“Russia – Northern Forest” Baja pre-start press conference was held on 24 February 2017, and the organizers told about the competition readiness.
Robert Sanakoev greeted the audience on behalf of the Russian Automobile Federation. He reminded of the race “highlight” – for many years it has been the only snow and ice round of the FIA World Cup in Cross-Country Rallies and Russian Championship in Rally Raids. He hoped that a great track prepared by the organizer would satisfy the racers, and let representatives of the media make perfect shots of the slippery roads with spectacular sports cars skidding. Sanakoev summarized administrative and technical checks results. 31 crews from ten countries have arrived to Karelia this year. He is very happy that competition attracts more and more truly foreign racers, coming even from the southern countries of the world – from Turkmenistan to Qatar and Saudi-Arabia.
Then the floor was given to the host party – Alexander Voronov as the Republic of Karelia representative. He welcomed everybody on behalf of the Republic of Karelia Vice Head and noticed that “Russia – Northern Forest” Baja is the most interesting event taking place in the region. The republic’s authorities are proud that the only unique FIA World Cup round has been held on its territory for the third time. The Republic of Karelia Government makes a lot of work annually for the race to be held in good conditions. Traditionally much attention is paid to safety and convenience for press and spectators, because high level competitions help to develop the region. Alexander Voronov wished drivers a successful race and announced the awarding of the traditional Republic of Karelia Head Cup made of healing shungite for the best performance at Prologue.
Ruslan Misikov, the race founder, shared some information about the event preparation and the track. After welcoming the participants on behalf of the organizers, he thanked the teams and media representatives who came to this difficult competition. As for the track: this year it has undergone changes, although it was quite difficult to do – there are not many roads in “rallying Mecca”, suitable for winter rally raids, and it is not always possible to pass and clean it. Any snow race also changes depending on the presence or absence of sufficient snow cover, and any snowfall alters it, hiding some nuances. Then in a playful manner Misikov reported the host party has taken into account all the wishes on the weather, because the last year there was little snow, and how it may be noted, the situation changed just two days before the start.
After that Vladimir Chagin, the “Silk Way” rally-marathon director, took the floor. The “Silk Way” team was invited to take part in the Baja ceremonial start. “It is great the snow race takes place in the most beautiful areas of Karelia and the season does not wait for spring, it begins in the winter”, Chagin said. He also noticed he would like to see the participants and media representatives at the "Silk Way-2017" start on 7 July. Chagin wished the race participants to get the whole range of pleasures in the next three days.
In 2017 racing season “Suprotec” company is the general partner of the Russian Championship and the Cup of Russia in Rally Raids. Sergey Zelenkov presented this company, and told about the development and changes that have occurred since the last race in Alabino. He told the main value of rally raids is that courageous people are gathered here. Racers, taking part in this kind of motorsport, are true athletes, nice people, and this “rally raid spirit” will be multiplied in the world. The “Suprotec” company, producing engine oil for sporting cars, came into motor racing in the middle of the 2016 season with its task and made laboratory tests, only getting accustomed to everything. This year they have launched a test edition of their products. Another "Suprotec" goal is to make the cross-country rallies the same beloved and popular sport in Russia as abroad.