After the prologue speed section CFMOTO Factory Racing Team members talked about a pleasant ride with a view of the sea, then the first day of the marathon was already completely different. The organizers decided to show the participants immediately why they call the Rally Albania competition the most difficult one.
The first day of the race was not really easy. Team members had to ride on mountain serpentines, where dangerous rocks awaited them. In addition, the situation was aggravated by the exhausting heat.
"Mountain views are unreal. Everything was really enjoyable except the extreme heat. Sometimes I was feeling even sick. I drank all two liters of water I was carrying with me. Immediately after the finish I had to refresh myself under the waterfall. I didn’t have any incidents. I changed the shock absorbers to softer ones, because the tracks here are very similar to Hunt The Wolf in Romania. Only here we drive with a road book, and there - with GPS. There were a number of speed limits today, lots of mountain roads. The style is very similar to Enduro. So, the mood is good. Preliminary - first place ", - said ATV pilot Adomas Gančierius.
Antanas Kanopkinas, another rider of the team, racing an ATV, also mentioned the exhausting heat. Although the team competed in Africa this year and also faced extreme heat, in Albania, according to Antanas, the heat is more severe.
“It was the hardest day of my life. The heat along with the slow ride just exhausted me. It was very difficult in every sense. In Africa, 30 degrees didn’t even feel so hot, here the same 30C is unbearable. This reduces the concentration, and the speed sections in Albania are really dangerous - with steep slopes, stony places. On the way we also met other obstacles- tractors, cars, cows. You have to drive carefully, but at the same time think about the result, ”said Antanas Kanopkinas.
The duo of Darius Biesevičius and Audronė Kanopkinienė, competing in the SSV class, had technical problems today. They had to stop because of a damaged suspension. Eventually the team managed to replace the part and reached the finish line. Although, they were forced to choose a much slower pace.
“The first speed section was very fast for me and Darius. We bypassed several crews who made navigational mistakes. The ride was challenging because the action took place in serpentines, where it was very narrow and high in altitude. It was also difficult for the vehicles. Although the buggy worked fantastically, later we didn’t see the pit and bent an a-arm into it. But Darius is a true technical guru and he changed the part in an hour so we could move on. We could no longer attack, we drove slowly. There were another 90 kilometers left before the finish, which was definitely a big challenge for us. But we are at the finish. The mechanics will inspect the buggy and we will start tomorrow, ”said Audronė Kanopkinienė.
On Monday, the second day of Rally Albania, the CFMOTO Factory Racing Team will have to cover another 180 kilometers.