Without chance for mistake, but with some reserve

thumb_map_rally800There is another event in the competition program of Dmitry Tagirov and Anna Zavershinskaya, that was not originally planned by the crew to participate in – the “St.Petersburg” rally. But the fact, that the crew made the late decision to participate in the event that is separated by only one week from the final and deciding event of the National Cup – is not so unexpected, that one could imagine. The crew is now leading the series, and that rally is going to be a sort of “the final rehearsal” for the main fight of the season.

 

 

              The “St. Petersburg” rally has quite a complicated history. That event was introduced about 20 years ago as a tarmac rally. Later it had the route with mixed surfaces on the stages, including both gravel and tarmac sections. The rapid development of the megapolice’s suburban infrastructure, the building of thousands of country-side houses and developing of the roads as far as the growth of the suburban traffic makes the organizers to change the route and even the “hosting” places for that rally. It could be definitely said, that no other event in Russian rallying had so many changes of the route like “St. Petersburg”. In late 90-s the rally was running in the closest suburbs of the “Northern Capital”, and it was possible to held the starting and podium ceremonies in the historic centre of the city.  Now the event moved significantly to the north, and start on the Neva embankment is only a nostalgic remembering. To make about 80 kilometers of competitive stages, the cars have to cover about 300 kilometers of liaison in the Priozersk District. But there are some positive things in this “change of geography”. Some special stages of “St. Petersburg 2010” include the sections that many years ago were forming the route of “original” version of the legendary “White Nights Rally”.
         The crew of Dmitry Tagirov and Anna Zavershnskaya, who are leading the Russian Rally Cup decided to participate in that event. There are more than 40 crews in the entry list, and a half of them are in 4WD classes. So that rally is going to become a sort of the “final rehearsal” before the final event of the series.

      Dmitry had already participated in the “St. Petersburg” last year and the rally left quite mixed emotions. The sections which are fast and demanding to the driving skills here are mixed with the parts where you need simply be maximum careful, trying not to damage the car on the bad roads. That could be named “a description” of that rally, without dependence where namely the route is planned. Now there is only one week left before the final round, and we can name the main rival of our crew. It is Stanislav Travnikov, who would have a “home event” in St. Petersburg. But due to the endless changes of the route one can get used to the “character” of the rally in general, but not to the exact roads. So it would also be a big “fight of the nerves”, as both leaders had already decided, which cars they should use for the final battle on the mountain roads of Caucasus foothill. But if one would damage the car now, with only five days left before the final, he would need to make the immediate change, as there wouldn’t be any chance for repairing or rebuilding the car. Yes, both of the leaders – Tagirov and Travnikov – have the spare cars, but that change would definitely cause extra difficulties and decrease the confidence. So it is still necessary to fight here, as Travnikov needs to score as much points as possible, but that fight doesn’t give any possibility of mistakes indeed.

     Dmitry and Anna would use their Latvian-built Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX again. That car performed perfectly in the recent events in the North-Western region and didn’t get any damages. As his Subaru Impreza is also 100% ready to race – Dmitry would make the final decision about the car for the final here. He couldn’t improve his lead as had already got the maximum points he could get in the “pre-final” part of the series. But Travnikov still can do that! Both of the drivers realize the level of risks they are taking now. But that is a really good intrigue for the rally fans. And the wish to make as much races as possible, to participate in the close and beautiful competitions – is the main motivation for the rally drivers, even if this is always a risk!


      Dmitry TAGIROV, the driver:  Last year the “St. Petersburg” rally was something “in the middle” between Vyborg and Karelia. I need to try as much different and difficult events as possible now, so we decided to enter that rally, too. And also the organizers promised that there would be some new stages. I do realize that there would be places where it is very difficult to keep the car undamaged, that rally was never “friendly” to the cars. But that rally has difficult stages, and they don’t look like one another, so I really need that event! That is the final chance of rehearsal before the deciding race. I expect Stanislav would be extremely aggressive here – he is on his home event and he needs points, so it’s gonna be a real fight! Everybody understands that if you damage the car then the chances to repair it in 5 days before the next start that is 2000 km from here are close to zero. But I suppose that even with that understanding nobody would be too cautious! I would give a lot to understand Stanislav’s mood before that event. Yes, we both have the spare cars and can use them in Caucasus, but while I had tried various cars that year, Travnikov got used to his main one, as he was not changing the cars usually, so I have that small advantage. But any way there is something crazy to join that kind of fight – in few days before the final event, without possibility to have a mistake. But for me now the main task is to develop my skills, so we decided to join that event. And let’s talk about the further choice of cars later, after “St. Petersburg”, depending on what would happen here.

Dmitry had already participated in the “St. Petersburg” last year and the rally left quite mixed emotions. The sections which are fast and demanding to the driving skills here are mixed with the parts where you need simply be maximum careful, trying not to damage the car on the bad roads. That could be named “a description” of that rally, without dependence where namely the route is planned. Now there is only one week left before the final round, and we can name the main rival of our crew. It is Stanislav Travnikov, who would have a “home event” in St. Petersburg. But due to the endless changes of the route one can get used to the “character” of the rally in general, but not to the exact roads. So it would also be a big “fight of the nerves”, as both leaders had already decided, which cars they should use for the final battle on the mountain roads of Caucasus foothill. But if one would damage the car now, with only five days left before the final, he would need to make the immediate change, as there wouldn’t be any chance for repairing or rebuilding the car. Yes, both of the leaders – Tagirov and Travnikov – have the spare cars, but that change would definitely cause extra difficulties and decrease the confidence. So it is still necessary to fight here, as Travnikov needs to score as much points as possible, but that fight doesn’t give any possibility of mistakes indeed.
Dmitry and Anna would use their Latvian-built Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX again. That car performed perfectly in the recent events in the North-Western region and didn’t get any damages. As his Subaru Impreza is also 100% ready to race – Dmitry would make the final decision about the car for the final here. He couldn’t improve his lead as had already got the maximum points he could get in the “pre-final” part of the series. But Travnikov still can do that! Both of the drivers realize the level of risks they are taking now. But that is a really good intrigue for the rally fans. And the wish to make as much races as possible, to participate in the close and beautiful competitions – is the main motivation for the rally drivers, even if this is always a risk!
Dmitry TAGIROV, the driver: Last year the “St. Petersburg” rally was something “in the middle” between Vyborg and Karelia. I need to try as much different and difficult events as possible now, so we decided to enter that rally, too. And also the organizers promised that there would be some new stages. I do realize that there would be places where it is very difficult to keep the car undamaged, that rally was never “friendly” to the cars. But that rally has difficult stages, and they don’t look like one another, so I really need that event! That is the final chance of rehearsal before the deciding race. I expect Stanislav would be extremely aggressive here – he is on his home event and he needs points, so it’s gonna be a real fight! Everybody understands that if you damage the car then the chances to repair it in 5 days before the next start that is 2000 km from here are close to zero. But I suppose that even with that understanding nobody would be too cautious! I would give a lot to understand Stanislav’s mood before that event. Yes, we both have the spare cars and can use them in Caucasus, but while I had tried various cars that year, Travnikov got used to his main one, as he was not changing the cars usually, so I have that small advantage. But any way there is something crazy to join that kind of fight – in few days before the final event, without possibility to have a mistake. But for me now the main task is to develop my skills, so we decided to join that event. And let’s talk about the further choice of cars later, after “St. Petersburg”, depending on what would happen here.