Rally of lost opportunities

Ралли Гуково 2010The crew of Dmitry TAGIROV and Anna ZAVERSHINSKAYA returned from a small miner's town Gukovo in Rostov’s region with their first ever bronze medal of the Russian Championship round. But the satisfaction with that award was not less than the disappointment that due to the coincidence of circumstances it was not possible to achieve more though there was a good opportunity to do that.

“Gukovo” rally did not promise life to be easy from the very beginning. The enormous heat, which became the extra challenge for people and cars, was added to the traditional route complexities of that event, like rocky ledges in the surface and crafty banks. Dmitry TAGIROV managed to achieve the best possible physical conditions before that event, and according to his own words, that heat was not a real problem for him. But unfortunately personal readiness can not affect all plot turns.

Ралли Гуково 2010There were good reasons for optimism before the rally start: the tests were completed successfully, the car was perfectly prepared and tuned and the strategy for the oncoming fight was well-defined by the crew. Everything that was possible to do was done.

Dmitry TAGIROV and Anna ZAVERSHINSKAYA started for the first special stage rather carefully, expecting that three main favorites would be involved into a huge fight from the very first meters. The crew tried to find comfortable and safe rhythm, trying to save the car for the deciding attack as soon as the opportunity would be opened.

First "vacancy" in the top three opened in few minutes: the damage of a steering rack made the championship leader Andrey Zhigunov to stop after only five kilometers to the stage. Dmitry TAGIROV completed the SS1 “Steppe” that could be named the softest of the stages at that rally with the third overall time. But just in the middle of the second stage there was the first unforeseen situation. Evgeny Novikov, who was running first on the road, had stopped for a wheel change after a puncture. By the moment Dmitry’s crew arrived, Novikov had lost almost 8 minutes, but he has Ралли Гуково 2010returned on the route few meters in front of blue Tagirov's Impreza, causing Dmitry’s for almost emergency braking. When Novikov’s car accelerated to a normal speed, it made it impossible to continue movement in heavy dust and Tagirov’s crew was forced to stop their car roadside. Each further attempt to accelerate up to full speed made Dmitry and Anna to be caught up with not dispersed dust. After the finish of the section the crew applied to the clerk of the course to reconsider the stage time to get good start position on the second section. But neither the notional time was set, nor starting order changed after regroup. The sixth place after the first section and the sixth start position…

Counterattack had begun not in the best conditions, but was rather effective: two stage wins and one second time moved Tagirov two positions higher in the classification. Moreover, now the lag from the leader decreased to less than 20 seconds! That was a very good and realistic position for the attack for the victory!

On the first stage of final section Dmitry TAGIROV and Anna ZAVERSHINSKAYA had to go again in the dust cloud, that time – behind the Patrik Flodin's car, which was also slowed down by the puncture. As now it was clear, that there was no chance to relay upon the time revision, Dmitry and Anna did not stop and have continued in almost blind conditions. That led to the puncture on their car, but fortunately that happened not far from the stage finish, so they still managed to set the third time on that stage.

Ралли Гуково 2010Things turned worse on the final passage of the longest stage, 21-km long "Anikino". Patrik Flodin had a double puncture here, and by the time Tagirov caught him, the reigning Russian Champion already had Sergey Uspenskiy's car following him. In the dust veil Dmitry TAGIROV couldn’t avoid bumping the sand bank, damaging the front suspension of his Impreza. But the game was not over – the crew found out that it was possible to continue with the suspension arm broken to reach finish saving at least the third position.

The blue-and-silver livered Subaru passed the finish line in Gukovo third, losing 6 minutes to the winning Truhin’s crew. But still it was the podium – the first ever National Championship Round podium in Dmitry and Anna's career! And that rally was also unique for the modern Russian motorsport, as all the top three positions were occupied by the crews from Ural, that is first time ever too!

Gukovo-2010 final results:

  1. Andrey Truhin/Alexey Petrov (Ekaterinburg, URAL Motorsport, Subaru Impreza N12)
  2. Vadim Makarov/Dmitry Kutsaev (Ekaterinburg, ProSport, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX)
  3. Dmitry Tagirov/Anna Zavershinskaya (Ekaterinburg, AKRT, Subaru Impreza N12)

 Next round is the “South Ural Rally” and the crew of Dmitry TAGIROV and Anna ZAVERSHINSKAYA hope that that time the Fortune would be more favorable to them.

 Dmitry TAGIROV, driver: «I didn’t have such a bad luck for a long time! It was a sort of the fatal situation! Both the car was ready, and our conditioning was ideal. All the participants blamed the heat, but I did not really feel it! It was very annoyingly that all these unpleasant situations with dust arise, one following another. If we avoid the first situation with Eugeny Novikov – the order for the second section could be absolutely different. But all the things turned for us as unhappy as possible, one causing the other…»         
Ралли Гуково 2010