The final stage of the Lithuanian automobile rally championship “Samsonas Rally Utena” started on Friday in Utena. More than a hundred crews from nine countries are registered in this competition. On the first day participants had to overcome six stages and after which guests from Finland – Sami Pajari and Janni Hussi – took the lead.
Sami Pajari and Janni Hussi, who started in Utena in the Škoda Fabia N5+ car of Martynas Samsonas, the name partner of this competition, started dictating the pace from the very beginning of the competition. They also performed best in the shakedown and a little later they won five of six stages on the first day of the rally. Sami Pajari and Janni Hussi didn’t win the only Special Stage – the second night stage on the streets of Utena. They were overtaken here by Dominykas Butvilas with Renat Vaitkevičius by 0.6 seconds.
After the first day of the rally, the leaders from Finland and their closest pursuers – Dominykas Butvilas and Renatas Vaitkevičius – are separated by 12.6 seconds. Such an advantage certainly does not give peace to the guests from Finland. Just one more serious mistake can change the situation in favor of Lithuanians.
The duo of Giedrius Notkus and Dalius Strižanas is classified in the third place after the first day of “Samsonas Rally Utena”, but Vladas Jurkevičius and Aisvydas Paliukėnas, who are lining up behind them, lose just 0.6 seconds. and so far there are in fourth position.
After the first day of the competition, Martynas Samsonas, nominal partner of this competition, is leading in the one-axle driven cars standings, for whom Ervinas Snitkas reads the pacenotes. The leaders driving the BMW M3 car are already more than a minute ahead of the duo of Renaldas and Katažina Šeinauskai who are classified in second place after six stages. Third after the first day in the ranks of 2WD participants – Mantas Jurgaitis with Vaidas Šmigelskas.
The first day of competition eliminated 12 crews from the fight. Cars not only mourn but also honk. The duet of Jonas Sluckus and Giedrius Šileikis suffered perhaps the worst accident. They hit a tree so hard that the engine of their Škoda Fabia R5 just flew out during the accident which also caught fire after falling on the track. During the accident, the crew avoided serious injuries, but the competition was over for them.
After the night races of the first day, from 9.30 p.m. a concert of the group “Begėdžiai” is planned, which will take place on the big outdoor stage near the Utena center of culture.
Saturday is the second day of the rally. It will start at 8:25 a.m., when the first car will start on the first stage of the second day. The prize-giving ceremony of “Samsonas Rally Utena” are scheduled at 9:00 p.m., followed by a concert by Donatas Montvydas and the band. The second day of the competition will also have a live broadcast. The broadcast will take place on rally „Facebook“ page.
More information about the list of participants, the start times of the sprints, the results and other information can be found at www.autorally.lt and on the organizers’ page at www.samsonasrally.com. Tickets to the rally will cost 10 euros. They will be available at the entrances to the Special Stages and at the Creative Industries Center “Taurapilis”. “Samsonas Rally Utena” competition is sponsored by the Utena district municipality.