First Lithuanian Baja Challenge!

Tue, 24th June 2008

The first round of the Lithuanian off-road championship took place in Kaunas, Lithuania. This currently is the only off-road track in Lithuania, it is 290m long, the surface is mainly clay, with sections of carpet. From the first sight it may seem an easy track, but like all tracks it has it's own individual character - some turns on slopes, altitude variations and even water beds, which make braking difficult, what is more - the track is dusty ant bumpy. Apart from a nice house type woden driver stand, a new spectator stand, which can accomodate 70-80 people has been built just above the main straight.

Actually this track is used to run the 1:8 nitro offroad races and as you see it isn't very large, although we make it easier by removing one section. That's why Baja drivers need to be extremely accurate racing their cars, as a result, many nice and planned overtakes can be seen during the race. Qualifying: Since the number of racers isn't big, qualifying only determines your starting positions and gives you a chance to try different setups and for international drivers to get used to the track. The weather was changing - rain in the morning (Qualifying) and sun the afternoon (Finals). Due to RWD Baja drivers struggled on the carpet, which was extremely slippery and only the drivers who knew how to control their throttle could show good pace. Qualifying Results 1 Edgaras Šnipas - 16 laps, 10:31,314 time 2 Mindaugas Pacevi?ius - 16 laps, 10:37,465 3 Šar?nas Zabulionis - 16 laps, 11:10,537 4 Valdas Malinauskas - 14 laps, 10:56,002 5 Mindaugas Ži?kus - 10 laps, 10:19,159 The Race: The weather cleared up we had a nice 20minute race in the final. As the track is very tight, drivers tried to apply a drifting technique to handle the corners, but it was very easy to spin... The winner showed good and consitant pace from the start. Mindaugas and Sarunas are also good drivers, but ended up fighting for the second place, which damaged their times quite badly. While two fight - the third one wins. HPI Baja cars were mostly heavy modified to race in such a technical track: in order to improve the accelaration, carbon fiber parts were installed where possible, reducing the weight by 200-300g. Also, one driver custom made hydraulic brakes for most of the racers - stopping power was a must in such a track. Final Results: 1 Edgaras Snipas - 31 laps, 20m28.784 2 Mindaugas Pacevicius - 29 laps, 20m11.737 3 Sarunas Zabulionis - 29 laps, 20m35.975 4 Valdas Malinauskas - 24 laps, 20m38.110 5 Mindaugas Zickus - 6 laps, 7m21.485 For full results lap-by-lap, click here The new petrol class started out successfuly in Lithuania and shows good signs of interest, due to low maintenence and no pit guy required. For more pictures of the racing action, click here! For information about the Baja Endurance Challenge Series, and the Finals coming up in September, just click here for the full schedule and complete details and rules!

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