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Rally Drives Moscow
Ian Mitchell

On Sunday 17th January the Russian Automobile Federation held the prizegiving for its championships for 2009 at a lavish ceremony in the famous Yar Restaurant on Leningradskoe Chausse. The prizes were awarded by the Vice- President of the Federation, Sergei Uspensky, who was Russian Rally Champion thirteen times. There is no regular single-seater racing in Russia, but instead an enthusiastic rallying community competes all over the country. Prizes were given for classic, off-road and touring rally championships, as well as for karting and speedway racing. The top prize, for the Classic Rally series, went to the first West European ever to enter, the young Swede, Patrik Flodin, who drove a Subaru for Sergei Uspensky’s team, URT. A notable winner was the not-so-young head of the Khimki Okrug, Vladimir Strelchenko, who won the Touring Class, in which competitors drive through rivers, bogs, sand dunes and any other obstacle which rural Russia provides for their entertainment. Motor-sport in this country is not ageist. Now that Renault have announced that they might be signing the first Russian to compete in Formula 1, interest in motor-sport is bound to increase. Readers who would like to attend any rallies should consult the programme on . The first event this season is on Saturday 30th January at Peno, near Lake Seliger (see

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