You will rarely find a gravel rally in Germany. Maybe because of this and the late-year dates, this event is really popular and brings together a very varied list of attendees.
Like many rallies in the second half of this year, the Lausitz Rallye traveled from side to side for a long time in terms of run the rally or cancel it. In the end, the positive decision prevailed. About 80 percent of the sponsors remained loyal, hundreds of volunteers joined the organizing team, so the enthusiasts carried out the plan – the rally took place. But different than always. Due to rally geography, in addition to German fans, entire legions of Polish and Czech rally lovers joined the event. And although the goal of holding a rally with spectators has been held for a very long time, unfortunately, the government’s decisions did not allow it to do so. Restrictions were initially imposed, then the number of viewers was reduced to 1,000 per day until eventually, only media representatives reached the stages. Instead, there was a radio throughout the rally that shed light on the situation for those sitting at home.
The Lausitz Rally, which has been taking place since the beginning of this millennium, very often receives very interesting and fast guests. The names of guests such as M. Ostberg, A. Grondal, D. Kuipers, M. van Eldik, R. Zeltner are on the honorary board of the rally winners. K.Poulsen, J.Černy, L.Kuzaj climbed on the podium. Although the number of visitors has dropped significantly this year, there are people even from New Zealand to ride on the gravel roads of eastern Germany. One notable crew should also be mentioned – the legendary Škoda WRC team member – Armin Schwarz – has returned to the wheel, albeit only as a course car, for the second time this year. His son also taking first steps in rallying, takings Lithuania and Latvia rallies.
This year, two different generations of hosts competed for the first positions – 51 years old Matthias Kahle, and Julius Tannert being 30. And while they both shared multiple stages wins, the experience was the key and Matthias Kahle brought back his fifth gold trophy from the Boxberg area. In terms of the number of victories here, the German took first place, leaving Norway A. Grondal in second place with four victories. It was close to the entire podium bein German, but in the last stages, the Czech J.Černy managed to defeat C. Mohe in a very intense fight.
Lithuanians also did great. Aurimas Eidžiūnas, after getting acquainted with the German gravel Lada VFTS car in 2018, returned with the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX this year and took second place in his class and fit into the absolute top ten. And D.Čiutelė with Lada once again defeated everyone in the class and managed to climb to 15th place leaving behind a bunch of competitors driving much faster cars. O.Knyšius also returned with the cup, remaining second in NC2 class.
Robert Kocik / Sebastian Wach Comment Eurotter Rally Team
We are pleased that this rally could take place in such difficult times for motorsport. It was different compared to previous editions due to the lack of fans, who were sorely missed in the episodes. Due to Covid, all foreign competitors had to test before the rally. This year, the routes of special stages differed from last year’s, there were also more of them. They were very demanding, especially since four took place after dark. The weather was good. On the second day of the rally, we were welcomed by the sun and high temperature, which looked more like August than November. Our crew had some adventures during the rally, but overall the whole Eurotter Rally Team is happy with the result and the finish. The atmosphere in the service between the competitors was great and the rally was held in a pleasant atmosphere. We are grateful to the organizers because they have done a really great job to make this rally take place. We hope that next year we will be racing in the presence of fans during the 24th Rallye Lausitz.
Aurimas Eidžiūnas / Gediminas Saudargas 8000rpm Motorsport
This crew left for Germany, led by the goal of ending the season as late as possible and at the same time gathering as many sports kilometers. And they did a great job. The crew drove neatly, the only whim of the car was quickly repaired by the magical hands of D. Biesevičius, and the cherry on the cake – 10th place in the absolute standings, and the second place in the class. Strong season finish.
165 kilometers of special stages, twisted roads, and lots of night. Co-driver G. Saudargas said, that according to the number of challenges, one such Lausitz rally is equivalent to three Lithuanian events. The special stages stretched in and around the quarry, so the ground varied from soft to stiff, with fairly flat terrain.
Another interesting thing is the organizational issues of the rally adapted to Covid. Service zone – in a kind of bubble, tests for arriving foreigners, and no contact at time control points. Through the closed window, communicating with the judges by gestures, you write down the times, check and move on.
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Photo – Simon Staudten / www.rallye-magazin.de