Clash of the giants

The German X-raid and Belgium Overdrive Racing teams are main rivals, that have ruled in the FIA World Cup in Cross-Country Rallies for a few years. During the Columna Medica Baja Poland 2016 offroad fans will once again have an opportunity to follow the battle of those two giants.

For more than 10 years the X-raid team, led by well-known in the world of motorsport Sven Quandt, is present on the routes of cross-country rallies. In the past, Quandt used to be a chief manager of the Mitsubishi works team, which participated in the FIA World Rally Championship. After the adventure with BMW X5 and X3 CC, the X-raid team located in Trebur near Frankfurt have been improving the MINI ALL4 Racing car for a few years. This inconspiciuosly looking car is a flesh and blood off-road vehicle run by a 3.0-litre Diesel engine producing around 320 horsepower. Obviously, the MINI has a 4-wheel drive, 6-gear sequential gearbox and massive 385 litres fuel tank. It won’t be a lie to state that MINI ALL4 Racing is a machine to win, as the X-raid’s car was unbeatable in the legendary Rally Dakar four times in a row (2012-2015). The German squad can be also satisfied with superb results in Baja Poland, where in 2012, 2014 and 2015 MINI ALL4 Racing in hands of Krzysztof Hołowczyc managed to win. In this year’s edition, besides Krzysztof Hołowczyc, the MINI’s will be driven by Dutchman Erik Van Loon, the Chilean driver Boris Garafulic and Jakub Przygoński.

The main rival for X-raid will be a bit younger Belgium Overdrive Racing, led by Jean-Marc Fortin. It is worth to mention, that in 2011 Fortin and Hołowczyc (who drove the BMW X3 CC from X-raid) managed to win Baja Poland. Overdrive Racing cooperates closely with Toyota and brings the four-wheel drive car run by a 5-litre petrol engine with total output of 350 horsepower. The only common thing with the MINI ALL4 Racing is the same 6-speed gearbox supplied by the French company Sadev. Overdrive Racing, which is still waiting for the final triumph in Rally Dakar, has one win on its account in Baja Poland. The Russian driver Alexander Zeludov won the event in 2013. This year Fortin’s team brings as much as six cars to Szczecin, while the entry list of 7th round of this years’ FIA World Cup Cross-Country is opened by the leader Nasser Al-Attiyah. The driver from Qatar, next to Krzysztof Hołowczyc, is the main pretender for the final victory. The other drivers, who will seat behind the wheel of a twin cars are: Marek Dąbrowski, Ronan Chabot, Khalifa Al-Attiyah, Jes Munk and Michał Mułuszyński.





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