Record of Entries in Baja Aragon 2017
More than 230 vehicles will gather in Teruel, that hosts the event for the fifth consecutive year. A total of 114 cars, 70 motorbikes and quads, 14 trucks and 24 participants in Polaris Experience category and 7 in Para Baja will take the start next week of the 34th Baja
This edition is already the fifth in a row to be hosted by Teruel. The relationship with the province goes back to even longer time: the Superspecial and the first days of the event have been hosted by the brand new Motorland Aragon circuit for four years in a row. The communities of Teruel, Jiloca, Sierra de Albarracín, and Cuencas Mineras open their roads for the more than 230 vehicles entered in the different categories.
As for the route, even the long-time regulars of the rally will find a new challenge and the tracks will not only be different from those of the previous years, but also there will be different specials on Saturday and Sunday, with a total of 800 kilometres against the clock.
Moreover, the 2017 edition of Baja Aragon will feature the biggest field of the past years: with a 20 percent increase in the number of entries, this is also the most popular event in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies.
Altogether, there will be 77 cars in the FIA classification, and 32 in the Trofeo Aragon, with 31 of those also classified in the only European round of Dakar Challenge. There will be quite much at stake: the winner of this classification receives a free entry for the 40th anniversary edition of Dakar Rally! Beside the above mentioned, there will be 5 cars in the regularity category, making the total number of cars 114, joined by 70 bikes and quads, 24 buggies of Polaris Experience, 7 participants in Para Baja and 14 trucks.
Star-studded field in cars
The entry list is topped by not less than 13 FIA priority drivers from four continents and 9 countries: Qatar, Poland, Argentina, Brazil, Czech Republic, South Africa, Finland, Portugal and Spain, including Nani Roma and Nasser Al-Attiyah, two multiple Dakar winners and also multiple winners of the event.
But they can expect fierce battles with former WRC aces Mikko Hirvonen and Xevi Pons, Czech Republic’s Miroslav Zapletal and Martin Prokop, or Argentinian Orlando Terranova. It will be worth also to keep an eye on Poland’s Aron Domzala (reigning World Cup winner in T3 and winner of the first round of the World Cup), Leeroy Poulter from South Africa, or Peruvian Nicolas Fuchs.
Portuguese neighbours are set to field more than half a dozen cars in Teruel, including the Toyotas of Joao Ramos and Alejandro Martins, the Nissan of Ricardo Leal dos Santos and the Ford Ranger Dakar of former Portuguese champion Ricardo Porem. Porem and Pons will be joined by a third Ranger, driven by Czech Republic’s Tomas Ourednicek. As a sole representative of his country and his brand, Hungary’s Pal Lonyai starts with the spectacular (and fast) Porsche Macan.
In bikes, the reigning champion of the event, Joan Barreda will be challenged by 5 times Enduro World Champion Ivan Cervantes, rally champion Chus Puras, former trial biker Dani Oliveras, or former FIM World Cup for Bajas champions Adrien Mare from Monaco and Alessandro Ruoso from Italy. In quads, big battle is expected between the “Black Knight” (Jose Luis Espinosa, Spain) and local ace Mario Gajon, winner of the category in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
A family affair in trucks
In trucks, young Czech driver Martin Macik, who won the event as the co-driver of his father in 2009, is now looking for a first victory in Spain as driver, while team Bonver Dakar Project lines up with four trucks, including Albert Llovera and Tomas Vratny.