18 February. – Sponsored by Gazpromneft Lubricants and G-Energy Premium Oils, G-Force Motorsport Team took two steps of the podium at the first stage of the Russian Rally-Raid Championship and Cup held last weekend.
42 racing crews threw down the gage to the unique Northern Forest track with its slippery covering of snow and ice. Russian, Ukrainian, Latvian and Finish racers appeared on the start line. G-Force Motorsport crews from Russia – Vladimir Vasiliev/Vitaly Evtekhov and Viktor and Anatoly Volikov fought for this season’s champion title.
Already in the prologue Vladimir Vasiliev won the leadership having arrived 6 seconds ahead of ex-WRC star Harri Rovanpera. Viktor Volikov was fifth by the end of the first day.
“This’s a good track, ideal for a prologue, – organizers’ luck. On the whole, I enjoy everything here. Glad the track is back. What I like in the Northern Forest is that Russia’s winter track always keeps the tradition of sliding and excellent technique,” – says Viktor Volikov, G-Force Motorsport driver.
The second day made Vladimir Vasiliev fight hard with the Finnish crew that had left rivals behind, at first. But the fast and confident G-Force Motorsport crew got its scores back and won the team a victory in the first stage of the Russian Rally-Raid Championship and Cup, and also a top position in the World Cup Ranking. Viktor and Anatoly Volikov came third and took the bronze medal. Meanwhile, the G-Force Motorsport team is an undisputed, total team leader.
“Everything’s great! I liked the track and the organization on the whole. I’m happy to be here. We’ve started the season with the spectacular winter race. The trees are marvelous, but there’s no time to enjoy the view. The weather played into our hands. Had it been, say, about 20 below zero, it would have been much harder. Victory was the goal – and I won. We enjoyed the ride. We did not hustle. Though the ruts were deep already, but easily observed – that’s a plus,” – says Vladimir Vasiliev, G-Force Motorsport driver.
In addition, G-Force Motorsport team marked the Northern Forest event with new sports prototype testing. The crew of Boris Gadasin and Alexey Kuzmitch combined a ‘zero car’ role with testing their vehicle in the conditions close to a ‘real fight.’ The test results will be used to prepare the car for the coming Silk Way Marathon battle.
“Two steps of the podium is a great start! The Northern Forest is a very important, legendary track. We hope for our success in the next stages. As for me, the event is special for a chance to test the car. We thoroughly prepared the new project. Now we are getting ready for the Silk Way and Dakar 2014. Today we saw that the suspension needs to be adjusted for softer sprung. All the rest is optimal: ergonomic comfortable driving position and excellent visibility – I enjoy the car. But something still needs adjusting. Above all, we choose and test lubricants and fluids that offer the best performance. Our partner Gazpromneft Lubricants gives us this opportunity,” – says Boris Gadasin, G-Force Proto driver and design engineer.
The Northern Forest winter track was a difficult task for Gazpromneft Lubricants’ experts regarding the lubricants selection. But, the race results proved that the choice was right. G-Energy oils exhibit superior low-temperature characteristics and deliver reliable protection under any operating conditions. Working together with G-Force Motorsport engineers, Gazpromneft Lubricants’ experts continue the oils testing started with Dakar 2013.
Video: The Northern Forest Baja
BAJA RUSSIA – THE NORTHERN FOREST
The Northern Forest Baja (54km far from St.Petersburg) is a special race track making drivers not only compete with each other, but fight a slippery covering of snow and ice. In 2009-2010, the Northern Forest track had a status of the FIA World Cup for Bajas. Unique outline of the track offering low and high-speed turns, rugged terrain and snow and ice will test the off-road capacity of each participant’s car.
This year the track is a Candidate event for the FIA World Cup. International experts that attended the race, according to the advance information, gave higher estimates to the event organization level and the condition of the track. The final report is coming, and in case the majority of features are at their best, next year, the Cross Country World Cup calendar will enroll the only snow and icy Baja in the world.