Leg 7 - Bled to Sankt Wolfgang - 301 km
Another great Winter Trial has been completed. We now look forward to have the TV film ready for the reunion for which we will announce the date shortly.
Fortunatley were the Rallysafe messages you may have received on the dashboard harmless.
Thank you for sending in your compliments, they have been passed on to all of our organising crews, marshalls etc etc.
Meanwhile have already started with the route planning for 2019. One thing is already clear, you voted to go back to the original Winter Trial schedule. So next years event starts on a Sunday and will finish the following Friday at noon.
Where we are going is east and the countries we go through will be announced as soon as we have the final route.
Questions and remarks
How nice to receive a mail praising the spirit of the event, the marshal teams, the social side and camaraderie and the toughness of the event as a first time competitor. But there remains one question.
Can you organise the lunches to be so that they do not have the taste of schnitzel?
My comment is, that on most events you are pleased to find that there is a lunch (that is already paid for) where there is still food on the table if you arrive in the midst of the field.
The Villa Trasqua wines were in our feeling yet another step up the ladder in th
e quality of the event. We hope you enjoyed the tests and the
regularity sections in the mountains.
Rest assured we will look for all opportunities to improve the quality of the event and if you have suggestions we love to hear them, because as some competitors said the Winter Trial is simply the best so help us to keep it that way.
We need to thank you, for paying the entrée fee’s, playing hard, enjoying yourselves and your friends.
We will now start the work on the 2019 event as well as the Carrera in October.
Thank you all,
Bart, Mark, Timo, Guus, Jan Peter and Jan
Leg 6 - Bled to Bled - 175 km
During the day the leaderboard had changed already quite a bit. But the following night loop shook up the whole trial field. The drivers and navigators said: ‘We never drove a night loop that was so challenging for both driver and navigator’. And one can understand, that there were many smiles on the competitors faces in the bar.
The crew John Abel / Any Pullan, have not made any mistakes whatsoever so far this rally. But Andy mis slotted on the very first regularity of the evening loop. On which they lost 45 minutes. Is this a goodbye to the overall victory? But they were not the only ones making valuable navigation mistakes. Resulting in drama for many and victory for specifically Harm Lamberigts / Arjan van der Palen. See the results page on our website and in de App, to see Harm and Arjan moving up to first place overall.
Leg 5 - Ptuj to Bled - 356 km
As promised last night, a white blanket of fresh snow is covering the paddock, the meadows and the whole country. This combined with tougher competition promises a very tough day. And a though day it was.
The first regularity had to be cancelled because of trees fallen over the route. As usual, this was communicated to the competitors who had to sign that they have read this information. In spite of this, quite a few made it to the first regularity to find out that the road indeed was blocked. Which of course caused penalties at the next TC. The forest of the next regularity also suffered from heavy snow. The course car had to pull away some trees but even after that, another tree blocked the road. George Banken / Eddie de Leeuw made themselves valuable for everybody behind him by removing yet another tree.
Not everybody managed to drive these sections without putting on snow chains. One can understand that crews waiting were not amused. But amused they were, at the circuit of Vransco. A long test, partly on tarmac, on ice and on snow. Something for everybody’s flavour.
It looks like the second placed team Irene Blauwkuip / Marielle Vehmeyer in the challenge class, did obtained strange penalties. So these are still under investigation. And also the first placed crew in the challenge class, brothers De Vries, had similar problems. So also in this category the decision has to come on the final Leg 7. Stay tuned!
Leg 4 - Aigen im Ennstal to Ptuj - 345 km
As we go further south in the direction of Slovenia, the snow height is slowly increasing. As a result of this the regularity sections became more challenging and for some competitors taking its toll. John Rowe, for instance, reported that they got stuck. And when we checked with the Rally Safe system, they appeared to be off route. Fortunately they were saved after they had done some snow shoveling. A local farmer passed, offered to get his tractor and saved the crew from further delays.
Another team with a similar problem, were Jaap Stok and Marcel van Breda. They lost control over their Volvo, and landed between the trees. They were also rescued by a local farmer, with help of Tachyon MotorSport. Who also did a quick check on the car so that they can continue their adventure. In the top 3 not much has changed. See the results on our website and in the App.
In the top of the challenge class the little Citroen 2 Chevaux, was on their way to another day-win. But they made a mistake on one of the tests. This error moved them from third to fourth place.
This day was the ideal rally-day, with beautiful blue skies, white roads and tough tests and regularity sections. During dinner, the crews got excited to hear the weather forecast for the night and tomorrow. They were promised some 15 centimeters of fresh pulver!
It is good to see that the novice teams are starting to enjoy themselves more and more as they start to understand the system of the Winter Trial; which is definitely not easy!
LEG 3 - Aigen to Aigen - 150 km
Our first evening loop! A novelty in the Winter Trial was that all crews had a bowl of soup as a starter and then were asked to drive a regularity to obtain their main course. The regularity in fact was a hill climb over a ski slope going from 500 meters to 1850 meters high. On a sort of road mainly used for snow boarders and skiers, with 3 meters high snow walls on either side of the road. A real treat for the drivers this time. Once everybody had his dinner, this section was immediately followed by a second hill climb this time going up to 2500 meters. This was literally the icing on the cake. Although the cake was a warm apfel strudel. So the snow walls this time, were even higher! Not everybody came to the top without little stretches so both leaders John Abel and Andy Pullan as well as Philip Armstrong with Richard Pain lost their fog lights.
This time around the misfortune is following our Norwegian crew Thorbjorn Bye / Oddvar Moland. In the totally newly build BMW, probably the cheapest part fails. They distributor cap forces them to a hold in the freezing cold of the evening. But luckily they managed to make it to the finish but valuable minutes have been lost.
In the end Leg 3 has changed the leading bord, as the results will show you.
The story behind car #69
Lars Heuts and Ed Boers are driving and navigating car number 69. There is a big story behind this number, because start number 69 used to belong to father Bert Heuts. When this great guy passed away, his car was still in Lars his garage. Every time Lars and Ed walked by the car they said to each other: ‘We need to rally that car sometime together.’ Some (we think really good) friends recommended them to participate in the Winter Trial. And here they are. At the Winter Trial 2018, with Bert’s car. We never ever wanted to give someone start number 69 again because we think it belongs to a legend. But in this case, we of course made an exception.
Leg 2 - Ceske Budejovice to Aigen im Ennstal - 402 km
The second day of the Winter Trial has proofed to be an old-fashioned rally day trough and along the beautiful Austrian mountains. The further we come to Aigen, the deeper the snow. Not too much on the road, but enough to make it the usual rally day where all the glory and drama is combined.
Winter Trial rookies Sandra and Bert-Jan Dijk had to come to rescue father and son Baljet from a ditch. Another remarkable event, was happening on the ice circuit. The Datsun of Sybren van der Goot lost a drive shaft on the circuit just at the spot where ClassicJob was watching the test. Job Brouwers, achieved the impossible by fixing this in less then 45 minutes. In a sort of formula one speed since a job like this normally takes half a day.
Rients Visser had a coming together with a local farmer who suddenly turned off the road and the backside of his tractor swung out and speared the backside of his beautiful bleu BMW.
The favorites are not favorites because we appointed them that way, but purely skill is what them makes them stand out from the crowd. So we now see a top 10 of extremely strong crews and still all of them have a chance of winning. Having said that, John Abel / Andy Pullan in their Escort are leading the pack immediately followed by Tom Collet / Bennie Roetgerink. Whilst in the Challenge Class, the Frysians Henk Jacob de Vries and his brother Jan Ernst de Vries, have been able to take a bit of distance and enlarge their lead. See the results on the website and in the App.
Leg 1 - München to Ceske Budejovice - 439 KM
The rally enjoyed a majestic start at the BMW Headquarters in Munich. Unfortunately a few crews managed to obtain their first penalty minutes. One crew had trouble finding the road into this enormous building and dropped 5 minutes. Another one was so excited at the start that he just forgot to clock in on time. And even worse: one car was so impressed by the quality of the breakfast and did not realize that the start was 4 kilometers further down the road. But they all managed to start the rally.
Hank and Nicole Melse, starting position #2, had to push car trough the start because the extremely well prepared Porsche failed to proceed. The cause of their misfortune appeared to be a broken electric connection.
The first test of the rally was meant to be simple. However some fresh snow a steep hill were the ingredients that made a serious classification. Best on this test was of course an English crew, Mark Godfrey / Martyn Taylor in the Escort. The last test of the day in Svaty Jan brought a big smile on the drivers faces. Right from the town center down hill some hairpins and than up and around some wooden sheds.
The team that is as a potential winner, made there first big mistake today. Arthur Denzler / Frank Fennell drove the second regularity spot on. But they were on the wrong road. Ouch.
Misfortune for our only Czech participant. Karel Mach in his very special Skoda 130 RS, had serious engine problems and therefore his fan crowd have seen all the competitors but one. Karel is on his way on a trailer and will put in a new engine tonight. So we hope to see him back at the start tomorrow morning.
We have a great start number within this 18th Winter Trial. An crew which has never driven or navigated in a rally before in their entire life! Meet Jos Rutten and Wim Boonen and their Datsun 240Z. They arrived at lunch just in time and also their first regularity went well. We will keep an eye on these boys and inform you later. So stay tuned.