Baja Russia Northern Forest: Sergei Remennik and Yaroslav Fedorov debut in cross-country
Baja Russia Northern Forest – the first round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas and the first round of the Russian Cross-Country Championship starts in the Leningrad Region on February 11. For Sergei Remennik, a frequenter of the classic rally tracks, this event will be his debut in cross-country rallies. Forced to suspend the rally program due to greater involvement in work projects, Sergei did not stop loving motorsports and took the unique opportunity to try his hand in an absolutely different kind of motorsport competition.
So why the driver is going to start at the world’s only snow and ice baja? Sergei Remennik has not yet had any experience in cross-country rallies. Therefore, he is not going to set dizzying speeds and the best times at the special stages, but will only try to get acquainted with the discipline. Baja is ideal for this purpose, because this is a short-term and short-distance cross-country competition that is usually held in a compact two-three-day format.
Sergei Remennik, driver, “My old friend Sergey Karyakin, whose name is well known to everyone who follows at least the Dakar, has long been beckoning me to cross-country rallies. In addition, it is interesting to try something new, and the World Cup is such an interesting series. There are also the rounds of the Russian Championship and the Eurasia Zone Cup. We’ve applied for everything and we’ll try it! It is interesting to try this discipline. On snow and ice the Maverick impressed me much more than I expected. I would say that it is somewhat similar to the nimble Suzuki Swift R4 in which we trained.
Yaroslav Fedorov will be my co-driver – we will try to deep in this discipline together, because I understand that the Northern Forest will not have a classic cross-country navigation. This is such a kind of easy competition for getting to know the discipline. So Yaroslav will go with me: to come, to see, to try what it is.
I think baja is good as a first step to understand the discipline, that’s enough for me for the first acquaintance. Further, if I really like it, we will evaluate the participation budget and options for competitions available for involvement. Of course, I might also want to rev up the Toyota, for example. But I think that for the beginning a little baja is enough to plunge into an adjacent discipline.
Later in the process I will understand what cross-country rallies are, whether I like them or not. And what I would like to do next. Last summer my son started karting actively, and I put a lot of effort into his program, and there is less energy left for myself. Well, I suddenly liked it – doing my child’s program. So there is such a dilemma. So far, no plans right now – we are just going to get acquainted with the discipline and have fun”.
Yaroslav Fedorov, the experienced classic rally co-driver, the Russian Rally Champion, and the WRC2 bronze medalist, will assist Sergei Remennik at the wheel of a T4 category car with starting number 404. Baja Russia Northern Forest will also be the first experience of participating in cross-country rallies for him.
Yaroslav Fedorov, co-driver, “I have been looking at the cross-country rallies with interest for a long time, because both drivers with whom I previously performed in classic rally – Alexey Ignatov and Evgeny Sukhovenko, were factory drivers of the GAZ Raid Sport team. They talked a lot about this discipline, always very interesting, positive. They talked about some adventures. Therefore, there was an interest in the discipline.
And quite a long time ago I began to look for an opportunity to drive some simple race, so as not to let the driver down, because I have no cross-country experience, but to form my own opinion. To understand how interesting it is for me professionally.
I immediately responded to Sergey’s cool offer – our trip will be spontaneous and funny from the point of view that neither he nor I have any experience – this will be our first participation in this discipline, the first event as a crew. Therefore, we are looking at this start with great interest. We understand that there will be some mistakes or perhaps even problems. But we hope that the sense of humor that is inherent in both members of the newly minted crew will allow us to enjoy this race.
I plan to get the most out of this baja. Not only to drive the race, but also to communicate with professionals and co-drivers. In general, my task is not only not to let Remennik down at this race, but also to take the opportunity to gain maximum experience as a novice cross-country co-driver”.
Changing discipline and sports car is always difficult for a driver to adapt, because doing one sport for a long time he gets used to its features and a certain level of concentration. The basic idea of races for the regularity of movement with additional high-speed competitions is the same here, but in classic rallies, unlike the cross-country ones, the crew consisting of a driver and a co-driver moves according to the instructions of the pacenotes that he makes for himself during the recce. It describes all the corners and difficult moments of movement on the special stages, and the length of one special stage rarely exceeds 30 kilometers.
And in cross-country rallies the co-driver has a Road Book with a route of movement, navigation devices for driving in the hors-piste and a device for automatically taking control points. All movement along the tracks takes place “according to the eyes” – usually the driver is free to choose the routes convenient for travel, but within the framework of the instructions of the Organizer and with control of the passage along the track using GPS tracking, so as not to accidentally “cut off” part of the necessary kilometers of the competitive distance. The distance of the special stages in this discipline only begins with a mark of one hundred kilometers from start to finish.
However, the only snow and ice competition in the world is devoid of this kind of orientation, because the race tracks are cleared like the classic special stages, fenced off from the snow field with parapets and have a unique three-dimensional landscape.
The Baja Russia Northern Forest total distance is more than 600 kilometers, about 400 of them fall on nine high-speed stages, located on the territory of the Leningrad Region. On competition days drivers will fight in the immediate vicinity of the Igora Drive sports and entertainment complex. And on the final day they will tackle two long special stages that will define the names of the winners and prize-winners of the event.
On Friday, February 11 the crews will pass pre-start formalities; then the qualifying special stage starts, following which the starting positions will be distributed. The prize-giving ceremony for the baja winners will take place on the evening of February 13.
Friday, February 11 – qualifying special stage that includes a liaison about 2 km long, a distance of SS1 of 16 km and a return liaison to the Service Park of about 3 km. Night Service Park.
Saturday, February 12 – start of the first leg that includes six special stages with a total length of about 157 km and liaisons with a total length of about 76 km.
Sunday, February 13 – start of the second leg that includes two special stages with a total length of about 215 km and liaisons with a total length of about 132 km. Final checks, publication of race results and prize-giving.