Friday, July 19, 2024

Restless Team Ukraine celebrates maiden European Bajas podium

Restless Team was one of the top outfits in the Ukrainian Rally-Raid Cup until Russian invasion forced the series to go dark for 2022. In 2023, the team made their racing return by competing in the FIA European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas. The decision has since paid dividends as Artem Kompan and Andrey Solopov scored a podium at the Hungarian Baja last weekend.

The #405 Can-Am Maverick X3 placed third in the T4 category for production SSVs and sixteenth overall of twenty-eight FIA finishers with a total time of 6:41:47. Kompan sat fourth in class after the first day and two stages of racing, nearly thirty-five minutes behind the leader but just four minutes back of third-placed Mert Becce.

Fuel pump issues in the final thirty kilometres of Stage #3 knocked Becce out of the race, which Kompan capitalised on to assume third. Although Kompan was too far back to catch Pau Navarro for second, his thirty-minute advantage over Marcin Graczyk secured the final step of the podium.

“We are very happy that we have done it and we get some prizes and very thanks to our team,” said Kompan. “Very thanks to our mechanical guys, for our crew, for our administrator, for us and for those who also take care of us. This is great, and Slava Ukraini.”

Amerigo Ventura won in T4, finally hitting his stride after being plagued by misfortune to start the European Cup season.

Restless Team made their European Cup début at the season-opening Baja TT Dehesa Extremadura in Spain in April, marking their longest trip to date as they had to travel across the entire continent, where they finished forty-fourth overall and eleventh in T4. At the Rally Greece Offroad two months later, Kompan was twenty-third in the general classification and fell short of the podium in fourth.

The team initially entered a second Maverick, the #409 for Maksym Kovalov and Maksym Mashtak, for Hungary but withdrew it to focus on the #405.

Prior to the war, Restless Team enjoyed success both in Ukraine and Romania. In 2021, they finished second and third in the Romanian 4V Rally Raid Championship.

The next round of the European Cup, the Baja TT Sharish Reguengos Mourão in Portugal, will take place on 22–24 September.