Full of souvenirs was todays stage, a great day in the mountains with adventurous driving and wide panoramas, a pleasure for the eye - just as the excellent line-up in the Balkan Classic Rallye, with the incredible speed of the Datsuns, Fords and Porsches.
Adjusting to the new terrain, the drivers learn about Bulgaria’s soil and the best way to handle the mountainroads. Sometimes it seems like the answer to any question thrown at the teams is ‘push the throttle’, which is a blessing for the photographers and public.
‘We don’t lift’, says Graham Samuel. ‘I race a lot of short events in the UK and I am use to floor it all the time.’ This was clear from the ‘flying finish’ he and many others did today on the stage, with huge jumps at high speed.
‘Jan told me the track had become to smooth today,’ says Annie Seel with a smile. ‘I told him he was driving much better, anticipating to the terrain!’ Annie is the codriver of Jan Hagman in the Ford Escort MKII, a model of classic rally fame and apparently well suited to the terrain here in Bulgaria.
After three stages with over 90 km in length the Balkan Classic Rallye Jorge Perez Companc from Argentina is leading in his Escort MKII, followed by Karim Wissanji on the second place and Bernard Munster in Porsche as third. There are six more stages as we head towards the Black Sea and anything can happen.
Monday september 12 the race will head towards Starosel, with a bivouac in the old vineyard. It is a change of terrain as we are heading east to the Trakian Plain. With over 100 km of special stage it will be a fast day and a big change of terrain for the Balkan Classic Rallye.
Photos: Paolo Baraldi