Balkan Offroad Rally 2022, Leg 4: high in the sky
The penultimate leg 4 of Balkan Offroad Rally passed in the region of high mountains close to the famous “Transalpina” road. The highest level the route reached was 1.850 m. On the race track there were fast forest roads and narrow tracks with amazing panoramas. The track was partially rough and stony and, in the end, there were very fast gravel tracks in the valleys, but combined with some rain. The competitors from Cross-Country category had some 154 kilometers against the clock, separated on the timed sections. The Extreme race had another not so long, but really tough stage to conquer.
In the bike class, it was Krzysztof Jarmuz (POL, KTM) who set the best time for the day. Second place went to Matthew Gird (KTM) from South Africa, who was followed by the pilot from the USA James Pearson, also with KTM. Day before the end Jarmuz has 15 minutes advantage to Gird.
As for the quads, Adam Krysiak from Poland claimed the daily win. The second place for the stage went to Adomas Gancierius (CFMOTO) and the Latvian rider is leading the overall. But, only 28 seconds in front of Rafal Jawien (7th for the day).
In the SSV class, Maciej Stolarski (Can Am) from Poland was the fastest on the track. Anyway, he is still second in the general standings, some 18 minutes behind Tomas Zaleckas (Can Am, 19th place for the day) from Lithuania. Second place for the stage was for Lukas Lauda from Austria and third for Bernard Rouiller from Switzerland.
In the car class, Doncho Tsanev with his 2WD proto was the fastest driver on the heavy stage in the mountain. The Bulgarian also has big lead of 26 and a half minutes over Rients Hofstra (Nissan Proto, 16th place for the day) in the overall and is the new pretender for the big win. But we must wait to the end to see if it will be like that.
In the Extreme race, the day was marked with the big accident of Franck Daurell. The veteran from France faced several rollovers during downhill and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Hopefully, he is safe and even returned in the camp, but for sure is out of race, where he was on 3rd position before the accident.
Hardo Mere claimed another stage victory in the duel with his compatriot from Estonia Joel Purga and, day before the end of the rally, is with good advance and big chance for the crown.
The last day of Balkan offroad Rally will offer not so long and difficult stages. At the end, we will know who are the new crowned winners of the 10th jubilee of the race. And also, we will know who will win in the RBI Master Award with the highest score from the participation in the three events from the series – Fenix Rally, Breslau and Balkan.
Fotografie: Actiongraphers, Irini, Paolo Baraldi & Mika Pietrus. Tekst: RBI media.