27.06 – 04.07.2015
After 8 days, 9 stages, 4 camps, over 1500 kilometers of special stage Rallye Breslau Poland 2015 reached the finish in Drawsko Pomorskie! ‘The Breslau’ has finished successfully in both Cross Country Class and Extreme Class. Racing the Breslau is racing in Europe, through forests, sand and water. Our deserts are the huge Polish forests, our sand dunes are the quarries and the vast open sand fields and moorlands in Central Europe. Long distances, dust, mud, tough navigation and endurance are the key elements of this race and the 2015 edition was incredible.
Over 1500 kms of special stage, crossing two densely populated countries in the heart of Europe: the organisers of Rallye Breslau Poland have made the impossible a reality with the rally road book crossing five different locations. The start and the first weekend in the quarry near Profen, organised together with the 4×4 Club Leipzig covered already 250 racing kilometers. Returning to Senftenberg on Monday morning was a special surprise for those who know the Breslau from the old days. After a short and fast stage of 40 kms the race moved on to Biedrusko near Poznan where a moist forest was waiting for the competitors. For the Extreme class this was one of the toughest areas of the race, with the swamps and the wet clay making the tracks almost impassable. After the US Army left the Drawsko Polygon we were allowed to move North, towards the finish. Moving from the southwest to the northwest of Poland brought Rallye Breslau Poland to a different region, with the sandy forests of Borne Sulinowo and the open areas of Drawsko Pomorskie allowing for longer stages and a grand finish at the Drawsko Polygon. The Breslau moved from Germany to Poland, from the quarries to the forests and from mud to dust – covering all aspects of Western-Europe’s terrain.
‘It is my goal to organise a competition at World cup level, but for amateur teams.’ says the Race Director Alexander Kovatchev, who is proud of the work of the volunteers and ORGA this year. ‘This year we have been able to organise an excellent competition with a beautiful road book, and we are very happy with the feedback we have received so far. It gives us extra energy to work on the Balkan Offroad Rallye this September and on Breslau Poland 2016!’
‘Finally I want to thank all sponsors and supporters of Rallye Breslau. Thank you, Outback Import for your continuous support and presence at the event. Thank you, Lazer Lights for the beautiful night stage and the trophies for the winners of this stage. Thank you, Fliegl for being part of the event and for the trophies in memory of Klaus P. Kessler, the journalist who helped to promote the Breslau for years. Thank you, WARN, TABEX, RMX Racing and all the other sponsors of Rallye Breslau Poland 2015!
CC – 74.03 km
EX – 74.03 km
Special stage in the quarry near Profen: the teams battled for victory, reaching speeds well over 150 km/h on the long straights, drifting around the corners and over the hills and ditches in the mine. The bikes started before the cars and trucks, and unfortunately had to deal with strong rain which cleared the dust for the cars and trucks.
”It was fast and an incredible stage!’ says Henno van Bergeijk as he arrives as first bike at the finish, ahead of Frank Modl and Rico van der Sanden. With the rain the conditions changed completely from dust to mud and the track became very technical for the bikes and quads.
‘Are you sure we are 14 seconds in front of the Cross Country?’ says Jim Marsden at the finish. He is covered in mud from an encounter with a truck. ‘We overtook one of the trucks and suddenly a tidal wave hit our car, for a minute we could not see anything! Clearly we want to win the rally and reach the finish line. I drove quite slow, we want to reach this goal and its eight days away!’
CC – 147 km
EX – 152 km
The old times of the Breslau are back: it was many years ago when the competitors in the Extreme Class faced challenges as they had today, with the steep downhill sections and the washout area in the mine. After the first vehicles found their route the speed moved up, but when the trucks arrived the action began. Unimogs were flying through the air, the big 8×8 and 6×6 trucks got stuck and we saw axles break in enthusiastic manoeuvres.
Marino Mutti managed five out of seven laps, rolling his Unimog in the extreme sections at least four times. Jumping into the quarry, landing on the nose and breaking the steering means he’s out for now. The small and fast Unimogs are built for extreme terrain, but even this comes to an end when you push too much.
At the same time the Cross Country class had completely different challenges to face: dust, mud, navigation and the speed of Raz Heymann who is leading the pack among the cars. ‘He is racing at the limit!’ says Herman Jasper, who decided to focus on next Saturday, at the finish in Drawsko Pomorskie and take it easy on the stage.
CC – 38 km
EX – 37 km
The legendary stage in Senftenberg is 10 kilometres long, and with 4 laps the teams race about 40 km. The area has been changed radically in the ten years since the Breslau was here for the last time and even though it is less extreme the bikers struggle. Bjoern Stauss: ‘Even though it is not particularly technical, you have to pay attention to both the terrain and your road book. At one point I was sure of the road book, but I overlooked a small ditch and me and my bike went flying. Ouch!’
‘This is a demanding event!’ says Thomas Dasinger, copilot of Konni Theobald. ‘Yesterday was incredible, today we have the stage in Niederlausitz, we change camps and tonight we have the night stage.’ Keeping the teams busy, Alexander Kovatchev decided to take the helicopter to master the race as Race director. ‘It looks beautiful from the sky, this is a legendary place for a reason!’
Truckers never let each other down. So when Leon de Wit got stuck his direct competitor Ralf Neubert pulled him out, taking time to recover two trucks from the swamp. ‘We have to help each other,’ explains Guido.
LAZER NIGHT STAGE
CC – 79 km
EX – 71 km
This night is for the Breslau! More than 70 kilometres on road book with incredible navigation and spectacular driving for both classes. That is the Lazer Night Challenge and it does not come easy. ‘We got lost at the third tulip,’ said Jim Marsden, summarising his adventure. ‘But the leading Cross Country car came back to the start right when we had to leave, so he was in a world of pain too!’
Navigating in the forest is one of the toughest things to do, because as soon as you miss crossing you are lost. ‘Yes, this happened to us,’ Raz Heymann grins. ‘And we got stuck somewhere were no other car or truck would pass. After a lot of digging we managed to get unstuck and we thought all chances of a good result were lost. But no, here we are as first car at the finish!’
CC – 158 km
EX – 110 km
The special stage on the Polygon in Biedrusko for the Cross Country class was 158 km and 110 km for the Extreme class. ‘I am curious to see where we have driven last night!’ says Frank Stensky, starting as one of the first cars. Last night was tough for the CC and truly difficult for the EX class. ‘I went in so deep,’ quad rider Remi shows the depth of the water he went through. ‘I love this Extreme class, and today the road book looks good!’
‘We have made some changes to the road book after driving the stage early today’, explains Alexander Kovatchev at the briefing. ‘Due to the rain the tracks are wet and difficult, so we took out one of the toughest extreme sections and we cut several very wet areas for the Cross Country class.’ The Breslau is a rally in Europe, with typical European terrain and obstacles.
Rico van der Sanden and Henno van Bergeijk are the first to finish in LEG 4 of the Rallye Breslau Poland 2015, riding with incredible speed and chasing each other on the fast Cross Country stage. ‘We managed to ride away from Frank Modl today!’, Henno smiles. ‘This is excellent riding,’ adds Rico, who is happy at the finish line. ‘The guy who wrote this road book is very smart, I like it!’
CC – 321 km
EX – 270 km
It’s typical on the Breslau: Dutch bikers are fast, very fast. Rico van der Sanden and Henno van Bergeijk are playing games, riding together on the short and fast stage near Biedrusko. Incredible forest roads, along the Warta river and across the Polygon, the Rallye Breslau Poland is for bikers who love the sand and the European terrain.
Today we had incredible situations in the Extreme class, with co-drivers shouting, winches running hot and cars and trucks sinking until the dashboard into the water and the mud. After an extreme section the road book continues for another 100 kilometers through the forests of West-Poland. Just remember to put the road book in the dry place before you leave the vehicle!
Thank you Biedrusko for the excellent stages that we had here in the Rallye Breslau. Today the rally continues via Okonek to Borne Sulinowo on a very fast special stage of 80 kilometres. The dry and sandy area of Borne is excellent for Cross Country racing, it will be a change of terrain after the tight forests of Biedrusko.
CC – 270 km
EX – 195 km
Beautiful forests, precise and difficult navigation: Biedrusko has it all on today’s stage. ‘Right after the start I lost the front runners Rico and Henno, there was no way to get back to them!, says the biker Frank Modl at the finish. He lost time with navigation errors on the 80 kilometres from Biedrusko to Borne Sulinowo and he was not the only one. Frank Stensky and Herman Jasper (car CC) chased each other like there was no tomorrow, pushing the boundaries of their cars and navigators and the same we saw in the Trucks Extreme, with Leon de Wit racing to make up for the time lost with his engine problems earlier this week.
Frank Stensky tries with all he has to move forward in the overall ranking. To be beaten by the fast Israeli Avid Kadshai was not what he had in mind and he has difficulty finding his rhythm in this year’s Rallye Breslau Poland. Still he is in second place overall and with two more days to come. ‘We could do with a day of uncomplicated driving,’ says his son and navigator Stephan Stenksy. ‘So many small problems, from dirt in the fuel to technical issues and difficulty with the navigation. But we are in the second place, I know what we have to do.’
CC – 459 km
EX – 216 km
Crossing from Biedrusko to Drawsko Pomorskie the teams are preparing for the final push. With the arrival at the Polygon the navigation made one step up – to race in Rallye Breslau you need the road book and you need to take your time for it, one of the reasons why so many Dakar bike riders were successful in Rallye Breslau.
The point in the road book which caused problems for many competitors was at km 62, a double crossing in front of an asphalt road. ‘I checked it this morning,’ says Konstantin from the organisation, who is working around the clock to coordinate everything around the race. ‘Actually the point is clear, but when you are travelling at high speed it’s easy to miss.’
The endgame is on: the last LEG in Drawsko Pomorskie will be the decision maker in all categories!
CC – 143 km
EX – 138 km
‘Endlich geschafft!’ says Frank Stensky after crossing the finish line as the first Cross Country car. ‘We have competed more than eight times and finally we have managed to win!’ Even though the final results come tonight, Frank and Stephan Stensky had 20 minutes lead at the start.
The battle between bikers Henno van Bergeijk and Rico van der Sanden was incredible, with Henno making the final push today. He was 6 minutes behind Rico this morning, but finished 19 minutes ahead of him and way ahead of the calculated average time: the organisation was surprised to see this kind of speed on the stages in Drawsko Pomorskie.
Tom Heuer managed to beat his father with the fast Tatra in Cross Country trucks, and he is the first truck to cross the finish line. Directly after him we see Ton Stoker, who is racing a fast Iveco in trucks Extreme but is a careful pilot. ‘On the open field of the Polygon we had to find an Azimuth and when we found the right track we were ahead and out of the dust of our competitors!’ Even though Ton did not reach the podium he wins the last stage and the honorable ‘Klaus Leihener’ trophy – the award for the winner of todays’ EX stage, driven in name of the founder of the Breslau, Klaus Leihener.