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DUBAI (UAE) – Saturday, March 9: Overdrive Racing’s Vladimir Vasilyev and Martin Kaczmarski delivered solid performances to claim fourth and eighth overall at the Dubai International Baja, round two of the 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, which finished at the Dubai Autodrome on Saturday.

Vasilyev and his fellow Russian navigator Konstantin Zhiltsov won the second of the weekend’s two selective sections through Dubai’s Al-Kudra desert by 2min 38sec from eventual race winner Jakub Przygonski, but the G-Energy-backed Toyota Hilux crew lost their chance of taking the win after setting the fourth fastest time on the opening stage. 

Pole Kaczmarski and his Finnish navigator Tapio Suominen had been classified 14th through the opening section, but a marked improvement by the returning driver on the second stage saw him set the sixth fastest time to move up to eighth overall in the final standings. 

The Overdrive Racing duo made a mixed start on the opening 201.60km selective section. Emirati Khalid Al-Qassimi claimed the stage win with a time of 2hrs 42min 27sec and Vasliyev reached the finish in fourth place on his return to an Overdrive Toyota Hilux, the Russian trailing the leader by 9min 08sec at the overnight halt. 

Al-Qassimi eventually missed out on the outright win to Przygonski by just 70 seconds and Vasilyev was 5min 42sec behind the race winner and defending FIA World Cup champion.

Overdrive Racing now turns its attention to the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge at the end of March.

2019 Dubai International Baja – final results

1. Jakub Przygonski (POL)/Timo Gottschalk (DEU) MINI John Cooper Works Rally                      5hrs 15min 10sec 

2. Khalid Al-Qassimi (ARE)/Xavier Panseri (FRA) Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi                                   5hrs 16min 20sec

2. Martin Prokop (CZE)/Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Raptor RS Cross-Country                   5hrs 18min 22sec

4. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS)/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) Toyota Hilux Overdrive    5hrs 20min 52sec

5. Benediktas Vanagas (LTU)/Bartlomiej Boba (POL) Toyota Hilux                               5hrs 38min 56sec

6. Miroslav Zapletal (CZE)/Marek Sykora (SVK) Ford F-150 Evo                                                5hrs 39min 16sec

7. Andrey Novikov (RUS)/Vladimir Novikov (RUS) G-Force Bars                                                5hrs 45min 21sec

8. Martin Kaczmarski (POL)/Tapio Suominen (FIN) Toyota Hilux Overdrive         5hrs 49min 31sec