tested for the first time in the conditions of low temperature and on a snow and ice covering, so it is important not only to make a necessary modifications in the car, that should be done by technical specialists of X-Raid, but also for me to adapt the car quickly to the special slippery snow tracks. For this purpose we planned pre-starting tests with X-Raid”.
Konstantin Zhiltsov: “Me, as well as Vladimir, have a big desire to win the World Cup. Big plans and serious ambitions! In my opinion, our opportunities and experience should be a key for its realization. The first race with Vladimir will be in Russia on Baja “Russia – Northern Forest 2014″. But we could already know each other very well during the time spent on “Dakar” as we were in one team, even in different crews. So, for now it is necessary to add sports work in our “duo””.
The German X-Raid team will assist on Russian race one more Mini with Polish pilot Martin Kazsmarski together with his Portuguese navigator Filipe Palmeiro, and also two BMW X3 with crews of Ruslan Misikov/Vitaly Yevtekhov and Andrey Dmitriyev/Vladimir Demyanenko. Among the rivals, the Belgian Overdrive with three powerful Toyota Hilux presented by foreign pilots – Marek Dabrowski, Yazeed Al Rajhi and Reinaldo Varela. Two more similar cars will start in race as Russian teams “PEC” with Evgeny Firsov/Vadim Filatov and “ProtechMsport” with Alexander Zheludov/ Oleg Tyupenkin. In addition, the skilled Finnish crew of Tapio Suominen/Jukko Tuomisto on Mitsubishi Pajero, the Czech pilot Miroslav Zapletal on the H3 Evo7 are lined-up the entry list, and from the Russian rivals it is possible to mark the G-Force Motorsport team and Yarovit Motorsport with their own prototypes build and constructed in Russia.
Baja “Russia – Northern Forest 2014” will open a calendar of the FIA World Cup which consists of 10 stages in this season. Six of them will pass as “Bajas” in Russia, Italy, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Portugal, and the other four more – as the rally-raids in the hot United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and Morocco.