Each racing day is rich for events and emotions, and the final day of the rally puts all those people who arrived to the Karelian forests in places. The most interesting is when the sportsmen tell you about everything themselves!
Nasser Al-Attiyah, driver, crew number 1,
“It was a good rally for me, because for the first time being here in Russia, we are leading the rally. I’m quite happy to win, I’m sure all the people are happy; I have a lot of fans in Russia. I’m happy. Thanks for the organization, for the marshals; it was a nice start of the season. And, of course, thanks to Toyota, it’s the best team!”
Mathieu Baumel, co-driver, crew number 1,
“The most interesting is that the roads here are wonderful. The rally is too short; we want to compete more – tomorrow, after tomorrow and after-after tomorrow! We need three more days. The rally is fantastic, the forests and driving on the ice, snow. Nasser did it very well and we enjoyed the route. Now we need to wait for one more year to come back!”
Martin Prokop, driver, crew number 4,
“Nothing really happened on this leg, because we went quite comfortable on the second position and enjoyed the race. It was a very nice rally, I'm very surprised with the stages, it was more than I expected. I’m happy with the weekend and I’m happy with a lot of points for the Championship. The experience is amazing, next year I really would like to come again if it will be the World Cup, I will come for sure! I only will bring better tyres and fight for the victory”.
Vladimir Vasilyev, driver, crew number 6,
“Well, it’s not possible to catch up a gasoline car if you drive a diesel one! It’s really difficult to resist gasoline engines; the drivers are very good and you just can’t catch them with the diesel engine. If you look at the statistics, the next diesel car is Jakub Przygonski; he loses a lot even to me. Although he is also a fast driver. At the beginning of the day we were determined to catch up Tapio Lauronen, who was in the third position. Only a few seconds divided us from him, but unfortunately his car broke down, so he gave us a place not in a fight, but for technical reasons”.
“The last leg of the Baja “Russia” was quite good for us, because we were pushing and our car was in the best condition. We found quite good suspension settings, it was hard for us to find the best position of the car, but now it’s the best of those five stages. We are happy that we are on the finish line without any mistakes. I enjoyed this race, it’s so nice to race here, because the roads are really nice to drive – you drive really fast, you jump a lot, there are lots of corners, we really enjoyed! If we come here next year, I will have to go for some training and testing on the snow, because I didn’t have any experience on the snow until now, but I will try to come here next year, because it’s so nice race”.
Boris Gadasin, driver, crew number 8,
“I have to say, our crew completely drove all the special stages of at least one day of the Karelian “Northern Forest” for the first time. Therefore, it was important for us to see the sections of roads, where we’ve never been. At the first leg we tried to make some notes, and at the second one we checked them. Therefore, we had more technical work. The tracks are really wonderful, the weather is great, spectators are cool, and we had very strong rivals this time. That is, everything is only in an excellent degree. We were traditionally unlucky on the first day, but the car didn’t burn down, and it’s nice”.
Yasir Saiedan, driver, crew number 20,
“It’s not boring to pass the stages again, because each time they are different. The first stage was slippery, because it was snow last night. On the second stage it was too much grip, we had fun, and we were much faster than before. Everything is new for me – a new car, I was driving a car of this class for the first time, but I really enjoyed it, it’s a very good car, it’s easy to drive, but I need to practice more on the snow. I have to come here again. I don’t know if it happens, but I like to drive on the snow, especially at the “Northern Forest”.
Fernando Alvarez Castellano, driver, crew number 23,
“It’s a new experience for us, we’ve finished, everything was ok, and we didn’t have any problems during the rally, so we are happy to be here. I had to take more risk and try to go faster, but we finished the seventh, that is very nice for us and for the Championship so next year we’ll see what will go on. For sure we’ll come with a new car, because there will be new Regulations. We’ll see about the car, this one is really nice for such kind of conditions, so everything is ok”.
Andrey Rudskoy, driver, crew number 22,
“The race was good, calm, without adventures, without nerves – that’s what we wanted. It is impossible to catch up the winner here – this is reality. The struggle for the second and third positions was also serious; in fact, we didn’t have any serious goals for the World Cup. For us the most important thing was to take the highest position in the Championship of Russia, so as not to spoil my birthday – it seems to me that we did it. Perhaps it wasn’t very fast, but we did it without a single mistake, not a single tree was hurt, all the parapets are intact”.
Alexey Titov, driver, crew number 27,
“Everything is fine; the race is super, thanks to organizers so much! Everything is just like last year, only better. All the forest parts of the tracks were difficult in terms of the surface; there were some rocks and gullies that could not be driven quickly. And this year those tracks, all parts, were actually faster. Today is the second day, and of course, there’s a rut, so it was more difficult. But on the other hand rut is holding you. Everything is super!
Szymon Gospodarczyk, co-driver, crew number 9,
“It’s my third time here in Russia, but the coldest one. I don’t know why, I prepared everything, but it was very cold this time. We did very good job, today we drive very fast, much faster, than yesterday. We changed settings for a fast section, so we are very happy to be here. The driver is also happy; it’s his first time on the studded tyres”.
Dmitry Ponomarenko, driver, crew number 32,
“The race was wonderful and fast, I want to say thank you to the organizers. We did not freeze. Our little car behaved like a big one on these roads. Of course at the end there were big ruts after the big cars. And if you get into it, you feel like a locomotive – you go and go, the most important is not to jump out from it”.
Paulo Marques, co-driver, crew number 29,
“I’m not afraid of the winter race; it was difficult, but very-very beautiful”.
Bruno Oliveira, driver, crew number 29,
“It was very funny, I’m happy to be here and finish the race. The organization was perfect. I think, we finished the race in the second place in our category, we got points, and it was a very big victory for us, for the whole team. Everything is different here for us, but great. As I told you some days ago, we need to start to understand the snow, it was our first time, but step by step, kilometer by kilometer, I think, we did our job. See you at other World Cup races”.
Maria Oparina, driver, crew number 33,
“Everything was fine today; I finally received a normal key from my car, so I had to focus. At the Prologue I didn’t turn on the full drive, then I had the wrong color key, but now Taisiia and I worked as never before. We were pushing hard, it’s unlikely that we won back a lot of time, but at least we have kept our position. As a result we are the third in the World Cup and the second in the Championship standings. It’s a pity that the car of our rival Igor Khmelnitsky broke down and he left the fight. And it’s good that I didn’t drive to any ditch, because this is my winter race and the first race on the
Adel Abdullah, driver, crew number 26,
“We finished the race in the third position, behind the crew number 29. The gap today was 17 minutes, we tried to push, but took only about ten minutes. Yesterday we were doing very good until at SS-3 I saw a big part of the prototype car on the road. I tried to avoid it, but went off the road and we stood for half an hour, so we lost the fight for the leadership. Today we tried to do our best, we pushed, and we’ve been second all the time at both stages. We are happy about this result, these 15 points that we got at the start of the Championship. It’s a very good point for us to start. We enjoyed the race, the people here, and the organizers. The weather is not comfortable for us, but it’s ok”.