FINALLY on our street!

FINALLY on our street!

For the first time under the auspices of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the USSR was one of the stages of the European Championship

I can not believe. Thirty-four years from the date of our accession to the International Automobile Federation, we were waiting for us perhaps the best foreign riders to compete for the award of the official world championship or Europe. And finally, one of the European championships and turned on our street. The track «Musa» in the Latvian town of Bauska took in late summer the ninth stage of the continental championship in autocross.

I think it is no accident the first in our country visited just krossmenov tournament. When we will reach our hands to build a modern, responsible all the requirements for track racing circuit. Whether there will be in the current difficult time funds for reputable international rallies that the complexity of the organization is now more like a large-scale military operation. Another thing is the cross. All at once at home. Competitions short — two days with workouts. The track — without cover, dirt, jumping and hummocks that we seem familiar. Besides, whatever you say, in autocross chances of our riders for the top places in the final of the European table of ranks far higher than in any other motorsport disciplines.

To today seriously hope for success in international competitions, for example, rally or circuit races in cars, you need to have serial competitive sports car. It is serial, with an annual production of not less than five thousand pieces. It is unlikely that our auto industry today such task forces.

In the cross is such severe restrictions. I built a good option based on the conventional serial machines, even in a single copy — perhaps on the road. So there we have all-wheel drive versions of the VAZ-2108 Anatoly Krivobokova and «Moskvich-2141» Peteris Neykshansa. Even more space for fantasy in the design class buggies, where two identical machines are not found, they do not find two people are exactly alike.

In addition, we will not dissemble, had not yet turned their eyes to cross the mighty automobile firms. So little by little, the Soviet Crossman started torit path to the European podium. For example, at the stage of the European championship in Denmark for a month before Bauska tolyattinets Alexander Nikonenko on front-drive «Samara» was the third prize winner. And he came to Latvia, taking the sum of the eight stages in sixth place. Moreover, in the case of a successful performance on the track «Moses», he could move into fourth. Especially because its main rivals — the Austrian and Swiss S. Pfeifer K. Lotsher decided to skip the Soviet stage.

In general, on the eve of the championship, the talk has been about who will come from foreigners. For many, the Baltic States are not dipped. We were fresh in the memory and the FISA Cup races here in Bauska, in May, when international races more like the USSR championship.

To collect, as they say in the us has become customary parliamentary language, a full quorum was not possible at this time. According visiting foreign athletes, many of their colleagues, but not a short path, alarmed and the current political situation in our country.

Nevertheless, the participants proved to be quite representative. In Bauska gathered racers from seven countries — Austria, East Germany, Holland, Italy, Germany, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union.

For example, in a group of buggies of those who at the end of the previous eight stages included in the top six, five have come to find out the relationship on track «Musa». The leaders of each point was in the account — none of the top six not lost chance of a prize. So afford to miss even one step they could not.

In the group of passenger cars by the end of the season the situation was simpler. The dispute over the final victory were only two people — George Italian. Stekka and R. Volland from Germany. Third place was essentially secured the Austrian B. Shonaher. I think that’s why we saw in Bauska only three foreign riders — Folland and John. A. Majoli and Cesare from Italy.

The two Italians, it seems, not necessarily set out to break into the winners of the European Championship. Anyway, they were not in all the stages of the championship. However, already in control races Cesare, who came to the rally car «Lancia Delta-C4», prepared by Group B, made it clear that in addition to Italy and the absent leader of the championship have riders capable of winning. Better control time he made no apparent effort and without excessive risk. But the second result, to our delight, was at Krivobokova of Togliatti. Bronze medalist last year Volland he left in third place.

Sitting next to me the chief of the Italian team sociable

Giorgio Buratti showed stopwatch, where time stands still and Anatoly shook his head emphatically, «Bene, bene, lopsided!»

So also in the race, I have thought to myself. Alas, these hopes come true was not fated. Anatoly good start in the semifinals, but after the first corner in the debugged mechanism of its all-wheel drive «eight» as if something was broken, and a car, driving a little bit more, got up. As it turned out, the ignition distributor turned a small cog. It was he who crossed all kinds on the prize, which was quite real.

A race, meanwhile, won without much trouble George. Maioli to «Lancia Delta-HF4VD.»

In the other semifinal shone Folland and Cesare. German first went into a small gap, but the Italian haunted opponent. And worth to linger when overtaking those who have fallen behind in the circle, Cesare turned right there. And who knows what would have ended this duel, if the Italian felt that something was wrong with the car and seems to have decided to postpone the final showdown. In addition, after the finish it became clear that Caesar made a false start. So Neykshans, who finished third race, was on the start of the final front-Volland. But third place in the front row was empty. The «Lanci» Majoli in the crankcase found water, and the Italian did not dare to go to the start.

It turned out that before Togliatti Nikonenko free corridor opened, where at a certain skill you can rush ahead standing on the left in the second row Cesare. But to compete with the «Audi» and «Lancia» our was not under force. Cesare cleverly perched from the start of standing in front of Folland, and together they began to rapidly break away from his pursuers.

Nearly three-round contest between two foreign riders kept the audience in suspense. Cesare with every meter distance overtook the German, when one of the smaller ski jumps from his car pulled away from the shock front fairing and windshield completely closed. Alarmingly broke stoplights

«Lanci,» she slowed down than not slow to take advantage Neykshans.

The Italian has tried to fly round his car blindly until he realized the hopelessness of the situation. Finally, he stopped in the area of ​​technical assistance, where the unfortunate fairing like sparrows on a crust of bread fierce winter pounced mechanics. Southerners, as it happens, summed too hot temper. They became cowl drag in different directions, it is not torn apart. Alas, time was lost. Cesare drove another lap on the «Lancia», shamelessly bared its insides and fizzled.

The question about the winner was decided. Volland one another cheat circles rolled rovnehonko and so in splendid isolation came to the finish line. 20 points for winning the stage, he had to come in handy.

The second race Neykshans completed, the third — also Latvian racer Edwin Surgofts. And what Nikonenko? Remember, he had an excellent opportunity to seriously improve their business and reach a successful outcome at the finals in fourth place before the last stage. Unfortunately, Togliatti led the engine and he was satisfied with only penultimate ninth place.

After such a dramatic arrival very much like to hear what they say flushed race athletes, coaches, mechanics. But, I confess, I did not dare to leave his place on the podium, because it surely someone would have won — such interest was for these competitions. Moreover, it was the final competition ahead of the buggy. If a class cars still lacked many of the strongest, here it gathered the cream of the European cross-country.

To tell the truth, our riders could hardly count on the prize. After Buggy foreign masters are equipped with powerful 3.5-liter engines. The Soviet athletes is no such motors, and they prefer to speak, not without a note of success in the Cup FISA where the working volume is limited to 1600 cm3. Nevertheless, many of them could not resist the temptation to go to the start in a familiar track in front of their fans. Even in the weaker engines. You never know! After all, the house and walls help.

But Alexei Sharov from Naberezhnye Chelny is the second year in favor almost all stages of the European Championship on outlandish rotary engine VAZ. But until now, not been a special -lavrov.

In short, in a solid company leaders autocross maximum objective for our athletes could be considered the final. And, I must say, they fought fiercely for that right, but to get into the main race was only able to Nikolai Tions for which the track «Moses» truly precious — he from Bauska.

Starting in the semifinals of the first row, Tions in the commotion before the first turn collided with one of the contestants. He walked almost all participants. But by the third round he was literally hanging on the rear wheels Sharov, who held the coveted fifth place, paving the way to the final. So in a bundle two of our riders raced one lap not until Tions, as they say, to «calculate» the opponent in one of the turns. Sharov, without reducing significantly the speed, decided to pass it to a wider path, but fell on loose soil and Tions at this moment slipped inside bend. Then, already over laps to go, to the delight of the local fans, and Nicholas walked Tions Austrian V. Vinningera.

Delighted with this little miracle, known Czechoslovak Crossman Jaroslav Hošek admitted after the race: «I myself have for years performed on engines VAZ, but honestly, can hardly imagine what to do with him, that he has become so high-spirited, like Tionsa or say, Liguria. But your balls rotary engine is hardly what you get. He’s a great athlete, but this engine is simply not suited for their characteristic to cross. «

In one step from the final stop Janus Ligure from Estonia. At the beginning of the race he was walking beat fifth Dutchman F. de Boer. But apparently, in anticipation of luck, Liguria nervous and made a mistake on the last lap and again missed the Dutch forward.

In the final, it was something to see. When was the start, it began to spin the carousel such that it was not surprising to lose orientation.

Stars made a real cross-country performance. The pace they once inflated really quickly. The squat dynamic buggy — like formula 1 cars only on a dirt road. The transit time of circle track «Musa» length of 1170 meters at the buggy about four seconds (!) Better than cars.

The first gauntlet thrown Jaroslav Hošek. At first it seemed that his call took Jiri Bartos. In the first third of the race, he got seriously worried his compatriot. Soon, however, he was not up to the leader — behind him literally Settlements Herbert Ram-stranded from Germany. Here it is necessary to think how to save the bird in the hand. Moreover, even in case of victory Gaucher Single Bartos, finishing in second place, still continued to lead in the championship before the last stage.

Meanwhile, persistent Rummel resorted to various tricks to get around the opponent, was ready at any moment to take advantage of his slightest misstep. But it was not his day. Bartos gave Germans a chance.

A soloist on the track Hošek. It seems to be separation from Bartosz, enthusiastic duel with Rummel was already solid, and Yaroslav did not give myself a break for a second, led the race without slowing. This, in my opinion, gained the respect of the public. After all, if you’re a real athlete, if you live thirst to compete not only with the opponent, but also with yourself, you do not stop on our laurels.

So they rushed to the finish line — Hošek, Bartosz, Rummel. But not only commendable maximalism later explained his indefatigable zeal Yaroslav.

«I’m up to the finish most feared Bartosz — he said, barely having time to remove shlem.- We travel together for 16 years and I know very well the possibility of Jiri. In general, we Czechoslovak Crossman, with the same pleasure to come to the races in your country. Check yourself in such difficult track is very interesting. After all, the West cross is now a little like a cross-country competition. Downhill there trying to build a straight, of course, with the ground, but rather paved. Frankly, it would be a pity if you stage the European Championship was the first and the last. But the danger of this is. Most krossmenov go to the competition for their money. And many expect to at least partially correct financial affairs due to the prizes. But in Bauska we get rubles … «

At these words Hošek smiled apologetically, as if talking about rope in the house of the hanged man. And I must admit, it was a shame — really because of this, in general, is small (it is about 10 thousand Swiss francs, which is about 7.5 thousand dollars) following a meeting with the European Cup we will have to wait another thirty-four … year.

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