Drivers drown at Italian Baja, Joao Dias leads survivors

Everyone arrived in Italy with hopes of building more momentum towards the FIA European Baja Cup. Many left more drenched than an Olympic swimmer.

The Italian Baja, second round of the 2024 season, took competitors through a multitude of river beds and muddy water crossings. Consequently, attrition was especially high with only four of the ten Ultimate cars and just three of six SSVs reaching the finish.

Although it is the premier subcategory, T1+ cars struggled with only one reaching the finish. Benediktas Vanagas had a hydrolock in his Toyota Hilux’s engine after water got into the system, leaving him stranded on an eyot until his team could pull him out. Stefan Carmans‘ Red-Lined REVO T1+, a new vehicle to the European Cup, suffered a litany of issues that began with the starter failing on the first stage, then the power steering the next, and time expiring on the last.

João Ferreira‘s Mini was the only T1+ to complete the race in second, nearly six minutes behind Manuele Mengozzi. While this entrenched him atop the points standings, he certainly would have liked to close that gap or even leave with the win instead. Ferreira won both Selective Sections on the final day but lost too much time during the first leg to a battery problem.

Andrea Schiumarini‘s rear-wheel-drive Century CR6 also experienced setbacks but managed to join Mengozzi and Ferreira on the class podium. Magdalena Zajac was the only other Ultimate finisher.

With the Ultimates having a hard time, side-by-sides ruled the race. João Dias and his Can-Am Maverick set the best time among all competitors, beating fellow Challenger driver Adam Kus for the overall by over a minute while the SSV of Fidel Castillo Ruiz was third. Mengozzi was the highest-placing Ultimate car in fifth and was also the top driver in the national championship.

Tomasz Białkowski, who won SSV at the season-opening Baja TT Dehesa Extremadura in May, retired after his Can-Am Maverick caught fire. Classmate Amerigo Ventura‘s home race ended with a broken steering rack. The SSV of İsrafil Akyüz was disqualified before the race start after his fuel tank, safety harness, window net were found to be noncompliant.

In total, only fourteen FIA cars finished the race.

The Prologue stage on Friday was named the “Giulia Maroni” in honour of the late navigator who died in an accident in January. Maroni was the 2021 Italian Cross-Country Champion who went on to compete in the European Baja Cup and Dakar Classic.

Overall results

FIA

Ultimate

Finish Number Driver Co-Driver Team Vehicle Class Time Margin
1 209 Manuele Mengozzi Mirko Brun My Racing Autosport Toyota Hilux Overdrive T1.1 4:22:22.0 Leader
2 200 João Ferreira Filipe Palmeiro X-raid Mini JCW Team Mini John Cooper Works Rally Plus T1+ 4:27:55.4 + 5:53.4
3 208 Andrea Schiumarini* Maurizio Gerini TH-Trucks Team Century CR6 T1.2 4:34:11.1 + 12:59.1
4 205 Magdalena Zajac Błażej Czekan Proxcars TME Rally Team Toyota Hilux T1.1 4:54:38.9 + 32:16.9
DNF 201 Francisco Barreto Carlos Silva Barata Racing Team Toyota Hilux T1+ DNF N/A
DNF 202 Benediktas Vanagas Kuldar Sikk Toyota Gazoo Racing Baltics Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1.1 DNF N/A
DNF 203 Michał Małuszyński Łukasz Kurzeja Michał Małuszyński Mini John Cooper Works Rally Plus T1+ DNF N/A
DNF 204 Włodzimierz Grajek Michał Goleniewski Grajek Rally Team Toyota Hilux T1+ DNF N/A
DNF 206 Stefan Carmans* Antonius Van Tiel Red-Lined Motorsport Red-Lined REVO T1+ T1+ DNF N/A
DNF 207 Pál Lónyai* Gyorgy Toth LP Racing Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság LPR Porsche Macan T1.1 DNF N/A
* – Not competing for European Baja Cup points

Challenger

Finish Number Driver Co-Driver Team Vehicle Time Margin
1 302 João Dias João Pedro Ré Santag Rally Can-Am Maverick X3 4:08:18.4 Leader
2 301 Adam Kus Marcin Pasek GRallyTeam GRally OT3 4:09:11.3 + 1:12.9
3 304 Paulo Jorge Rodrigues João Filipe Ferreira Miranda Santag Rally Can-Am Maverick X3 4:21:47.5 + 13:39.1
4 300 Alexandre Pinto Bernardo Oliveira Old Friends Rally Team Can-Am Maverick X3 4:23:08.2 + 14:49.8
5 308 Andrea Castagnera* Elisa Tassile Andrea Castagnera Can-Am Maverick X3 4:37:43.8 + 30:35.5
6 306 Richard Aczel* Allan Harryman Richard Aczel Arcane T3 5:03:56.5 + 55:48.1
DNF 303 Fernando Álvarez Xavier Panseri GRallyTeam GRally OT3 DNF N/A
DNF 305 Roberto Rodríguez Gamboa Herman Rodríguez Gamboa Herrador Factory Team Herrator Inzane 901 DNF N/A
DNF 307 Federico Buttò* Alberto Marcon Federico Buttò Can-Am Maverick X3 DNF N/A
DNF 309 Miklós Trébitsch* Sandor Trébitsch Bedu Racing Bedu Pro X3 DNF N/A
DNF 310 Jean-Denis Piccini* Gilles Mondesir Jean-Denis Piccini Can-Am Hybrid T3 DNF N/A

SSV

Finish Number Driver Co-Driver Team Vehicle Time Margin
1 401 Fidel Castillo Ruiz Fausto Mota Ahúja Racing Can-Am Maverick X3 4:10:24.4 Leader
2 402 Miquel Prat Martínez Ion Del Cid Odriozola Miquel Prat Martínez Yamaha YXZ1000R 4:30:45.1 + 20:20.7
3 404 Yağız Birinci Evangelos Sotirchos Yağız Birinci Can-Am Maverick X3 4:47:22.1 + 38:57.8
DNF 400 Tomasz Białkowski Dariusz Baśkiewicz Kamena Rally Team Can-Am Maverick X3 DNF N/A
DNF 403 William Buller Daniel Jordão William Buller Yamaha YXZ1000R DNF N/A
DNF 406 Amerigo Ventura* Erika Mingozzi Quaddy Racing Yamaha YXZ1000R DNF N/A
DNS 405 İsrafil Akyüz Tepe Mert İsrafil Akyüz Can-Am Maverick X3 DNS N/A

Stock

Finish Number Driver Co-Driver Team Vehicle Time Margin
1 500 Fernando Barreiros Antonio Rui Manuel Pereira Fernando Barreiros Isuzu D-Max 7:00:58.0 Leader

National

CCR

Finish Number Driver Co-Driver Team Vehicle Class Time Margin
1 209 Manuele Mengozzi Mirko Brun My Racing Autosport Toyota Hilux Overdrive T1 2:53:45.3 Leader
2 208 Andrea Schiumarini Maurizio Gerini TH-Trucks Team Century CR6 T1 2:54:25.7 + 40.4
3 701 Alfio Bordonaro Stefano Lovisa 888 Team by Ito Motorsport Suzuki Grand Vitara T1 3:10:20.0 + 16:34.7
4 710 Elvis Borsoi Stefano Pelloni Elvis Borsoi Mini John Cooper T1 3:10:46.6 + 17:01.3
5 706 František Brutovský Alexandra Gabriela Miklós MING Racing Sports Ford F-150 EVO T1+ T1+ 3:15:19.2 + 211:33.9
6 959 Lorenzo Traglio Sandra Castellani Tecnosport Nissan R50 THS 3:16:32.9 + 22:47.6
7 950 Giuseppe Ananasso Robert Musi Giuseppe Ananasso Suzuki Grand Vitara TH 3:28:38.7 + 34:53.4
8 958 Simone Grossi Daniele Manoni Simone Grossi Land Rover Defender TH 3:32:13.6 + 38:28.3
9 952 Alberto Gazzetta Andrea Pizzato Rally & Co Suzuki Jimny TH 3:37:35.7 + 43:50.4
10 954 Filippo Andreetto Francesco Proietti R Team Mitsubishi Pajero TH 3:43:12.0 + 49:26.7
11 955 Mauro Cantarello Marco Mantovani Mauro Cantarello BMW X3 TH 4:20:12.6 + 1:26:37.3
12 702 Emilio Ferroni Daniele Fiorini Emilio Ferroni Suzuki Grand Vitara T1 9:52:14.3 + 6:58:29.0
13 956 Andrea Debbi Chiara Zoppellarro 888 Team by Ito Motorsport Daihatsu Rocky TH 9:58:5.5 + 7:05:13.2
14 901 Gianluca Morra Stefano Tironi Rally & Co Suzuki Grand Vitara T2 42:18:00.0 + 39:24:14.7
DNF 703 Sergio Galletti Daniele Fontana R Team Suzuki Grand Vitara T1 DNF N/A
DNF 705 Imre Varga Toma József Varga Racing Team Toyota Hilux Overdrive T1 DNF N/A
DNF 707 Andrea Toro Paolo Manfredini Toro Buggy Toro Buggy T1 DNF N/A
DNF 708 Riccardo Benettolo Alessandro Grandin Riccardo Benettolo Isuzu Trooper T1 DNF N/A
DNF 709 Stefano Sabellico Andrea Taloni Stefano Sabellico Suzuki Grand Vitara T1 DNF N/A
DNF 900 Alberto Spinetti Lara Giusti R Team Suzuki Grand Vitara T2 DNF N/A
DNF 902 Lorenzo Codecà Gilberto Minetti Lorenzo Codecà Suzuki Grand Vitara T2 DNF N/A
DNF 951 Claudio Allegranzi Roberto Marzocco Claudio Allegranzi Suzuki Grand Vitara TH DNF N/A
DNF 953 Luciano Andreetto Gianluca Sbaraglia R Team Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution TH DNF N/A
DNF 957 Paolo Semeraro Giuditta Viganò Paolo Semeraro Suzuki Jimny TH DNF N/A

SSV

Finish Number Driver Co-Driver Team Vehicle Class Time Margin
1 854 Garamvölgyi Zoltán Antal Takács Garilla Racing Garilla X3 EVO T4N 2:55:36.3 Leader
2 859 Szilárd Kánnár Viktoria Horvath Garilla Racing Can-Am Maverick X3 T4N 2:58:19.8 + 2:43.5
3 864 Norbert Liszi Dorottya Kapitány M1 Motorsport Can-Am Maverick X3 T4N 2:59:57.0 + 4:20.7
4 860 Robert Masior Damian Syty Robert Masior Can-Am Maverick X3 T4N 3:04:04.4 + 8:28.1
5 899 Fabrizio Edoardo Fabrizio Pietranera Fabrizio Edoardo Can-Am Maverick X3 TM 3:04:16.8 + 8:40.5
6 862 Norbert Nemeth Palma Nemeth Garilla Racing Can-Am Maverick X3 T4N 3:04:21.3 + 8:45.0
7 308 Andrea Castagnera Elisa Tassile Andrea Castagnera Can-Am Maverick X3 T3 3:08:28.5 + 12:52.2
8 858 Tomasz Fuchs Wojciech Waleczek Tomasz Fuchs Can-Am Maverick X3 T4N 3:13:57.4 + 18:21.1
9 856 Kevin Manocchi Giada Manocchi Giada Manocchi Yamaha YXZ1000R T4N 3:24:09.2 + 28:32.9
10 800 Richard Bruzsa Nikolett Szoke Speedy Motorsport Bedu Pro X3 T3 3:26:07.5 + 30:31.2
11 851 Andrea Tomasini Angelo Mirolo Andrea Tomasini Can-Am Maverick X3 T4N 3:27:48.0 + 32:11.7
12 307 Federico Buttò Albert Marcon Federico Buttò Can-Am Maverick X3 T3 9:40:24.2 + 6:44:47.9
13 863 Bartłomiej Kotwica Arkadiusz Jędrzejewski Grupa Pbi Can-Am Maverick X3 T4N 9:49:57.5 + 6:54:21.2
14 855 Szabolcs Kollár Agnes Ruff M1 Motorsport Can-Am Maverick X3 T4N 20:39:28.1 + 17:43:51.8
15 853 Michele Manocchi Nicola Bellotto Michele Manocchi Yamaha YXZ1000R T4N 25:48:54.2 + 22:53:17.9
DNF 406 Montecamozz Ventura Erika Mengozzi Quaddy Racing Yamaha YXZ1000R T4 DNF N/A
DNF 850 Alessandro Bonetto Matteo Castellina Alessandro Bonetto Yamaha YXZ1000R T4 DNF N/A
DNF 852 Balázs Molnár Gabriella Molnár M1 Motorsport M1 Xe T4N DNF N/A
DNF 857 Marek Kubiczek Filip Golka Marek Kubiczek Can-Am Maverick X3 T4N DNF N/A
DNF 861 Tamás Szántó Aniko Szántó Garilla Racing Can-Am Maverick X3 T4N DNF N/A

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Author: Justin Nguyen

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