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Baja TT Sharish Gin 2023: European Championships returns to Alentejo (Portugal)

The Alentejo region in Portugal will again host important international all-terrain competitions alongside the main Portuguese championships in just over a month with the holding of the Baja TT Sharish 2023.

The race organized by SAR-Motorismo will take place from September 21 to 24, in the vicinity of Alqueva Dam, the largest artificial lake in Europe, and the participants will travel through three municipalities: Redondo, Mourão and Reguengos de Monsaraz, which, as usual, will receive the headquarters of the race.

In the car categories, the race will be valid for the CPTT-Portuguese Cross-Country Rallies Championship, for the FIA European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, the Iberian Cup and finally for the Trophy "Grande Lago Alqueva," which is an Iberian competition with races in Portugal and Spain.

For the cars and SSV, the FIA T3 and T4 race begins on Friday afternoon, the 22nd, with a short and fast prologue held in Mourão, on the left bank of the dam and near the border with Spain. On Saturday, the race will feature only one sector with 210 kilometers of length, starting from Mourão, passing through Reguengos de Monsaraz, and finishing in the municipality of Redondo. On Sunday, the program includes a repetition of the Saturday sector, with departures and arrivals at the same locations as before.

This Baja is also valid for the  CNTT - Campeonato Nacional de Todo-o-Terreno,  (Motos)  and for the FIM Cup of Bajas, whereas in the Portuguese competition, it is open to motos, quads, and SSV non-FIA, and in the European Cup, only Motorcycles and Quads will enter.

The program for the FIM and FMP competitions is almost identical to the car program, starting with the same prologue raced in Mourão on Friday afternoon, but the distances of the Saturday and Sunday sectors are slightly shorter, with about 175 kilometers of length only on each sector.

 --- Get to know the counties of Redondo, Mourão and Reguengos de Monsaraz.

More information on the proof can be found on the official website at: https://www.sar-motorismo.com/

Rally-Raid Network


Hungarian Baja 2023: Krzystof Holowczyc and Lukasz Kurzeja earn second Hungarian Baja win to lead FIA European Cup

Polish veteran Krzysztof Holowczyc and co-driver Lukasz Kurzeja won three special stages on their way to a 36.5-second victory in the Hungarian Baja, the third round of the 2023 FIA European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas.

The result enabled the BMW X3 crew to gain the lead in both the Drivers’ and Co-drivers’ Championships and seal a second win on the Várpalota-based event to add to the success they achieved in a Mini in 2021.

Holowczyc said: “It was a good rally and never easy. We knew that half of the last stage was very fast, a rally stage, and we were pushing completely to the limit. We found nearly a 1min 20sec gap to De Mevius but we knew the bumpy section would be slow. It was bad. The gearbox blocked completely and we stopped and restarted the engine. We managed to find a gear and restarted. It was a scare just to keep the old car together, Finally, we finished and I am so happy!”

The Belgian crew of Ghislain de Mevius and Johan Jalet guided their G Rally Team OT3 to a superb second overall and a comfortable 9min 05.4sec victory in the T3 category for lightweight prototype cross-country vehicles. The result also strengthened the Belgian’s lead in the T3 Championship, saw him move up to an unofficial second in the overall Drivers’ Championship and extended the G Rally Team’s lead in the Teams’ Championship.

Michal Maluszyński and Julita Maluszyńska missed out on second place to De Mevius on the final stage but the Polish crew’s consolation was the final step of the podium in their X-raid Mini JCW Rally Plus.

Miroslav Zapletal and Marek Sykora finished fourth in the Czech driver’s self-built Offroadsport Ford F150 Evo+ and T3 runners-up, João Dias and João Miranda, rounded off the top five in their Santag Racing Can-Am Maverick X3.

Amerigo Ventura and Mirko Brun continued their impressive run of recent form to finish seventh behind the sixth-placed Toyota Hilux of Wlodzimierz Grazek and Michal Goleniewski to seal a comfortable victory in the FIA T4 category in a Quaddy Racing Yamaha YXZ 1000R.

Ventura said: “We arrived at the end with the car in one piece and we have the win in T4. We feel very destroyed because the stages were so rough. But we are so happy to finish such a hard race.”

Pau Navarro and Pol Ros finished a distant second in T4 and 13th overall in their FN Speed Team Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo and closed the gap on fellow Spaniards, Fidel Castillo and Miguel Valero Chulia, in the title race. The Restless Racing Team’s Artem Kompan and Andrii Solopov finished third.

Alessandro and Marco Bellini Trivini arrived in Hungary with a four-point cushion over Fernando Barreiro in the FIA T2 category for series production cross-country machines and the Italian duo extended that advantage with victory in their Mitsubishi Pajero DID. Barreiro and David Monteiro finished second.

Thirty-three crews were permitted to start the event, consisting of five T1+ cars, six T1, 11 T3, nine T4 and two T2 machines.

Polish drivers managed a clean sweep of the podium places on the 9.47km Prologue stage, with Maluszyński guiding his Mini JCW Rally Plus to the fastest time by 4.7 seconds from Grazek. Holowczyc came home in third, while T3 and T4 bragging rights went to João Dias and Fidel Castillo, respectively.

Last year’s event winner Benediktas Vanagas retired his Toyota Hilux after the Prologue. The Lithuanian said: “We had a puncture at the beginning of the stage and we completed the stage which, looking back, was probably not the right decision. We lost a lot of time and we fixed the car in the service park, but, coming into the parc fermé, the rear differential started to make a strange noise and there was no sense to continue the race.”

Action on the opening day continued with two runs through combined selective sections of 52.67km and 57.99km.

Holowczyc was the man to beat on the opener and the BMW driver won the stage by 1min 02.6sec to move 55.7 seconds ahead of Maluszyński. Zapletal, T3 leader Dias and rival De Mevius were third, fourth and fifth and held similar positions in the overall standings. Ventura headed Navarro by 4.6 seconds in the T4 battle. Austrian Christof Danner retired his Puch 320 G E55 in the stage.

Maluszyński won the second stage from De Mevius but a two-minute penalty for speeding prevented the Pole from taking the outright lead after Holowczyc dropped three minutes with a puncture and jack issues and slipped to fourth overall. Zapletal was the main beneficiary and the Czech veteran reached the night halt with a lead of just 4.5 seconds in his Ford F150 Evo+.

De Mevius moved into a 3min 43.7sec advantage over Dias in T3 and Ventura increased his T4 cushion over Navarro to 1min 30.8sec. Lithuania’s Egidijus Valeiša withdrew his SRT Can-Am at the end of the day.

Holowczyc bounced back with the quickest time on Saturday’s opening stage that was made up of two sections of 54.14km and 62.62km. He reduced Maluszyński’s lead to 10.4 seconds.

De Mevius climbed above Zapletal into third place and increased his T3 advantage over Dias to 6min 27.3sec. Delays for Navarro enabled Ventura to pull 15min 08.6sec clear in T4 heading to the repeat run through the stage in the afternoon. Pole Piotr Otko retired his T3 Can-Am in the special.

A fastest time on the final stage enabled Holowczyc to seal outright victory and De Mevius overhauled Maluszyński with the second quickest time to snatch the runner-up spot.

The FIA European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas continues with the Baja TT Sharish Reguengos Mourão in Portugal on September 22nd-24th.

20th Hungarian Baja – final result (top 5):
1. Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL)/Lukasz Kurzeja (POL) BMW X3 5hr 19min 34.4sec
2. Ghislain de Mevius (BEL)/Johan Jalet (BEL) G Rally Team OT3 (T3) 5hr 20min 10.9sec
3. Michal Maluszyński (POL)/Julita Maluszyńska (POL) Mini JCW Rally Plus 5hr 21min 04.1sec
4. Miroslav Zapletal (CZE)/Marek Sykora (SVK) Ford F150 Evo+ 5hr 23min 33.1sec
5. João Dias (PRT)/João Miranda (PRT) Can-Am Maverick X3 (T3) 5hr 29min 16.3sec


Source FIA

Hungarian Baja 2023: Fernando Barreiros - Video resume


Fernando Barreiros / David Monteiro at the end of day 1



Fernando Barreiros / David Monteiro at the end of the race

Hungarian Baja 2023: Holowczyc, Svitko and Varga triumphed at HunGarian Baja!

FIA European Cup for Cross Country Baja
FIM Baja World Cup

HunGarian Baja had an exciting grand finale, with only the final metres decided in some of the categories. In car category Krzysztof Holowczyc, among riders Stefan Svitko, and in quad category Juraj Varga celebrated on the podium at the prize giving ceremony in front of the Thury Castle in Várpalota.

Krzysztof Holowczyc was all smiles when jumping up and clicking his heels, the legendary Polish driver was extremely happy for his win at the HunGarian Baja. Not surprisingly, since he took back the lead only on the last stage, and especially because his gearbox made strange noises during the day, so they had to pray for even finishing the race. Instead, he could claim victory.

“We knew that the beginning of the stage is very quick, we really pushed our limits there: I stepped on the gas and pushed as I could” Holowczyc said. “When I saw that we were leading ahead of De Mevius by one minute and 20 seconds and even more in front of Maluszynski, I started to pay more attention to the car on the bumpy parts. I should have done it, because the gearbox suddenly stopped. We re-started the engine, and from then on, we just prayed for getting to the finish. We did, and we won. It was a great race in difficult conditions, but we really enjoyed it. What else can I say? I am very happy!”

Ghislain de Mevius was in a great mood at the finish, because he could catch up to second position in overall on the last stage, and indeed, he claimed his first ever win in T3 category.

“Although we had some advantage in our category, I pushed as I could, because if you start to drive safe and slow, mistakes may come more easily” De Mevius said. “It was good to drive the car, and I just wanted to enjoy racing. This is my first T3 win, and I am very happy for it, because Joao Dias is a great driver, and it is not easy to beat him. It was a perfect weekend, the team did a great job, we are very happy.”

Michal Maluszynski finished third, even if he was leading before the last stage. The afternoon stage took a toll on him, he got sick of the heat and bumpy road, so when he arrived to the finish, he was fully exhausted. But he secured the podium and that was the point.

“This race is very demanding for both man and machine, there are some tricky parts” Maluszynski said. “We tried to drive fast, but we could not do it everywhere, and we had to be careful to be able to stay on road and not to be lost. On the last stage from around 30 kilometre, I did not feel well, so I am happy to be here.”

In category T4 Amerigo Ventura was the fastest. “It wasn’t an easy day, because there were more and more stones on the road, which increased the risk of puncture, and made us more stressed, but we did not take any risk, because we were leading the category since Friday, and did not want to damage the carVentura said.

The best Hungarian Csaba Miklós finished tenth, and secured fourth position in his category (T3), for which he was very happy after such a difficult race.

“The stage is more dangerous in backwards, than it was yesterday: stony and bumpy, but luckily, we did not have any problemCsaba Miklós said, whose co-driver was the very experienced Albert Horn. “The race is great, and thanks to the precise road book the harmony with my co-driver is perfect. Exhausting, bumpy and stony, but this is what cross-country rally is about. We wanted to get to the podium in T3 category, but I think a well-fought fourth place is better than a non-finish.”

Podium Moto


Stefan Svitko won the FIM World Cup at the HunGarian Baja. With his KTM bike he was the fastest on all stages, so his win was never threatened. He has participated at five HunGarian Bajas and has won 3 of 5 with two second positions. Unbelievable achievement!

“It is a good feeling to win HunGarian Baja for the third time, especially, because it was a tough race” Svitko said. We went reverse today, so there were lots of stones that the cars turned out yesterday, so I had to keep my head at some places. Not before the finish of the second stage we caught up three buggies, and it was difficult to ride in their dust, we could not see anything. But I won, and it makes me happy, because I feel I am in good shape.”

Jan Brabec, after finishing second, said that he enjoyed today’s stage better, he set a good pace, and felt he was able to ride much more relaxed. “I didn’t feel any pressure, we had fun together with other riders, and luckily, my ankle did not hurt. Interestingly, when wearing the race boots, I do not feel anything from my injury, probably, they hold it tight and maybe the adrenaline helps, too. However, it is very dangerous that according to the regulations tyre change is not allowed, because my tyres got tired by the end, I could hardly ride on them.”

David Megre was also scratching his head while looking at the tyres, his ones have become slick, too. “We are armed by different safety accessories, and we have to ride on these tyres” Megre said with shaking his head. “I had to slow down on some occasions not to break myself, but the point is that I am here. On the first stage I tried to pull the gas trying to catch up Brabec, but he was very fast, so in the afternoon I rather rode smartly to keep my third position, because these points are very important for me in the World Cup classification.”

World Cup leader Mohammed Al Balooshi finished fifth by overtaking Richárd Hodola of Hungary on the last stage. “This race was full of challenges, but approaching to the finish you always find some extra energy to finish on high Balooshi said. “Another Baja in my tally, which I am very happy for, and it makes me even more happy, that there was no rain. I did even like today’s heat, I absolutely loved it. I enjoyed the stage in reverse much better. It was similar to motocross. I am still leading the World Cup, and which is more important, I did my best, everything I could.”

Richárd Hodola was the best Hungarian with finishing sixth in FIM classification, and although he was very tired, he was satisfied. “I got tired by the end, my hands also hurt, I could hardly pull the gas” Hodola said. “I kept the pace as much as I could, and I think I have no reason to feel ashamed, but I have to learn from my mistakes and keep going forward.”

There was a fierce battle in the front of the quad category, only 1 second separated Kevin Giroud and Juraj Varga before the last stage. Expectedly, both of them pushed their limits. Two very exhausted riders arrived to the main square of Várpalota, but with huge smiles. Finally, Juraj Varga won the great fight.

“I reached my limits, I think I could not do more” Juraj Varga said. “I had to get the maximum from the beginning to the end, because Kevin is a very tough rider, and he did everything for the victory. The track was better today with the cars cleaned it ahead of us, which helped for the quads. I am verry happy for the win, it is a special victory for me.”

“This guy is crazy, it is unbelievable how he pulls the gasKevin Giroud added. “It was a great race, I am absolutely exhausted, but happy, because I have collected important points. And this battle between us… it was totally crazy!”


Final classification. FIM World Cup. Bikes: 1. Stefan Svitko (Slovakia, KTM) 5:48:49.9, 2. Brabec (Czech Republic, KTM) +15:45.8 min., 3. Merge (Portugal, Kawasaki) +20:29.3 min, …6. Richárd Hodola (Hungary, KTM) +49:18.6 min.

FIA European Cup. Cars: 1. Krzysztof Holowczyc, Lukasz Kurzeja (Poland, BMW X3) 5:19:34.4, 2. De Mevius, Jalet (Belgium, G Rally Team OT3) +36.5 sec., 3. Maluszynski, Maluszynska (Poland, Mini John Cooper Works) +1:29.7 min., …10. Csaba Miklós, Albert Horn (Hungary, Bedu Pro X3) +34:09.4 min.

Source: Hungarian Baja

Hungarian Baja 2023: Fernando Barreiros climbs to the podium in the European Cup of Bajas

Fernando Barreiros/David Monteiro in 2nd place T2 in Hungarian Baja

Fernando Barreiros navigated by David Monteiro rose to the podium today at the end of the 20th edition of the Baja da Hungria, a competition for the FIA Cross Country Bajas European Cup where the Portuguese duo won the 2nd position in the T2 category. With this result, the current Iberian champion and vice national champion of all-terrain T2, reinforced the second place he occupies in this important international competition.

Despite the excellent 2nd place achieved, it is with some bitterness that the driver of Loures leaves Hungary after a race marked by several drawbacks: "Finishing the Hungarian Baja was the first goal, and that we just achieved with a lot of effort since in terms of the championship it was primordial. Unfortunately, we were unable to discuss victory very early. We had several mechanical and electrical problems, so finishing the race in 2nd place is an authentic victory for us. I want to thank David for the patience he had to do this kind of race that turned out to be a fight against the maximum time and not for the victory in the T2 category as was our purpose", Fernando Barreiros said, referring to the arrival in the city of Várpalota at the end of the race.

Fernando Barreiros' next sports competitions will take place in Zaragoza, where he will compete from September 1st in the Cierzo Rally Saragoza for the Iberian Trophy of All-Terrain, while from September 22nd to 24th in Reguengos de Monsaraz he will take part in the next stage of the FIA Cross Country Bajas European Cup.


Automatic translation from the original Portuguese version available at www.todoterreno.pt
Source Fernando Barreiros oficial press release

As a service to the sport we all love and follow, Rally-Raid Network posts numerous media releases from a wide variety of sources on our website. Due to the large number, and some times short time available, it is nearly impossible to review each public release. These articles are written by reporters or press officers who work for various organizers, teams, drivers, riders, and other parties, and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Rally-Raid Network.