In most countries, where snow should already exist and winter rallies are canceled or moved, someplace in Romania does not have this issue. In the middle of the country, in a mountainous area near Brașov, the organizers covered over 200 kilometers of snowy roads. And Transylvania, one of the coldest regions in Romania, did not spoil the feast. Over 50 different historic cars took on snow-covered roads. This rally is not a championship event, but simply a celebration for petrolheads at the very beginning of the year when action is really lacking. Plus, it’s one of the few places where historic-class cars compete in sub-zero temperatures. The same organizers are organizing a gravel rally in the same neighborhood, except this one is in October and is twice as long.
An interesting fact is that although the rally is in Romania, there was only one Romanian among the participants, but he was sitting in the co-drivers chair. There were two home crews among the course cars. The participants consisted mainly of French, Belgian, Dutch and Swiss. The cars are various BMW 325, Porsche 911, Ford Escort, Lancia Delta. But not they were the fastest in this winter challenge. The old Subaru Impreza 555, which took the 2nd place in the WRC Safari and Australia rallies more than 20 years ago, was the best on winding winter roads. Also this car last year was used by Craig Breen in Rally Legends. And the most interesting thing was the crew, that drove that car.
It was all planned that Bernhard Munster and his son Charles Munster would participate in the event. Due to the death of a fellow man, Dad decided not to attend, but since the car had already been sent to Romania, something had to be planted in Subaru. So the son Charles, who has only one year of rally experience in Belgium with a relatively weak Opel Adam Cup, had to drive the legendary car. And beside Charles sat Belgian Jasper Maelfait, a co-driver who is still studying the subtleties of being a co-driver at the academy and had no real experience of reading the pace notes in the car. Plus they have never been to Romania, nor have driven on snow. And to the surprise of all, these two young men achieved victory. One was the first time sitting in a car so powerful and with completely different handling, and the other for the first time at the rally. At the start of the event, they had several rivals on their heels, but after getting used to it, two youngsters escaped strongly. The all-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza, when properly driven on snow, was far superior to the rear-wheel-drive BMW 325 and Porsche 911.
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Photo – BMA Autosport