Karlstad to Oslo

Two great regularities and a test today as the rally finished in the early afternoon.

Overnight snow has fallen and the minor roads north of Karlstad were very icy. Some had been ploughed and occasional grit covered the ice. This still left plenty of tricky conditions to test the crews.

Regularity 2 turned out to be the decider. Many cars went off and at one point 5 were in ditches close to each other. 3 cars spent an hour and a half getting themselves back on the road. This caused some blockages and time penalties to many crews.

Once all the results were in and the jokers were included into the results the winners of the 2014 Winter Trial were applauded by their fellow competitors at the awards dinner in Oslo.

The Trial winners are Thorbjorn Bye and Oddvar Moland in their BMW 2002. Thorbjorn and Oddvar are both Norwegen, so slippery roads are no problem to them and they stayed in the top 3 positions on the rally throughout the event.

The Club winners are Alexander van der Lof and Shirley van der Lof in their BMW 3.0 CSL Alpina. They came from behind in the overall standings to win the Club event after playing their joker to eliminated a large penalty that they picked up on leg 1.

The overall prize winners received their trophys from the Dutch Ambassador in Norway Mrs Bea ten Tusscher

Much to the regret of the organisers, for the first time in the (14-year) history of the Winter Trial a team had to be disqualified for unsportmanlike conduct: team 85, Edwin Schilt and Harry Steenbergen.

Karlstad to Karlstad Today the rally made a loop to the east of Karlstad that contained 5 regularities and a test on a track at the Karlskoga circuit, old time venue of the Swedsh Grand Prix and many famous international race meetings. The track surface was close to being a sheet of ice.

The morning road conditions were as before with clear main roads and ice and snow covered regularities, some of which have at least been gritted. But from midday, first light rain, then as the temperature dropped this turned to snow that covered everything. The result was as usual, cars in ditches, no serious problems to report.

Most of the leading crews came through ok. However John Bateson and Mark I’Anson in their Ford Escort (placed 4th in the Trial) did appear to have a longish detour on regularity 4.

However, once the joker is played in the finish results, where crews can remove their worst regularity score, this detour many not effect their final position by too much.

Also finding themselves in a ditch were last nights Club leaders Bert Kersten and Frank Soree in their big Jaguar MK X. Once again the joker may help them in the finish results totals.

The rally finished tonight at the Rally Sweden Karlstad Super Special Stage 16.

As the WRC cars competed side by side on the 2 lap 1.6km track inside the Farjestadstravet trotting course, the Winter Trial crews enjoyed dinner in the hospitality suits overlooking the track. As if to order the snow came down in large flakes to add to the spectacle.

Todays results (Trial):
1. John Abel / Martyn Taylor in a Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint
2. David Rayner / Dhr. Michael John Briggs in a Ford Capri
3. Dhr. Robert Westland / Michel Bout in a BMW 2002

In the Club category:
1. Alexander van der Lof / Shirley van der Lof in a Renault Alpine
2. Rob de Goey / Ton den Uyl in a Alfa Romeo Alfasud
3. Irene Blauwkuip / Marielle Vehmeyer in a Alfar Romeo Giulia Super

Elverum to Karlstad.

More snow covered roads again today as the rally came south again and back into Sweden. Overnight snow added a light covering over all the icy bits to add more interest to the sections.

Rally Sweden started last night in Karlstad and is running in the same area as the Winter Trial. This morning our first regularity was on the Kirkener Special Stage that the WRC then used twice later in the day.

Also a lot of Rally Sweden spectators have been on the roads and in some cases confusing our marshals and control locations with theirs.

As the rally finished late last night after the night sections, some of the stories are only emerging today. The best involves the Sunbeam Rapier of father and daughter team Andy and Danna Sim.

They are fairly new to rallying but the bash on regardless spirit certainly applies to them. Firstly Andy managed to cut his hand quite badly on a winch while he was extracting the car from a ditch. Ignoring that he ploughs on into the night section at the back of the running order.

On the last regularity of the night he crosses the finish timing point at some speed, clips the edge, hits a snow bank, turns the car sideways and does a full 360 degree roll. As Andy says “we touched the roof on the snow at some point”.

After landing on the wheels, he then did a multi point turn and headed off down the road to collect his time from the waiting marshals. Well done Andy and Danna.

By the way, Danna is a gymnast, but I bet she was not expecting to be upside down on this event.

Todays results (Trial):
1. Svein Lund / Dhr. Tore Fredriksen in a Datsun 240 Z
2. Harm Lamberigts / Arthur Denzler in a Ford Escort MK I
3. James O’Mahony / Frank Hussey in a Volvo 122 S

In the Club category:
1. Dhr. Pit Lindner / Guido Nase in a BMW 2002
2. Jo Heesakkers / Wim Peters in a Daf 66
3. Willem Maats / Ton van Daal in a Mercedes 300 SE

Karlstad to Elverum.

A long day today starting with the first car out of Karlstad at 7:50 on the day leg for both Trial and Club and then followed by a night leg for the Trial only seeing the last car into Elverum at 12:30am the following morning.

The Rally has moved north throughout the day, crossing into Norway by early afternoon. By then the temperatures had dropped below freezing and there was plenty of snow about. The regularities were ploughed but not gravelled and were quite tricky.

On the third regularity of the day at one point 10 cars were off the road and in ditches at the same time. They all eventually got themselves out or waited for assistance from the course sweeping Landrover.

One casualty was Ronnie Griffin in his MGB who ditched himself avoiding a local. At least the local helped to pull him out again, but to Ronnie and his navigator Paul Vermee’s disgust, they found the last regularity timing point immediately around the next bend.

The night leg consisted of 4 regularities and the repeat of a test done earlier in the day on the Scania Truck driving course. This was a tricky undulating course with off cambered bends designed to test the skills of young truck drivers on tight ice and snow covered conditions. Both sides of the track were high snow banks and these were visited by a number of cars, but much fun was had.

Todays results (Trial leg 3):
1. Dhr. Hank Melse / Nicole Melse in a Porsche 911
2. Paul Wignall / Guy RJ Woodcock in a Porsche 911
3. Bjorn Andresen / Bennie Roetgerink in a Porsche 911

Todays results (Trial leg 4):
1. Dhr. Ake Andersson / Dhr. Hans Sylvan in a MG
2. Dhr. Robert Westland / Michel Bout in a BMW 2002
3. Cor Meulen / Ad van der Werf in a Porsche 911

In the Club category:
1. Alexander van der Lof / Shirley van der Lof in a Renault Alpine
2. Philipp Wolff / Kenneth Tjon in a Porsche 924
3. Leonard Stolk / Joost Cohen in a Porsche 911

Jonkoping to Karlstad.

Six regularities and a test kept everyone busy today. Snow conditions were mixed with the main roads clear, while the ice and snow cover on the regularity sections was patchy.

The Lunch halt was at the Saab museum in Trollhaten, a very nice display that traces the history of Saab from the very first car, through their rally history in the 50s, 60s and 70s and up to the latest models and concept cars.

Period Rally Films were also playing in the film theatre featuring drivers like Erik Carlsson, Stig Blomqvist and Bjorn Cederberg.

The main drama today came on regularity 3 where a good driving gesture ended in chaos.

First Jaap van den Bent in his BMW 1600 crossed the regularity finish timing line and pulled wide on the road to give room to a lady walking her dogs.

His front wheel caught the snow line and he ploughed down a bank and stuck in a ditch.

The following competitors then stopped to help. This caused a blockage so along came Pim Brunet de Rochebrune who promptly went into the ditch on the other side of the road, so more blockage. In the end 7 cars were stationary between the timing line and the marshal point further down the road.

The saviour was Fer d’Amaud in his Mercedes 280 S, who acted as tow car and pulled both cars out of their respective ditches. Eventually everything cleared and all the cars were given their correct times.

Ronnie Griffin, MGB GT, got fastest time on the test again despite having a detour off route, through a snow bank and on 2 wheels for a time.

A crew change today as the co driver in the Ford Cortina GT, Kristin Brekke, has been taken ill. She called her friend, Nicolina Hubert this morning while she was in her shower. She promptly called in sick and took over the navigators seat. However Nicolina is more at home as a driver on events such as Carerra Panamericana, so the time keeping has gone a little astray. Never mind, have fun.

Todays results (Trial):
1. Cor Meulen / Ad van der Werf in a Porsche 911 ST
2. Svein Lund / Tore Fredriksen in a Datsun 240 Z
3. Thorbjorn Bye / Oddvar Moland in a BMW 2002 Tii

In the Club category:
1. Rob de Goey / Ton den Uyl in an Alfa Romeo Alfasud
2. Yelmer Buurman / Nathalie van der Lof in a Renault Alpine
3. Alexander van der Lof / Shirley van der Lof in a Renault Alpine

Kopenhagen to Jonkoping.

Good first day with some and ice and snow on the regularities, but a couple of warm days had melted the thick ice that was here last weekend. Reports are coming in that further north as we get closer to Norway there is 2 meters of snow, so stay tuned.

One of today’s highlights was the Rally Cross circuit at Taberg. Gravel, Ice and snow sections pleased the crews no end with many of them asking if they could do it again. The locals were also out in force so the whole atmosphere was great.

If you know the area around here you will agree that the tunnel and a long bridge that provides the road link from Kopenhagen to Malmo, is not a place to break down.

Well John Rowe and Hunter Smith did.

They came to a spluttering halt in the tunnel in their MK II Jaguar with a fuel blockage caused by using the wrong glue to seal their fuel pipe, which then dissolved and sealed their carburettor.

As John is very well connected, he had the recovery crew take him and the car to the King of Denmark’s mechanic who had it fixed and running in very quick order.

Another of today’s casualties was Eric Hak and Yvonne Hodderbach who lost the clutch in their Opel Commodore GS, coming to a halt at the lunch halt. Tonight they are looking for a cable hoping to rejoin the rally tomorrow.

Vrededstein to the rescue once again. Roy Perkins and Ali Proctors were very happy to have them on hand when a local driver ran into the side of them on a motorway and burst one of their tires.

On the navigation side, Marco Altena was very happily navigating Harm and their Rover P5B on Regularity 2 for some considerable distance until a right turn did not match his maps. Oops, he was using the instructions for Regularity 3. Best check first tomorrow.

Todays best three in the Trial category:
1. Michael Koel / Nico Koel in a Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
2. Harm Lamberigts / Arthur Denzler in a Ford Escort MK I
3. Cor Meulen / Ad van der Werf in a Porsche 911 ST

In the Club category:
1. Rob de Goey / Ton den Uyl in an Alfa Romeo Alfasud
2. Leonard Stolk / Joost Cohen in a Porsche 911 T
3. Jo Heesakkers / Wim Peters in a Daf 66 Marathon

See the Results for the classification after this first day.

Kopenhagen Scruitinering and signing, Sunday February 2nd.

107 cars and crews have arrived in Kopenhagen for final signing on and preparation for the rally starting in the morning.

Many cars have fitted the studded tires that Vrededstein have generously discounted and offered to crews to use on this rally.

Martin Aaldering and Herman Schipper are seen here admiring the studs on their Porsche 911.

Lets hope everyone has plenty of chance to enjoy these tires in the snow and ice that we expect to encounter before we reach Oslo next Sunday.

Kopenhagen, Saturday February 1st.

The rally has not started yet, but we do have quite a bit of unfortunate news.

Bennie Roetgerink had to pull out of the event even before the start because of tragic family matters.

So Bjorn has been very worried, and phoning around to see who is available at the last moment.

By the look of it he just confirmed that Anna Sylvan from Sweden will be his co-driver.

Also bad to hear that Wim Meenink just 40 kilometer before Kopenhagen has lost all water from the radiator which now needs to be replaced.
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