Sara Garcia finishes FIM Baja World Championship Round One in Portugal 2nd step of podium

Sara Garcia finishes FIM Baja World Championship Round One in Portugal 2nd step of podium

Sara Garcia completed Round One of FIM Baja World Championship, named Baja do Pinhall in what was first real test of rally racing against the clock since finishing the grueling 12 Stage Dakar Rally earlier this year.

Sara Garcia Baja World Cup Round One Photo Credit: Sara

In fact, Sara not only ‘raced to finish’ Dakar Rally ‘Unassisted category’ becoming the first Spanish Woman in history, #98 proved that the will to achieve goals is mightier than anything handed to you on a plate.

Determination, courage to break through even the most difficult of days which started at dawn and went on well into the night, Sara set bar high on pursing her career racing World Rally Championships.

With FIM Baja World Cup Round One initially postponed due to increase in fire risk, it was welcome start to the 2 day competition which was divided into 3 timed sections covering 300kms.

Sara: ‘In the first 80kms special the terrain played into my favour, they were quite fast tracks and the grip was incredible. Although at first it took me a bit to get a feel for the Portuguese terrain (quite different from where we usually train), finally I was able to squeeze a small advantage in my pocket’.

Although Sara’s first position in Stage 1 marked 2 minute 16 seconds gap back to second place, Day 2 across 2 timed specials tested all rider’s adaptability to changeable weather conditions. From dry, to wet, making navigation tricky on slippery, hard to see route, the Zamora rider dialed back throttle saving risk of accident or worse.

Sara Garcia FIM Baja World Championship Round One Photo Credit: Sara

Sara: ‘Sunday began with the longest special of the test- 141 kms where they would repeat the section made the day before and extend it with a somewhat steeper mountain range. The threatening sky chased the participants through-out the weekend, but it was not until approximately 40 kms of SS2 (second stage) that the rains began’.

The occasional drop began to fall but then it became quite heavy rain which made the ground very technical and slippery. Visibility was reduced to the point of having to remove my goggles to differentiate the irregularities of the terrain’.

‘I slowed down to avoid falls and lost a lot of time’.

With Stage 3 next, Sara aimed to make up time having slotted to 2nd behind Portuguese rider Janaina Souza starting without rain and fairly clear sky. ‘Facing short special stage of 75kms, and similar profile to SS1- I went out to try to cut the time lost in SS2. I only had a few kms to try it, finally claiming meritorious second place in the Women’s category’.

With only 5 minutes 14 seconds from top step podium claimed by Souza, Sara finished 30th in Bike General classification time of 5h 10 minutes 31 seconds.

Special thanks to Sara for report.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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