LEG 8 ELVERUM – SUNDVOLDEN
The final countdown. A test, a regularity section and a long navigation section are the ingredients. It is Harmlambrechts/Bart den Hartog who win yet another day, making it 4 in total, but it is not enough. Really doing well are Alexander Leurs/Ryan Pickering in the Ascona. It is Alexanders first rally on snow and he tells us that this week was the best week out of his life.He had heard that the Winter Trial is something special, but it was way beyond his expectations. A win very well deserved.
The Club category leaders do the usual job. No big mistakes keep the car on the road and enjoy the route. It looks almost easy, but Ton den Uyl’s vast experience and Rob de Goey’s handling of the car had to end with a trophee.
LEG 7 ELVERUM – ELVERUM
Oh what a night. Crews are filled with adrenaline as they start for the probably deciding evening loop. First a navigation section with TC’s every 5 kilometers meant that there is no time for error. Well the over enthousiast leaders Maassen/Van der Palen leave the track and instead of a healthy lead they drop a few hours and out of a podium chance.
The Avenger parked in the deep and rescued by the Altena service crew.
The second placed Porsche of Meulen/Van der Werf than miss a few timing points in the navigation section and also drop 27 minutes. They same for former winners Bjorn Andresen/Bennie Roetgerink. This was the chance to take the lead, but they did not grap the opportunity. Hank Melse shows that he should not be forgotten as a possible contender for victory. An incredable low score for the night section of only 5m 35 sec make them jump to the 8th place and remember that the worst score on a regularity section will be deducted. Again we have new overall leaders the young Leurs/ Pickering combination outperformed the rest.
LEG 6 TALLBERG (SWEDEN) – ELVERUM
The temperature is just around the 0 degree point which means that the chance of having more snow than we already had during the night is very high and yes as we speak and leave Tallberg the first new snow is dancing from the ceiling. Half the rally comes to a standstill, have to put on chains and are than struggling to pass a big lorry, it is all taken in a great sports mood. Lunch is served in an old wooden shed hidden in the boonys. But half the field have a very short time to swallow the eland burgers. Another test on a frozen lake is waiting. Plenty of time for a relaxed team, Alexander and Shirley van der Lof. They take the day victory in Club categry. And the day is won in the Trial category by Meulen /van der Werf now closing the gap with leaders and in fact take the lead, but not for long.
Counting to three proofs to difficult for father and sun Nijs. On the consistency test they leave the track one lap to early, in fact this is the only mistake they make today. Alexander Leurs/Ryan Pickering are close to winning the day and slowly move up to the top of the leaderboard.
LEG 5 TRYSIL – TALLBERG (SWEDEN)
The high light of Leg 4 is of course the 10 kilometre test on the Icelake. But before arriving there Bert Kersten trys to pass a lumber truck but is the road is not wide enough and he ends in the ditch. Fortunately a big tractor is nearby and pulls him out letting the big Jaguar almost disappear in the very deep snow, just like the leaders Rob de Goey/Ton den Uyl, who spent a big amount of there spare lead minutes on the roadside waiting to be pulled out.
The road are very demanding and ready to be driven by the likes of Walter Röhrl. This also means that every small driving error will end in a ditch or big snow bank. Today half the field wanted to experience this.
The club category leaders have lost quite a bit of the lead and it looks that the podium places are far from being decided.
The Villebois Citroen driven by Ton Rabeling had lots of near escapes as well as no escapes at all. But one thing can be said, if there were a price for a crew which has the most amount of laughs, Ton and Pieter would definitely win it.
One crew asking the other one: did you see tulips. No I did not and to be honest, I did not expect to see any this time of year. But I have a sheet showing all strange drawings and diagrams. Could that be what they mean than? Thank god, they made it to the finish hotel.
A great performance of team Hof/Hof. They won test 1 and the 10 km long ice track as well as the day, moving them up to 14th overall.
In the Trial category the top three teams a really close together because Maassen/van Palen were held up some 7 minutes by the slow Saab of a Club crew. Only two minutes separate of the Meulen/van der Werf Porsche. SEE THE RESULT PAGE
LEG 3 LILLEHAMER – TRYSIL
If you are totally fed up with your iPhone you can always flush it through the toilet. And that was the last thing that wentwrong for the Alfa girls. It simply was not there day today. It took them 20 minutes to find the start of a regularity section (using a wrong map)
Also the other ladys team Viskaal/Wolters did not have there day. Could not find the start a great wrong slot and the result was that the rally was gone wherever they came. Very strong navigating by Ad van der Werf placed the Cor Meulen Porsche on the first place for the day, catching up some 50 seconds to the leaders.
In the club category it was Ton van Daal/Willem Maats who did beat the leading team of Rob de Goey and Ton den Uyl. The won the day and caught up 20 seconds to move them to 6 overall in the category.
Leg 4 TRYSIL -TRYSIL
Than the evening session changed it all for the Trial classification. One knows that the night section are always very tight and going of means losing lots of time.
One passage control was only visited by one crew. Who other than Maassen/van der Palen and this gave stretched there lead by another 5 minutes over all the others.
Last years leaders Thorbjorn Bye/ Oddvar Moland got stuck kin deep snow losing one hour and thirty minutes putting them back to 13th overall.Just like Harm Lamberigts / Bart den Hertog loosing 30 minutes and this added to the penalty of leg 3, puts them in 14th position.
Ivo Nijs stated at the finish that for him this was by far the best Winter Trial he had ever driven and the crews gathering around him could not agree more.
LEG 2 GEILO – LILLEHAMER
Another sunshiny day, blue sky’s white powder great roads a rally mans dream.
The organisers had not less than 5 regularities in store with a lenght of over 100 kilometre competitive sections plus another 3 rally cross circuit tests and all on 100% white roads and again in stunning scenery. The leading crews are so close together that every mistake, could be a very expensive one. Well about every team in the race for a leading position managed to make one or two expensive mistakes. Hank Melse who is know to be very fast on test, especially on ice tracks managed to drop a minute or 10 by getting stuck on the Dokke rallycross circuit, while Harm Lamberigts /Bart den Hartog found there Waterloo by overshooting a hairpin right. They got stuck in deep snow where pulled out but dropped some 10 minutes just like Maassen /van Palen and the seconds lost on the regularity sections have to show what the score is after this fantastic and dramatic leg 2. Great catching up from Bjorn Andresen and Bennie Roetgerink who had some start up problems on day one, they now got in the rythem and are likely to fight for a podium place.
Michel Perridon had another of and has lost so much time now that it does make sence to continue with the damaged Volvo. Will we see them again? With already two cars out, the Jaguar MKII of team Henk Verkou and Rini Timmers (rolled) and the BMW of Eddy and Johan de Leeuw (gearbox) See results to find out.
LEG 1 SUNDVOLDEN – GEILO
All crews were started away from the idylic Sundvolden Hotel by Jan Peter Balkenende and Alphabet chief John Spies. A moment later the sun came out and turned the route into a winter wonderland picture. While the fully snow covered route gave the crews plenty of possibility’s to play in the snow and disappear in snow banks. And that is exactly what a lot of crews did.
Some crews, like Sybren van der Goot in the Datsun, Ronald van Pelt, also Datsun, Michel Perridon in the Volvo had to be rescued by bigger tractors than the Jan Altena Rally Service Landrover which did costs them valuable time.
As expected the Sunbeam team Maassen / Palen were fasted on the two tests but the lead in the Trial Class was taken by Harm Lamberigts/Bart den Hartog in the Ford Escort.
The Club class leaders are Rob de Goey / Ton den Uyl.
Misfortune for the team of father and sun Micheal and Nico Koel. Electricity problems caused them to miss the whole afternoon session, but the magic fingers of Classic Job fixed the Alfa.
So they had smiling faces again like all the crews in the event.
Jaap van den Broek was so happy with day 1, that he said how brave it was of the organisers to go back to Norway with the rally and prove all those wrong who are not competing here. Because this was the best day rallying out of his rally life, he stated.