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PORDENONE (ITALY): Overdrive Racing will run four Toyota Hiluxes in this weekend’s Italian Baja, round six of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, in northern Italy.

Aron Domzala teamed up with Maciej Marton to finish third in Kazakhstan last month and the Pole returns to European action with Szymon Gospodarczyk on this occasion to head the Overdrive challenge. Aron led the FIA World Cup points’ standings after two rounds an currently holds fourth position in the rankings.

Fellow countryman Martin Kaczmarski returns to cross-country rallying action in a second car and the French duo of Ronan Chabot and Gilles Pillot crew a third Toyota. Denmark’s Jes Munk completes the four-driver line-up.

The team’s defending FIA World Cup champion and series leader Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah misses the Italian foray to concentrate on securing FIA Middle East Rally Championship points at the Cyprus Rally, although the Qatari and his French navigator Matthieu Baumel will still lead the FIA World Cup after Italy in any case.

Overdrive Racing is also in action this week on the other side of the world with several Toyota Hiluxes entered in a Chinese cross-country event that starts tomorrow (Saturday, June 10) and runs for a total of 10 days across some of the remotest terrain China.

Overdrive Racing’s CEO Jean-Marc Fortin said: “This is another busy time for everyone connected with Overdrive Racing. We have a team in China on the cross-country event there and four cars at the Italian Baja. No Nasser in Italy, because of his pre-arranged commitments in Cyprus, but Aron has an opportunity to follow up his podium finish in Kazakhstan with another impressive performance and we welcome Ronan, Martin and Jes back to the team.”

The Italian Baja takes place over a giant flood plain created from Alpine melt waters in the north of Italy and is organised by the Fuoristrada Club 4x4 Pordenone. The competitive action starts on Friday evening with the opening timed section of 19.8km at Valvasone.

The Overdrive Racing crews will then tackle a 109km selective section from San Lorenzo to Valvasone on Saturday morning. This ‘Cantina’ stage is then repeated twice from noon and 4pm.

The final action takes place over two passes through a special stage of 76km between Valvasone and Rauscedo on Sunday, before the podium finish in Piazalle Venti Settembre in the centre of Pordenone.

FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies – standings after round 5 (unofficial):
1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT) 150pts
2. Khalid Al-Qassimi (ARE) 105pts
3. Jakub Przygonski (POL) 84pts
4. Aron Domzala (POL) 76pts
5. Mohammed Abu Issa (QAT) 68pts, etc