GAZ Raid Sport team won Stage I of Russian Rally Championship


GAZ Raid Sport team took the first place in the team event of Stage I of the Russian Rally Championship. The most famous snow rally race in the world «Russia – North Forest – 2016» took place on 21-22 February in Karelia. GAZ team was the only participating team using domestic-brand vehicles, i.e. GAZelle NEXT and Sobol 4õ4. Contestants of the GAZ team were 24 strongest crews from Russia, Netherlands, Finland, Belarus, Latvia, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Brazil and Venezuela. The crew of Leonid Panfilov and Ramil Zamaletdinov taking part in the race for the first time on its GAZelle NEXT took the second place in the individual event of Raid Sport category.

1.jpgGAZ Raid Sport team took the first place in the team event of Stage I of the Russian Rally Championship. The teams run about 400 kilometers of winter roads within two racing days. That North Forest race was the first one for a young pilot of the team Leonid Panfilov, and became a triumph for him. He won the silver medal together with his co-pilot Ramil Zamaletdinov.

It was the first time when one of the team vehicles (GAZelle NEXT Ò1 sport car) took part in the international event included in the Rally World Cup classification held under the auspices of the international Automobile Federation (FIA). GAZ Raid Sport team was the only team with a female crew. The pilot Tatyana Eliseeva and co-pilot Elena Pravdina on their Sobol 4õ4 took the fifth place in the classification.

2.jpgNorth Forest Baja is the only winter stageof the Rally World Cup and Russian Championship, while the other races take place in the south regions. This race requires the skill of swift snow and ice driving and maneuvering among the trees within a few seconds. Winding forest trails of Karelia feature challenging terrain with a big number of steep ups and downs. The sportsmen had to demonstrate maximum attention, capability for instant situation analysis and response, and also accuracy to pass treacherous turns of the icy road.

3.jpgThe team success was achieved mainly by means of reliable Cummins ISF 2,8 diesel engines, which withstood all extreme loads; lube oils from Total, which secured survival of the vehicle systems and components; front and rear axle differential locks from Eaton, which contributed to enhanced cross-country capability when overcoming treacherous snow traps, and snow tires from BFGoodrich, which allowed the crews to maintain a high speed on the icy track.

The maintenance on the race track was provided by serial off-road Sobol 4õ4 vehicles, which delivered the maintenance specialists to the most hard-to-reach terrain areas.


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