2019 Baja Portalegre 500 – October 24-26, 2019
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 8
SOUTH RACING CAN-AM TEAM’S VOROBYEV CLAIMS FIA T3
TITLE WITH VICTORY IN BAJA PORTALEGRE 500
: South Racing Can-Am Team’s Fedor Vorobyev held his nerve and steered his Can-Am Maverick X3 to yet another T3 category win at Portugal’s Baja Portalegre 500. That performance was more than enough to confirm the 2019 FIA T3 Trophy Championship title.
The Russian and co-driver Kirill Shubin won every stage in his Zavidovo Racing Team Can-Am to reach the finish 23min 48.3sec ahead of his nearest rival. The Russian came into the weekend’s action
separated by 22 points from Italian rival Michele Cinotto, who had needed to win the category with Vorobyev failing to finish.
South Racing entered a second Can-Am Maverick X3 for the Portuguese duo of Gualter Barros and Gonçalo Maghalães. The new crew held second overall at the night halt and held off a fierce challenge from Cinotto to secure second place with Frenchman Eric Abel promoted to third when Cinotto failed to finish the final stage. Great Britain’s Graham Knight was fourth.
“This is a great way for the team to end the season with Fedor and Kirill wrapping up the 2019 FIA T3 Baja World Cup after the team confirmed the FIA T3 Cross-Country World Cup in Morocco earlier this month with Reinaldo Varela and Gustavo Gugelmin,” said a delighted South Racing Can-Am Team’s Scott Abraham.
“It has been a great year for Can-Am and the South Racing team, again dominating the event with a 1-2 finish and showing that the Can-Am is the market-leading product in T3 motor sport. A big thanks to all the team for their hard work and dedication.
“There have been 13 events in both championships and we look forward to the future, as well as Dakar 2020. There are still some long weeks ahead for the team before we have some rest in December. We will continue to develop the Maverick to ensure that it remains the class of the field.”
Action got underway with a short 4.66km super special stage on Friday morning before cars took to the rural tracks and trails of remote Portugal for a selective section of 99.22km in the afternoon. Vorobyev made a good start and beat his main Italian rival by 14 seconds to lead the T3 category. Portugal’s Gualter Barros was third quickest.
Crews tackled a muddy and slippery 69.03km section in the afternoon and Vorobyev safely negotiated the tricky special in a time of 1hr 01min 54sec. Barros was second quickest, albeit 4min 29sec behind the Russian, and Cinotto came in fourth behind Frenchman Eric Abel and slipped 7min 33.6sec off the lead at the night halt.
The bulk of the competition took place over two selective sections of 193.757km and 191.74km on Saturday. Vorobyev continued his dominance in the Can-Am through the first one to card the quickest time of 2hr 35min 51sec to extend his lead over Barros to 6min 44.3sec.
Cinotto pipped the Portuguese to the second quickest time, but headed back to the service point trailing by 2min 27sec, despite moving ahead of Abel and into third place.
Vorobyev held his nerve to win the event in style with the fastest time on the final stage and Barros made it a South Racing 1-2 with Abel rounding off the podium places.
2019 Baja Portalegre 500 – T3 Trophy positions (unofficial @19.35hrs):
1. Fedor Vorobyev (RUS)/Kirill Shubin (RUS) South Racing Can-Am Maverick X3 6hr 26min 28.1sec
2. Gualter Barros (PRT)/Gonçalo Maghalães (PRT) Can-Am Maverick X3 6hr 50min 16.5sec
3. Eric Abel (FRA)/Christian Manez (FRA) Polaris RXR 1000 Turbo 7hr 07min 42.3sec
4. Graham Knight (GBR)/David Watson (GBR) Polaris RXR 1000 Turbo 8hr 37min 52.3sec
Michele Cinotto (ITA)/Maurizio Dominella (ITA) Polaris RXR 1000 Turbo DNF
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas – T3 Trophy standings after round 8 (unofficial):
1. Fedor Vorobyev (RUS) 157pts
2. Michele Cinotto (ITA) 110pts
3. Santiago Navarro (ESP) 76pts
4. Adel Abdulla (QAT) 45pts
5. Aleksandr Dorosinskiy (POL) 43pts
6. Abdullah Al-Zubair (OMN) 34pts
7. Eric Abel (FRA) 30pts, etc