Starting from the city centre of Miastko for 146km of magical forest tracks the competitors of the Rallye Breslau Poland wasted no time. Right from the beginning the competition was there, with bikes and ATV’s chasing each other and strategic games among the fastest cars and SSV’s. On the first day a race is rarely won, but the competitors made the most of it!
“We already had the number!” says Tomasz Wojtyra with a smile, finishing as first in the SSV Cross Country ranking with start number 101. Shaking the sand from his body, he is happy as he can be. “We had one scary moment, when we jumped and landed on a tree. I simply floored it and we made it across. Now we are here, it is a great first day!”
In the Car Cross Country ranking speed is important, but strategy counts as well. “All day we raced with Frank Stensky and Herman Jasper, chasing each other from corner to corner,” says Jorg Grünbeck. At the finish, he had the fastest time, winning the stage in the Car Cross Country ranking. “Can you imagine, we arrived at the finish line with a broken radiator hose, it could have been a very different story for us!”
“Last year we raced with the quad,” says Jan Peter Hartog, co-driver of Rik Brink in the ORD Toyota, finishing fourth today. “And I think I prefer to be in the car. The navigation is fantastic, it is such a rewarding thing when you find the route and you can overtake people by being smarter. The landscape is just awesome, it is such a joy to compete here!”
The Polish teams do not only dominate the SSV ranking, but are just as unbeatable on the ATV with Daniel Radzio winning the stage ahead of Leonard Tietianiec. In the motorbike ranking Andrius Liskus from Lithuania wins the stage, just over a minute ahead of Tomasz Dabrowski from Poland. With the teams finishing seconds from each other, the tension is there right from the beginning!
In the Cross Country class the big trucks are impressive, with Tom Heuer and his Tatra 815 as winner today. He leaves Robert Striebe with the fast MAN behind him, just as William van Groningen in the Dutch DAF CF 75 and Tilo Suptitz in the KAMAZ. On a stage like today, there is no need for power and high speed, but suspension, handling and navigation make all the difference.
The heritage of the Rallye Breslau Poland is the Extreme class, with a long swamp right before the finish of the stage today. The first two cars – David Drancourt and Jorg Ranisch – master the challenge with ease, but Patrice Boch from France gets stuck right at the entrance of the swamp, and has to winch over 100m distance. Extension cords are collected, and three cars reach the finish line together: the spirit of the Breslau.
It is in such conditions that the Unimog excels: Steffen Braun makes it through the last obstacle before the finish with ease and wins his class, even though his engine is missing one cylinder! For the bigger trucks a different route was chosen, and here it is Henri Verhoeven with the GINAF who takes the lead in the overall ranking. As we write this the last competitors in the Extreme Class are still on the stage – no lack of adventure!
The Rallye Breslau Poland will continue tomorrow with two special stages, near Czarne and Charnobor and a total length of 175 km.