Participants of the briefing
The world's only "snow" cross country rally event "Northern Forest 2015" will take place on February 20-22, 2015 in Karelia and will be held as the round of the World Cup for Cross Country Rally. This event will be the first round of the Cup 2015 held under FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) authority.
Evgeny Shorokhov, First Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs, Physical Training, and Sports of the Republic of Karelia, Sergey Lebedev, the event director, and Konstantin Zhiltsov, holder of the World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, have told the journalists about the race and its participants at the briefing in the Government of the republic.
"Baja Russia Ц Northern Forest 2015" event is traditionally held in the format of a short cross country rally, called with Spanish word "Baja". World Cup for Cross Country Rally is a multiple round event series held annually in different countries from hot United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and Morocco in the south to Russia with the world's only snow and ice Baja. In 2015, the World Cup will consist of 10 rounds, and each of them is the best race of its kind in the country.
Ц This is a history-making event for our republic, as the World Cup for Cross Country Rally will take place here for the first time, Ц Evgeny Shorokhov has told. Ц This is a result of a wealth of arrangements accomplished by the organizers, including automobile federation of St.Petersburg and Leningrad Region, Government of Karelia, automobile racing federation of the republic, federal and local agencies. The Organizing Committee of the republic is chaired by Head of Karelia Alexander Khudilainen.
Evgeny Shorokhov has reminded that in the beginning of the 1990 Lahdenpohja region of Karelia has become a venue for the Al-Russian rally, that has become the Automobile Rally Championship and the Midnight Sun Cup of Russia. The new status of the competition is a true breakthrough in its history.
Sergey Lebedev, executive chairman of the Organizing Committee, has thanked the Government of the republic for assistance in running the competition.
Ц We were very well received here, and we were lent a helping hand, Ц he has emphasized. Ц Karelia is famous for its tracks perfect for auto racing and its great spaces. None of the European races has such distances to run a rally.
"Baja Northern Forest" is a beginning of the season and is very popular among racers in Russia. Competitors from 15 counties, including Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Spain, Germany, Czechia, Poland, Brazil, Latvia, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and Hungary, are expected to take part in the race. Russia's leading drivers, including Ruslan Misikov, Vladimir Vasilyev, Boris Gadasin and others, are taking part in the race every year.
X-Raid team, winner of Dakar 2015, the Dutch Erik Van Loon, fourth position in Dakar 2015, are aiming to compete in 2015 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, the baja Russia Ц Northern Forest to be the first of their endeavours this season. The Belgian Toyota Overdrive, second in Dakar 2015, Africa Eco Race 2015 prize-winner Kazakhstan Mobilex Racing team, Latvian team RE Autoclub with more than 20-year international rally and more than 10-year cross country rally experience are also expected to participate in "Baja Northen Forest 2015".
Ц We appreciate that Karelia welcomes us and provides a chance to show the capabilities of out athletes and our cars, Ц Konstantin Zhiltsov, holder of the World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, who is also taking part in the race, has supported Sergey Lebedev. Ц We love these speedways which we already know from the Midnight Sun race. I believe the race will be very interesting, as competitors will have to confirm their titles in the home race.
Evgeny Shorokhov and Konstantin Zhiltsov
In two days the competitors will make more than 350 km in total. The special stages route longer than 150 km runs through preserved forests of Sortavala and Suojarvi regions have challenging tridimensional terrain zesting the snow rally.
The competition will start on Friday, February 20, in Black Rocks resort with administrative checks and technical scrutineering. Press-conference will take place before the start.
The ceremonial start of "Baja Russia Ц Northern Forest 2015" will take place on February 20 at 2:50 p.m. on the helicopter landing site of Black Rocks resort. Competitors will take part in the super special stage of about 9.50 kilometers.
Leg 2 on February 21 will consist of special stage 1 about 159 km long. On Sunday, February 22, Leg 3 will consist of special stage 2 about 159 km long. The podium ceremony and the final Parc Fermé will be organized on the helicopter landing site. Prize giving and celebration will take place in Black Rocks resort.
This year, one of the most celebrated motorsport experts Ronan Morgan has accepted the invitation to become Clerk of the course of "Baja Russia Ц Northern Forest 2015", and Olga Sivacheva, head of automobile federation of St.Petersburg and Leningrad Region, was appointed as the clerk of the course for the Russian national cross country championship. Title sponsor is G-Energy, a premium motor oil brand, and its partners are Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank) and B&N Bank.
According to the organizers, everything is ready for the rally, the last thing to wish is fair weather. A road perfect for the winter race is a smooth road with snow upon it and a touch of Karelian frost.