Monday, September 27, 2010

Europe is Good to Nissan, Part 1

During the summer three interesting rallies took place in Central Europe. Two were held in Poland and one in Hungary. Two of these were kind to Nissan drivers and one not so. Let's begin with unlucky one, shall we?

Baja Carpathia (July, 2. - 4.)

New organizers, new name, one new special stage and one from previous year – these are main points of Baja Carpathia 2010. Right from the beginning the race showed its cruel face. Saturday’s special stage was located in a military area and very difficult due to the terrain. Twisted gravel roads were soon followed by huge sand field just to change to narrow forest roads a bit later. Two crews were failed to finish with their competition. Unfortunately one of them was Nissan.  A green Pathfinder driven by Zoli Garamvölgyi spent some time in service area but got back on track no sooner then on Sunday.

Two Polish crews lasted just a little bit longer; Grajek was betrayed by brakes of his SAM Proto, Loszewski lost front diff and wrecked the engine in deep sand. Close to the end of the first special another Nissan stopped. My friend Lumír was very surprised to see a hole in a radiator of his Patrol GR. Two Nissans out of four failed to finish the first stage of rally.

There is an old saying “Disaster never walks alone”. It was very true for Nissans on Baja Carpathia. Polish driver Wozniak also struggled during the first special and fell down the order because of time penalty. He was able to repair “old lady” Navara and successfully completed all remaining specials. But with huge time loss he wasn’t able to finish better than 11th out of fourteen classified. Oh, twenty five cars started the race.

Do you want to know how the last Nissan’s crew did? They did well but fell victim to a strange mishap. By the time Juraj and Danka (my team) were in comfortable lead in T2 class, the Navara started to stop occasionally. And because of this the only T2 Nissan in the race exceeded the time limit for one of the stages which moved him back in the order. And what’s the cause of this? A price label in fuel tank. How it ended up in there? No one knows. The result? Second place in T2 and the eighth overall. Not bad after all.

A brief recap of the rest. Czech Viktor Chytka won the race after flawless performance driving a Toyota-powered Hummer H3 Evo. Another Czech, Zdeněk Pořízek in a BMW X5 CC tried hard to improve from the second position but failed to outrun Chytka. The indestructible Bowler Wildcat of Marcin Kruszewicz placed third and saved the pride of local competitors. Amongst those who were unable to reach the finish line was also Slovak crew of Ľuboš Paška and Juraj Medveczky. A brand new Touareg based on next generation of this SUV showed a beautiful performance until it fell down a steep hill. Both men ended up with damaged vertebras and their season came to a premature end. What a pity.

Next time we are gonna visit Hungary, don't miss Part 2.

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