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Baja TT Dehesa de Extremadura 2023: Overdrive Racing suppors Tiago Reis and Valter Cardoso to victory in Baja TT Dehesa de Extremadura

Baja TT Dehesa de Extremadura 2023: Overdrive Racing suppors Tiago Reis and Valter Cardoso to victory in Baja TT Dehesa de Extremadura

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Overdrive Racing continued its remarkable run of victories by supporting the Portuguese duo of Tiago Reis and Valder Cardosa to a comfortable win at Baja TT Dehesa Extremadura, the opening round of the 2023 FIA European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas.
Overdrive Racing staff supplied logistical and service support to several teams at the three-day event that started in Badajoz in western Spain, crossed the border into Portugal and was fought out over several demanding and narrow stages across rural agricultural land.
Reis and Cardosa eventually guided their Toyota Hilux to victory by the winning margin of 2min 37.2sec over local driver João Diaz, who finished second and unofficially won the FIA T3 category in a Can-Am Maverick X3.

“This was a great victory for us,” said Reis. “We won the National and the European Championship and now we see whether we will be in Greece. We caught a lot of cars on Saturday and we catch more dust. Maybe we lost three minutes in one sector and a minute in another. Then we had a problem on the third part of the stage with a narrow bridge. Two times we couldn’t pass and we did reverse two times and we managed!”

Victory on Friday afternoon’s opening Prologue stage fell to the Portuguese crew of Lourenço Rosa and Nuno Morais, who were also running a Toyota Hilux with support from Overdrive Racing. João Ramos, Reis and Benediktas Vanagas made it a Toyota 1-2-3-4 start on the short opening stage.
The action then headed into open countryside and Reis was quickest on the first pass through the 64.46km of the Alconchel stage to move into a lead of 2min 28.1sec. He maintained an advantage of 2min 11.9sec after setting the sixth quickest time in the second 44.74km stage.
A run through Zahinos (92.38km) followed, Reis was third and saw his lead trimmed to 40.8 seconds. Stage one was repeated in the afternoon and Reis finished behind Polish rival Krzysztof Holowczyc to increase his advantage to 1min 44.5sec. A fastest time followed on the second pass through SS3 and he reached the night halt with a lead of 3min 53.8sec after another push through Zahinos.
Sunday’s timetable featured two longer stages of 75.58km and 75.28km and Reis suffered from his starting position on the opener (Solan de los Barros) and was only able to record the 18th quickest time, as cars running further down the field were able to close up on the leaders. He headed to the final stage 3min 15.1sec ahead of second-placed Henrique Silva.
A strong run through the final Santa Marta special netted the sixth quickest time and Reis managed to secure victory and the early lead in the FIA European Cup Drivers’ Championship.
Administration and scrutineering checks and the pre-event press conference took place at the Baja’s headquarters in Badajoz, before the start of the opening Prologue stage across the border near Elvas in Portugal. Crews then tackled six short stages over narrow rural tracks on Saturday and two longer stages on Sunday before the ceremonial finish and post-event press conference in Badajoz.
Overdrive Racing now switches its focus to the new Sonora Rally in México, round three of the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship, taking place on April 22nd-28th.

2023 Baja TT Dehesa Extremadura – unofficial results (@21.40hrs CET):
1. Tiago Reis (PRT)/Valter Cardosa (PRT) Toyota Hilux 6hr 24min 25.8sec
2. João Dias (PRT)/João Miranda (PRT) Can-Am Maverick X3 (T3) 6hr 27min 03.0sec
3. Benediktas Vanagas (LTU)/Kuldar Sikk (EST) Toyota Hilux 6hr 27min 36.1sec
4. Henrique Silva (PRT)/Henrique Damasio (PRT) Mercedes Cattova Proto X 6hr 30min 44.5sec
5. Petr Hozák (CZE)/Marek Sykora (SVK) Mini Paceman 6hr 31min 02.3sec
6. João Ferreira (PRT)/Filipe José Pires Relvas (PRT) Yamaha YXZ 1000 R (T3) 6hr 31min 09.2sec
7. Ghislain de Mevius (BEL)/Johan Jalet (BEL) GRally Team OT3 (T3) 6hr 35min 37.9sec
8. Alexandre Pinto (PRT)/Fausto Mota (PRT) Can-Am Maverick X3 (T3) 6hr 37min 03.4sec
9. Kornél ‘Csucsu’ Luzács (HUN)/Márk Mesterházi (HUN) Toyota Hilux 6hr 42min 49.8sec
10. Miguel Casaca (PRT)/João Luz (PRT) Volkswagen Amarok 6hr 45min 04.1sec
11. Michal Maluszyński (POL)/Krzysztof Antończak (POL) Mini JCW Rally 6hr 46min 18.2sec
(T1 unless stated)

 

You can find a image gallery of Tiago Reis here: https://www.imagensdesportivas.com/gallery/205/G0000iDKhcGWmQH8/C0000gMU1YOF7Yd8
Baja TT Dehesa de Extremadura Image Gallery available here: https://www.imagensdesportivas.com/gallery-collection/BAJA-TT-DEHESA-DE-EXTREMADURA-2023/C0000Td9YLQxkKKE

Text: Overdrive Racing official press release
Photo: Rally-Raid Network // Imagensdesportivas.com

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