Crossing Bulgaria from the west to the east, from the mountains to the plains, from the city centre of Sofia to Long Beach, after eight days of racing the Balkan Offroad 2016 has finished on Saturday, September the 17th 2016.
More than 2000 kilometers of offroad racing through all types of terrain made the Balkan Offroad 2016 a special event. Mountains, hills, valleys and the beach of the Black Sea – to master the Balkan Offroad Rallye you have to do it all, and fast.
The Bulgarian landscape is an incredible backdrop for racing, with fantastic panoramas, lush forests and an extensive network of dirtroads.
Participating in the Balkan Offroad Rallye is open for everyone, but a place on the podium is reserved for those who can handle the marathon. Whatever your category, everything has to be right: vehicle, navigation, assistance and of course a bit of luck.
Frank Stensky and Alexander Tasch won the Car Cross Country category in their Mercedes Lennson CC, a prototype based on the Mercedes G Class. They were the most strategic and the fastest team in the race, with strong competition and an incredible lineup of fast cars including Overdrive Hilux, ORD Land Cruiser, Bowler Nemesis and many others.
Franz Schreiber is the fastest rider in Enduro Cross Country, and well known from the German Enduro Championship. The Balkan Offroad 2016 was his first rallyraid, but after several of the leaders had to slow down to stay in the race, he managed to grab the first place in the overal ranking!
Tomas Kubiena wins the ATV Cross Country class for the second time on his 2WD quad, showing his incredible speed. Opening the stage, riding in front of the bikes he had to ride and navigate at high speed.
Nicolas Hoogsteyns and Goeffroy de Burlin win the Side by Side Cross Country class, for small offroad buggys. ‘Geoff is the perfect navigator,’ said Nicolas, ‘He allowed me to go as fast as our Polaris could go!’ Racing with several of the fastest teams in Europe Nicolas shows that to finish first, you first have to finish.
Udo Heidenreich drove the fastest truck in the Balkan Offroad Rallye, racing his brand new Hummer Prototype or ‘UH-1’ in the Truck Cross Country class on the difficult tracks in Bulgaria. ‘I think every truck team should try this event,’ said his co-driver Hermann Schmitz after the price-giving.
A ‘Breslau special’ is the Car Extreme category, won by Franck Daurelle and Francoise Hollender in their orange Land Rover. This class drives tough offroad adventure routes, a completely separate roadbook.
Balkan Offroad Rallye this year was a succes and a big step forward for the rallyscene. ‘Never before it was so fast,’ says Alexander Kovatchev, proud to see the influence the Balkan Offroad Rallye has on the development of the offroad racing scene in Europe. ‘Next year we will have the seventh edition of the Balkan Offroad Rallye, and we look forward to the next step in offroad racing!’
TEXT kindly provided by the Balkan Offroad Rallye FB page
PHOTO: Dutch Rally Press