Nizhny Novgorod, December 7, 2020 - GAZelle NEXT vehicles won Stage 4 of the Russian Rally Raid Championship - Simbirsk Track 2020 Baja- , which was held last weekend in Ulyanovsk region. The crew of Evgeny Sukhovenko and Kirill Chapaev were the best while the crew of Alexander Potapov and Oleg Nezhnov the second best. The individual bronze award in T1 class with the fastest vehicles in the rally was given to the crew of Alexey Ignatov and Evgeny Pavlov. The season results are as follows: the crew of Sukhovenko and Chapaev are number one while Potapov and Nezhnov are number three in the Raid class; GAZ Raid Sport team is the best crew in the Russian Championship.
GAZelle NEXT vehicles are the winners of Stage 4 of the Russian Rally Raid Championship held in Ulyanovsk region on 3-5 December 2020. Three GAZ Raid Sport crews are among the best: Evgeny Sukhovenko and Kirill Chapaev are number one while Alexander Potapov and Oleg Nezhnov are number two in the Raid class. Alexey Ignatov and Evgeny Pavlov are the third best team in the absolute ranking.
There is usually only one winter race in the Russian championship - the Winter Forest Baja in February. But this year changes came into the schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the racer got another chance to show their driving skills in unusual for classic rally raids winter races.
There were 3 days and 709 kilometers of snow-covered roads with 525 of them being a real sports challenge. Crusty ice on the roads, sudden jump ramps and snow-hidden potholes required great concentration from the racers and terrific technical performance and strength from the vehicles.
Evgeny Sukhovenko, GAZ Raid Sport pilot:
- The road was a big challenge, indeed. With crusty ice and deep ruts. And powdered with snow. So you don’t really feel the road and see its profile. E.g. the co-driver says that there is a hole on the road ahead of you. while you see a smooth road, so there is no need to throttle down. However next moment you feel a heavy hit - the pothole had been snow-hidden. Low temperature made it yet more challenging. E.g. there should be no extreme driving when fording. However some crews drove into the water at full speed and the vehicles immediately turned into a big icicle on the freezing -20C winds. And it’s not that easy to remove a one-cm-thick ice layer from the window, while heating would steal at least 10-15 precious minutes from you. And there’s a million such ins and outs. In such a race both the driver and the co-driver should be really concentrated. With no room for errors.