106 Competitors from 18 countries start today in the Balkan Offroad 2019, the ninth edition of what is perhaps the most beautiful marathon rally in Europe. 2300 KM off-road on roadbook in Bulgaria, going from west to east, from the mountains to the sea. Racing and competing during seven unique days, the Balkan Offroad 2019 promises to be a challenge for everyone.
“I am proud to see so many fast team at the start this year,” says Alexander Kovatchev, owner of the organising association RBI. “It is such a great mix of teams, from young beginners to big names from the sport. Many of our former winners who return each year to compete here, and many new teams alike.” It is the trademark of the Balkan Offroad: addiction guaranteed!
During 7 days the teams will be tested in the vast landscape of Bulgaria. Starting in the mountains, the tracks are small and the views are magnificent. Racing on what could be ski-slopes, above the vegetation and with long climbs and tough tracks the first days require self-control. As the rally moves in eastern direction, from the mountains to the vineyards it becomes faster and the navigation more precise. If you want to win you have to be able to do it all!
In the bike class all eyes are on newcomer Mirjam Pol, who managed to win the Rallye Breslau Poland this year and has set her eyes on another victory. Competiton for her comes from the Netherlands, Germany and France. In the Side by Side class the competition will be fiercer than every before, with many fast and strategic teams such as Jerome Pelichet, Tsanko Tsanov, Philon Parpottas and of course Lea Gauthier who literally grew up in motorsports racing here in Bulgaria with her father.
There is no way to predict the result of Car Cross Country this year, as the level has gone up once more with faster cars and better preparation for the endurance. The time of fast cars with slow drivers is long gone, if you are not fit there is no chance to win. Everyone from Breslau winner Grzegorz Bochocki in his Dacia Duster to Erwin Imschoot in the FD-01 buggy, Konstantin Cholakov with the Hilux and Ronald Schoolderman with his new ORD Toyota has a change to win: never before have we seen such a strong field.
Tribute to the heritage of the rally is the Extreme Class with more competitors and stronger teams. Here the competition is challenging: navigation in the mountains, pioneering and finding the way where there is none, a true off-road adventure! This year, it might not be enough to be a good navigator and choose the right strategy, it will be a battle from start to finish. Franck Daurelle and Francoise Hollender will open the stage, and show their perseverance to many newcomers, who will try to catch them during seven days in Bulgaria.
The Balkan Offroad 2019 is organised by RBI. The Rallye Breslau International association is an experienced rally organiser with no less than 30 international marathon events in the last ten years. These accessible events open motorsports for everyone, and allow for competition, international friendship and adventure. And may the fastest competitor win!