The eighth place of Gran Canaria Javier Rodríguez and Tenerife co-driver Yony Pérez in the Baja World Championship is full of anecdotes and stones along the way, which enhances their debut in a championship in which budgetary limitations prevented them from finishing at the top. 5′. Now they need to close the budget for 2024 in which he wants to represent the Canary Islands again in this competition.
Behind the meritorious eighth place of Javier Rodríguez from Gran Canaria in his debut in the Baja World Cup lies an odyssey that highlights his feat even more: carrying the Canarian flag to the top 10 of the demanding competition.. Unlike World Championship Rallyes, this is less extensive in terms of the number of tests, but much longer in terms of the timed sections and the links between the specials, which force the driver to be “concentrated in race mode for more than three hours.”
He side by side with which it competes in the World Cup has some differences with the vehicles that compete, for example, in the Dakar. It has the engine of a snowmobile and a sequential transmission instead of the automatic one, which in the opinion of the Gran Canarian driver “makes driving much more fun and makes you feel as if you were the master of the road.”
To put a but to his first experience in the World Cup competition, the man from Telde is clear about it. He points to the «restrictions imposed on us by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) when competing. To be able to race, you need homologation to be in possession of the FIA passport and that affects details such as “the safety bars of the car or the tank and gasoline intake, which is different from that of other vehicles; “That meant we didn’t know if we were going to be approved until we arrived in Poland.”
Outraged, the islander recounts a incident in Portugal: «The marshals, after running in three tests, refused to verify the vehicle, claiming that the fuel intake did not comply with the approval, although in the other three tests they had allowed us to run with it, although it was not exactly the approved one» .
«There were about twenty drivers racing but all of them were racing in the Portuguese championship and not in the FIA. They did not need that fuel intake, they clung to a safety issue when all those pilots did not comply with that rule and in their case it was safe to race, even though they passed by the same place and faster than me,” explains Rodríguez. , who did not understand the refusal given that “it was not a component that would give me more performance or greater power.”
Due to the accident of another competitor that left him out of the race, “we were able to convince him to lend us that part.” “We set it up and finished preparing the car at four in the morning to pass the inspection at six and go out to compete,” he says.
Financial problems prevented them from traveling to Dubai to defend the fifth place in which they reached the last event: “When our rivals found out that we would not travel, they did so to score points and pass us.”
A lot of money
Javier Rodríguez points out that in this modality “there are teams that move a lot of money and that are professionals.” “They only dedicate themselves to running this type of races, it’s another level, while I had never run on dirt before,” he admits.
The Teldense would sign “to do the tests that I ran this year in 2024, because if I don’t go fast enough to be among the top three, it is not worth the economic effort to complete the entire World Cup.”
«While we went with a van, the car and a tent, next to us you saw the 4×4 people with two trailers, with their catering service and we had to compete with teams that 70 or 80% of them were now going to participate. in the Dakar,” he explains.
“I’m fighting to get the subsidy, because without the support of the Cabildo and the Government of the Canary Islands I can’t compete,” says the man from Telde.
The Dakar, the pending subject
Javier Rodríguez acknowledges that he does not rule out trying his luck in the Dakar in the future, although he is clear that if the opportunity arises he would do it on a motorcycle. “Competing on a motorcycle, I did four rounds in the World Championship in Sardinia and I considered participating in the Dakar, because maybe I lacked some technique, but I navigated very well.” “In the Dakar, navigation is very important in addition to the physical and psychological component,” he explains. “In cars I have not considered it because of the financial effort it entails,” so he is clear that he prefers for the moment “to do the Baja World Championship, because I am not risking my entire budget on a test.” “This year I leaned towards the Baja World Championship and not the Rally event, because there weren’t too many events in Europe and it didn’t give me the budget I had,” he concludes.
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