World Rally-Raid Championship

Drivers drown at Italian Baja, Joao Dias leads survivors

4 Mins read
Credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing Baltics

Everyone arrived in Italy with hopes of building more momentum towards the FIA European Baja Cup. Many left more drenched than an Olympic swimmer.

The Italian Baja, second round of the 2024 season, took competitors through a multitude of river beds and muddy water crossings. Consequently, attrition was especially high with only four of the ten Ultimate cars and just three of six SSVs reaching the finish.

Although it is the premier subcategory, T1+ cars struggled with only one reaching the finish. Benediktas Vanagas had a hydrolock in his Toyota Hilux’s engine after water got into the system, leaving him stranded on an eyot until his team could pull him out. Stefan Carmans‘ Red-Lined REVO T1+, a new vehicle to the European Cup, suffered a litany of issues that began with the starter failing on the first stage, then the power steering the next, and time expiring on the last.

João Ferreira‘s Mini was the only T1+ to complete the race in second, nearly six minutes behind Manuele Mengozzi. While this entrenched him atop the points standings, he certainly would have liked to close that gap or even leave with the win instead. Ferreira won both Selective Sections on the final day but lost too much time during the first leg to a battery problem.

Andrea Schiumarini‘s rear-wheel-drive Century CR6 also experienced setbacks but managed to join Mengozzi and Ferreira on the class podium. Magdalena Zajac was the only other Ultimate finisher.

With the Ultimates having a hard time, side-by-sides ruled the race. João Dias and his Can-Am Maverick set the best time among all competitors, beating fellow Challenger driver Adam Kus for the overall by over a minute while the SSV of Fidel Castillo Ruiz was third. Mengozzi was the highest-placing Ultimate car in fifth and was also the top driver in the national championship.

Tomasz Białkowski, who won SSV at the season-opening Baja TT Dehesa Extremadura in May, retired after his Can-Am Maverick caught fire. Classmate Amerigo Ventura‘s home race ended with a broken steering rack. The SSV of İsrafil Akyüz was disqualified before the race start after his fuel tank, safety harness, window net were found to be noncompliant.

In total, only fourteen FIA cars finished the race.

The Prologue stage on Friday was named the “Giulia Maroni” in honour of the late navigator who died in an accident in January. Maroni was the 2021 Italian Cross-Country Champion who went on to compete in the European Baja Cup and Dakar Classic.

Overall results



1209Manuele MengozziMirko BrunMy Racing AutosportToyota Hilux OverdriveT1.14:22:22.0Leader
2200João FerreiraFilipe PalmeiroX-raid Mini JCW TeamMini John Cooper Works Rally PlusT1+4:27:55.4+ 5:53.4
3208Andrea Schiumarini*Maurizio GeriniTH-Trucks TeamCentury CR6T1.24:34:11.1+ 12:59.1
4205Magdalena ZajacBłażej CzekanProxcars TME Rally TeamToyota HiluxT1.14:54:38.9+ 32:16.9
DNF201Francisco BarretoCarlos SilvaBarata Racing TeamToyota HiluxT1+DNFN/A
DNF202Benediktas VanagasKuldar SikkToyota Gazoo Racing BalticsToyota GR DKR HiluxT1.1DNFN/A
DNF203Michał MałuszyńskiŁukasz KurzejaMichał MałuszyńskiMini John Cooper Works Rally PlusT1+DNFN/A
DNF204Włodzimierz GrajekMichał GoleniewskiGrajek Rally TeamToyota HiluxT1+DNFN/A
DNF206Stefan Carmans*Antonius Van TielRed-Lined MotorsportRed-Lined REVO T1+T1+DNFN/A
DNF207Pál Lónyai*Gyorgy TothLP Racing Korlátolt Felelősségű TársaságLPR Porsche MacanT1.1DNFN/A
* – Not competing for European Baja Cup points


1302João DiasJoão Pedro RéSantag RallyCan-Am Maverick X34:08:18.4Leader
2301Adam KusMarcin PasekGRallyTeamGRally OT34:09:11.3+ 1:12.9
3304Paulo Jorge RodriguesJoão Filipe Ferreira MirandaSantag RallyCan-Am Maverick X34:21:47.5+ 13:39.1
4300Alexandre PintoBernardo OliveiraOld Friends Rally TeamCan-Am Maverick X34:23:08.2+ 14:49.8
5308Andrea Castagnera*Elisa TassileAndrea CastagneraCan-Am Maverick X34:37:43.8+ 30:35.5
6306Richard Aczel*Allan HarrymanRichard AczelArcane T35:03:56.5+ 55:48.1
DNF303Fernando ÁlvarezXavier PanseriGRallyTeamGRally OT3DNFN/A
DNF305Roberto Rodríguez GamboaHerman Rodríguez GamboaHerrador Factory TeamHerrator Inzane 901DNFN/A
DNF307Federico Buttò*Alberto MarconFederico ButtòCan-Am Maverick X3DNFN/A
DNF309Miklós Trébitsch*Sandor TrébitschBedu RacingBedu Pro X3DNFN/A
DNF310Jean-Denis Piccini*Gilles MondesirJean-Denis PicciniCan-Am Hybrid T3DNFN/A


1401Fidel Castillo RuizFausto MotaAhúja RacingCan-Am Maverick X34:10:24.4Leader
2402Miquel Prat MartínezIon Del Cid OdriozolaMiquel Prat MartínezYamaha YXZ1000R4:30:45.1+ 20:20.7
3404Yağız BirinciEvangelos SotirchosYağız BirinciCan-Am Maverick X34:47:22.1+ 38:57.8
DNF400Tomasz BiałkowskiDariusz BaśkiewiczKamena Rally TeamCan-Am Maverick X3DNFN/A
DNF403William BullerDaniel JordãoWilliam BullerYamaha YXZ1000RDNFN/A
DNF406Amerigo Ventura*Erika MingozziQuaddy RacingYamaha YXZ1000RDNFN/A
DNS405İsrafil AkyüzTepe Mertİsrafil AkyüzCan-Am Maverick X3DNSN/A


1500Fernando BarreirosAntonio Rui Manuel PereiraFernando BarreirosIsuzu D-Max7:00:58.0Leader



1209Manuele MengozziMirko BrunMy Racing AutosportToyota Hilux OverdriveT12:53:45.3Leader
2208Andrea SchiumariniMaurizio GeriniTH-Trucks TeamCentury CR6T12:54:25.7+ 40.4
3701Alfio BordonaroStefano Lovisa888 Team by Ito MotorsportSuzuki Grand VitaraT13:10:20.0+ 16:34.7
4710Elvis BorsoiStefano PelloniElvis BorsoiMini John CooperT13:10:46.6+ 17:01.3
5706František BrutovskýAlexandra Gabriela MiklósMING Racing SportsFord F-150 EVO T1+T1+3:15:19.2+ 211:33.9
6959Lorenzo TraglioSandra CastellaniTecnosportNissan R50THS3:16:32.9+ 22:47.6
7950Giuseppe AnanassoRobert MusiGiuseppe AnanassoSuzuki Grand VitaraTH3:28:38.7+ 34:53.4
8958Simone GrossiDaniele ManoniSimone GrossiLand Rover DefenderTH3:32:13.6+ 38:28.3
9952Alberto GazzettaAndrea PizzatoRally & CoSuzuki JimnyTH3:37:35.7+ 43:50.4
10954Filippo AndreettoFrancesco ProiettiR TeamMitsubishi PajeroTH3:43:12.0+ 49:26.7
11955Mauro CantarelloMarco MantovaniMauro CantarelloBMW X3TH4:20:12.6+ 1:26:37.3
12702Emilio FerroniDaniele FioriniEmilio FerroniSuzuki Grand VitaraT19:52:14.3+ 6:58:29.0
13956Andrea DebbiChiara Zoppellarro888 Team by Ito MotorsportDaihatsu RockyTH9:58:5.5+ 7:05:13.2
14901Gianluca MorraStefano TironiRally & CoSuzuki Grand VitaraT242:18:00.0+ 39:24:14.7
DNF703Sergio GallettiDaniele FontanaR TeamSuzuki Grand VitaraT1DNFN/A
DNF705Imre VargaToma JózsefVarga Racing TeamToyota Hilux OverdriveT1DNFN/A
DNF707Andrea ToroPaolo ManfrediniToro BuggyToro BuggyT1DNFN/A
DNF708Riccardo BenettoloAlessandro GrandinRiccardo BenettoloIsuzu TrooperT1DNFN/A
DNF709Stefano SabellicoAndrea TaloniStefano SabellicoSuzuki Grand VitaraT1DNFN/A
DNF900Alberto SpinettiLara GiustiR TeamSuzuki Grand VitaraT2DNFN/A
DNF902Lorenzo CodecàGilberto MinettiLorenzo CodecàSuzuki Grand VitaraT2DNFN/A
DNF951Claudio AllegranziRoberto MarzoccoClaudio AllegranziSuzuki Grand VitaraTHDNFN/A
DNF953Luciano AndreettoGianluca SbaragliaR TeamMitsubishi Pajero EvolutionTHDNFN/A
DNF957Paolo SemeraroGiuditta ViganòPaolo SemeraroSuzuki JimnyTHDNFN/A


1854Garamvölgyi ZoltánAntal TakácsGarilla RacingGarilla X3 EVOT4N2:55:36.3Leader
2859Szilárd KánnárViktoria HorvathGarilla RacingCan-Am Maverick X3T4N2:58:19.8+ 2:43.5
3864Norbert LisziDorottya KapitányM1 MotorsportCan-Am Maverick X3T4N2:59:57.0+ 4:20.7
4860Robert MasiorDamian SytyRobert MasiorCan-Am Maverick X3T4N3:04:04.4+ 8:28.1
5899Fabrizio EdoardoFabrizio PietraneraFabrizio EdoardoCan-Am Maverick X3TM3:04:16.8+ 8:40.5
6862Norbert NemethPalma NemethGarilla RacingCan-Am Maverick X3T4N3:04:21.3+ 8:45.0
7308Andrea CastagneraElisa TassileAndrea CastagneraCan-Am Maverick X3T33:08:28.5+ 12:52.2
8858Tomasz FuchsWojciech WaleczekTomasz FuchsCan-Am Maverick X3T4N3:13:57.4+ 18:21.1
9856Kevin ManocchiGiada ManocchiGiada ManocchiYamaha YXZ1000RT4N3:24:09.2+ 28:32.9
10800Richard BruzsaNikolett SzokeSpeedy MotorsportBedu Pro X3T33:26:07.5+ 30:31.2
11851Andrea TomasiniAngelo MiroloAndrea TomasiniCan-Am Maverick X3T4N3:27:48.0+ 32:11.7
12307Federico ButtòAlbert MarconFederico ButtòCan-Am Maverick X3T39:40:24.2+ 6:44:47.9
13863Bartłomiej KotwicaArkadiusz JędrzejewskiGrupa PbiCan-Am Maverick X3T4N9:49:57.5+ 6:54:21.2
14855Szabolcs KollárAgnes RuffM1 MotorsportCan-Am Maverick X3T4N20:39:28.1+ 17:43:51.8
15853Michele ManocchiNicola BellottoMichele ManocchiYamaha YXZ1000RT4N25:48:54.2+ 22:53:17.9
DNF406Montecamozz VenturaErika MengozziQuaddy RacingYamaha YXZ1000RT4DNFN/A
DNF850Alessandro BonettoMatteo CastellinaAlessandro BonettoYamaha YXZ1000RT4DNFN/A
DNF852Balázs MolnárGabriella MolnárM1 MotorsportM1 XeT4NDNFN/A
DNF857Marek KubiczekFilip GolkaMarek KubiczekCan-Am Maverick X3T4NDNFN/A
DNF861Tamás SzántóAniko SzántóGarilla RacingCan-Am Maverick X3T4NDNFN/A
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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