In a series of blog posts we will introduce competitors who shared their experience at Rallye Breslau or other event of RBI Sport in the interview.
1) Who are you? What is your occupation?
My name is Matthias Hertwig, I work as a mechanical engineer in motorcycle development.
My co-driver, Martin Hertwig is also my big brother, is a mechanical engineer, too.
We both grew up at our fathers workshop and learned how build machines and tools. Luckily our father Gerhard, likes rally sport as well and accompanies us as service crew.
2) How did it start with your off-road passion? Since when are you rallying/driving off-road? What is your rally experience?
When I turned 18 I got a Suzuki SJ as my first car.
After driving the Suzuki on the streets, crashing it and getting the Samurai after that, I tried offroading at a offroad park. Ignited by that, some videos and lots of photos from the really wet Breslau rallye in 2007 on top, we decided to take part in the Dresden Breslau 2008. Since then we went eleven times to the Breslau rallye, accomplished by some other rallye-like events like MT, GORM 24h and doing some trophies as well.
3) You already have taken part in Rallye Breslau. When was your first participation? Share with us the first experience.
2008 was the first year we started in the Rallye Breslau. Students aged 22 and 24, youngsters in the starter field, with a near stock Suzuki Samurai, but with way too much weight in the car, overpacked with spare parts. But the first version of the hydraulic winch was already on board and got us through. We finished and the whole rallye was a impressive experience for us.
4) In which class are you competing in the Breslau? Did you drive in a different class or category or do you remain faithful to one specific class/category?
We compete in Cars Open Extreme. Never did another class in the Breslau.
5) Tell us more about your rally vehicle.
Our vehicle is a modified Suzuki Samurai. Based on the stock ladder frame, we have a coilover suspension on rigid suzuki axles. The engine is a Renault 1,6l from a Clio, driving a Ford Mondeo six-speed gearbox mounted in the middle of the car. For the extreme class challenges we developed a 2-speed high power hydraulic winch which can deliver over 50kW onto the winch rope.
6) What is special about Rallye Breslau? What drives you to participate in this rally? What are in your point of view the main features of this event that makes it different to other rallies?
For us as extreme class drivers, the alternatives to this event are not other rallyes which only have tracks for the CC class, they are more to be found in trophies like Wild Boar, Superkarpata, Pomerania and many other local, weekend-based events. But those do not offer fast roadbook racing.
The mixture sadly went towards lesser extreme obstacles in the past years, but I know no alternative which gets close to this rallye. Rallye Breslau once had the slogan “adventure rallye”, and I still feel this spirit. Going to a foreign country, moving along the countryside, take a halt at a local workshop for spares or repairs, trying to get the car running again with limited time and resources somewhere on the roadside or even in the competition itself – those are some of the original Breslau feels. I hope they won’t get lost completely.
7) Share something from your rally vehicle preparation for Rallye Breslau, that can be useful to other competitors.
We know the car very good, have taken it apart and rebuilt it more than once. What we have learned in all those years is that a stock car is usually a reliable piece of engineering. If you change something, keep in mind that there can be many hidden effects you can’t think of. And if you are not sure what to do: Reliability is the most important thing on this rallye.
8) Have you already taken part in other rally events of RBI Sport? Which ones.
We took once part in Balkan Rallye (2014).
9) What are your next rally plans?
Our teammates in their Land Rover Discovery also want to return in the CC class.
No other rallys on the schedule, as the current pandemic-related events make planning even harder.