They have finished! Unfortunately, not everybody was able to do, but each of them struggled with the track, with a stopwatch, with personal and vehicle limits. The most recent, the most vivid impressions – immediately after the SS4 finish.
#25 (Aron Domzala)
The stage was very nice. We had a super pace on the first 100 km, it was really perfect! We caught Vladimir Vasilyev, so him in 200 m in front of us and drove like that for 2 km. Then we hit a rock in the middle of the road and we got two punctures. So we stopped, changed two wheels and started going again. We saw Vladimir Vasilyev having a roll, we stopped with him and tried to help (it was not possible) and after a couple kilometers we caught Andrey Novikov. Unfortunately he didn’t want to go off our way and we had to go 20 cm behind his back for 5 km. Before finish we had to stop for a minute or two because after him there was snow dust.
#14 (Andrey Novikov)
We were trying to pull out Vladimir Vasilyev’s car, we did it, but we couldn’t put it on wheels. Then we continued moving and didn’t see Domzala’s car in a snow dust behind. When the Sentinel signal came, we were driving along the border – there is a narrow road and no place to pass by. Finally, we saw wide right turn, there were spectators, journalists – we wanted to let him go there, but it was the place where he just stood still.
I have no questions to the race organizers, only words of gratitude for the work done. It is really the FIA World Cup level, and it is very pleasant this happens in Russia.
#12 (Miroslav Zapletal)
Today I have woken up a little. In the morning I’ve decided, the workout is over, time to start the race (laughing). But I was driving safely. Our rivals lost a lot of time due to mistakes, so it was better to go with a margin. Emotions at the finish are very positive. Last time I said to myself that I wanted to return to Russia – and I did it. Now, at the finish line I’ll make a wish to come to the “Northern Forest” again.
#22 (Victor Khoroshavtcev)
Today I have steered enough! Especially the last section along the border seemed so difficult. I went right after the Vasilyev’s crew roll over ... They are fine. Just then I lowered the pace and started to be afraid a little. And then there were 25 kilometers of continuous steering, because the road is such that the car doesn’t grip. But we still had to go faster somehow! There I steered much, so that the right hand is tired. I changed gears, probably twice a second (laughing). But thank God, we are at the finish.
#40 (Jouni Ampuja)
It was nice to come here. I have the experience from the previous years, so I knew what to expect from the rally. It was a really good weekend for us. On the first stage I was, maybe, too careful, then the second yesterday’s stage I made well. Today I went nice, without taking big risks. After all those retirements I have seen on the route, I took care just to get to the finish.
#28 (Alexander Terentyev)
The race was quite unsuccessful for us. Yesterday we had problems with the electronics, and today we kicked off at the end. We went just great being the last. We've punctured a wheel together with Alexey Titov's crew and changed wheels also together. We did it faster! We saw only fragments of cars on the track, probably they have already been removed from the cells. The track was slippery, with lots of rocks... But that's the "Northern Forest"! How do I manage to combine participation in the race and the co-organizer position? In fact, Ruslan Misikov works for everybody, and we only support him morally and financially. In general, we are satisfied the car is at the finish line. In fact its the first race of our vehicle, and we hope the others will be more successful.
#33 (Gurbanberdi Danatarov, co-driver)
We like the race and we will definitely come again. Were there any difficulties? No, it's okay. Yesterday I made a small mistake: forgot the control card at the start, and we were given one hour penalization for that. But still, we are claiming for to the second position... The the race organization is just super!
#47 (Tatyana Eliseeva)
Watchful Technical Commission has found some fault in our automatic fire extinguishing system, and they didn’t let us start until its complete elimination. We were able to fix it quickly and kick off. In addition we had some technical issues: at the special stage we stopped and switched on/off the low gearing. It is turned on, and to turn it off, we had to stop the vehicle completely.
What are my impressions of the new co-driver? I think we have a good future: both of us must learn to talk to each other. The fact he serves the car himself and goes in it makes me feel calmer. When the car starts making noises, I begin to worry, but Alexander Semenov calms me down and says it is normal for a piece of iron. I like it! This is a good option!
"Northern Forest" is my favorite race in the Russian championship! It is smooth, you don’t have to worry anything can happen. And I like winter! You get the pleasure, and the race itself is very beautiful! Competition organization is at the top level! There are a lot of small things that make the race cozy and friendly! The organizers make decisions very quickly and do their best for the participants. Evacuation of participants takes place just instantly.
#50 (Alexander Bochkarev)
The race went well and in one breath. It’s a pity everything is over! I would like to drive a couple of days more. Trees are beautiful, track is nice. My co-driver is just super, a real rocket! She tells everything on time, no problems at all, she struggles to the last moment. Today we were just talking and steering. Forest is beautiful here, cliffs are nice, the sun is shining... Everything was super! We will go again together with Ekaterina Kovaleva. I even would enter for a season together, thinking about nothing!
#10 (Konstantin Zhiltsov, co-driver)
50 km before the finish line there was a “hole 3”, and the rail was broken there, though there was not much hitting, it just happened somehow. Well, we drove further, there was some vibration on the steering wheel, and after 500 m the wheel wrenched out, we went to the parapet, and then softly laid to the roof. Then Frolov put us on the wheels. Well, races are races, anything can happen.
The race is great with a good track; there are no comments, and the route is interesting.
#10 (Vladimir Vasilyev)
#43 (Konstantin Ivanov)
We drove well, fast and carefully. The main task was to catch up our nearest competitor, and we had to win back one minute. We were on the third place, then we caught up Leonid Petrov, and became the second. Then we went quietly, slowly.
#20 (Andrey Rudskoy)
The race was different for us: we won the first day, on the second day we overturned at the fifth kilometer and drove the whole day without the right door. Yesterday it was 15 degrees below zero and, of course, it was very cold inside, even the water frozen. We tried to warm Evgeniy Zagorodnuk, covered him, and closed the door a little... We even pulled out some crews yesterday.
Today, of course, with a door and sun shining the long special stage was just super! There was only one minus – we had a lot of overtaking, we passed about eight cars, it is always a time loss. At one point, we caught up a car in a very narrow place and then dragged along it for three kilometers, losing time.
If to resume the whole race, the track here is very chic! I believe it was the best “Northern Forest”, where I was able to take part, if to speak about the track and the organization! Great thanks to organizers! Gorgeous changing track, fast, twisted, with clumps ... It is just super!
#51 (Eduard Tsaruk)
How was yesterday? (Sighing) Yesterday unexpected happened: we flipped over to the side at the second stage, and rolled over at the third one... Today we were driving carefully and reached the finish line!
The race is awesome! Thanks to Sergey Talantsev for such a great event! In reality, we have a lot of fun, it's hard to explain! For the future we have plans to try to participate in the whole season the Russian Championship.
#53 (Egor Okhotnikov)
Yesterday we flipped over to the side, because we drove too fast. Today we went quieter to reach the finish line. But both days we had drive gear failures and went only with the rear wheel drive.
#32 (Alexey Titov)
Yesterday's story with the fuel system continued today: sometimes the car didn’t move, but in general – everything was good. There was a small mistake in navigation, which led to our too late reaction, the wheel beaded – we lost time changing it directly at the special stage. We reached the finish line with small technical problems. Winter rally raid is a completely different race! It is more similar with the classical rally, because virtually there is no off-road. Today’s route was simply stunning! I would like to thank Mr. Talantsev for just funky straight, where you drive with the fifth gear and full gas – it was amazing! I’ve got lots of emotions! Our new car is just super! It is very good, we will need to modify it a bit to get rid of these small technical problems, it allows you go very-very quickly. Especially in these difficult areas, where there are permanent bumps, the suspension works very well. I plan to use this car for the whole Russian Championship.
#23 (Vladimir Frolov)
In my opinion, today’s special stage was much more even than on the previous day. Straights were passed with the sixth gear and full gas, the track was twisted a little bit, with waves and rut. In those places it was difficult to hold the car and balance at the edge. It seems, Vasilyev’s car roll over was the result of it. We put it on the wheels. We did not have enough balance in the car. Yesterday we were unable to configure the shock absorbers properly, but today we tried different settings, and removed the “warmer” at the back, so jacks started to get warm and began to work. It got better. Today we were able to drive more or less normal. Therefore, the day and the good mood were good and we are happy with the result. My constant co-driver moved to the T3 standings, and I spent the second race with Alexey Shaposhnikov. He has great experience; he had performed with Dmitry Ievlev before. We get used to each other little by little. Of course there are differences, co-drivers have various views to the track – we are working on it.
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