From 16 to 18 February in Karelia, Russia took place the first FIA World Cup and the Russian championship rallyraid "Northern Forest 2018" for the 12 time. The race was won by ''RE Autoclub'' crew with pilot Alexey Titov and co-driver Andrey Rusov from Russia (Ford Raptor F150SVT), who in the T2 class finished in 1st position in FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup ranking.

 

Tapio and Toni Lauronens from Finland (Mitsubishi L2) and A.Titov and A.Rusov from Russia (Ford Raptor F150SVT) respectively competed for leadership positions in the T1 and T2 class.
Already in a 19 km long prologue crews set a very good time for in FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup ranking, taking 1st place in T2 class and 3rd in overall ranking.

After the first day of the race and the 2 superstages in overall 274 km, crew with A.Titov (Ford Raptor F150SVT) stayed in leader positions, while T. Lauronen retained the 3rd position, although both teams had to change the tire during the superstages. The fight for fastest crew in overall ranking was very fierce competing with world known rally drivers such as A.Domzala (Overdrive Racing, Toyota Hilux Overdrive), N.S.Al-Attiya (Quatar World Rally Team, Toyota Hilux Overdrive), M.Prokop (MP-Sports, Ford F 150 Evo), as well as V.Vasilyev (G-Energy Team, Mini One).

After the second day of the race and 229 km, A.Titov crew retained the leading position and won 1st place in the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup ranking. Unfortunately Lauronens 3rd place position remained only in the first two days of competition - in the prologue and in two superstages, but at the 21st km in 4th superstage crew quit the race. The race for one of the fastest crews was over.

"This is a sport were technics has an important role, although it seems that the result and performance of the crews was successful, no one cannot predict when technical problems are expected. In general, team's performance was good – 1st place in T2 class, and T. Lauronen crew the first three stages proved to be able to compete with world-class competitors. In the coming weeks, we will make very improvements and we will return to tests in Finland to prepare for the next fight for victory," says Robert Elbakjan, director of RE Autoclub.

Rally "Northern Forest" is the only snow and ice-covered rally stage in the FIA World Cup stage of the series. It is the most impressive and most popular rally raid in Russia, where the522 km long route includes the most beautiful and at the same time most cunning roads of St.Petersburg.

Participants had to compete in 5 stages: prologue 19 km, 1st stage 104 km, 2nd-170 km, 3rd-125 km, and 4th stage - 104 km.

Information prepared by RE Autoclub

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Ieva Stulpiņa

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