Editorial Raid

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Africa Eco Race 2019

Baja in Dubai: Al-Zubair and Vorobeyev in pursuit of success

-  Al-Zubair and Vorobeyev currently hold second and sixth in points’ standings

The South Racing Can-Am Team duo of Oman’s Abdullah Al-Zubair and Russia’s Fedor Vorobeyev are in the United Arab Emirates making their final preparations for this weekend’s (March 7-9) Dubai International Baja, round two of the 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas.

 

The two drivers are tackling rounds of both the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies and the shorter Bajas this season and have already taken part in events in Russia and Qatar, the opening rounds of both championships in their Can-Am Maverick X3s, entered in the competitive T3 category.

Al-Zubair and fellow Omani Faisal Al-Raisi finished second in the T3 category and 11th overall at last month’s Baja Northern Forest Rally in the Republic of Karelia and currently trail T3 series leader Michele Cinotto by just seven points in the race for the Baja title that will be fought out over eight rallies in Russia, Dubai, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Jordan and Portugal.

The AZ Racing Team driver teamed up with Qatari navigator Nasser Al-Kuwari the following week to finish 11th overall and fourth in T3 at the Qatar Cross-Country Rally after incurring one stage maximum time penalty following a turbo failure.

Vorobeyev and fellow Russian navigator Kirill Shubin finished sixth in T3 and 15th overall in Russia and delivered an impressive performance together in Qatar to cross the finish podium second in T3 behind Reinalde Varela and in a superb seventh overall. The crew will again run their South Racing Can-Am under the Zavidovo Racing Team banner in the UAE.

Competition in the T3 category in Dubai comes from series leader Cinotto, former FIA T2 world champion Adel Abdulla of Qatar, Spain’s Santiago Navarro and Emirati driver Michel Fadel.

The Dubai International Baja is organised by the Automobile Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates (ATC UAE) and runs to a shorter format than the recent Qatar event and the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

Based at the Dubai Autodrome, crews will tackle two selective sections of 201.60km and 204.03km on Friday (March 8) and Saturday (March 9) before the ceremonial finish back at the Dubai Autodrome on Saturday afternoon.

FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas – T3 Trophy standings after round 1: 1. Michele Cinotto (ITA), 25 points ; 2. Abdullah Al-Zubair (OMN), 18 pts ; 3. Dmitrii Ponomarenko (RUS), 15 pts ; 4. Alexey Shmotov (RUS), 12 pts ; 5. Frederic Chavigny (FRA), 10 pts ; 6. Fedor Vorobeyev (RUS), 8 pts ; 7. Maria Oparina (RUS), 6 pts ; 8. Tatjana Sycheva (RUS), 4 pts.

Neil Perkins,


Marie-France Estenave pour MFE-Live.com

Actus Raid - Bajas