Lithuanian crew to debut FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies

After 12 years of competing in the national championships of rally and circuit racing, Lithuanian racer Benediktas Vanagas decided to make a step into international arena behind the wheel of a rally-raid vehicle. Despite of being new to this kind of sport along with co-driver Saulius Jurgeleeas they have already managed to reach surprising results. In last year's Dakar series "Silk Way Rally" crew finished fifth in T1.1 class and eighth overall, completing one of the stages right after factory "Volkswagen" rally-raid team.

"In first days we were gaining experience and fought for better starting order. But soon we showed what we can -- two days we were best in T1.1 and one day finished just after "VW" squadron. That was great, taking in consideration that we had one of the smallest teams in the race!", said Benediktas.

This year they make another step forward being the first Lithuanian crew to start in FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies. First event starts in couple of days in the United Arab Emirates and is called "Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2010".

Lithuanian crew decided to choose "OSCar03" vehicle for "Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge". This car is T1 certified and made in Latvia.

"Last year we have tried "OSCar01" version and experienced that those cars can be fast. Of course, newer car version is better in all parameters like more powerful engine, better weight balance and hydraulic jacks"

"Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2010" starts on 27th of March with a short 2 km Super Special Stage. For the next five days the desert rallying will continue on the stages up to 300 kilometers long. The finish is on April 1st with more than 1.5 thousand special stage kilometers driven.

"Well known leaders will feel our breath. I promise it", Benediktas is smiling. "Anyhow our target is finish line and we will do our best to get maximum points in first 0x201eFIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies" event. We aim for TOP-5 position after the season.", he says.

Benediktas Vanagas and Saulius Jurgel0x45eeas also tried other disciplines, when finished second in "Ladoga Trophy" 4x4 marathon back in 2009. Benediktas Vanagas is the President of National Automobile Club of Lithuania and the organizer of "Winter Rally" which is an event of Lithuanian Rally Championship. He is also giving lots of his efforts in social activities to make roads safe.

-source: pitlane.lt