CRAFT Bearings team finished Rally Kazakhstan in 6th place!
The CRAFT Bearings Rally team and driver Antanas Juknevičius repeated the Lithuanian record at the FIA World Cross-Country Rally – arriving No 6th to the finish. The stretch of Kazakhstan stage was the longest in the whole Cup. Also, it was assigned the highest complexity factor. During the whole season, Kazakhstan stage is considered to be the toughest.
The CRAFT Bearings rally team and Antanas Juknevičius repeated the Lithuanian record at the FIA World Championship – arriving No 6th to the finish.
The last day of the FIA World Cross-Country Rally Cup in Kazakhstan had to be symbolic, but turned into a real drama – as many as three cars were overturned, and the CRAFT Bearings team experienced trouble for the first time in this rally. Antanas Juknevičius and Darius Vaičiulis arrived to the finish without a spare wheel, took the 6th place after the verdict of the jury and repeated the record of Antanas from the year 2011.
Only 147 km were left out of more than 2,500 km in the last stage. Not surprising, it was a real drama for the racers: three cars overturned on the track, and the only Lithuanians in the competition Antanas Juknevičius and Darius Vaičiulis arrived to the finish with just one spare wheel – two were replaced and one left on the track. The race regulations state that drivers have to complete the course with at least two spare wheels on the race car, therefore, the CRAFT Bearings team got a penalty which has brought to the end any hope to become one of the FIA stars.
“Perhaps everyone was so enthralled about the coastal panorama that we lost our concentration,” smiled Antanas Juknevičius, who took the 21st place, the record high for the Baltic countries this year in Dakar. “Three cars overturned before us, we punctured two tires with a single stroke, although we have driven more than 2000 km without replacing the wheels. We even caught our biggest competitor in the TOP-5 fight, he also had troubles – overturning on the track. Indeed, it was a real lesson to everyone indicating that the last kilometers can still mean a lot. We congratulate Darius for overcoming the first stage of the world championship, and the whole team for successful finishing and training halfway through Dakar.”
The CRAFT Bearings team will take part in the 2018 Dakar Rally in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina on January 6-20. It will be an anniversary, the 40th time when this competition is held. It is called the world’s toughest off-road marathon.