|Breslau Rally: Sun, dust and thunderstorms during the prologue on Saturday.|
On Saturday morning at 10:00h this year's edition of the Breslau Rally in Polen started with the prologue. The day was hot on the adventure side and physically. At 9:30h the temperature was already at 24 degrees C and climbing rapidly.
The base camp was established next to a series of huge abandoned industrial buildings in various states of decay. Directly next to the camp a section was carefully crafted for the prolog stage which was Saturdays first driving task. After the prolog the participants are driving a special section of about 60 kms in a wide circle.
While the conditions initially seemed to be on the dusty side this soon proved to be a wrong assumption. As the temperature rose more and more huge cloud towers started building and not very much later a huge thunderstorm swept across the camp and deposited its share of adventure.
Within less than two minutes everyone in the open either had run for cover or was fully soaked. Even owning an umbrella just proved to be an asset if you could duck close to the ground in a protected corner as the wind increased significantly.
For the participants this not only meant that the cars without side windows took on a serious amount of water but also that the track conditions changed literally within seconds. From a desert-like dust and sand setting the actors found themselves thrown in a jungle-like humid environment with slippery tracks and rapidly forming puddles.
Dust was no longer an issue and got substituted by mud. Strong gusts sent first tents flying. One person even got injured while he was trying to secure an airborne tent and got heavily hit on the head. The medical team responded quickly and fortunately everyone was well again in the afternoon.
In total the prologue can be described as less tough compared to last year - however also faster and more bumpy. Three laps had to be driven by all participants.
"On the first day we in addition to the prologue another stage is driven." explained a happy organizer Henril Strasser. "That is why we tried to keep the prolog itself simple to not risk delays in starting the section afterwards." The sections consisted of about 60 kms of track around the camp in an area with small forests and sandy sections. Originally it was planned to only cross three muddy sections - however that was before the rain set in.
In the motorcycle category Marcin Kruger was first with his Yamaha (7:26 min) ahead of Beat Juen (7:56) and Oliver Post (8:01, both KTM), in the bike category Quads Mikael Levievre (8:38, CanAm) ahead of Andrzey Pieron (8:42, CanAm) and Marek Gluszek (8:43, Yamaha). The side-by-side fraction was lead by Chaskus/Colin (8:00) ahead of Meunier/Duttafoghi (8:11) and Pinchedez/Pinchedez (8:16, all Polaris).
The cars were lead by the Polish Nissan Patrol Team Oleszcak/Chelmicki with 7:28 min followed by the German Crew Hähle/Braun (Toyota Proto, 7:53) and the previous Breslau winners Kufel/Samosiuk from Poland (Grat 2 Proto) with 8:41 minutes.
In the light trucks (below 7.5 tons) section Trio Töpfer/Budde/Heinzig won with their Mercedes with 10 mintes, followed by Günther/Irmscher/Günther (10:30) and Wemhoff/Hesselmann (10:35, both also Unimog).
The former winners Ostaszewski/Piasecki/Papas were the fastest heavy truck with 10:20 minutes ahead of Neubert/Neubert/Herbst (11:06, Mercedes SK 6x6) and Chemnitz/Beier/Möller (11:20, IFA L60).
Results from the special section after the prologue are not yet available.
2012/06/30 | 19:44 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS