N°337 Car AGRORODEO

VAIDOTAS ZALA

(ltu) Born on 28/08/1987 at Vilnius 1.83m / 75kg

Sponsors

Agrorodeo, Rimo, Scania, Lesta, Šiaulių bankas, Valvoline, Draudimas.lt, Stokker, Klaipėdos FEZ, Švenčių studija, Joma Sport

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

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

“It's not my job or my hobby: it's my passion, my dream”

Vaidotas Zala may only be 31, but he has picked up plenty of driving experience on the Lithuanian rally circuit over the past eight years, having taken up the sport after his university studies in the British city of Birmingham. He is now gearing up for his fourth Dakar with co-driver Saulius Jurgelenas. Their first two participations -in a Lithuanian-built Seat- ended in disappointment, with mechanical issues forcing the pair to abandon the rally. But last year they returned in a tried-and-tested Toyota Hilux and managed an impressive 18th place. Vaidotas is coy about outlining his targets for this 2019 edition, but the multiple rally winner admits that the Agrorodeo team's ambitions have grown along with their experience. Following a series of wins on home soil this year at the Classic, Samsonas and Zemaitija Rallies, he heads to the Peruvian dunes with no shortage of confidence.

“I started racing after I finished university, so it's been eight years, but it's basically been my dream since I was a kid. I started off with classic rallying for a few years, but Dakar soon came up. It's a major goal for any motorsport enthusiast! Motorsport takes up most of my time. It's not my job or my hobby: it's my passion, my dream. We originally tried the Dakar with a car that was produced in Lithuania. But building a car is one thing, testing is another -and it can actually be a more expensive process. We bit off slightly more than we could chew. In the first year we ran out of turbos, and the second year was even shorter because the engine blew up. Everyone was quite stressed and it was technically difficult, so for the third year we decided to give it a go with a car that's been in Dakar for a while. We do want to improve, but setting a target in Dakar is tricky. There's a lot of pressure. If you say, 'I'm coming to finish in the top 10', that can end up hunting you down. It's better to keep any aims to yourself and just do your job there, do the best you can. That's more productive than thinking about specific targets. When we were still Dakar 'tourists' in 2016 we wanted to get to the finish line, but now the strategy has changed. We want to produce the best possible result. It's still sport, after all! Our attitude is different, we've become more professional and taken things to a different level.”

Vehicle

AGRORODEO

  • Mark : TOYOTA
  • Model : HILUX
  • Performance tuner : EAMV Motorsport
  • Assistance : EAMV Motorsport
  • Class : A_T1.1 : T1.1 - Véhicules 4x4 tout-terrain modifiés essence

Ranking 2019

Scratch Stage General
1 17 17 17
2 23 23 23
3 13 13 17
4 23 23 16
5 25 25 17
6 12 12 14
7 22 22 16
8 11 11 13
9 14 13 12
10 13 13 12

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