N°319 Car AGRORODEO

VAIDOTAS ZALA

(ltu) 1.83m / 75kg

Sponsors

Agrorodeo, Melt Water, Šiaulių bankas, Lesta, Bunasta, Valvoline, Draudimas.lt, Stokker, Klaipėdos FEZ, Švenčių studija, MINI Lietuva

2019: 12th
2018: 18th
2017: Ab. Stage 5
2016: Ab. Stage 11

2019: Rally Zemaitija (1st), Rally Elektrenai (1st), Samsonas Rally Rokiskis (1st), Rally Classic (1st) - Lithuanian Rally Champion 2019
2018: Rally Classic (1st), Rally Elektrenai (2nd), Samsonas Rally Rokiskis (1st), Rally Zemaitija (1st)
2017: Samsonas Rally Rokiskis (4th), Rally Zemaitija (7th)
2016: 300 Lakes Rally (1st), Rally Zemaitija (3rd)
2015: Classic Rally Druskininkai (1st), DHL Rally Elektrenai (1st), 300 Lakes Rally (2nd)
2014: Classic Rally Druskininkai (1st), Ralis Kauno Ruduo (4th), Rally Zemaitija (4th)
2013: Classic Rally Druskininkai (5th), Rally Ozerniy Kray (1st), Halls Winter Rally (7th)

Interview

“Speculating on results brings you bad karma!”

Like many competitors at this 42nd edition of the Dakar, Vaidotas Zala is relishing the prospect of tackling the sands of Saudi Arabia. The newly crowned Lithuanian Rally Champion is only 32, but he has already taken part in the world's biggest rally four times, claiming an impressive 12th place a year ago. He and co-driver Saulius Jurgelenas failed to finish in 2016 and 2017 due to mechanical issues with their Lithuanian-built Seat, but enjoyed happier fortunes in the next two editions in a tried-and-tested Toyota Hilux. This year they have chosen to twist again, selling their Hilux to fellow Lithuanian competitor Edvinas Juskauskas and opting instead for a Mini John Cooper Works Rally, which could help them crack the top 10 for the first time. Vaidotas prefers to take things day by day rather than setting any particular targets, but there is no doubt that after an excellent 2019 -which saw him win a host of rallies on home soil and conquer his national title- the Agrorodeo driver will be one to watch. He has already been racing for around a decade after completing his university studies in Birmingham, UK, and is pleased to see so many car crews from back home -five in total- taking part in this year's Dakar.

V.Z.: “Saudi Arabia will be a mystery for everyone until this first year, we only have a rough idea what to expect. But the change is welcome, we spent quite a while in South America and it was time for something new. The big advantages are the terrain -in Saudi Arabia there will be rocks, riverbeds, lots of dunes- and it will be dry, which is a big advantage over places like Bolivia. The elevation is not excessive, the temperatures are moderate, and the timezone is a big plus for us and for the spectators. It'll be easier to follow the Dakar! We'll see what happens in January, but of course we want to do the best possible job day to day. We always focus on the 12 hours ahead, which is more productive in the long term. Even at home before the rally, I try to avoid speculating on results, because it brings you bad karma! The Mini is great, much better. It's very different to the Hilux. It's a modern car, where the weight is distributed low between the axles. It's much lighter than the Overdrive we had, and the torque is higher. We've done around 400 stage kilometers of testing it made a really good impression. We'll leave any betting on the top Lithuanian driver to the spectators, but I think the line-up from our country is quite impressive. It's pretty small, so the number of crews per capita must be one of the highest on the Dakar.”

Vehicle

AGRORODEO

  • Mark : MINI
  • Model : ALL4 RACING
  • Performance tuner : X-Raid
  • Assistance : EAMV Motorsport
  • Class : T1.2 diesel modified A-T 4x4

Ranking 2020

Scratch Stage General
1 1 1 1
2 10 10 5
3 32 32 10
4 21 21 12
5 45 44 20
6 18 18 19
7 15 15 18
8 19 19 17
9 14 14 16
10 19 19 16
11 20 20 15
12 62 62 26

All news of V. Zala

Newsflashes - 06/01 09:26 [GMT +3] - Auto

Zala opens the way

The first car has started the special on time. Following his excellent result yesterday, the pressure will be on Vaidotas Zala, who starts 3 minutes in front of Stéphane Peterhansel and 6 minutes ahead of Carlos Sainz. It will be interesting to see if the Lithuanian is able to repeat his performance on the first stage...

Newsflashes - 05/01 15:17 [GMT +3] - Auto

Vaidotas Žala storms to upset victory

Vaidotas Žala navigated the pitfalls of the opening special to spring a surprise with his maiden Dakar stage win. The 32-year-old Lithuanian, racing in his fifth Dakar, is the first overall leader with two minutes to spare over a legend like Stéphane Peterhansel.

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