Day 6 Ljublana – Triëste.

Gijs van Lennep / Iain Tullie and Bert Ziengs / Arie Kroeze are the winners of the 12th Winter Trial

A short run into Italy and the 12thWinter Trial will be finished. One crew is really pushing hard to make it one place up on the leaderboard, but the outcome is the opposite.  Frank Fennel and Kevin Savage break a wheel on the Volvo, get electricity problems and are towed in by Bjorn Andresen / Bennie Roetgerink whilst they are in the middle of the regularity section. The leaders of last night have not changed positions. In the Club category it is Bert Ziengs / Arie Kroeze who take the honor. While Gijs van Lennep / Iain Tullie take the third victory in a row. An achievement only done once before by Frank Fennel / Kevin Savage.
The dates for next year’s Winter Trial are January 20 – 26 2013.

Day 5 Ljubljana  – Ljubljana

Joe Reynolds has bought a sleigh. As he found one along the road in bear country, his thought was that the route into Italy is only downhill, so he would make it to the finish if the MG decides to give up.  The program for today includes not less than 7 regularity sections and a circuit test. At this test we see the works Opel Kadett chasing the Porsche 911 from the Van de Velde brothers and the highlight is the Kadett overtaking the powerful Porsche.

Amazing that after a week rallying one of the rookies on this event still does not understand the fact that we need to stop at a control to get a time recorded. They just wave and continue. The Escort of van Berkel / Heerema looses a front screen while standing still in the car park, whilst Leon van de Kerkhoff / Nico Hermans who are doing so well have to find a garage to fix a drive axle of the Saab.
Today both drivers and navigators are heavily tested. The maze of roads are not really as per map. So experience plays a big role, whereas drivers are tested to the limit, to keep the car on the road. Ronnie Griffin won the evening loop just in front of Michel Perridon / Maurits Verhoef and Harm Lamberigts / Arthur Denzler. Overall Gijs van Lennep / Iain Tullie are still leading before Harm and Arthur, but Frank Fennel / Kevin Savage showed their strength and climbed to third place. The club category saw Bert Ziengs win the day again, but quite a surprise to see Bert Kersten / Frank Soree take second place for the day inspite of the fact that Bert is quite sick. Another great effort of Auke van de Brink, navigating for the Schmidt Zeevis driver Jaap Stok. A third place for this difficult day is quite an achievement.

Just a few more hours to Trieste today and in both categories the winner still has not been decided.

Day 4 Irdning – Ljublana

It was no surprise that we saw Michael Haberl win the evening loop last night. He is more or less driving in his backyard, which makes it even more sad that they had to pull out for the funeral of grandmother  Haberl (98 years) . Slowly but surely a Hertz rent a car team is being formed. We have seen another car going on the trailer. Henk Ruiten / Rene Dwars had serious engine trouble and had to swop the Porsche for on of the courtesy cars from Hertz. Ruud Muller / Edwin Rijsterberg went sideways on one of the regularities and had to be rescued by some other competitors to unblock the road, while Niek Deuze produced the first damage to his Volvo, on loan from Erik Kuiken. Than we came to the Red Bull ice ring were many made some lovely pirouettes, loosing seconds on the same time. As we are now in the second half of the event, have climber Stodersincken, the Planai and the German mountain ranges we head for Slovenia. With now Van Lennep / Tullie firmly leading the Trial Category and Ronald Hof / Wim Meenink leading the Club class, the rest of the field can only attack and that is what they are trying. The youngest participant, Pieter van Spaendock in his dads Mercedes is not only doing his first ever rally but also does this in the Trial class.  A great day for Bert Ziengs / Arie Kroeze with a day win and taking over the lead in Club Category.
Bjorn Andreson / Bennie Roetgerink were not showing in the top of the classifications due to a penalty that showed in the results but in reality had to be taken of. So now they show on third overall.

Day 3 Bad Wörishofen – Irdning

Today the Winter Trial has realy started. Plenty of snow on most of the regularity sections. So some heroic help was needed to save the first cars that were a bit to enthusiast and had to be pulled out of the ditches. Like Geert and Roel van de Velde, Harm Lamberigts and Pim Brunet even needed a big tractor to get out. The cherry on today pudding was of course the by now famous Ice trophee track in Altenmarkt. The Norwegian Mercedes piloted by Bjorn Andresen set fastest time, closely followed by Harm Lamberigts and Xavier Maassen.  Xavier Massen climbed to the top of todays result and won the day. The result for the day shows another leaderboard again. Gijs van Lennep regained his leading position and Jayne Wignall moved up to second place overal. A great performance of Christian Rüter / Stephan Huber, who came third for the day.

In the Club Category it is Ronald Hof/ Wim Meenink who won the day result on this very much testing day and moved to first overall.
The evening loop for the Trial category had quite a new approach. Before the start a starter was served and the main course after the first test, this time a hillclimb on the deep snow of the Planai mountain. Michels Perridon co-driver thought he was helpful by pulling the hand brake in one of the hairpins. The engine stalled, the car stopped and it took them a long time to get going again. Harm Lamberigts parked on a heap of ice and all had a hard time keeping the penalties under ten minutes.

Day 2 Ettlingen- Bad Wörishofen

Rolf Eeftink came to the start in st Gerlach in his well prepared Porsche 356. The engine was ticking over brilliantly but only for a few kilometers. In Nijmegen the engine gave up completely and Rolfs only option was to go home and get another car. Fortunately there was a Triumph TR4 ready to roll. But also the Triumph gave some trouble. This time it was the  dynamo that refused to load the battery but after this was changed by the Altena service crew he could finally enjoy day 2, trouble free. At 120 km/h Jaap van de Broek  looked in his  mirror and saw the  left rear wheel sticking out half a meter from the car. The drive shaft was broken. Just before arriving at the hotel, the second placed MGB of Ronnie Griffin looses all the braking power and they are tip toing to the finish. The Haberls have to leave the rally due to a family problem, but hope to be able to join the group again in Ljublana, and also Paul and Irene Langendoen drive home to look after a sick child.

Meanwhile the leaders in the Trial category, VanLennep / Tullie are doing what they are supposed to do, on this hard day, not making any mistakes and strengthening the leading position. Not less than 7 regularities have to be handled as well as a test on the Mengen airfield. The last regularity called after the Beatle song Here there and everywhere  was exactly that. Lots of snow on the roads made it difficult to find the correct junctions but funny enough we saw only smiling faces at the bar and dinner tables. At the top of the leaderboard things have changed. With only three seconds difference between nrs 1, 2 and 3 we have new leaders. Harm Lamberigts / Arthur Denzler are first followed by day winners Ronny Griffin/Frank Hussey.  The Club category winners of day one Rob Versteegh / Dammy Evertse did it again today, but now followed by Bert Ziengs / Arie Kroeze. See the results page for the full story.

Day 1 Valkenburg – Ettlingen

All but one car have been started by the former prime minister of Holland, a great car enthusiast Jan Peter Balkenende, from Chateau st Gerlach this morning. Balkenende was asked if he would be joining the event next year so often that he had to think hard to find the proper answer. With a fine word and lots of pictures the happy crowd started the first 450 kilometer day to Ettlingen. The missing crew start number 79 Daan Cohen de Lara and Martijn Veldhoven were still in bed when the rally competitors were on there way to  the test at the Holland Casino. Fastest here were Ronnie Griffin / Frank Hussey.

The first regularity in Belgium looked and proved to be difficult for those in the Winter Trial. So penalties all over the place.
The Porsche of equipe 29 Ronald Versluis en Michiel Oortman Gerlings had there first mechanical problem. The engine stalled and the bobine had to be replaced, a problem quickly found by Classic Jaaps mechanic.
More trouble for Joe Reynold from Ireland. His 1958 MG Magnette has a serious engine problem and they have to put the car on the trailer. Within minutes they have found a new (old) engine at a MG enthusiast. They have bought the engine and will try to build it in overnight. Also the Maassens had there piece of bad luck. In the third regularity of the day the main power switch gave up, reparable but it did cost them the first couples of minutes in penalties.
Meanwhile the Irish have build out the engine, 5 mechanics, and some bottles of wine were all helping to get the MG Magnette going again and by midnight the car was running again.

Last years winners, Gijs van Lennep and Iain Tullie are leading the Trial class. Closely followed by Ronnie Griffin / Frank Hussy and Harm Lamberigts / Arthur Denzler.

Rob Versteegh / Dammy Evertse are the leaders in the Club Category closely followed by the surprising German ladies team in the Alfa, Hannegrit Wurt and Heike Wiring. The Epenaren Ronald Hof / Wim Meenink are on a good third place. Full results at the results page.
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