Monster Energy Can-Am team’s Aron Domżala and navigator Maciej Marton fought back from first day problems to claim third place in the FIA T4 category at Hail Baja 1, round four of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas.
Driving his Can-Am Maverick X3 side-by-side vehicle customised to the technical specification of the new T4 category, the Polish driver was forced to take a maximum time penalty for the opening stage, but points earned for third place in T4 means that his fight for the title with Dutchman Kees Koolen heads to a final round showdown.
Domżala’s hopes of confirming the FIA T4 title on Hail Baja 1 suffered the setback when an electrical issue meant that he struggled at the start and was then forced to change two drive shafts after 60km to enable him to continue in two-wheel drive.
The decision was taken for the Pole to take a stage maximum penalty of seven hours and he slipped out of contention for a stage win that eventually fell to title rival Koolen in his South Racing Can-Am. The Dutchman’s team-mates Khalifa Al-Attiyah and Lorenço Rosa were second and third.
After sterling work by the Monster Energy Can-Am Team’s mechanics, Domżala was able to set the fastest time on the second stage of 275.54km.
Monster Energy South Racing Can-Am team’s Scott Abraham said: “It was a difficult first day to the rally. An electrical problem meant that the car would not go into four-wheel drive. Aron was driving the stage with two-wheel drive, but we decided it was better to save the car and restart day two. He had a strong stage today and only had one small navigational error. The important thing was that he brought the car home in a points’ position for the championship and we are looking forward to Baja Hail 2.”
The second of the Hail Bajas has a shorter format and offers two selective sections of 311.57km and 180.29km on December 15 and 16.
2020 Baja Hail 1 – T4 results
1. Kees Koolen (NLD)/urgen van den Goorbergh (NLD) South Racing Can-Am Maverick X3 7hr 41min 43sec
2. Khalifa Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Paolo Ceci (ITA) South Racing Can-Am Maverick X3 7hr 49min 05sec
3. Aron Domzala (POL)/Maciej Marton (POL) Monster Energy Can-Am Maverick X3 19hr 43min 08sec
Lorenço Rosa (PRT)/Joaquim Dias (PRT) South Racing Can-Am Maverick X3 DNF
Source: Monster Energy Can-Am Team press release