BBC Sportshour: The history making motor-racing Annie Seel inspires young women to get behind the wheel

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BBC Sportshour: 20 Sept 2016
The history making motor-racing Annie Seel inspires young women to get behind the wheel.
The Rally Princess of Sweden
Annie Seel made motor-racing history last year when she became the only Swede to ride both a motorcycle and a car in the Dakar Rally.

Very few women take part in the Dakar Rally in South America and Seel wants to encourage more women to get involved and has set up a women’s only rally course just outside of Stockholm.

Speaking to Sporthour’s Nathalie Rothschild, Seel says “we are all the same level from the beginning”, but that women sometimes need to find that confidence away form men.

Listen to the podcast interview: http://bbc.in/2crpLqA


(Photo; Annie Seel with her rally car, Credit; Nathalie Rothschild)

Hedersam målgång för svenskteamet Hagman/Seel i Balkan Classic Rallyt

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PRESSINFO

Hedersam målgång för svenskteamet Hagman/Seel i Balkan Classic Rallyt

Det blev en hård utmaning att ta de historiska bilarna i mål i första upplagan av maratontävlingen Balkan Classic Rallye.

Enda svenskteamet bestående av Jan Hagman (MK Rimo), med Annie Seel (KAK Motorsport) i högerstolen, körde in på en sjunde plats totalt efter åtta hårda tävlingsdagar. Det var en bedrift att deras Ford Escort MK2 höll ihop över 140 mil specialsträcka på dåliga vägar.
Enligt inbjudan skulle historiska bilar som var FIA-homogiserade kunna delta tillsammans med bilar med klassiska bilar av Safari-typ. Men redan första tävlingsdagen visade sig de regnförstörda Bulgariska bergsvägarna vara en bitvis allt för svår uppgift för några deltagare. Några blev fast ute på sträckan och fick ta maxtid.
När den första chocken lagt sig jobbade teamen frenetiskt med att justera upp fjädring för riktig offroadkörning. Här hade Safaribilarna ett stort övertag jämfört med de lägre FIA-homologiserade ekipagen.
– Jag borde ha tagit min Safari Porsche istället, den hade varit helrätt här. Escorten har alldeles för mjuk fjädring och låg markfrigång, även om vi har höjt den så mycket vi kan här på plats. Det var bara till att köra efter de förutsättningar vi har, konstaterar Jan Hagman.
Efter tre tävlingsdagar har svenskteamet ändå kört taktiskt och håller en tredjeplats i totalen. Men när sträckningen lämnar bergen ner mot de snabba sträckorna på låglandet vid Svarta Havet, kan inte Escorten matcha Safari-bilarna längre. Värmen är uppåt trettio grader vilket även gör det svårt att orka hålla fokus när navigationen blir svårare. Alla teamen gör missar och tappar tid när man försöker hitta rätt väg på delvis osynliga vägar och spår.
Näst sista tävlingsdagen får Hagman problem då ett fäste i framvagnen går av och framhjulet slår i innerskärmen, men man lyckas komma in på service där hela mekanikerteamet är på plats. En räddande svetsning får framvagnen i körbart skick, men nu är det taktikkörning som gäller för att klara återstoden av tävlingen.
När rallyt går i mål vid Svarta Havets strand visar det sig att det är fullt Safari-utrustdade Datsun på de första tre platserna.

Segrare är Andrew Siddall (England) följd av Geoff Bell (Sydafrika), båda i Datsun 260Z. På tredje plats Ondrej Coufal (Tjeckien) i Datsun 240Z. På fjärde plats Bernard Munster (Belgien) som i sin Safari Porsche 911 satte hastighetsrekord med 197 km/tim sista dagen.
– Det här var mycket värre än jag hade förväntat mig. Jag tycker ändå det är otroligt att vi som ett privatteam har tagit oss i mål i det här startfältet där i princip alla har Safari-bilar. I den här tävlingen är det meckarna som ska ha störst tack, utan dem hade vi aldrig varit här, avslutar en nöjd men mycket trött Jan Hagman.
– Jag tycker att rallyt har varit fantastiskt bra organiserat. Hade vi haft en Safari Porsche hade vi nog haft en chans på pallplats, men nu fick vi åka på defensiven för att spara bilen. Imponerande vad dessa gamla fina bilar klarar av ändå, säger Annie Seel.
Resultat

Pos N DRIVER(S) NATIONALITY VEHICLE TEAM

1. SIDDALL / BULL, GBR / GBR,       DATSUN 260Z 
2. BELL / CHALLEN,  ZAF / GBR,       DATSUN 260Z 

3. COUFAL / MADERA CZE / CZE NISSAN DATSUN 240Z CZECH NATIONAL DATSUN RALLY TEAM

4. MUNSTER / HANSEN, BEL / LUX,   PORSCHE 911

5. SAMUEL / RYAN, GBR / IRL,       FORD ESCORT MK 2

6. WISSANJI / SLATCH, CAN / KEN,       FORD ESCORT MARK 1 

7. HAGMAN / SEEL, SWE / SWE,       FORD ESCORT MK II, RIFLEX SPORT

8. SAVAGE / DAY, GBR / GBR,       DATSUN 260 Z 

9. HOLLER / SCHLINKE,   AUT / AUT, TOYOTA COROLLA TE71

10. ELIA / ZUMELLI,  ITA / ITA,       OPEL ASCONA 400

11. LETHIER / DEBRON, FRA / FRA,       PEUGEOT 504 V6 

12. PEREZ / VOLTA, ARG / ARG,       FORD ESCORT MK2

13. LANDRICHTER / KLEIN, AUT / AUT, VOLVO 123 GT 

14. STEINDL / SCHITZ, AUT / AUT,       FORD CORTINA 

15. OELSCHLAEGEL/OELSCHLAEGEL,  AUT / AUT, VOLVO 123 GT

#BalkanClassic Day 6&7: every stage finish is a victory

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The car in s getting a hard beating on the fast farm tracks. It’s very fast and some tracks are very difficult to see. Everybody are making mistakes along the route, picking the wrong turn off.

We’ve been going easy for two days now, to save the car from too much damage. The assistance team had to weld some cracks in the front end at the mid day service. So now we just want to take the car to the finish and we are pacing down. 

#BalkanClassic Day 5: Fast and furious

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This was the fastest of all stages so far. The Porsche of Bernard Munster max speed was 193 kph, on the rev limiter!

We can not go so fast, and also the lack of suspension slows us down. Navigation was difficult. At one point we were stopped to check the direction, reversed 10 meters to take the right track. And got hit in the back. 

Still 4th overall! 

#BalkanClassic Day 4: navigating without navigation equipment is hard 

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So yesterday was tough, but that’s nothing compared to today. Janne is doing a good job taking care of the car, even if we sometimes hit the bumps too hard. 

Navigation is really a challenge in a car without navigation equipment. And the navigation is more difficult than Dakar at some points because we don’t get compass headings. I only got one simple trip meter and it is impossible to adjust while for gravel while we’re on the stage. 

Started with a 79 km special, with really tricky navigation, across hills with fields and hardly visible tracks to find. Then SS2, a fast smoother stage, where I accidentally was reading the notes of SS3… Was that confusing or what! Turned back 2 kilometres and got it right, but I felt really stupid for mixing up the pages. SS3 was horribly rocky and with serious off-road driving which doesn’t suit our Escort at all. Very difficult to get going again after loosing traction on a steep rocky climb. Last stage was the same as SS4, but backwards. We missed one turn off in the stage and ended up on a dead end road. 

Maybe my poor navigation is also because of a big eye infection that started today. As a little excuse. 

Summary of the day: 

– car in one piece

– we’re 4th general, and first of the “non-Safari” spec cars, only three Safari Datsuns in front of us.

#BalkanClassic Day 3: faster tracks and difficult navigation 

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Day 3 started out with faster mountain tracks, but much bumpier! Also navigation was tricky finding the little hidden turn offs, and already after 3 kilometres many were lost including us. Driving put the suspension to the test, and we had to slow down not risking to break the car. In the afternoon the tracks were very fast on farm tracks across the fields, and even more difficult navigation. Almost everybody were lost at som point. 

We’re glad to make it to the finish with the car in one piece. The no 704 Ford Escort Mk1 of Karim Wisdanji front flipped into a concrete pole! But their mechanics wil fix the car and hopefully start tomorrow. 

Summary: OK day. Can be better tomorrow!

Ps. Our mechanics Björken, Staffan, Westlund and Oscar are Absolutely fantastic! 

#BalkanClassic – We are in 3rd position general after two days!

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Just got the general result after the two days of racing, and we moved up to third position. That’s consistent going, and finishing all stages with the car in one piece. Only six more days to go…

#BalkanClassic Day 2: getting into the rhythm 

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So after the shocking tough start yesterday, we today started out easy on SS1. Then on SS2, same as of yesterday but backwards, the pace increased. Same bumpy but sandy mountain road, but with a better pace and rhythm in driving the stage felt so much smoother. Next stage SS3, called the toaster, was totally different in caracter. In the fields of the lowlands but across grassy hills and difficult navigation. We did one navigation error looking for a hairpin turnoff, and saw one other car in front of us that we followed. Wrong! Had to turn back up the road again and find the right turn off. 

Summary of the day:

– we were 6th today

– no driver mistake 

– one navigation mistake 

– suspension is not enough “Offroad”, we need more travel and ride height. 

All in all –  very good day and we’re moving steady!

#BalkanClassic Day 1: survival of the smartest

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Today was a tougher start to the rally than anyone could anticipate. The mountain stage SS1 was deeply rutted and cut by rains the last two days. And the historic cars were suffering trying to get up and down and around the bends, only driving in first and second gear. We took it very easy and decided not to risk anything. SS2 was shortened a couple of kilometres at the end because of a river crossing being too deep. Finally in SS3 we got to use third and fourt gear. 

Don’t know the result yet of today, but we can summarise this much:

– Car in one piece and no damages

– No mistake driving

– No mistake navigation

That is a very good day!

Update: we finished 5th general on Day 1. Only seven more to go!


Start Balkan Classic Rallye Bulgaria

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Today is the start of 8 day  Balkan Classic Rallye in Bulgaria! 

We’re leaving Sofia and driving a total of 300 kilometres today. 

Our race no is 710. Check out our progress and live results on the official website http://www.balkanclassic.com