Inessa Tushkanova

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Blue Lake in 2013, the first race in Russia

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The story starts with a visit to our friends at ROLF Imports who gave us a wonderful Mitsubishi Lancer 1.6 for the track reconnaissance, after which we headed our way to the city of Nevel. The road to Nevel from Moscow is a disaster, but no surprise for someone from Russia.

Just like the road, the circumstances in our “Soviet” accommodation Blue Lakes were just as terrible as if it was never changed since the time it was built, something worthy for the thrill seekers, but also fun for ourselves to “go back in time”. For example, many people were complaining about the stench from the hydrogen sulfide water.

Endless BBQ’s filled the horizon near the lakeside until the race and the evenings were full of screams, laughs and doors being slammed, so it was nearly impossible to get healthy race car driver sleep. The heating was still working in our “hotel”, but it did not prevent us from catching cold after sleeping under two thick sheets. On the other side, it is wonderful to see that all the people do not mention these negative aspects because of their love for the rally.

On our next day we started with the 80 km track reconnaissance with our Mitsubishi Lancer after which we went to the service point to get to know the technical aspects of our race car better: for example, a real race car driver has to know how to change the wheel of a particular car in the most efficient way.

And now some words about the race itself…

After the start my co-pilot Marina starts with her instructions: 200 jump, caution and so on to which I say: Marina, chill out, we did not even move yet… This was one of our main problems, to get familiar with a slower car than we are used to. I also always had the impression that the car was broken because of the heavy track for “more serious cars”. On our second stage we have entered the retarder too fast and went off track, after which I changed gear in “Evo’s reverse”, but it was a Polo, so the engine stalled. To complete: the adaptation process lasted the whole race.

Also, we had good hope to make a “rally jump”, so when we approached one I asked Marina: should we do it? Hold on! But because of the lack of power the car just rolled over it which resulted in a good laugh.

I got a bit disappointed when I looked at the times for the first time and saw that we were fourth, but in the same time I was glad that there was competition! This also encouraged Marina to work even harder, which eventually resulted in third place. Overall this was also a great training to broad my horizon of a race car driver.

The car itself was quite a surprise. Of course, it is not an Evo 9 or 10, but its neither a shitty car. It is full of modern equipment with for example Reiger suspension which is considered to be the best that there is available. Overall the car resulted in positive emotions and experience.

Just like the car, the DMACK CUP is a positive feature itself. Same cars, people in similar clothing and another attributes ensure great ambiance. We were warmly welcomed by the organization and the technical support team was a great feature: overall perfect ingredients that make rally pleasant to experience. Another positive feature is that DMACK CUP winners ceremony is the first one out of all other competitions that day, so you don’t have to wait.

On our way back home we finally made our jump on a shitty highway of Russia, which was ironic but funny. However, 100 kilometers further we destroyed our wheel after hitting a pothole. Marina strongly prohibited me from changing the wheel in the middle of the night , as It isn’t smartest thing to do for two girls in the middle of nowhere. Luckily for us, we encountered a service car on our way so the guys helped us out and we continued our way to Moscow. Next stop: Dutch Time Attack in Assen on May the 20th!

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