X Raid team director Sven Quandt confirmed that his team is going to participate in Baja Russia – Northern Forest 2015.
Did you like the Baja Russia – Northern Forest last year? What do you plan for the upcoming event?
Sven Quandt: Yes, we liked it a lot. Winter races are quite specific, and everyone likes them. We plan to participate in Russia Northern Forest this year again.
What X RAID cars and which drivers are approved for the race?
Sven Quandt: We are planning to have three crews on the race. Yet, we will have to check the cars after the Dakar and decide which ones are going. As they are going to be shipped by air, and it is pretty costly, we need to assess all the chances.
The race being relocated to a new, colder region, will it induce any differences in car preparation?
Sven Quandt: Last year we gain huge experience in developing our cars in the way that would allow them to show good results in winter conditions and lower temperatures. Everything went well, so I don’t anticipate any problems this year. To see what changes we should introduce after Dakar, we will examine the temperature forecasts for baja Russia – Northern Forest. And if it is going to be around 15 – 20 degrees below zero we will definitely work on more changes that can make our cars more competitive and test them before the race. If the temperature level stays within 0 to -4 degrees the changes will be minimal.
We heard that most drivers in your team would gladly go to Russia, yet they say you are the one to take decisions.
Sven Quandt: Every crew has their own sporting program. We discuss every upcoming race in detail, set the goals we want to achieve, organize transportation and settle lots of other questions. To go to any race we first of all must guarantee that the car is ready as the results are directly dependent on it.
What do you think about this year’s Dakar?
Sven Quandt: This year I am not happy with the routes that the organizers prepared for the race. The opening stage was too difficult, the second stage proved too speedy and rough and resulted in many breakdowns along its course. I don’t think it was wise to do so as Dakar is viewed upon by many drivers and teams first of all as a race which gives you pleasure and delight.
TEXT & PHOTO: Baja Russia