- Setting The Stage
- Racing On Another Level
- People And Cars
- More Stories To Be Told
1. Setting The Stage
When we received the invite to join the 5th event in the Romanian Rally (out of 11), we were both surprised and excited, seeing that rallying is a totally different form of racing from the track experiences we were used to. The highest class in Romanian motorsport (RC2) was definitely worth our time and effort, and to get to cover this event was an amazing opportunity to broaden our portfolio.
We set-up camp at the service site provided by our friends from Gorgandin, a small, yet powerful team from Sibiu, who, after a warm welcome, showed us around the auto park, where all the teams were preparing the little rockets for next day’s race.
Tool sounds all over downtown, engines revving, loud exhausts and an overall good vibe, just like in any motorsport event. One of the main attractions was a WRC Citroen that was actually driven by Sebastien Loeb and was exposed for everyone to enjoy. For us, every car had a story to tell, so we took every chance we got to talk to the teams, to shoot their vehicles and to wish them good luck.
After all the cars were ready to race, they gathered side by side and everyone was on their way to the hotels, for a good night’s sleep, as the next day was a full one and some rest was much needed.
The morning came soon enough and upon looking out the hotel window, cloudy times were ahead of us. Not good, but work is work. We packed and off we went to Vidraru Dam, one of the coolest places in Romania, where the rally start stage was located.
After presenting our media accreditation papers to the police and the race officials, we went on, up the mountain, towards Balea Lake, where the stage finish would be. An empty winding road, through a mountain forest, with the lake on our left, the cool morning air through the windows, it was an experience to remember for sure. We don’t travel in a racing car, but our little bimmer did just fine. We stopped at the photoshoot site, on the edge of a hairpin curve, one of the best spots to work in, during such an event.
3. Racing On Another Level
After setting up our cameras, we eagerly awaited the race start. Hearing the motorized monsters coming through the woods is something hard to describe. Your heart beats faster, you tend to clinch the camera, waiting for the perfect timing to shoot that amazing photo, and you only get one chance. And this goes on and on, with every car that passes through. An R5 Skoda was the first to open the day, followed closely by the already familiar Rally 2 Fabia, sporting the Gorgandin logo (that came in second place at the end, an amazing result, so congrats from us!).
The 7 cars competing in the RC2-Class were not the only ones to race, of course. No less than 74 crews started in this rally, all in their class, and what a joy it was to see EVOs side by side with Suzuki Swifts, old Alfas and many other racing icons, taking that hairpin curve with courage, speed and well-coordinated handling. Our cameras were happy, and so were we.
No matter if it was an Impreza or a 70s Dacia, we enjoyed every contestant that passed through, because that’s what racing is all about. Fun, passion and competitive spirit. To note, we witnessed a crew that had the youngest co-pilot in the country, a 16-year-old girl, so we’re sure that national motorsport will be in good hands for years to come.
It takes a lot of effort and time to try and capture 74 cars, while they swoosh right in front of your eyes, but we tried to catch them all. However, our advice is to try and attend one of the remaining 6 stages of this amazing competition, you’ll not regret it. There’s a full gallery at the end of the article, should you need more reasons to jump in your car and come witness what rallying is really like.
4. People And Cars
Seeing that the location where we photographed from was not only a media-dedicated spot, there were a lot of fans behind our cameras. And that’s a massive part of the whole experience, the people that join together, united by the same passion.
No room for extreme passions here, like we see in various other sports, just good times and even better discussions. While some kids recognized what driver would follow, only by the sound of their engine, other people were just curious and wanted to learn something new about this unique and captivating form of motorsport. As always, we bonded, exchanged phone numbers, showed our work to those who were interested in what we do, and, of course, we talked a lot about cars, in every shape or form they come in.
5. More Stories To Be Told
As the last competition car came back down the mountain road, it was time for the sun to set and for us to get going. Packing our stuff and heading down to the dam, I couldn't help but think why this type of sport isn’t more present in the national media. Perhaps because part of its charm is its exclusiveness, because it can be appreciated only by smelling the brake smoke in a tight turn or hearing the massive roar on a straight line.
In time, we’ll make sure to cover more events, not just rallying, but whatever we’re invited to attend, even abroad. Because we strongly believe that car culture is deeply rooted in motorsport, and you can not love one without acknowledging the other. Either way, this weekend’s experience will most likely be one of the high points of our year and we’re glad we could share it with you. Enjoy the photos below and keep racing!
Written by: Mihai Dumitrescu / Instagram
Photographed by: Anna Dumitrescu / Instagram