Desert Baja Israel - 1st stop of the 2019 East European Tout Terrain Series, 28-31 March 2019, featured thrilling racing for motorbikes, quads, cars and SSVs, from Be’er Sheva’s Motorcity, to Park Timna, Eilat in the south.
Launched by the Israel Motorsports Association, the four-day Cross-Country race is governed by FIA and ILAKA regulations and rules.
Covering more than 900km, competitors could opt to navigate the high speed route through desert and rocky, mountainous terrain via map or GPS. Points were awarded for fastest to the finish, as well as navigation precision for the regularity division.
LEG 1 saw local TEAM HORNET ISRAEL driven by Tal Wainberg come out on top, racking up a 15 minute advantage on SS1 from Be’er Sheva to Ashalim.
Fully embracing the desert, LEG 2 served up multiple technical challenges forcing equipment failure and poor navigation decisions to scupper some team’s hopes. Despite a crash in the first stage, Israel’s Ziv Karmi not only made up the lost ground on his motorbike prepared from KTM-YOHANANOF-CAMP FACTORY, but also converted his deficit to the best performance of SS2 being almost 3 minutes faster than the overall leaders HORNET ISRAEL. The SSV team replied on SS3 with their 2nd victory in 3 Special Stages.
LEG 3 marked the final opportunity for drivers to advance up the leaderboard. Blasting through the start the line-up again took on the challenge of the desert landscape. TEAM HORNET ISRAEL, racing on a 1600kg Baja Monster, finished the stage in 2nd overall, which was enough to claim overall victory. Racing on a motorbike, Ziv Karmi won the leg and claimed 2nd overall.