Baja Portalegre 2019: The race of (almost) all decisions

Baja Portalegre 2019: The race of (almost) all decisions

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Portugal's Baja Portalegre 2019, the last race of all the Portuguese championships (auto, moto, quad, and SSV) and also from FIA's Baja World Cup as become the most interesting race of all season with most of 2019 titles to be decided during this event in all categories of the event, both national and international.   Emotion, competiton, joy and drama will be delivered in huge amounts along Alentejo's roads as they became an outstanding stage for 2019 Season Grand Finalle.

Jordan received FIA's international caravan on this weekend for the 2019 Jordan Baja, with the nickname "Baja on Mars" due to the amazing landscapes where the race took place.    Before the race, the Russian Vladimir Vasilyev, the Polish Jakub Przygonski and the Argentinan Orlando Terranova were all very close in points and they all promised to fight hard to conquer a definitive advantage over the adversaries in order to secure the title.  But if the race towards 2019 Baja World Cup title was close before the race, it became a lot closer after the race finished.  Przygonski was the winner, Orlando Terronva finished second and Vasilyev finished third. The unofficial points table has Vasiliey in first with 112 points with Terranova in second with 111 points and Przygonski third with 109 points. After such a long and varied season that started in the frozen lands of Russia, crossed deserts and forest, rivers and mountains, it will be Alentejo's and Ribatejo's roads in Portugal that will decide who will be the 2019 champion.

On T3 category the title is not decided yet, but one could think that Fedor Vorobyev has a relatively clear path towards 2019 crown. But this equation becomes more complicated because the last race is Baja Portalegre and the Portuguese race is never easy. Despite the the  22 point advantage the Russian driver has over second-placed Michele Cinotto, that doesn't mean the title is secure. A very particular situation must happen in Portugal, that is Cinotto winning the race and Vorobyev not scoring any points. This means the pressure is on the Italian's side, that must give it all, while the Russian just needs to reach the finish line with a careful race management.

On T2 the 2019 title is already decided in favor of the Latvian Aldis Vilcans. Romania’s Claudiu Barbu still tried to conquer the victory in Jordan and delay the decision to Baja Portalegre. Unfortunately, he retired and gifted the title to his rival. 

 

If the fight for FIA's 2019 Baja Title is not finished yet, the same can be said for the Portuguese Championships with many titles to be decided on Baja Portalegre.

In cars, the recently disputed Baja TT Idanha-a-Nova only left the overall title contenders closer to each other and with some hard decisions to take.   Alexandre Ré is in front with 85 points, while Tiago Reis and Pedro Dias da Silva have both 65.  André Amaral is in 4th place with 52. 
But the Portuguese regulations says that the worse result must be dropped, and considered that, Alexandre Ré is still first 68 points,  Tiago Reis keeps the 65 points (he as one race with zero points that he can use to drop), Pedro Dias da Silva is third with 41 points and finally André Amaral in 4th with 40 points.
The fight will be between Ré, Reis and Dias da Silva, as Amaral will be a very interested spectator as has much smaller chances to conquer the title, but still in a good position to enter in Top3.

In T2  the race for the title is still not finished yet, but in this case with only two drivers fighting.  Nuno Corvo is now leading with 91 points while his main rival Georgino Pedroso as 77.  But when applied the rule to drop the worse result Corvo must let go 17 points and will keep only 74 , while Pedroso that as a "zero" points result doesn't need to let go anything and will keep all his 77pts. Whit this, Georgino Pedroso assumes the lead swapping places with his rival that will descend into second.  João Ferreira is third with 59 points and like Pedroso doesn't need to drop points, leaving him also with the title in reach.


But if you think the car's race is full of interest, on all the other categories - Moto, Quad and SSV the titles are also yet to be decided, and considering the magnet that this race is for the Portuguese riders and drivers, anyone with real ambitions should "load his guns with the biggest ammunition possible" otherwise the horde of adversaries will not give them the smallest chance.  
The SSV category, which is the star category of the Portuguese Championship is the one with most title contenders by far, with a large group of insanely fast drivers eager to win. Tactics for this race will be pretty hard to decide... to attack is to take risks, and many times risks have a high cost. To be more conservative and avoid taking risks for sure that it is not a good idea as that means racing slower and finishing the race somewhere around the 80th place or more.
Some officials are openly saying that more than 120 SSVs are expected at Baja Portalegre, a number that by his on is simply outstanding

FMP Points table (Moto, Quad and SSV) is still to be updated by the time of publishing of this race.

 

FIA
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas – Driver standings after round 7 (unofficial):
1. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS)  112pts
2. Orlando Terranova (ARG)  111pts
3. Jakub Przygonski (POL)  109pts

FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas – T3 Trophy after round 7 (unofficial):
1. Fedor Vorobyev (RUS) 132pts
2. Michele Cinotto (ITA) 110pts

PORTUGUESE CHAMPIONSHIP
CPTT - Portuguese Cross-Country Rally Championship - Overall Cars
1. Alexandre Ré - 85pts (68pts)
2. Tiago Reis  - 65pts (65pts)
2. Pedro Dias da Silva - 65pts (41pts)
4. André Amaral - 52pts (40pts)

CPTT - Portuguese Cross-Country Rally Championship - T2
1. Nuno Corvo - 91pts (74pts)
2. Georgino Pedroso - 77pts (77pts)
3. João Ferreira - 59pts (59pts)

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