WT10, Leg 8, Linz – St. Wolfgang: Win for Gijs van Lennep and Ian Tullie
Leg 8 Linz – Sankt Wolfgang. The snow of last night has made the final run to the finish extremely slippery. Crews have to put snowchains on, Hans Buurman is modifying the nose of the Healey in a snow wall and Chris and Kees Zeegers park the Renault in deepsnow on the side of the road. It is no secret anymore that the Winter Trial always has a nice twist in the last competition day and this year is no exception. The final regularity ends on a snow circuit were competitors have to do two laps on an icy surface. Counting to two is still a problem for many, so we see some crews do one, some two and some three laps. Even more hilarious is the action from the little Renault. The drive four laps, than the driver and codriver swop places and they do another five laps. A great ending of what will go in the books as the toughest Winter Trial ever. The winners in the Club class are Willem and Ellen Vermeulen and the honours in the Trial Class are for Ian Tullie with Gijs van Lennep.
WT10, Leg 7, Svaty Jan – Linz (Night Section): Navigation error for the leaders
Leg 7 SvatnyJan – Linz. In most years the final night loop for the Trial class was the decider of the rally and this year is not different. Heavy snow fierce blowing winds make the route extremely challenging. Penalties for the top crews however are only minutes but the majority of the field is picking half an hour or more. Desasterous is the navigational error made bt the leaders of the event, Peter Naaktgeboren with Jan Berkhof. A wrong approach into a Time control cost them 15 minutes as well as the lead.
WT10, Leg 6, Krems – Svaty Jan / Linz: Snow snow and more snow
Leg 6 Krems – Linz Snow snow snow. The full route today was covered in magnificent snow. Making this leg probably the hardest rally day we ever had in the last ten years Winter Trials. At the lunch hold most crews had no time for lunch, having lost one hour on the road and navigation sections. The navigation in the various regularity sections was so hard that only a very few top crews managed to keep the penalties within a few minutes. On top of this the snow walls were so deep that leaving the road just a bit, meant that the car was stuck and only a tractor could pull the cars out. A strong wind is blowing the snow over the roads creating snow drifts and snow dunes. At least half the field has to be towed out and funny enough the more trouble the better the competitors like the circumstances. Peter Naaktgeboren / Jan Berkhof are in such a comfortable lead that they decide to have fun on the piste of the Nordring. A rallycross circuit covered in a fresh 50 cm snow blanket. They overshoot the various stop astride pylons going for fastest time, but also 30 seconds penalty. Also Willem and Ellen Vermeulen have a big lead over NIco and Michael Koel, although they get stuck as well and have to be rescued. Eliot Dale in the open Bentley are to be admired. In the clothing equal to mounteneer Hillary they fight the elements. Another crew worth while mentioning is Mirjam Wolters with Ernst de Jager in a little Triumph TR 3. No roof no heating with outside temperatures of minus 15 they belong to the hero’s of the event. In fact every competitor who will make it to the finish tomorrow can be qualified as hero.
WT10, Leg 5, Maribor – Krems: The longest day of the event
Over 450 kilometer through the most beautiful scenery one can imagine. Right over the Alps, fresh snow, blue sky and lots of sunshine. Pictures right out the Winter wonderland. The damage on the front suspension of Harm Lamberigts is un repairable, so Harm and Arthur have to give up. The same for the Jaguar of Bert Ziengs and Alfred de Vries. Clutch trouble and trouble again so the Jag is on a transporter and the boys are flying home. Although today’s program only had three regularity sections and two test the penalties collected are again quite heavy. The last test is on the famous rally cross circuit of Melk. Totally frozen and covered with 20 cm of fresh snow, the crews have to plough themselves around. Great driving from Xavier Maassen is demonstrated here, widening the gap between him and his father in the father sun competition. After this 5th leg the day winners are Hank Melse and Bert Meulenbeld followed by Gijs van Lennep and Ian Tullie. The club category sees a win in Jan and Coen Hagedoorn, followed by Willem and Ellen Vermeulen who are extending there lead dramatically since Nico and Michael Koel dropped many valuable minutes. See the results for the overall classifircation.
WT10, Leg 4, Maribor – Maribor (Night section): Excitement
The evening loops are always filled with lots of excitement and this time was not different. In fact the 100 kilometer route over snow roads was one long drifting experience. Harm Lamberigts unfortunately did put his Escort in a ditch and could not be pulled out until all competitors had past him and the same goes for Cock Goedegebuur / Willem Uitenbroek. Two contenders that lost there chance of a top 5 finish. Frank Fennel / Kevin Savage showed there skills with a win. They climbed to a split second overall in the Trial now, sharing this place with Gijs van Lennep / Ian Tullie. Leaders for the first time are now Peter Naaktgeboren and Jan Berkhof. They are the third leader in 3 days driving.
WT10, Leg 3, Ljubljana – Maribor: Navigation …
On paper the days does not present any particular problems. In reality the navigation brings the crews new and unexpected problems. Strange enough all top crews fighting for the overall awards make mistakes but everyone does it on aa different spot. Much to our regret the beautiful Fiat from Peter Koene has hit a snow wall yesterday and as a result of this the belt driving the camshaft has come off, so that the valves are all bent. A nightly search for a new cylinder head was without any success and the crew has gone home. Also in trouble was the crew in the Porsche 911 from Richard Schmetz. They went of the road and nobody was able to pull them out. Finally a Slovenian tractor was able to lift the car and just before it was back on the road the hoisting cable broke so the Porsche drove back in and now even deeper. They made it back to the hotel all right and can continue the rally. Also the Sunbeam Tiger of Drexel Gillespie was stuck in snow. All it needed was a little push to get the car going again. But nobody around to do so. Grando director Ronald van Pelt suffered gearbox problems. Fortunately a spare car has been brought in by a friend, so they can continue to drive in the event although not in the classification. The day was won in the Trial class by John Temmink /Bart den Hartog, 27 seconds better than Peter Naaktgeboren / Jan Berkhof. 3rd came Gijs van Lennep /Ian Tullie.
WT10, Leg 2, Ljubljana – Ljubljana: After an easy day the rally has now started
After an easy day the rally has now started. Six regularities and two tests are on the program of day 2 and today’s roads are white. Not so strange that quite a number of cars make it into the bushes and have to be pushed or towed out by fellow competitors. Hans Buurman driving a Healey had his first off and was saved by a Saab that stopped to tow Hans and the Healey out. Thanks a lot and good bye Hans said. The Saab went on and when Hans drove another kilometer he found his new friends deep in the snow. So this time the Healey had to pull the Saab out. John Abel’s Lagonda has unfortunately come to a standstill. The drive shaft is broken and they will now follow the event in a hire car. Much to our regret the Fiat from former world champion karting, Peter Koense hit a snow bank and by doing so the timing of the car was off set, causing the valves to hit the pistons. Rally enthusiast in Slovenia are recruited to find another cylinder head. Hopefully they will come back into the event. Another pre war car, the Alvis of Bill Ainscough had troubles finding the right route. A 40 kilometer detour finally brought him to the finish and that explains the penalty taken today. During rally director Bart Rietbergen’s daily speech a special announcement eas made for a very sympathic French team. Jean Pierre Pacombe and his wife driving a Renault Dauphine are on there first winter trial. Much different from the rally’s they know. They won the sympathy of the field by being extremely polite for those cars that want to pass on the narrow snowy roads. Of all the top teams, very few did not make mistakes. The tension is high the will to win is taken over from common sense so a lot of spinning cars is the result. In the Club class there was a win for the couple Willem and Ellen Vermeulen. The Trial class saw father and sun Haberl from Austria win the second leg. Not an easy day it was, but looking at the smiles on the faces the day was highly appreciated by the competitors. For full results see the result page.
WT10, Leg 1, St. Wolfgang – Ljubljana: The tenth edition of the Winter has started …
The tenth edition of the Winter has started this morning in Sankt Wolfgang, Austria. All 110 cars made it to the start line, although one of them, The Volvo from Arie van Erkel and Jacques Arends refused its winterly task and refused to start. So Jacques walked over the start line. The ice run up the pass was not presenting any problems for the competitors not was the first regularity section. Than however came the first test on the Altenmarkt ice circuit. First car out, Frank Fennel was a little to enthousiast and spun his Volvo, but was not only able to continue, he also managed one of the fastest times of the day. Best on the test was Michael and Nico Koel. During lunch time Ian Tullie, now co driving with Gijs van Lennep shut the door of the Porsche, not realizing that the keys were inside the car. A twenty minute rescue operation cured the problem and brought back the good atmosphere in the car. Also panic at the Porsche of Hank Melse. Leaving the time control, which at the same time was a regularity start, he had no idea were his car keys were, a search around the building set him of 10 minutes late for the regularity. Huib Vroenhoven has found himself a new job. Driving around Klagenfurt was not the easiest task he could fulfill. Around and through the town so many times, that he can now work there as a guide. Leaders in the Trial Class are Hank Melse / Bert Meulenbeld in Porsche 911. The Club class is lead by Michael / Nico Koel in Alfa Romeo. See the full results.