Gravel "debut" turned to be successful!

tallinn2-150  Dmitry Tagirov and Anna Zavershinskaya were the best of the 11 Russian crews, who participated in the IInd Estonian Rally Championship Round, "Rally Tallinn" which is popular among the racers from different countries. Dmitry and Anna managed to enter the top ten in the general classification of their first ever gravel event in Baltic states, having completed the rally 9th overall.


            Yekaterinburg-Moscow based crew went to Tallinn for the Estonian gravels for the first time in their career to speak - they had only "winter" DSC_5214experience on these roads before. The participation in this event could well be called for Dmitry and Anna a "a start for the own pleasure". This rally can hardly be considered a part of preparation program for the upcoming PWRC round in Argentina, as the surfaces are completely different. Dmitri and Anna also are not eligible to score points for the Estonian Championship this year because of their calendar: "Baltic voyages" has not been any concrete from the beginning of the season so the crew was not registered for the series. So in means of "training" this event could be used probably for the next start in the Russian Championship in Braslav, but first of all - as still a possibility to interrupt the mead-season break (as the crew had none starts for more than a month) and a new experience on Baltic roads renowned for their perfectness for rallying.

It was a lot of those to look at and to compare with at this time! Not to mention the fact that the cream of Estonian rallying gathered in Tallinn, the crews from other countries also arrived, proving the real international level of this well-known event with a long history. The Russian "delegation" numbered no less than 11 crews, among which there were both experienced in Baltic events drivers, and those whose registering for "Tallinn Rally" was expected as a sensation. By the way it was the Russians who scored the first best stage time of the event, 2011 Tallinn Rally. D.Tagirov - A.Zavershinskayaas Radik Shaimiyev's crew won the short superspecial. Dmitri and Anna set the 9th best time and this result was equal to the starting number they were seeded for the event, but it was really too early to speak about any results at that stage of the event. For instance, Georg Gross, who slipped to leadership since SS2 - appeared on "superspecial" only 35th result. But then everything began to grow in its places, and it was very nice to realize that the holders of the Cup of Russia were not lost among these "places". They set also the eighth and sixth times before the end of the day.

But the real rally started the next day, Saturday – as it was a pure "forest" part of the event. Dmitry admitted: "The first day we just drove with the reserve, while at the second left even a larger margin. We could go faster, but felt no sense to do this as we wanted to avoid any risks. We just made the pacenotes and were checking them now at more or less competitive speed. That's what we really needed after a break, not trying to beat local experts collecting unnecessary risks!"

               But this "avoiding the risks" was not making their ride slow! Only twice during the day Dmitry and Anna did not get into the top ten on the stages. Once this happened when they had to "swallow the dust" of suffering from overheated brakes Priit Saluri, and one other mistake was the crew's "own problem" when Anna incorrectly read a bend at the farmyard's exit and Dmitry overshooted the junction and had to reverse, losing few seconds . But these were the only difficulties ... after which the results were going only better: 7th and 8th time on the final two special stages lead the crew to 9th position in the general classification of the event! The overall victory went to a longtime friend of the crew, Janis Vorobevs – the first Latvian ever who managed to win the "Rally Tallinn"!

    The other Russians already performed well though not without some losses. Fantastically fast Alexei Lukyaniuk retired with gearbox failure, experienced Serguyey Zhidkov rolled his Subaru for a "write-off". But Andrey Yushin and Anastasia Selivanova literally snatched to a victory in the last special stages in the A6 category, bronze medals in the more powerful A7 went to Ivan Mironov (who was assisted in Tallinn by local Ain Heiskonen), who yield only to rising local stars Siim Plangi and Martin Kangur on modern R3 Hondas. Vadim  2011 Tallinn Rally. D.Tagirov - A.ZavershinskayaKouznetsov and Roman Kapustin took the second in the "open" class A8, Sergei Uger and Trofim Chikin were third in the Estonian national E12 class. And among all Russians Dmitry Tagirov and Anna Zavershinsaya still have the best result!2011 Tallinn Rally. D.Tagirov 

The crew is quite pleased with their performance. The first spring kilometers (yes, apart from standing in a row separately Portugal) are behind. But – soon there would be a new start! Which one? Follow our stories!       

Dmitry Tagirov: "For us, this event was the same "practicing in action", the benefits of which I mentioned at the end of winter. Here is the road are nice and demanding, but I cannot call them too fast. Any way – for us every extra competitive kilometer is the experience now! And this race provided an opportunity to refresh some feelings about the competition. From the beginning we decided not to refer to anybody else's times. The locals have a very serious approach for these competitions – just take a look how 2WD leaders are fast on their Honda cars!

We just needed a training session and we succeeded to get everything we were thinking about. To be competitive being relaxed completely – is also a necessary knowledge. So we saw where we can be when relaxed, not taking any risks! We just spent only one set of used tires we took from Janis. The people now know us better than in winter, so the atmosphere was even more friendly and welcoming. What is surprisingly interesting – Anna is the only girl at lost in 20 top crews! They regard this "men's business". Maybe if we go further - our example would work, the girls would be added to these Baltic rallies!2011 Tallinn Rally. D.Tagirov - A.Zavershinskaya

Images by Mark Alekseyev and Pille Russi