Russian “duo” Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov secured the win in the third round of the FIA Cross County Rally World Cup”Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2014″ rally, with their MINI ALL4 Racing. Vasilyev run the race in extremely competitive and consistent style, over the course of the past days. The Russian made it to the top four in every single stage and celebrated three stage wins. At the end of the rally, he won the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with a 47-minute lead over Poland’s Adam Malysz in a Toyota. The third place was taken by the Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal on Hummer H3 Evo5.
“We have seen desert rallying at its best and have three very deserving new champions,”said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the rally organisers, and FIA Vice President.”
Becoming the second Russian driver (after Leonid Novtskiy) to win the “Desert Challenge” Vladimir Vasilyev kept his name in a golden book of the rally. The race history from the moment of its first release in 1991 remembered in its “golden book” such world stars of motor racing, as Stephane Peterhansel, Nani Roma, Jean-Louis Schlesser, Bruno Sabi, Ari Vatanen, Nasser Al-Attiyah, Luc Alphand and others.
“I am very happy with results of team and Vladimir and Konstantin’s crew. They spent five days of race faultlessly, without mistakes, so they had a better chances to win. Excellent work and worthy victory! “– the X-Raid director Sven Quandt commented.
In total, during this demanding sporting week from April 5th to April 10th, participants passed more than 2000 km of the route laid on the unique sandy tracks among dunes of the Arab desert of Rub al Khali. In the second day the crew of VRT G-Energy Team gained the lead in race, having an advantage ahead of competitors in overall classification. Strong positions managed to be kept in next day: the third stage of rally Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2014 including even more difficult and hot special stage, also became victorious for the Russian duet. The third victory at the final stage and a total victory in race became a great finish of the magnificent desert race.
Vladimir Vasilyev: “All stages of this race, traditionally, were difficult: difficult and dangerous dunes, sharp dumpings, uncompromising fight. On the last stage there weren’t as many dunes, but they were such beautiful, with uvulas, where it was possible to maneuver with a pleasure. I am really happy to win here, because this race is the most difficult of in all the World Cup events. The team and my co-driver Konstanting Zhilysov did a great job. Also we are here on top of podium thanks to our partner G-Energy which I wish to thank for support”.
With this success, Vasilyev and Zhiltsov also leaped to the lead in the FIA World Cup classification, and in 10 days Russian pairing will come in Qatar for “Sealine Cross Country Rally” where their main target will be again the fight for a victory and points of World Cup classification!
Overall Results: 1. V. Vasilyev (RUS) / K. Zhiltsov (RUS) MINI ALL4 Racing – 17h 10m 19s 2. A. Malysz (POL) / R. Marton (POL) Toyota – 17h 58m 14s 3. M. Zapletal (CZE) / M. Marton (POL) H3 – 18h 29m 58s .. 5. S. Schott (GER) / A. Schulz (GER) MINI ALL4 Racing – 18h 43m 56s 6. E. Van Loon (NDL) / W. Rosegaar (NDL) MINI ALL4 Racing – 19h 07m 51s … 10. A. Rakhimbayev (KAZ) / A. Nikolaev (RUS) MINI ALL4 Racing – 21h 05m 42s