The day before the last day.. there is a special tension in the bivouac as the mechanics prepares the vehicles for the last time, the drivers and co-drivers recover from the day and weigh their chances for the stage tomorrow.. Today was the seventh stage of the Rallye Breslau Poland, an almost perfect day in the forest north of Miastko, with a fast and exciting roadbook and two seperate stages, around Dretyn and Bobolice.
‘Today was the best stage ever this week, wow!’ says Jim Marsden. ‘It made me think of the nicest races I’ve done in my life, with a fantastic mix of fast tracks, technical sections and the odd swamp to cross. Even though we did not win today, I was impressed.’ Tomorrow he will try to win the Rallye Breslau Poland, but Romain Porchere is a tough competitor. ‘He is such a determined guy, fantastic. We went up and down this week, but he has produced straight and stable results. It would be a deserved win, but I am definitely trying to keep him away from that spot on the podium!’
‘When Grzegorz called me to navigate in the Dacia here, he said he wanted to go for the win,’ says Grzegorz Kamar, the co-pilot of the white Dacia. ‘I laughed at him, I though he was aiming too high. But we decided to go for it and the results so far have been beyond my expectation. We are breaking the system with our Dacia! It was not easy to get here, we had our share of issues. One day we lost the rear differential and we drove 150km on front wheel drive.. it was tough, we had to think ahead about every step. And now we need one more thing, and that is to finish tomorrow evening!’
Nikke Harkjaer tried to make an end to his participation in the Breslau today, crashing his quad in a low speed corner along a steep hill. ‘I was surprised by a ditch, and before I knew it the quad rolled down the hill. Somehow I have lost my low speed skills, I don’t know what happened. But MArcin was there in no-time and together we managed to get it back on the track. Now it’s just plastic, a steering rod and some small things. Tomorrow we are racing for the last time, I look forward to it!’
Racing a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Frank Amsallem and Amelie Perrin put their trial-experience to work in the Polish forests. ‘Today everyone overtook us in the swamp,’ says Amelie. ‘The pneumatic switch of the winch did not work and we got stuck until I found out it was just a simple problem. But we are here to drive each day and finish.’ After three years of building the car, it performs above expectation. ‘We did not have any big problems, and we are really pleased to be here with all these experienced teams!’
Breaking the steering arm of his Scania for the second time this rally, Hans van Geest created a nice situation for the recovery crew of Achim Lust. Putting the 8×8 truck to work, they drove a truck-trial section with the Scania on tow. It was a fantastic piece of work and a confidence booster for Truck Team Holten who expected to stay in the forest overnight while fixing the Scania on the track. ‘The recovery team did an awesome job, and even though we are sad to loose our first place in the ranking it was quite an adventure!’
Tomorrow is the last day, and the Breslau has always been decided, lost or won on the last stage. We expect fireworks this year with a magnificent route around the Miastko forestry. No loops or circles but 145 km of pure rally-raid through the unique landscape of Pomerania in Northern Poland. Small tracks, fire roads, logging tracks, forests, fields and villages are the backdrop of today’s stage, a fantastic chase across the Polish countryside and a true ‘finale’ of the Rallye Breslau Poland 2018!
After the finish of the special stage the competitors head back to the camp for the price giving ceremony and the traditional finish party of the Rallye Breslau Poland 2018, on the shores of the lake near Gwda Wielka.
Source: Text: Niels Hatzmann RBI Media Images: Paolo Baraldi RBI Media