38 crews entered Baja Russia Northern Forest 2021

31 januari 2021  

The Documents section contains the entry lists of the Baja Russia Northern Forest, the first round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, as well as the first round of the Russian Cross-Country Championship.

Despite the difficult situation around the world caused by the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic, as a result of which crossing the borders causes much greater difficulties than usual, the number of participants has not changed substantially compared to last year.

The preliminary list includes about forty crews from Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, France, Italy and Uzbekistan, and it means that the Baja Russia Northern Forest will once again have a very impressive entry list. Among the applicants are the winners of the world and Russian racing series and championships in various disciplines.

In mid-January, the Dakar rally marathon ended in Saudi Arabia, where several Russian racers took part. But despite the fatigue after the challenging race, the drivers and co-drivers could not deny themselves the pleasure of starting at the only Russian round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas and the only snow and ice baja in the world. After the Dakar sands, drivers Vladimir Vasilyev, Denis Krotov and Alexey Shmotyev, and co-drivers Alexey Kuzmich, Anton Nikolaev and Anton Vlasyuk will have to fight with their rivals on snow and ice surface in the Leningrad Region.

Vladimir Vasilyev, the defending holder of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas and the winner of the 2014 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, heads the entry list with the starting number 201. The Russian racer has already won the Baja Russia Northern Forest twice – in 2013 and 2020. In both cases, he was assisted by the co-driver Vitaly Evtekhov. This year the Petersburger will participate in the event with the most experienced Alexey Kuzmich – it will be interesting to see the tandem of two eminent racers who recently performed in different crews at the Dakar.

The main rival of the upcoming race favorite is the crew of Denis Krotov and one of the most eminent Russian cross-country co-drivers Konstantin Zhiltsov – due to coronavirus infection he was forced to miss the Dakar, but Zhiltsov has recovered and is ready to fight.

Brothers Andrey and Vladimir Novikov made up the first of three crews driving Russian-made G-Force off-road vehicles. Last year, the Muscovites took the silver cup of the Baja Russia – Northern Forest and became the national champions in the overall standings, but this year they are definitely determined to compete for the top step of the podium at the first race of the season.

Two more G-Force vehicles will be driven by Andrey Rudskoy and Evgeny Zagorodnyuk the winners of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies in the T2 category and the champions of Russia in cross-country rallies, as well as the legendary Boris Gadasin – the winner of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies in the team standings, the eightfold champion of Russia in motorsport, and the only Russian winner of the Silk Way Rally in the off-road category. He will be assisted by the co-driver Dmitry Kozhukhov. The Rudskoy / Zagorodnyuk crew will drive the G-Force BARS prototype, and the Gadasin / Kozhukhov duo will start in the G-Force T3GF buggy.

The recognized masters of the cross-country rallies will once again be confronted by the champions in the classic rally. Sergey Uspensky, the multiple champion of Russia in motorsport; Evgeny Sukhovenko and Alexey Ignatov, Russian champions in rally and cross-country rallies – all of them are capable of providing the suspense to the struggle for places in the group of leaders of the Baja Russia Northern Forest.

Marina Danilova is the co-driver in the crew of Sergey Uspensky. But she is far from the only female in the entry list of the Russian round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas. Tatyana Sycheva will drive the buggy with the starting number 211. An all-female crew consisting of the famous Russian racer Anastasia Nifontova and Ekaterina Zhadanova will start with the number 216. Polish racer Patrycja Brochocka makes her debut at the Baja Russia Northern Forest at the wheel of a huge Toyota Land Cruiser 200. A women-only crew of German Lina van de Mars and her co-driver Lisette Bakker will also perform in the same car. And, finally, another racer from Poland, Magdalena Zajac, starts in the Dacia Duster.

Unlike 2020 race, T2 standings (specially prepared production SUVs) will not be the most numerous this year; the scoring category will appear only in the Russian Cross-Country Championship. A part of these vehicles do not match the T2 category in terms of homologation – it has already expired, so they only fall under T1 classification.

The T1 standings will see nine crews at the start; there is only one duet of Claude Fournier and Sebastien Delaunay in the T4 standings, and five off-road vehicles will start in the Raid Sport standings, the crews of which will fight at the Russian Cross-Country Championship round.