|Hellas Rally: 58-kms opening stage during mixed weather in Nafpaktos.|
Welcome to Greece! The new "Hellas Rally", created after the former "Evia Rally", opened his doors on Sunday for the first round of the "Balkan Cup" (Albania Rally, Hellas Rally, Balkan Marathon, 24-Hours Greece). More then 150 participants followed the invitation, most of them bikes, but also 15 cars, some quads and buggies.
The rally is based in the historic city of Nafpaktos in the Gulf of Patras, all stages will be made in the "Lepanto"-region - which means, the rally is very easy to handle for the service, because all-week long the camp is based directly at the beach of Nafpaktos. The rally is splitted in 6 stages, the shortest with 58 kms in competition, the longest (Thursday) with 338 kms.
The event started on Saturday evening with the prize-giving ceremony of the "Balkan Cup 2012", followed by a first short super special on Sunday with 58 kms of competition. The day began sunny, in the middle of the day it began to rain - normally no problem, but the water made the dusty road wet and slippery.
The stage brought the participants in the hills near Nafpaktos, narrow roads, stones, gravels - not easy to handle. "in some parts it was a little more Trophy then Rally" commented the Bulgarian Dakar-driver Todor Hristov (Mitsubishi Pajero). "Especially for me it was a new experience, because after years of driving with a quad I changed to the cars, which is a different driving."
Even if it´s officially an Amateur-Rally, many well-known names started in the race. One of the highlights in the cars is the Overdrive Toyota of the former "Bowler Challenge" and "Pharaons Rally" winners Jerome Pelichet and Eugenie Decre from France. "The first stage was very different and tricky against other events" they told, "we didn´t find our pace in the first day." They were very fast - but finished as 3rd (+01:35 minutes), only beaten by the locals Dimitriadis / Kalfas (Mitsubishi Pajero T1) and the Israelian Mitsubishi Proto of Heyman / Raz (+01:33 mins).
In the bikes it was the "Balkan Cup"-winner Christian Pastori from Italy, who won the first stage with his Beta 450RR in 01:04:54 hours, followed by the greek Vasilis Boudros (Husaberg, +01:21 mins) and Richard Kaye from UK (KTM, +03:57 mins).
On Monday the "real" competition starts with 327 kms, the stage will cross some mountains, more then 1.800 meters high.
2013/04/22 | 08:39 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS