After last week’s successful ERC mission in Scandinavia, the Maiors had to prove their skills again in the Romanian championship. The fourth stop of the eight-race championship was the first time this year that they had the chance to race in Murava at home.
The venue was in Sibiu and this time the drivers were able to compete in a Friday-Saturday rhythm. The organisers had pre-assigned 125 kilometres of fast stages, with nine stages in total, but two of these had to be cancelled during the weekend for safety reasons, leaving a total of seven fast stages. On Thursday, there was a chance to get acquainted with the tracks, followed by the official starting ceremony in the evening in downtown Sibiu. Norbi before the race:
“A new week, a new challenge for us. This time we are at the Sibiu Rally, the first gravel round of the National Rally Championship this season. We really like these tracks around Sibiu and we really missed the gravel in Romania, especially as we are ready for the race.”
On Friday, the first stage was cancelled immediately after a tree fell on the track. On the second stage, we managed a fourth time, overtaking several Rally2 cars. On the third stage, which was the longest, over 21 kilometres, the Norbi’s were sixth. In the last event of the day, the drivers drove in the dark, it was a great experience to drive in front of many spectators and again they managed to set a fourth best time, which meant that they finished the day in 4th place. In the FWD category there was little question, with the Romanian brother and sister pair working up a two minute lead. Norbi’s Friday night statement:
“I missed the Sibiu gravel, especially the stage into the night, which was an incredible experience. We can be satisfied with our pace today and the team worked well.”
So, Norbi and Francesca could continue the second day from absolute 4th place. The temperatures were at their peak in Romania this weekend, so physical fitness was also very important. In Saturday’s first fast race, Norbi and his team finished 7th and slipped back one place in the overall, but were only 13 seconds away from 4th place. In the SS6 stage they closed the gap to Andrei Girtofan in front by just 7 seconds.
The first of the last lap had to be cancelled, leaving two more stages to finish, the penultimate Power Stage and the last one, which was a short parallel stage on a built track. In the end, we didn’t manage to snatch 4th place in the absolute, but once again Norbi and his team did a great job with a 5th place. In the FWD category they again stood out and won it. Norbi after the race:
“We really enjoyed all the kilometres of special stages we covered and especially the atmosphere here. We’ll go home satisfied with the pace, relax a bit and start preparing for what’s to come. New rally soon!”
Final result of the race:
1. Simone Tempestini – Itu Sergiu Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo
2. Barbu S. – Kvick Andersson Škoda Fabia R5
3. Badiu Raul – Fetean Rareș Škoda Fabia R5
4. Gîrtofan Andrei – Vraja Doru Calin Škoda Fabia R5
5. Maior Norbert – Maior Francesca Peugeot 208 Rally4
Next round of the Romanian National Rally Championship: 13th Raliul Moldovei Bacău, 4-5 August (gravel)