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February 23rd 2008, 21:16

Marc Roy: As for me, this race perfectly meets the FIA requirements

He is here for the 4th time. At this race he is working as the chief steward, and at home holds the position of vice-president in the National Motorsport Federation, not to forget hes a member of the FIA commission for Cross Country rallies and the organizer of the final round of the French Rally Cup. Meet Marc Roy!

By the way, it is up to him that Saint Petersburg’s name was attached to the rally’s title. What else has changed since last year?

M.Roy: The biggest change is the amount of foreign journalists who are present here -- from France, Germany, Portugal, Hungary, etc… It’s the first time this race has welcomed so much foreign media, and it’s an especially positive moment. And to name this raid after Saint Petersburg was a key issue. For most of people in Europe the words “Northern Forest” mean nothing, while St. Petersburg is a reference point, the Name, the Brand! Initially I suggested holding the ceremonial start around the Bronze Horseman – it’s a picturesque place, it would have been so spectacular!

I have been presenting this race to the French Motorsport Federation for the past two years, and this time I expected to see more French crews, at least five. We eagerly wanted Luc Alphand to come here, and he was planning it too, but unfortunately there wasn’t any car suitable for this race. It’s really difficult to find a worthy replacement for the works Mitsubishi car. Returning to the subject of what has been done for this year’s competition, I must mention the Superspecial Stage and the resort Igora (where the headquarters and accommodation are) as particularly positive features. But what we lack this year is snow!

Talking about the race organization, this time the rally perfectly meets FIA requirements. Iritrack and Sentinel systems are being used. And just look at the wonderful spectators area; we sit together in a tent and watch three cars at the same time! As for the competitive side, all 4 years I’ve been coming here, I’ve enjoyed the work of marshals at CPs.

Marc, I’d like you to criticize this race a bit. What problems you can pick on?

For example, we’ve just discussed that the refueling area is situated in a crowded place, and that’s is not right from the in regard to safety. But I don’t see any significant negative factors, only small details. I suppose, we can compare this race with the Portuguese round that is considered to be ideal. More important is that this race is unique; you can find nothing similar in the world. I hope that our official observer Ronan Morgan feels the same. Now it will be up to the FIA whether to include the raid in the International Cup.

It’s considered in Russia that we should learn from western experience. What can the West take from us?

Benevolence and kindness. Enormously warm treatment and hospitality.

Irina Kirillovna Boyarskaya

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