Day 6 Leg 8 – Elverum – Oslo (Holmenkollen)
The sting is, like always, in the tail. Route master Mark Appleton has prepared a great navigation section just to do a final shake out, after the many shake outs that have already taken place. The Escort team of Laurens van de Velde / Jenny van de Boel are the ones that go offroad this time and loose time. They fear that they drop some places because of this, but the other teams are also missing minutes so in the end they remain second overall in Club Class. Shirley van der Lof shows her skills also on the navigation section and Alexander does the rest. The combination of great driving and good navigation give them a second overall Club Class win for 2016. They promise to come back in the 2017 edition in the Trial Class. So watch out boys.
Bart and Harm turn out to be Class by them selves. Never before have we seen a team that wins all of the 8 legs. They did. So this win is going in to the Winter Trial History books as undisputable. The finish under the Holmenkollen ski Jump lost the beautiful back drop of this scenic place. The weather was playing up again. Thick mist hided this immense tower totally. The party however was another great one were rally director gave away the route for 2017. The start near Maastricht and a finish in the Salzburg area in Austria.
Day 5 Charlottenberg – Finskoggen Trial Class
Yes finaly Harm Lamberigts does it. Great driving, good navigation and again the increase the distance on there fellow competitors. In fact they are the only team loosing less than 1o minutes on the evening loop. Nico and Michael Koel lost it already during the day and now we see Torstein Begum/ Bjarne Koren on second place. Again some fresh snow but also some bumpy roads as a result of the melting ice on the forest roads. Another surprise are Renger Guliker / Auke van de Brink. On the first day of the event they made a costly mistake but after that improved every day and slowly moved into the top 3. A podium place is in there hands. Al they need to do now is bring it home.
We are only a half day and one navigation section away from the finish. Are we in for any surprises? Tonight we will know.
Day 5 Charlottenberg – Elverum Club Class
A number of crews face small technical problems today. Dick de Regt smells something burning. Under the dashboard some cables and switches are warm and ready to fire up. A quick look from Classic Job is enough to prevent further damage. Strange enough we find fresh snow the sun has come out again and we can enjoy the most beautiful scenerys. We enjoy the frozen lakes, the snow covered tree’s and the only thing missing are the wild Elks that are shown on the various warning signs.
Meanwhile the leaders show there skills by expanding there lead. Unfortunately Leon van der Kerhoff has a coming together with a snowplough and is eliminated, just like Thorbjorn Bye with the BMW. The last one hits a German Volvo on the narrow entrance road of the rally cross circuit of Hvlestua. On the ice downhill road the Volvo slides into the BMW and both cars are disabled. Great performance today of the Alfa Romeo with John Abel / Andt Pullan. They score a third place in there fight to make up the loss of the first day. In the Club Class it is again father and sun de Regt who take the win, just ahead of Pit Lindner and Guido Nase. But most important is that Alexander and Shirley van der Lof consolidate the lead.
Day 4 Elverum – Charlottenberg (Sweden)
A new record has been set. Fer d’Arnoud /Job Cohen managed to park the big Mercedes into a ditch only 20 meters after the start of a regularity section.
They were the first, but not the last because at least another 7 teams struggled and glided in ditches. Like yesterday the whole country is covered in ice and on top of that we have a test on Rogers Icelake. The lake is covered with a couple of millimetres of water. This makes it even more slippery than it already is by nature. The Alfa Romeo from Marielle Vehmeyer and Irene Blauwkuip has been struggling on 3 cilinders since the start.
Amazing that they are still running and even score fast times on the tests and become third today. What if ……….. Also a great performance for the two father and sun teams, Dick and Bas de Regt come first today and a close second place for Cooper and Kenneth the Goei.
Laurens van de Velde and Jenny have moved the Escort up to third place in the Club Class now, with 5 teams following closely. But the leaders remain at there place although team van der Lof lost valuable minutes by picking up the wrong time card at the lunch TC. Rients Visser Jan Willem de Rover break a steering rod, but manage to get it repaired at a local repair shop. Not so good news for Martin Aaldering and Jos Jurriens. The drive shalft of the Porsche is broken and it look like that they have to give up. The Trial class is won again by Harm and Bart who extend there lead to 8 minutes. This is the 8th Winter Trial were Harm start the Thursday in leading position. Is he going to hold it this time? We will see tomorrow morning.
Day 3 Leg 4 Geilo – Elverum evening loop
The evening loop was even more thrilling, if possible at all. Alexander Leurs goes off and minutes later Herman van Oldenmarkt is following him on the same spot. So two contenders for the overall awards are out. John Abel doing great after his problems on day one has a little fire under the dashboard, diminishing there chance to zero. Tom Collet and Bennie Roetgerink meet the snow walls for a third time today and also Cor Meulen and Ad van der Werff are just a bit to eager. They go off at the very end of evening loop and are highly astonished to find themselves still in the top ten after having lost 1 hour and three minutes. Altena Classic Service has a tremendous amount of work to do and to our amazement all rescued crews arrive at the headquarters with the biggest smiles on there faces. Oh what a night it was.
Day 3 Geilo – Elverum
What a day. It has been raining last night and as soon as the rain hits the ground it becomes solid ice. So we are driving nor on a shiny rollercoaster over the rolling hills near Geilo. It is a great achievement if you manage to keep the wheels in the middle of the road so no wonder that a lot is happening. Mainly in the form of digging the cars out of the snow walls.
There was little time for the crews to enjoy the incredible nice scenery, but fortunately the film and foto crews managed to capture it all. Laurens van der Velde and Jenny van der Boel are on there first Winter Trial and seem to have the grip on things now. A fifth place in the overall standings is the reward for great driving and navigation skills. A great performance by Yelmer Buurman on the rally cross track of Dokka, by setting a time that is 10 seconds faster than anybody else. One of our youngest crew members, Kenneth Goei had only a short chance to enjoy the fact that father and son were running towards a podium place. Cooper Goei was a little bit to gready, went of and had to wait an hour for the sweeper car. Today it was the family team of Alexander and Shirley van der Lof taking the lead in Club class, while Harm Lamberechts and Bart den Hartog increased the lead on the Norwegians Thorbjorn Bye / Odvar Moland to 5 minutes.
Day 2 Kongsberg – Geilo
The weather has been changing rapidly overnight. It started to rain a bit, quiet unusual in this part of the world. And when the rain hits the screens of the cars and the roads it turns into ice instantaneous.
Hank and Nicole Melse had to decide to hit an oncoming vehicle or disappear in the bushes. They choose the bushes, but are not alone. One of the top crews Jayne Wignal an Peter Rusforth parked in a snow wall at the 6th regularity of the day loosing some 40 minutes. So the number of crews having a chance to win is diminishing rapidly.
A great performance of Koel/Koel on the ice track moved to the top of the classification only seconds away from the leaders Harm Lamberigts and Bart den Hartog.
Day 1 Oslo – Kongsberg
As usual the rally has not even started and we have already the first crew collecting points for the pissing in the wind trophy. The starter engine of Joep Brunet’s Volvo gave up near Hamburg, so it was keeping the engine going, being pushed on and of the boat.
Classic Job has flown in a new and has his first pre event job.
Also the Porsche from Martin Aaldering refused to start and had to be treated by Job. So in the end all managed to start in time in the dark misty morning.
Not so much luck for John Abel and Andry Pullan. The rear wheel bearing of the Alfa gave up after some 100 from the start. They have found a garage in Kongsberg, but collet a lot of penalties and the chance of a high classification.
The first regularities are on nicely snow covered roads. Having said that, Ludovic Bois was on of the first competitors to become friends with the snow walls. Difficult to say who is going to win this year. Many crews do qualify and after the morning they are only seconds apart. Really suffering are Herman van Oldenmark and Peter van Hoof in the Datsun. The heater does not work and although the sun is shining the temperature in the car is equal to the outside temp. – 5 degree’s below zero.
Just after the lunch break Pit Lindner sets of to the start of the regularitie section. He does not know what has happened but al of a sudden the road has disappeared, there is a big cloud of snow around him and he finds himself in a big snow trap. An hour and a half later he is rescued by Jan Altena Classic service.
The afternoon section saw many crews of the road, caused by extremely icy roads. So keep it on the road was the name of the game.
The wheel bearing for the Alfa has been found thanks to the help from rally ace Paul Wignall after a rescue call from John Abel who happened to have a friend in Norway, who happened to have a spare set of wheel bearings. So they are back on the road again.
The leaderboard shows all the well known names very close together, with a special mentioning of Kenneth Goei this youngest navigator in the rally can be found on the top of the leaderboard in his very first rally.