Day 6. Linz to Salzburg

After a regularity and test this morning the Rally started arriving at the finish in Salzburg just after midday. All available marshal crews were out manning timing controls on the long regularity today, but no major changes occurred to the leader board.
With the crews arriving in reverse classification order, there was a large number of crews at the finish to welcome the winners.

Trial Class

1st Bjorn Andresen and Bennie Roetgerink – Porsche 911

2nd Xavier Maassen and Jacques Limpens – Ex works Sunbeam Avenger

3rd Cor Meulen and Ad van der Werf – Porsche 911

 

After leading the Club Class all week Jaap Stok and Auke van de Brink in their Alfa Romeo Giulia are the Club Class winners.

Day 5. Brno to Linz

The longest day of the Rally, started at 8am and finished back into the Rally Hotel after 1 am the following morning. A number of crews had problems today and incurred penalties.

All week the Trial leaders, Harm Lamberigts/Arthur Denzier in their Ford Escort MK I and Bjorn Andresen/Bennie Roetgerink in their Porsche 911, have matched each others times and traded 1st and 2nd places.

By the end of leg 6 Harm lead Bjorn by less than 4 minutes. However all changed on leg 7. This long night leg with long forest tracks under plenty of snow saw the demise of the Escort. His time spent in a ditch after puling off track to pass a local car, resulted in them racking up 2 hours more penalties than the Porsche, dropping them way down the classification order.

However Bjorn was not the fastest on the night leg either, this honour went to Cor Meulen / Ad van der Werf , Porsche 911 with 27mins 52 seconds, followed by Robert Westland / Michel Bout, BMW 2002 with 31 mins 29 secs, with Bjorn Andresen / Bennie Roetgerink, Porsche 911 with 32mins 37 seconds third best time.

Other casualties included Jayne Wignall / Peter Rushforth. After a good run all week they were in 5th place but then their Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint lost first and second gears and they had to switch to non competitive mode get the car to the finish.

Day 4: Hradec Kralove to Brno

More good driving roads and lots of snow covered sections again today although the temperature did rise above freezing for a short while around midday. It still feels cold.

Mishaps are still in abundance. Erik van Ouwerkerk in the Fiat with his driver Peter Koene was heard complaining about bad maps on the first regularity. We think he got round anyway but it was only when he did the second regularity that he found he was using the same map again. Woops!

Another funny incident involved our friend Peter Rushforth. TC 5.4 today was followed by a self start regularity just 3 minutes away. So no time to hang around. Peter grabbed his time card and maps etc after checking out ot the TC and Jane Wignall quickly drove them to the start of the regularity with 10 seconds to spare. It was then that Peter realised he had 2 time cards. oops. And worst still, the other time card was car number 5, one of Barts main Sponsors, Gant! How does he get out of this one? Well he leaves number 5’s time card in the snow below the self start sign and heads off down the section. Luckly the time card was found and Bart still has his Sponsor!

Today we had a VERY slippery Hill Climb. At the bottom crews debated if to put on their chains. Those that did made the right decision. Thoes that didn’t had lots of problems. Even when they got stuck and got out of the car most of them then fell over on the ice. The Alvis for one stopped and slid backwards until finally comming to a halt. BUT that was not the end of it. A local Scoda then appeared up hill from them and slid down the hill to hit the front wheel of the Alvis. No problem for the Alvis as the front wheel spinner took the impact. Big problem for the Scoda.

The final results on the climb were interesting, the Trial leader Bjorn Andresen’s 911 was beaten by Roland van Pelts 911. For the full results see the Results page on this website.

Day 3: Bad Schandau to Hradec Kralove

A long day of competition with a day leg in the Czech Republic and a night loop that also had a section in Poland, for a total of 10 regularities and 1 test. Plenty of snow covered roads with the occasional light snowfalls throughout the day. Temperatures stayed below freezing all day so the snow was sitting on a layer of ice.

Some bruised egos as well as dented Porsches include Friso and Boy Visser in their 911T and Philipp Wolff / Kenneth Tjon in their 924. They are both still running with the aid of the ubiquitous race tape holding things together.

On the other hand Mark Van Eldik gained lots of “Gentleman points” for helping fellow competitors to get back on the road after various mishaps.

Mishaps don’t just occur to competitors. One of our marshal crews got a bit stuck  trying to park off road while setting up their control point. A quick application of a tow rope and a bit of digging soon sorted things out as the course opening car gave the final tug to get them back on the road.

Bert Kersten and Johan Nagtzaam in ‘Brutus’, their venerable Jaguar MK X, found a ditch and lost a wheel. What came first, the lost wheel or the ditch? However they were so confused they then drove to the Rally hotel scheduled for the following day. This meant a long drive back before they found their bed that night.

By the end of day 3 the leader board has seen a number of changes. At the moment the Trial Class leadership is a battle between Harm Lamberigts/Arthur Denzier in their Ford Escort MK I and Bjorn Andresen/Bennie Roetgerink in their Porsche 911.

The Club Class however has is a clear leader in Jaap Stok/Auke van de Brink in their Alfa Romeo Giulia, They both have big smiles on their faces.

Day 2. Weimar to Bad Schandau

An Austin Healey and a Porsche are for sale tonight. After 2 days of driving his Derby Bentley on snow and ice, Ronald Versluis has fallen in love with it and has put his other rally cars up for sale. He was heard saying “Driving a pre War car under these conditions is better than Sex.” Keep it out of the ditches Ronald and have fun.

More information today on Jan Altena’s excursion into a ditch yesterday. The reason he had problems is because he was off rally route looking for Cooper Goel and Rene Middelweerd in their Porsche 911. They had got very well lost and there was no hope of finding them until their onboard GPS tracker reported their position and allowed the Rally team to send Jan out to look for them. These trackers have multiple uses, not just recording rally times but also finding lost competitors.

 

Other lost crews were in evidence today. The marshals on the first regularity this morning reported seeing the Green Mini of Wilbert amd Merlinda Kieboom 3 times before they finally approached the control from the correct direction and were given a time.

On a test yesterday Ton Roks who is editor of Octane Holland recorded the fastest time by a long way. There are rumours that he may have been a little creative with the route. We are checking the marshals check sheets to see what we can find.

Perhaps the most unusal car to enter the event this year is the Thorough S Sports (similar to a Lotus 7). The crew of Sebastiaan and Jantine Bleuanus have been on a fast learning curve as they fight the weather and the Rally timing system. They are in the Hotel tonight and still smiling.

As a follow up to yesterdays incident where Rob Versteegh hit a post on his way into a ditch in his Alfa Romeo, David Brown who was marshalling the test finish at Most today accused Rob of hitting a cone. However he did offer to wave the penalty for 35 Euros.

Day 1. Hengelo to Weimar

The 13th running of the Winter Trial started this morning from the Vredestein Factory in Hengelo in sub zero temperatures and light snow. The 81 cars were lead away by Elliot Dale and Richard Porter in their 1936 Derby Bentley, roofless as usual, as are the other 3 pre war Vintage entrants.

Today’s route has run as planned with no road closures. The 3 tests and 4 regularities all had hard pack snow in places with ice underneath. This has resulted with the inevitable ditch excursions.

The first of note was the Alfa Romeo of Rob Versteegh and Dammy Evertse who managed to dent their front wing and get into an argument with a local policeman. When he discovered they had damaged a plastic road marker they then had to pay a 35 Euro fine before he let them go on their way again.

Other ditchings of note are Frank Fennell in his Volvo 142 and Jan Alternan in the sweeper mechanics Landrover. Jan gets the prize for the 1 and half hours it took him to get going again.

Tomorrow’s route in the Czech Republic has already lost 1 regularity as the 48 hour Car failed to negotiate a section yesterday. With heavy snow and freezing rain in Southern Germany and road closures Germany, Holland and Belgium today we can expect more of the same for tomorrow. It is snowing as the Rally spends the night in Weimar with up to 10 cms forecast by morning. Great stuff, that’s what we came for isn’t it.