Balkan Offroad Rally 2022 Leg 1

Balkan Offroad Rally 2022, Leg 1: The first real test of Transylvania

After the short prologue for warming the tires in Sunday, the beginning of the week offered the first full-length racing day of Balkan Offroad Rally 2022. The competitors entered the mountains in Transylvania, where the racetrack offered almost every type of terrains: plains, hills, forests, valleys, rivers, dust and mud.

The participants in Cross-Country category faced more than 188 competitive kilometers, separated on two special stages. Narrow tracks, lot of ups and downs and tricky navigation were the main compounds of the day’s menu, as well as the changing of the terrain from wet to dry suddenly.

In the extreme class, the route was slightly over 50 kilometers. But this was not a walk in the mountain – there were a lot of heavy situations and almost all the day was mud and winches, winches and mud.

Starting with the bikes, Krzysztof Jarmul claimed the stage win. Even with a small penalty for overspeeding, the rider from Poland took almost six minutes advantage to the South African Matthew Grid. Third for the day became Rob Van Vegchel from Nederlands and all the top bikers were with KTM machines.

Moving to the quads, it was amazing battle between Gaetan Martinez (Can Am) and Adomas Gancierius (CFMOTO). After 188 kilometers, the Frenchman won the duel vs. the pilot from Latvia with just one second. Third for the day and almost 2 minutes behind the leader was Rafal Jawien from Poland (Polaris).

In the crowded SSV class, fastest in the first Leg of Balkan Offroad Rally 2022 was Tomas Zaleckas from Lithuania, who stole respectable 12 minutes to the Polish Marcin Graczyk. Top 3 was completed by another Lithuanian – Andrius Dotas. All the leading trio was behind the wheels of powerful Can Am buggies.

As for the cars in the cross-country category, Rients Hofstra from Nederland with his Nissan Proto was absolute dominator, leaving his pursuer Doncho Tzanev from Bulgaria (Suzuki Proto) almost 26 minutes behind. Third for the day was another pilot from Bulgaria – the debutant in Balkan Offroad Georgi Vukov.

Last but not least, in the Extreme category Hardo Mere won the battle against his compatriot from Estonia Joel Purga with almost 17 minutes advantage. Third for the day was the champion from several previous editions of the rally Frank Daurelle from France.

Leg 2 of Balkan Offroad Rally will offer some 254 competitive kilometers for the Cross-Country, separated on two special stages. As for the Extreme, they will face another 50 kilometers long track, with a lot of mud, hills and forests.

Fotografie: Actiongraphers, Paolo Baraldi, Mika Pietrus & Andrius Licius. Tekst: RBI.

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