A long day in the forest, going from Miastko to Borne Sulinowo on two specials through completely different forests: the production area of Borne, with the pine trees and deep dry sand and the old forest near Miastko with oak and black soil. There are few races with such a variety of terrain as the Breslau Poland: if you can compete here, you can race almost everywhere.
Flying Dutchman wins the bike ranking
In the Bike category it is Paul Spierings who takes the lead in the provisional ranking, ahead of Tiziano Interno and Rob van Vegchel. “Now I’ve found my pace!”, says Paul, who is happy to be back on the bike. “And this sand, I love it!” Romualdas Karuzis has the fastest time on his ATV, an he is happy to be here with the entire ‘Specialist Racing Team’. “We race in different classes, and we all want to make a good result!”
Joachim Streeck has taken a completely different route in the competition, joining the Breslau with his BMW GS 1200 motorbike which is almost as heavy as an ATV. “I wanted to know if it is possible to do this, so I basically jumped into the cold water. It is a fantastic adventure, really accessible. But with the BMW it is not the easiest way to do it. As long as you can keep it rolling, everything is fine!”
Tsanko Tsankov, the man to beat in the SSV
It is a Bulgarian show in the SSV ranking today, with Tsanko Tsankov and Konstantin Cholakov playing on the stage for the first and second place. “It is fantastic to race a Can AM!” says Konstantin. “I am really happy I made the choice to go to this class and compete here, it is fun!” As they are playing together, Yann van Beek is the strategist who stays right behind them. “We don’t want to go so fast, but at 85% we have no navigation mistakes so we can keep up!”
Leading the pack in a classic Toyota
A rare sight in rally raid is the classic nose of the Toyota HZJ73 of the Dille brothers from the Netherlands, leading a pack of high performance cars from Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. “Somehow it works!” says Sander Dille. “In the end they overtook us, as we ripped the gearbox mount from the chassis and had to go slow to reach the finish.” It is the story of the underdog, the two brothers who race in the day and work at night to prepare the car.
After a DNF on the first day Rik van den Brink is racing for the day, and makes good progress doing so. He is part of the 4×4 Centrum Ermelo team, who came to the rally with new cars, to test and to play. Winning a day on the first event with a new car is what you hope for, and it is well deserved for this Dutch team.
Frank Stensky and Jorg Grunbeck defend the German honour in the Cross Country Class. Frank is second, and happy to see his progress in the overall ranking. For Jorg, a seventh place is reason enough to be happy. “It was a tough and long day, the forests here seem endless! It is such a pleasant landscape, the variety is great. We cannot be happy enough to have a chance to race this year.”
High speed in the Extreme Class
Speed is high in the Extreme class with Jim Marsden and Hardo Mere trying to beat each other while the others wait for the first mistake. “Their speed is fantastic,” says Eric Plomp. “But we cannot go any faster than we do now. It is really a nice event, very different from what we as trophy team are used to. Faster, longer. We have never done so many kilometers in our car. The organisation is a surprise, it is really well done with a high safety standard. We look forward to Drawsko!”
Focus on the race in the truck class
“What the others are doing in the Truck class?” Tom Heuer grins as he thinks about the answer. He is leading the truck ranking with his Tatra. Perhaps the others have more horsepower and bigger engines but they cannot match his speed. “For sure they will be faster. But I think it doesn’t help them, they should focus more on the navigation.” Even though he leads the race right from the start, he’s not bored yet. “Not at all!”
Viktor Merkovics already discovered the best way to increase the speed in the Breslau, as he and his team are enjoying the event. “We’ve come here with the entire family,” says Laszlo Komaromi, “and it is fun to compete in these forests. You cannot say it is way, as the track can be quite difficult for the truck. But we try to be fast and improve each race. It is good to measure ourselves with such good and friendly teams as we see here!”
Go west: towards Drawsko, towards the night stage
On the third day of the Rallye Breslau Poland we say goodbye to the beautiful region of Miastko, and we move deeper into the sand and pine forests of western Poland. It is the ‘middle’ of the race, and here it is not a break but a step up with longer stages and in Drawsko a special night stage. As we move to the next phase of the event, the ‘first days of getting used to it’ are over and the Rallye Breslau Poland will really start!
Source: Dutch Rally Press (Niels Hartzman) Images: Dutch Rally Press