Siergiej Rozvadoskij

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Siergiej Rozvadoskij (born August 19th, 1967) was a professional racing driver from Lithuania who drove for Volga Grand Prix in the 1996 and 1997 in the F1RGP2C. Rozvadoskij was a popular driver in his native Lithuania but was relatively unknown throughout the world, except in Japan, where Rozvadoskij later made a brilliant run in the Japanese Super GT series. His results in the F1RGP2C were disappointing at best but he was able to keep his job for a full season.

Biography

Early Career

Rozvadoskij was able to make a name for himself in the wild world of Soviet karting, dominating local championships with his good friends Anton Kaliniczenko, Artiom Zielenkovski and Sebastian Gazurek. Although neither driver was able to make any headway in western Europe, the "Terrible Four", as they were known, became a force to be reckoned with in Russia. In a 2007 interview, Rozvadoskij reminisced on his karting experience in the Soviet bloc. "Ha, that was fun. We used to race around in these mini Ladas and Moskvitches that didn't work seventy percent of the time. We were usually drafted in as competition against rich party members and businessmen. They were crap, crappier than Gazurek, if you can believe it." The Berlin Wall fell when Rozvadoskij was 22 and the rest of the Soviet Union collapsed soon afterwards. Rozvadoskij left Russia at the age of 24 with hopes of becoming a mechanic. Siergiej landed in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, where he worked in an auto parts store for two years. During this time, Rozvadoskij did not race at all and his career seemed over. Then he met up with Gustav Blenfeld in his auto store, an businessman who sponsored a car in the European Truck Racing Series.

The Most Unlikely Path

Rozvadoskij was able to talk Blenfeld into earning him a one-off appearance at a local round in Sweden, which Siergiej won handily. The middling talent of the European Truck Racing enabled Siergiej to get a drive at a minor team after an injury to their lead driver. Rozvadoskij won on his first time out after a four-truck collision allowed Rozvadoskij into the lead on the last lap. The Lithuanian press, eager to promote any young athletes, supported Siergiej and he quickly became a very minor celebrity by finishing fifth in the Truck Racing championship, despite only competing in the last two-thirds of the season. Siergiej rustled up several corporate benefactors in Sweden and Lithuania and paid for a drive in F3000 for 1994. Rozvadoskij was downright terrible in F3000 but he stuck around for 1995 before he ran out of money. Luckily, Volga GP boss Petr Chaddeev was going on a nonstop talent search for his all-Eastern European team and he found Rozvadoskij to be a perfect candidate. Siergiej's old cronies back in Russia had already been drafted in to Volga (Kaliniczenko and Zielenkovski had already joined the team in 1995. Rozvadoskij found himself back in F3000 for 1996 but he would not complete the season. Zielenkovski was sacked midway through the season and Robert Anderson was injured in the 1996 F1RGP2C Belgian Grand Prix. Rozvadoskij was brought in to replace the Englishman.

F1RGP2C

In his first race, Rozvadoskij finished in eleventh, a major accomplishment. However, Rozvadoskij garnered three penalty points after he blocked both Tom Douglas and Daniel Moreno and unsafely entered the circuit after one his many spins. It was clear that Siergiej was not ready for the speed of the F1RGP2C-spec cars. In Japan, his engine exploded on Lap 1. Despite his lackluster performances, Chaddeev brought his Lithuanian superstar back for 1997.