While most of us were enjoying our annual summer break, escaping from fluds, forest fires and other natural disasters, Iain Tullie was out on the Polish, Slowakian and Czech roads again to make sure that they were ready for the coming Winter Trial. With 2968 Kms driven in 7 days, 37 pages of tulips and over 70 hours of dashcam footage I guess there is still a bit work to do before we get to the event start on Januari 28, 2024.
Start of the event
Starting the recce, there was a good meeting with the Head of M-Sport Poland, Maciej Woda, to discuss the pre-event arrangements. Those of you arriving by plane will see their premises as you land, it is literally right next to the airport.
on Saturday the 27th of January the event will start with the usual scrutineering, signing on, documentation and tripmeter check. Added to that for this years edition is the completely new Leg 0. A loop with 2 regularities to help you get back into the Winter Trial system or for the rookies, to finally put all the theory into practise without the risk of penalty points.
Signing on and scrutineering will close at 15:00 o’clock on the Saturday.
We thought we had visited all of Slovakia on the June trip, but we visited even more this time. Starting one recce day 10 km from the Polish border in the North and finishing only 10 km from the Hungarian border in the South. We didn’t go East towards the Ukraine… and we will not do so on the event.
Leg 1 takes us out of Krakow and into Slowakia on the first day of the event. A nice and typical day 1 for the Winter Trial although it will have a bit more competition than we had in 2023.
So Leg 2 in Slovakia has now taken shape and is looking good, with a great mixture of mountain, forest and countryside roads with some fantastic scenery. It will be a long day of over 400 kms, but it should get everyone nicely ‘warmed up’ ahead of the next 3 days in Czech Republic. Thanks to Team Novosad (Peter and Peter jnr), our local Slowakian hero’s, who had also been out scouting and video-ing roads for us ahead of this trip.
Leg 3 will take us to Olomouc so we are into the Czech Republic for half the day. It promises to be an interesting day again with a bit more competition again gradually building to the first evening loop, leg 4. We will keep the where about of that a secret for now.
Leg 5, the only day entirely in the Czech Republic, out from and back to Olomouc.
Great regs and interesting road sections. We even found some interesting vineyard roads South of Brno… a test or 2 and again, we build up the game to the finale.
Leg 6 is mostly in the Czech Republic again, going North. Passing and going over the Tatra mountains the past few day’swhat more fitting venue than the Tatra Truck Museum for a TC? The current exhibition of the TATRA Technical Museum in Kopřivnice consists of a typologically compact collection of passenger cars, with which the TATRA car company made its mark in the world history of 20th century motoring. And we will add in a wonderful test close to the Polish border at the end of the leg.
Leg 7 will remain a secret for now, all I can say now is that you will cross more than 1 border that night…
On the final morning of leg 8 we’ll head over the mountains from Wisla back into the Matopolska region as we head towards Krakow. The final regularity is one of several that uses sections of special stages on stage rallies, so we hope should round off the event with some adrenaline flowing!