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Breslau Poland: Rally on standby by Military because of actual political situation. | 18.07.2014


Breslau Poland: The truck-legends are back - scrutineering - Ford Ranger. | 12.07.2014


Breslau Poland PHOTOS: First Impressions of the Scrutineering in Recz (60). | 12.07.2014


Africa Eco Race: End of preferential rates - review rally presentations Europe. | 04.07.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Carlos Sousa switch from Great Wall to Mitsubishi Petrobras. | 04.07.2014


Hungarian Baja: 2014 is promising a big challenge for 11th edition in Hungary. | 03.07.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot 2008 DKR - first test, new detailed technical data. | 03.07.2014













































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Croatia Trophy: Mud, sweat and tears as the real competition go under way.









Rallyreport by Robb Pritchard: Friday was all smiles and laughter, but Saturday it was all mud, sweat and tears as the real competition got under way with a 53km monster.

The gentle shimmer of the new leaves on the trees was gradually drowned out by the short stabs of powerful engines and the unmistakable chatter of a Gigglepin winch and then like a rally-raid car at full tilt Jim Marsden came tearing up the forest track... and then there was nothing... not for another 25 minutes... until Hungary's Boros Csaba ambled by in his nice looking Jeep replica.

Another quarter of an hour later and it was Cristoph Wieland in his Jeep bodied Unimog closely followed by the Prologue winner Walter Schuhmacher in his beautiful Wrangler. They wound down a steep valley into a deep gully with almost sheer sides and then had the steep banks of a couple of streams to negotiate but after the first 15 cars had passed the gully had become a thin but impassible swamp.

With one car on its side with a burst radiator and another immobilised with a jammed winch cable it was easier for those behind to winch up the bank to get around... It looked like Marsden was home free... a walk in the park instead of a winch event in the forest.

I know these hills quite well. I run an off-road tour company [ www.world4x4.co.uk ] and know that although they're great fun to drive most of the old logging trails around here are dead ends, but event organiser Igor Bozikovic knows the woods even better and his roadbook led the crews off to place no other vehicle has ever been, just following the marks on the trees where it was quite hard to walk, never mind race!

I was back at camp at about 4... but not many others were. Only the best teams and those who'd given up early had made it back and most of the gazebos were still zipped up closed. My car is parked next to the Pro-X team so the first person I spoke to was Yuri Selifonov, director of Pro-X, one of the world's best off-road events.

"It was a nice day," he said. "We were slow, always slow, but that is the plan." Last year he only won a single stage, the longest and hardest, and was so far ahead of his rivals that he won comfortably, so his plan is to take it nice and easy all the way.

Opposite Yuri's camp were my friends from last year's Ladoga Trophy, Peter Timmers and Michel De Witte, but instead of the nice G4 Land Rover they took to Russia they are in Peter's 90 in the slightly less intense Adventure class.

"It was a very nice and technical stage," explained Michel. "Apart from a nasty 300 meter long swamp there was nothing too complicated. We were the 10th car out in our class and that's not so bad!"

Walter Schuhmacher was sitting with his relaxed team. "Today was good," said the guy who had the car about 2 metres off the ground yesterday. "We had no problems apart from a few issues with the roadbook and the ground was really dry so we didn't have such a trouble with the track. I was actually expecting it to be harder."

Someone hoping that things were a whole lot easier was Peter Whitman in his huge D&G buggy. "There's no power in the engine," Anthony, one of his team members explained. "We tried everything and think that maybe it's a problem with the cam..."

Fritz Becker in his massive Jeep didn't even get out of the camp this morning. He managed about 350 metres yesterday and now has some problems with the pistons in his big V8.

In the little G-Wagen Janez Krivic was going so fast that I thought he was in the Trophy class but as it's his co-driving son's first event he's in Adventure. "It was hard to follow the route as the trees had the marks put on them three weeks ago... it's all green now so it's very hard to see. But everything is good," he smiled.

But it wasn't so good for the local Croatian teams today. Gordan Krota was doing well until a branch punctured the radiator. "We could have kept going," he said.

"But we thought it would be better to come back to camp. It's only the first day though, it's such a long event that one day doesn't really matter... we just had some bad luck." He did much better than his team mate Boris Kus who smashed the rear diff just 3km from the start. "He didn't even get off the first page of the roadbook," Gordan shrugged.

The bizarre pink buggy of Sergei Savenko had also made it back. "It was all going good," said co-driver Denis Maltsev. "With the two low-boxes it goes up the hills really well and because it's so small and short it's easily manoeuvrable. But we broke a shock and so we didn't finish."

In the Gigglepin tent it was a slightly better atmosphere... but only just. "We started well and overtook 3 cars straight away so I thought this is going well but the route is quite undefined in places and as we were first we lost time looking for the route. And then we got to a place where the marshall insisted that we had to cross the river and it was a damn nightmare."

"I am sure that the right way was to the right over the bridge and by the time we'd managed to get out Boros had caught right up with us. I was furious! And then we kept catching up with the Adventure class whose route kept crossing ours so we needed to constantly overtake. We were going well again but then had a puncture at km40. To be fair though I really enjoyed it today, but all in all I would say that we lost nearly an hour and a half... and we have a few little issues to sort..."

"Yeah! The driver is useless!"co-driver Wayne Smith said. "But to be fair to the organisers," Jim added. "The roadbook was right. The problem is how you interpret it. And because it was made a little while ago the countryside looks different now."

The organiser's caravan wasn't exactly a hive of activity as I left for the internet connection in the village. "The marshall at the last time control has all of the cards and they are waiting for all of the people who are lost in the woods," the guy at the laptop explained. So there are no official results from today yet, but unless someone did something amazing from near the back of the field then Jim Marsden, Boras Csaba and Walter Schuhmacher are somewhere near the top.

Sunday is Trophy day where crews form into teams of three or four and have to complete a short but hard section for the enjoyment of the spectators who will come from Zagreb and the surrounding towns. Then it will be the night stage... and so I am not sure if I will get out to the internet on Sunday...

2012/04/30 | 17:28 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/PRITCHARD











Breslau Poland: Rally on standby by Military because of actual political situation. | 18.07.2014 09:56 |




Breslau Poland RESULTS: Daily results after SS01 Recz / Recz roundcourse | 13.07.2014 23:38 |




Breslau Poland: The truck-legends are back - scrutineering - Ford Ranger. | 12.07.2014 15:17 |




Breslau Poland PHOTOS: First Impressions of the Scrutineering in Recz (60). | 12.07.2014 14:29 |




Africa Eco Race: End of preferential rates - review rally presentations Europe. | 04.07.2014 15:44 |




Rally Raid VIDEO: Special tuned and loud Nissan Patrol RB25DET from Bulgaria | 04.07.2014 15:14 |




Red Bull Romaniacs: The most diversified Extreme Enduro track ever in 2014 | 04.07.2014 14:24 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Carlos Sousa switch from Great Wall to Mitsubishi Petrobras. | 04.07.2014 11:21 |




Baja Deutschland VIDEO: Summary of Dutch competitors in Germany in June | 04.07.2014 10:37 |




TORC 2014: Douglas continues to run up front - finishes Third in Round 7 | 04.07.2014 10:17 |




Hungarian Baja: 2014 is promising a big challenge for 11th edition in Hungary. | 03.07.2014 22:28 |




TORC 2014: Barlow Motorsports - All four cars had various levels of success | 03.07.2014 22:22 |




Dakar Rally 2015 VIDEO: The all-new Peugeot 2008 DKR buggy - first preview | 03.07.2014 19:08 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot 2008 DKR - first test, new detailed technical data. | 03.07.2014 18:48 |




Donaldson CC: The African sands deliver their verdict in the Dakar Challenge | 03.07.2014 18:18 |




TORC 2014: Team Kleiman Off Road Racing - "Big House Brawl" Race Report | 03.07.2014 18:11 |




TORC 2014: Ross Hoek gets first PRO-4x4 Podium - third place in round 8 | 03.07.2014 17:55 |




Donaldson CC VIDEO: Impressions Toyota Team Kalahari Botswana Desert race | 03.07.2014 17:48 |




Donaldson CC: Rhide SA´s Brian Baragtwanath wins Quads Dakar Challenge | 03.07.2014 17:38 |




Donaldson CC: Bertholdt / Rousseau win free entry for the Dakar Rally 2015. | 03.07.2014 17:17 |




Donaldson CC: History repeats in Special Vehicles Class in Botswana rally | 03.07.2014 15:40 |




Donaldson CC: Taylor / Murphy win Toyota Botswana 1000 Dakar Challenge. | 03.07.2014 15:17 |




OiLibya Morocco: Organizer NPO unveils details of the 2014 stages in Morocco. | 27.06.2014 14:22 |




OiLibya Morocco VIDEO: Official trailer for the OiLibya Rally in Morocco 2014 | 27.06.2014 14:04 |




Dakar Challenge: Team Rhide SA ready for the Dakar Challenge in Botswana | 26.06.2014 18:52 |




FIA CC World Cup: UAE study points way to increasing safety to saving lives. | 26.06.2014 17:48 |




LOORR 2014: Solid weekend at Miller sport park in Utah for Casey Currie | 26.06.2014 17:02 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Japanese Hino truck already preparing for 2015 Dakar Rally | 26.06.2014 16:59 |




Dakar Rally 2015: X-raid strikes back - Dakar winner Roma extends contract. | 25.06.2014 17:33 |




ULTRA 4 Europe: Second day report ULTRA 4 race in Italy - by Robb Pritchard | 25.06.2014 14:43 |




AXCR Asia CC Rally: Outlander PHEV to tackle rally for second straight year. | 25.06.2014 14:14 |




AXCR Asia CC Rally VIDEO: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Hybrid in AXCR Rally | 25.06.2014 14:08 |




Donaldson CC: Desperate times for Special Vehicles in Botswana 1000 desert | 25.06.2014 13:53 |




TORC 2014: Flying Dutchman Mike Vanden Heuvel prepares for Crandon Brush | 25.06.2014 12:59 |




TORC 2014 VIDEO: Impressions from TORC Series by Amsoil round Bark River | 25.06.2014 12:57 |




TORC 2014: Dale Chestnut wins RD2 and leads TORC Classix Championship | 25.06.2014 12:46 |




TORC 2014: Steve Barlow and Adrian Cenni take PRO-class podiums in BR | 25.06.2014 12:45 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Former Winner Nasser al-Attiyah to switch to Toyota 2015. | 24.06.2014 17:54 |




LOORR 2014: Team Toyo’s Kyle LeDuc captures third successive sweep in Utah | 24.06.2014 17:15 |




Baja Rally: Mexican rally adds new Adventure Bike Expert class for 2014. | 24.06.2014 16:54 |




















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