LONG TALK AFTER BIG VICTORY

Предгорье Кавказа 2010So the final round of the National Rally Cup is over, and it brought the victory to Dmitry TAGIROV and Anna ZAVERSHINSKAYA. The victory that was the main goal of the season, the victory towards which all the efforts were made. And by the end of the day that victory could be called one that the crew definitely deserved! The crew arrived to the final round with a good points reserve, but the event itself couldn’t be called an easy walk! Too many things were simply not seen from aside, so it’s better to give the possibility to the sportsmen to tell about everything themselves.

 

It was said a lot about the route of "Caucasus Foothill" rally. The selection of that route for the deciding round of Russian Rally Cup was perfect indeed! All the main competitors were in equal conditions here – no one was "at home" on these roads.

FFAN0240   Dmitry Tagirov, the driver: The roads were realy perfect for the final round. There was everything there – the uphill and downhill sections, blind curves of different difficulty, wide and narrow places, slippery surface and parts with excellent grip. We had seen that some crews went off road, and that confirms that the route was really difficult. But there was no places that simply damage the cars – the road conditions were good in most of the places, and the only part where the road conditions were bad was excluded by the organizers from the very beginning. I like these stages very much! We did that rally avoiding any unnecessary risks, didn't do any unnecessary sliding or any mistakes in the corners. Every curve was passed just as we wanted to do it. And that made the things much easier! It becomes slippery when you are driving on the limit or behind it. And I was just within my limits, that's why I didn't feel anything that could be called "slippery". We noticed the dangerous places during the reconnaissance, I made the "photos" of them in my mind, I did remember where it could be slippery and I was 100% ready for it. So I could increase or decrease speed when it was necessary. We did understand, that when the stages would be run in the darkness – that would be the different feeling, so we made the special notes for the dark time. Yes, when it was dark, it was much more difficult to distinguish the changes of the surface, as in the light it is the same color of gravel everywhere. So, we needed to be ready and to feel these changes when we were passing different surfaces. We made some changes on the first run of the stages on the second day's morning – I marked the places, when it would be possible to go faster, if there would be such a necessity. So for me it was a feeling of playing a "home" match, I could feel the rhythm of the main competitors and could expect what they are going to do next. That was really an amazing feeling! I would like to say, that I had that feeling for the first time ever in my driving career! Anna trusted me and trusted the strategy we had chosen, and she was absolutely confident!

But not all the things were going absolutely perfect, and some problems could be predicted even before the rally start. Dmitry and Anna tried to avoid these talks and even thoughts before the start, as they didn't want to lose concentration on the main goal, but...

Dmitry Tagirov, the driver: It was a very strange "plan" of the organizers to "give the equal opportunities for the leading crews", when we didn't receive our first starting position, despite we were leading the series. And that "plan" worked indeed! I was planning to set on the second run of the first stage (when the darkness came) approximately the same time, as in the daylight. That could be the confirmation of our correct approach to making of the pacenotes. We were 0,5 second slower than Stas [Travnikov] on the first run, and that was exactly what we needed! I planned to keep the same speed on the second run, but two kilometers before the stage finish we came into the dust cloud after the previous car. We couldn’t see the braking and turning points, in the couple of corners we could see nothing at all! So we had to slow down, to switch off the headlights. I couldn’t also see the surface changes, so a couple of times I was losing time when left the correct, clean line. At that moment the task changed from setting a good time to reach the finish line not getting off-road! I was sure we had lost a lot there, as we lost ourselves about a second per kilometer, and that is a big loss. Yes, indeed our losses there were not so great, as Stas suffered from technical problems, but, like in an old anecdote: “the sediment remained”. And also that was a physically noticeable sediment – of a dust in the car, in our eyes and lungs…

Anna Zavershiskaya, the co-driver: “The roads of that rally are really great! But a lot of moments in the event’s organization were quite strange and even more if we remember that it was the final and deciding round of the series! Being honest, I didn’t see the rallies with so many defects in organizers’ work. To cancel the stages due to the absence of ambulance cars, the course cars departing an hour before the main rally cars – when you have to explain to the ????referies???? the interval between the “zero” car and rally leader yourself, and they are “catching” that “zero” car and returning it for the re-start, when you have mistakes in the road-book – that is really impossible and unacceptable for the final event of the Cup!

But despite of all these troubles and problems, the spirit in the team was still high and positive through all these days. That was thanks not only to the own self-motivation of the crew, but also to the wise advices of the coach, the Latvian ace Janis Vorobiovs and the support of the group of the crew fans, who covered almost three thousand kilometers driving to inspire Dmitry and Anna for the event.     

Dmitry Tagirov, the driver:We want to address the great thanks to our fans, the friends who are almost always with us on the deciding events! They put a very good poster at the start point, with a very easy but correct slogan: “Tagirov, go ahead!”. They didn’t try to call me a winner or the “champion” before the start. That was very correct – they were just inspiring me to go and win. I was really confused with such a welcome - IKAR8118I’m not used to all that show yet. But it was really very pleasant, to feel such a support! Even the competitors, watching all that – came to me, joking that now I don’t have any right to disappoint the fans! Yes, when You see the friends supporting You, it gives an extra motivation to avoid mistakes, it demands extra discipline. And what they did at the finish podium – with all these posters, shouting, horns – that was really fantastic!

Anna Zavershiskaya, the co-driver: Thank You, our fans, very much – that were you, who made our motivation for that rally such positive! They covered 3000 km to support us – that was really great! We understood that and it put the extra responsibility on us. We also want to thank everybody, who helped us through that season. All the three teams, with which we cooperated during 2010, all the people who helped us during the events! Thanks to all friends and relatives, who were worrying about us and our results! We received a plenty of congratulations after the finish – all these phone calls and SMS! That was really great, very, very pleasant!

But still there was one thing that disappointed the crew during the event… But no one can know ahead, what the Sporting Fortune prepares for racers…

IKAR8128

Dmitry Tagirov, the driver: I was very disappointed with retirements of Stanislav Travnikov and Igor Boulantsev! All of us were keen to race a long, interesting rally! The leading group was pretty fast through the entire season, and the beginning of that final event was really fast and very sportive, too. If you look at the stage times, You probably could think, that the speed was even too high, and that made the success a sort of a lottery. Probably, I had more luck, indeed, but I do believe that that amount of luck was prepared by the huge amount of work we had to do through the season. And, once again – we were really positively motivated with a good sporting atmosphere among the main competitors!

The main “applicants” for the National Cup-2010 had met many times during the season, and closer to the series’ end the well-acquainted group of main competitors started their “duels” almost on every round. And it was always a good, sportive fights, a real “fair play”!

Dmitry Tagirov, the driver: All the season had passed on the high sportive note! We didn’t have any “undercover” fights, “paper wars” etc. All the competition was really on the road. And we were very friendly with the competitors. Stas improved his driving level very seriously, but from personal point of view, I feel that this close competition made us both more open-hearted. Even on the peak, during the final event – we still kept that friendly and warm atmosphere! Though the weather was far from what we had hope to see in the “velvet season”, and that was an extra challenge for everybody, demanding extra efforts.

Anna Zavershiskaya, the co-driver: Yes, we are sorry a little that we missed the Team’s title. But the “Cone Forest” team worked out a better strategy and set the correct priorities. The teams’ competition was also very close, they were a little bit better, probably had the better motivation namely for the team win – so we want to congratulate the “Cone Forest” with that victory, they had really deserved it!

The 2010 season is not over for the crew yet, but the series that was chosen the main for Dmitry and Anna that year – is now the part of the history. And now it is possible to make the first attempts to analyze, what was done and what was achieved…IMG_0008

Dmitry Tagirov, the driver: There were some talks in the beginning of the year, that I really did not need to do that National Cup, but it was really important for me to go through that step, to be on that final round in the end! Last year I was a kind of an “upstart”, we were under a huge pressure from all the sides. That was very difficult mentally, but that was a good lesson for me, that gave me the extra strength! Last year I had to stop one step to the victory – probably that happened because I was not 100% ready. That year the things changed, we became more experienced, we didn’t have any doubts about our strength and speed. Three wins in a row close to the end of the season gave us a total confidence that the Fortune is on our side now! So there was no chance to put any kind of pressure on me – that would be completely useless. We had a feeling of complete balance and confidence, we were not simply “going to achieve our goal”, but we were doing a work under an exact plan, step by step! I feel that I managed to grow up psychologically that year. And that is what I really wanted, as I feel that it is more important than just a pure speed or some technical knowledge only.

When we speak about our growing up through that season – we are not going to praise ourselves. That is a kind of our “report”, the report of the work we were doing all the year long. And it was really a big work and not an easy one! I can say that Anna had a great progress as a co-driver that year! She is doing her work very good now, her skills are really high! We become a real crew that season, and my confidence and speed are possible now only thanks to my confidence in my co-driver!

Anna Zavershiskaya, the co-driver: And from my side, I would like to thank Dmitry for that great season! I’m very glad that we can go fast, that all my last year fears that it could be too fast for me – are gone now! Maybe I was not 100% confident in the beginning of the season, but than I saw that we were growing together and we are confident in that growth. Being faster and faster from event to event and to be confident during that growth, trusting to the driver and the car – it’s really a great feeling!Предгорье Кавказа 2010