The new routes preparation for Baja Russia - Northern Forest 2015 in under way. Two best Russian experts Sergey Talantsev and Viktor Sokolov are fully engaged with the new road book preparation.

The new routes preparation for Baja Russia - Northern Forest 2015 in under way. Two best Russian experts Sergey Talantsev and Viktor Sokolov are fully engaged with the new road book preparation.

Sergey Talantsev tells about route preparation in an interview.

Sergey, the event changed its location. Please tell us more about a new region and why did you decide to choose it.

Sergey Talantsev: Geographically the event route runs almost next to the Finnish border around Yartsevo village in Sortavala region and further north, into Suojärvi area.
We thought about relocation for a long time. And we wanted to make a brand new and more interesting route, because place the baja was held at for last two years has already exhausted its racing resources, and we could not design anything new around - there are too many lakes and rivers. Therefore it was decided to move north. Climatic factor has also played its role - it is critical for winter baja. Previously, every year, there have been problems with the weather. The event takes place in late February, and everything starts to melt as soon as the route heads closer to St. Petersburg, roads become unusable and we had to deal with this problem every time. A new region, located more north has a stable snow cover, more stable roads and a bit lower temperature.

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What will be the competition format?

Sergey Talantsev: The competition format is expected to be quite compact: 30-km liaisons from special stages start and the Prologue. Actually, the Prologue will be located really close to the competition headquarters - within 5 km. Administrative checks, technical inspection and Prologue will be held on Friday. The next day, on Saturday, the competitors will have to make 30-km liaison and a 150-km lap. On Sunday they'll make the same lap in opposite direction. The total route length will be about 315 km including the Prologue.

So, how is it going with reconnaissance?

Sergey Talantsev: We were in the field with Victor Sokolov a week ago for five days. There is a lot of snow at northern segment of the route near the border - approximately 60-70 cm. When we were there, the temperature changed to plus 1-2 degrees and it all started melting slightly. The road book draft is ready, and it will be tested at the end of January, when the roads will be completely snowplowed. Some positions are still not clear, not all the puddles are frozen yet, and pits should freeze better and become smoother.
In addition, there is one broken bridge and we already talked about its reconstruction with local authorities. The track is 85-90% twisty and three-dimensional, goes up and down, has a lot of jumps and bumps. This route will really demand all the pilots' skills!

Will there be any forest sections, narrowings and so on, like in previous event editions?

Sergey Talantsev: Well, the area is covered with forest, but there won't be narrow sections like it was previously. Open spaces prevail here, and the competition is more like rally racing by its nature!


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