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Thousands of spectators are attracted by the winter rallies to the rare beauty neighbourhoods of Visaginas, and these rallies are as famous as the “Visaginas Country” international music festivals. This is why they say that if a special stage during these rallies is not watched by 30 to 40 thousand spectators, the event is considered unsuccessful.

This year the winter rally festival of Lithuania will acquire new and even more attractive features. Not only the organiser but also the name of the rally have changed and the wider representation in geographic terms is expected. On the other hand the rally will be more compact, more dynamic and more attractive to both the spectators and the participants.

For the first time the Lithuanian Automotive Sports Federation entrusted the organisation of the winter rally, which is at the same time first leg of the national open rally championship, to the PI “Egzotikos” autosportas having extensive experience of organising other automotive sports competitions. In view of enlargement of the geography of the race the name of the rally has been changed to “Visagino, Ignalinos ir Zarasų Egzotika 2006”. The name of the rally represents the name of the organiser and geographical location of the race. The 10 stages of the rally will run along the roads of the picturesque Visaginas, Ignalina and Zarasai landscapes. Total length of the stages is 91 km and on the day of the competition the racers will have to cover the distance of only 173 km. So such quick transfers from one stage to another have never occurred in the history of the national rallies, so the characterising word “compact” is probably too faint to express its attractiveness.

Another attractive feature, especially to foreign racers, is that all stages have been newly selected. Only one stage is the same like in the last year. By this organiser made steps to equalise opportunities to all participants in their contest for prizes or points in the starting championship.

The competition will last only one day – Saturday, January 28. At 10:00 the race will start and at 18:30 we will already be greeting the first finishers. The real desert to spectators at the end of the race will be the two final stages (total length of 33 km) taking place already in dusk. However, for the racers themselves these “night” kilometres will be a hard nut to crack and a certain climax of the race decisive in who wins the main prize and gets a better position on the table.

The exclusive feature of the “Visagino, Ignalinos ir Zarasų Egzotika 2006” rally is the impressive prize waiting for the speediest competitors. The organisers will hand in the keys from a new “Volkswagen Polo” to the winning crew. It has been a long time since such an impressive prize was tempting the participants of the national rally. The last time such prize (also offered by the same “Egzotikos” autosportas) was given away to the winners in 2003, and it went to the multiple winner of the Estonian rally champion Margus Murak. It is interesting to note that during this winter rally the “Egzotikos” autotransportas will give the keys already to the fifth “Volkswagen Polo”. Two cars of this model in different years were won by Ivar Raidam, the most titled Estonian racer having won his country championship 11 times, one car went to Margus Murak, the multiple champion of Estonia and the current champion of Latvia, and only once to the local racers Saulius Girdauskas and Žilvinas Sakalauskas.

So, the score in the struggle for these valuable prizes is 3:1 with the Estonians winning against the Lithuanians. Nothing but the hope is comforting us that this fact will pull the strings of ambition of ours and of our neighbour countries who have the golden chance to demonstrate their will and intent at the “Visagino, Ignalinos ir Zarasų Egzotika 2006”rally taking place on January 28.

The attractive part of this rally is that on the eve of the competition Friday, January 27 all participants may take part in the reconnaissance of the winter rally course. The racers themselves say that it meets their interests. Such order is especially useful to foreign racers who have an opportunity to do reconnaissance and the next day take part in the principal event and on Sunday already be sharing hot impressions from the race.

The impressive main prize and the input of the organisers lead to the expectation that in this winter rally we will see not only the leading rally racers from our country, but also champions of Estonia, Latvia, Poland and may be other countries. And of course numerous WCR cars as the promises to come have been given by the above mentioned M. Murak, Lezek Kuzaj, current champion of Poland and several other stars of similar brightness, whose racing magnetises attention of the spectators.

The organiser of the rally “Egzotikos” autosportas is expecting applications from participants to be sent to the address: J.Basanavičiaus 69B, Panevėžys, phone: +370-45-587373, +370-45-596601, fax: +370-45-508484, e-mail: [email protected]
More information: www.egzotika.lt, www.lasf.lt .
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