Jordi Parro Vidal, Race Head
The race was held as usual. Of course, there are incidents, such as, for example, at the 5th special stage, but force majeure circumstances occur constantly. So everything is fine.
Alexander Voronov, Minister of Youth, Physical Culture and Sports of the Republic of Karelia
This year we have a mini-anniversary – Baja is held on the Republic of Karelia territory for five years. This is the biggest competition in our region. For five years we have been awarding a special prize from the Head of the Republic. Next year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Republic. Baja "Russia – Northern Forest" is included to the calendar as a particularly important event. We invite and wait for everyone in Karelia in 2020.
Tapio Lauronen (Finland), race winner, driver
The roads are the same as a year ago, but now they are more narrow. And there were some difficulties. But I like the race, and I'm glad to win it.
Toni Tapio Lauronen (Finland), race winner, co-driver
My father and I are in the same crew. Maybe in terms of work, it is a little bit easier for me to assist my father than a person who is not related to me by family ties. But the most important thing is to do your job well. And no matter what your relationships are.
Vladimir Vasilyev (Russia), 2nd place, driver
It was a perfect race with gorgeous roads. Although this year they has been narrowly cleaned, we still got great pleasure from driving. Everyone really like the race. Even Sergey Uspensky, who said that everything was wrong for him after the first special stage, speeded up on the second day, went into a snowdrift, but was pleased. He “caught” pleasure.
And no fallen trees will spoil our mood. We had a small technical problem. But today, nothing and no one have bothered us. All the rest stopped at the fifth special stage – let these two fight.
The winter race is the only Baja of its kind, this is nothing like this in raids. We hope that the race will develop. I would like to hold the race in two regions at once. Most likely we will leave the route here, but we will move the Prologue and the Ceremonial opening closer to St. Petersburg.
Konstantin Zhiltsov (Russia), 2nd place, co-driver
We haven’t seen the tree that everyone is talking about. But we saw and crossed three other trees. These off-road competitions pass on the tracks we don’t know in advance. There may be any obstacles. The main thing is the crew’s desire to overcome them all and get to the finish line. It was not easy for us, but we coped with three trees. And it didn’t scare us. In any case, the race is great, everyone really likes it.
Benediktas Vanagas (Lithuania), 3rd place, driver
I came to this race for the first time. I usually participate in the classic rally and I’ve done it in many places. Now in Sweden the FIA World Rally Championship round is taking place, and I’m sure that many would envy your roads. You have to be very courageous to drive fast. It was interesting and technically. I think, next year I will come here again.
I’m not local and don’t know what the winds are here. But it was the third tree for 14 km. I didn't have a sword, a chainsaw, or even a knife. And we had to stop, we couldn’t overcome this obstacle. It is a pity that Miroslav Zapletal retired at the fourth special stage. We had an interesting fight. He apparently couldn’t stand the nerves. We’ve made mistakes a couple of times today, but not so much.
Bartholomiej Boba (Poland), co-driver, 3rd place
Benedictas and I are driving the first race together, we even didn’t have any tests. I really liked it and I'm happy. The Road Book is well written. We showed a good result, Benediktas drives the car perfectly. I hope to come back here.