Russian “duo" Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov secured the win in the third round of the FIA Cross County Rally World Cup"Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2014" rally, with their MINI ALL4 Racing.
Vasilyev run the race in extremely competitive and consistent style, over the course of the past days. The Russian made it to the top four in every single stage and celebrated three stage wins. At the end of the rally, he won the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with a 47-minute lead over Poland's Adam Malysz in a Toyota. The third place was taken by the Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal on Hummer H3 Evo5.
“We have seen desert rallying at its best and have three very deserving new champions," said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the rally organisers, and FIA Vice President."
Becoming the second Russian driver (after Leonid Novtskiy) to win the “Desert Challenge" Vladimir Vasilyev kept his name in a golden book of the rally.
The race history from the moment of its first release in 1991 remembered in its “golden book" such world stars of motor racing, as Stephane Peterhansel, Nani Roma, Jean-Louis Schlesser, Bruno Sabi, Ari Vatanen, Nasser Al-Attiyah, Luc Alphand and others.
"I am very happy with results of team and Vladimir and Konstantin's crew. They spent five days of race faultlessly, without mistakes, so they had a better chances to win. Excellent work and worthy victory! " - the X-Raid director Sven Quandt commented.
In total, during this demanding sporting week from April 5th to April 10th, participants passed more than 2000 km of the route laid on the unique sandy tracks among dunes of the Arab desert of Rub al Khali. In the second day the crew of VRT G-Energy Team gained the lead in race, having an advantage ahead of competitors in overall classification. Strong positions managed to be kept in next day: the third stage of rally Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2014 including even more difficult and hot special stage, also became victorious for the Russian duet. The third victory at the final stage and a total victory in race became a great finish of the magnificent desert race.
Vladimir Vasilyev: "All stages of this race, traditionally, were difficult: difficult and dangerous dunes, sharp dumpings, uncompromising fight. On the last stage there weren't as many dunes, but they were such beautiful, with uvulas, where it was possible to maneuver with a pleasure. I am really happy to win here, because this race is the most difficult of in all the World Cup events. The team and my co-driver Konstanting Zhilysov did a great job. Also we are here on top of podium thanks to our partner G-Energy which I wish to thank for support".
With this success, Vasilyev and Zhiltsov also leaped to the lead in the FIA World Cup classification, and in 10 days Russian pairing will come in Qatar for “Sealine Cross Country Rally" where their main target will be again the fight for a victory and points of World Cup classification!
1. V. Vasilyev (RUS) / K. Zhiltsov (RUS) MINI ALL4 Racing – 17h 10m 19s
2. A. Malysz (POL) / R. Marton (POL) Toyota – 17h 58m 14s
3. M. Zapletal (CZE) / M. Marton (POL) H3 – 18h 29m 58s
5. S. Schott (GER) / A. Schulz (GER) MINI ALL4 Racing – 18h 43m 56s
6. E. Van Loon (NDL) / W. Rosegaar (NDL) MINI ALL4 Racing – 19h 07m 51s
10. A. Rakhimbayev (KAZ) / A. Nikolaev (RUS) MINI ALL4 Racing - 21h 05m 42s
"A challenge for those who go on. A dream for those who stay behind." This is how the founder of the Dakar Rally, Thierry Sabine, once described his inspiration for the most fascinating rally event on the international motorsport calendar. Since 1978, courageous drivers on motorcycles, quads, in cars and trucks have been demonstrating their ability as they make their way through the desert on the world's most infamous endurance rally.
Up to 2008, the event was held exclusively in Africa, and was initially known as the "Paris-Dakar Rally" due to the location of its start and finish. Over the course of time, the route and the start and finish locations have changed several times. In 1995 the rally started elsewhere other than Paris for the first time. "Paris-Dakar" became "Dakar". Then, in 2009, the unsettled political situation in some African countries saw the event moved to South America, where it has been held since – and has lost none of its original appeal.
All this makes the Dakar Rally a unique challenge for man and machine. Unlike rallies such as those in the World Rally Championship (WRC), this marathon rally does not take place on designated, blocked-off roads and routes, but on open, largely unmarked terrain. Each entrant must first and foremost rely on his/her driving skills.
The competitors must complete up to 800 kilometres per day – a nerve-wracking, two-week marathon, during which the organisers only allow the drivers one rest day. No wonder more than 50% of entrants retire from the Dakar Rally each year. Whatever happens, every day will be an exciting day once the Dakar Rally gets underway again in January 2014.
Date of birth: 11.08.1969
Hobbies: rallys, hunting, winemaking
Place of birth: Tver / RUS
Family status: married, 3 daughters and one son
Place of residence: St. Petersburg / RUS
10th place Dakar 2014 3rd place OiLibya Rally of Morocco 16th place Dakar - Best first time entrant 2nd place Silk Way Rally 1st place Russian Rally Raid Championship 2nd place Russian Rally Raid Championship 1st place Italian Baja 3rd place Baja Spain Italian Baja Silk Way Rallye - One stage win First Rally Raid participation
Date of birth: 19.05.1977
Hobbies: cross-country rally, alpine skiing, parachute, wakeboarding
Place of birth: Dnepropetrovsk / UKR Familienstand: married, 2 daughters
Place of residence: Dnepropetrovsk / UKR
10th place Dakar 2014 3rd place OiLibya Rally of Morocco 16th place Dakar - Best first time entrant 2nd place Silk Way Rally 1st place Russian Rally Raid Championship 2nd place Russian Rally Raid Championship 1st place Italian Baja 3rd place Baja Spain