Italian Baja 2019: "Ciao Italia!" - Victory for Kamena Rally Team

Italian Baja 2019: "Ciao Italia!" - Victory for Kamena Rally Team

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Kamena Rally Team took part in Italian Baja with a precise goal – to win. Although the Italian rally was tough, and despite the mechanical problems occurred, Tomasz Białkowski and Dariusz Baśkiewicz came back from Italy with a victory in SSV group and high position in overall standings. It was hard to say: “Ciao, Italia!”

Italian Baja, taking place on 21st-23rd June in the surroundings of Pordenone, was another foreign rally with Kamena Rally Team’s participation. For them it was a new rally, so they couldn’t wait for this Italian adventure. But their goal for this rally was the same as for other rallies – victory. Here the most important stake for them was a set of FIA-CEZ points. Before the rally, Tomasz Białkowski and Dariusz Baśkiewicz were leading this classification. In the Italian Baja they gave no chance to their rivals, winning TM group SSV. They were also close to winning overall in Italian Championship classification. In Friday’s prologue in the whole rally, including World Cup participants, only Polish champion Kuba Przygoński was faster than Białkowski / Baśkiewicz duo. After Saturday’s three stages, Kamena Rally Team left no doubt to Italian champions about who’s the fastest – these were Tomasz Białkowski and Dariusz Baśkiewicz who were leading the overall standings of Italian Championship. Only mechanical problems in the last stage of the rally took away chances of Polish duo to win overall. But the most important goal, victory in TM group, was achieved.

“Today we were supposed only to rest and make a clear run, but it occurred that on 30 km of the stage our vehicle seized up – gearbox broke and we drove the rest of the stage with speed of 30 km/h. But we made it to the finish, we won in our group and we’re 6th overall. Unfortunately, we fell from 1st overall, but it’s what this sport is like,” Tomasz Białkowski said at the finish line of the rally.

The rally occurred to be very tough this year – many crews didn’t reach the finish. Heavy rains in Italy before the rally, causing floods, inter alia, contributed to that. Organizers were even afraid of having to cancel the event or shorten the stages, but finally they managed to run the rally on its full planned route. The route after the rains, which even affected competitors during the first two days of the rally, was slippery in some parts, and the rivers, which they crossed several times, were quite deep. Many competitors, even those World Cup top ones, had problems. Kamena Rally Team’s crew for most of the time managed to avoid these problems, only the last special brought the gearbox failure. Even though, Białkowski and Baśkiewicz came back from Italy with cups for the victory in TM group, full set of FIA-CEZ points, great mood and even better memories. 

“We will remember Italian Baja as, above all, a great rally with fantastic landscapes. The route of the rally is really beautiful, but also demanding, although it in facts consists of one stage run several times in both directions. Maybe it’s good because you can enjoy these landscapes. Even better was the atmosphere among Polish crews – this vibe was created by Japateam, Walterteam and us together, we were here really kind of “Polish mafia”. Many thanks also to our Polish-Italian friend Marko Monte, who fitted this atmosphere perfectly and gave us a helping hand. It all made the vibe of the rally really fantastic. It was hard to say: ‘Ciao, Italia!’” Dariusz Baśkiewicz says.

But it’s time to come back home, put another pin on the rally map and put the cups won in Italy on the shelf. Next South European adventure is ahead of Tomasz Białkowski and Dariusz Baśkiewicz – it’s Baja Aragon, which will take place on 25th-27th July in Spain. So, “Ciao, Italia!” – “Hola, España!”

Source: Press release of Kamena Rally Team
Translation: Anna Michalska

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