Adriatic Adventure 2019

18 - 29 September 2019

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The Adriatic Adventure Rally 2019

18 – 29 September 2019

Following the success of the much appreciated Baltic Classic 2017 event, the ERA team has been hard at work devising an equally exciting ‘sister’ event for competitors seeking a fresh, new challenge to get their teeth into.   As such, September 2019 will see the first running of the ERA Adriatic Adventure.

Taking place over 12 days and open to cars built before 1976, the Adriatic Adventure promises to be a rally of two halves; from the mountains of the inland Balkans to the dazzling brilliance of the Adriatic coastline.

Suitable for experienced crews and newcomers alike, this brand new event will mirror the Baltic Classic in terms of style and take competitors into countries that are new territory for rallying.

Tell Me More
To find out more please call Annette, Eleonora or any of the Rally Office team or email us for your copy of the event brochure and entry form. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and offer any guidance you may need.

Phone:   +44 (0)1235 831221
Email:   [email protected]

Numbered Entry List

AA Entry List - Day 9 onwards

Class 1 – Vintageants – Pre 1948 Type Cars

Class 2 – Classics all 1949 t0 1961 type cars and 1962 to 1967 type cars up to 2300 cc

Class 3 – Classics 1962 to 1967 type cars over 2300 cc

Class 4 – Classics 1968 to 1975 type cars up to 2675 cc and Porsche 911 up to 2000 cc

Class 5 – Classics 1968 to 1975 type cars over 2675 cc

Class 0/E – Touring



The Adriatic Adventure Rally 2019

Route Outline

The event starts and finishes in the vibrant port city of Trieste in north-eastern Italy which provides a perfect backdrop  for our event.  Almost before we have left the city, we follow the route of the famous Trieste – Opicina hillclimb. First held in 1911, the event was the scene of one of Scuderia Ferrari’s first victories with the legendary Tazio Nuvolari driving an Alfa Romeo for the Italian team.

Once away from the coast, we quickly cross into Slovenia and head north towards the Alpine foothills and passes that used to be notoriously challenging for competitors on the Liege-Sofia-Liege Rally in the 1960s.

Slovenia’s mountain roads were much admired on the 2016 Peking – Paris Rally and so, to ensure we make the most of them, we’ll be staying overnight in the very welcoming capital city, Ljubljana, before heading north-east and up into the mountains again to Maribor.  Maribor is Slovenia’s wine-loving second city and is home to the world’s oldest grapevine!

From Maribor, we motor south almost entirely on quiet, country roads through rolling hills with several regularity sections and a Test on the menu, and then hop over the border into beautiful Croatia and an early arrival into its capital city, Zagreb.

Day four serves up action straight from the off with a run up the Sljeme hill climb on the city’s outskirts.  We then head south alongside the Sava River to cross into Bosnia and Herzegovina then on to our overnight stop in the country’s largest Spa Hotel. Surrounded by mountains, forests and the Usora river valley, this wellness complex is famous for its healing waters.

With our heart rates and pulses restored to normal, we head south east on more remote and deserted roads to Sarajevo which has risen from near extinction in the 1990s as a result of the Bosnian War.  While the scars of conflict still remain, Sarajevo is now, some 21 years later, a city rebuilt and re-established as the leading cultural hub of the Balkans.  An afternoon visit to the Old Town is recommended.

From Sarajevo, we drive further south into Montenegro and experience the stunning Piv Canyon and Durmitor National Park before meeting the glittering Adriatic coastline at Budva.  We stop here overnight at the event’s most southerly point.

After a morning off to explore the historic centres of Budva and Kotor, we divert inland for the afternoon’s competition then return to the coast for the run north into Croatia and Dubrovnik.  We have a well-earned rest day to take in all that this utterly enchanting old city can throw at us. Game of Thrones fans will recognise many of Dubrovnik’s landmarks and there are tours to be had if you fancy channelling your inner Lannister…

Fully rested, we leave the coastline to the tourists and cross back into Bosnia and Herzegovina for an extended lunch by the old bridge in Mostar, before returning to Croatia and one of the best regularities of the event on a rugged mountain road littered with hairpin bends. Then it’s back to the coast and on to busy and bustling Split. This is Croatia’s second largest city and was put on the map by the Romans who built Diocletian’s Palace for their Emperor at the turn of the 4th Century AD – it still stands today and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

From Split we have fewer hills but great driving as we take a circuitous route to our resort hotel outside of Zadar.  This evening will be one for cocktails by the pool as we enjoy the splendour that  Alfred Hitchcock declared to be “…the most beautiful sunset in the world!”

From Zadar, we keep the Adriatic on our left as we repeatedly head inland to find incredible empty roads before returning to the coast for some refreshment.  We motor north for the day to Opatija, the favourite seaside town of the great and good during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city streets were home to the Adriatic Grand Prix in the 1930s and racing continued on the streets until the mid-1970s.

After a night’s rest in Opatija, we head off again in the morning for the final day of our Adriatic Adventure.  On the way to the Italian border we pass close to Motovun, Croatia’s truffle capital and birthplace of the American World Champion Formula One driver, Mario Andretti.

From there it’s a short hop to Trieste where a warm welcome and a sumptuous Gala Dinner await us.

All in all, we think you’ll agree that the ERA Adriatic Adventure is set to become a firm favourite.




Syd Stelvio Rally Reports

Adriatic Adventure 2019

Day 12 – Opatija (Croatia) to Trieste (Italy) – 166 km

We have arrived, the Adriatic Adventure is over, and the circle is complete. Trieste or, for some of the less fortunate members of our travelling party, bust. As I awoke this morning and forced my sleep sensitive eyes to face the light that poured in through the window as soon as the curtains were opened, I was greeted with the most stunning view south across the Adriatic sea, with seemingly all of Croatia’s coastline stretching out before me. It was if I were looking back into a time machine and could see the journey, we have all been on, highlights and lowlights, laid out in chronological order, almost with some sort of sense attached to them.

Of course, the way things unfold upon the road is mostly nonsense, or at least non-sensical. There is no rhyme or reason to the fortune or misfortune encountered, the only real constant is the road itself, cast out before us until we reach our final destination, whether that be this adventure or the next. But before we all become too philosophical, let us not forget that despite todays shorter dash to the finish, there was still rallying to be done, regularities to be navigated and banana skins to be avoided.

Times were tight, particularly in class two and with just two regularities to be negotiated we were in for some finale, which is a wonderful thing after so many miles have been navigated over the past fortnight. Today saw us head up back into the hills, with all competitors now well versed in the switchbacks and hairpins that carved through the landscape. At this stage of a rally, with the finish line almost in sight, it is almost as if you begin to see the road differently. Racers would call it being in the zone, a grey bit flanked by two green bits as the late, great Joey Dunlop once described it. Of course, the speeds we are travelling are much slower than those that don helmets, but the point is the same, on the 12th day everyone that is still competing is focussed and honed, taking onboard the information in front of them as if it were binary. Or are they?

Leaving the start in reverse order of the standings at day 11, first went last, for the honour of crossing the line as champion and greeted by their dignified peers, whom they had defeated. Or at least that was the theory but when the cars arrived into Trieste under the hot, Italian sunshine the positions had indeed shifted. First and second overall remained the same, but the two cars vying for third had gone into the day level pegging. Come the finish one had scraped out a slender lead over the other and in class two as well things had changed, as the Robertson’s who were second at the start of the day had closed the gap and were now tying for first place with Graham Platts and Neil Ripley, requiring a countback to see who had finished first. As it turned out though, it was to see who had finished second and third in the end, as the car that had taken third overall was the Chevrolet Camaro of Florence Fontaine and Morgan Hector, relegating the class two Volvo Amazon of Timothy and Matthew Wheatley to fourth, but crucially winners of class two. In the vintage class the spoils went to the big Ford of Manuel and Irene Dubs, with a clear two minutes over Horst and Helga Friedrichs in their Alvis Speed 20 followed by Stephane Huynen and Marleen van Praag in their Bentley MK4 Special.

Regardless of final positions though, anyone who finishes has achieved. Cliché? Perhaps, but then each and every one of us has our own reasons for taking on a regularity and endurance rally and so long as we arrive safely in our destination each day then that is all that really matters. After 12 days, 3000 km’s, 32 regularities, 4 speed tests and 9 retirements the Adriatic Adventure has come to a conclusion after a wonderful two weeks of travel around an incredible part of the world. Everywhere we have gone people have been friendly, the roads have been stunning and the camaraderie between our travelling band has been exactly what one encounters upon an ERA event and I cannot wait for the next one.

Until we meet again,

Syd Stelvio

Read More News From The Adriatic Adventure HERE

For previous Syd Stelvio Rally Reports, please click on the report you would like to read:

Day One – Trieste to Ljubljana

Day Two – Ljubljana to Maribor

Day Three – Maribor to Zagreb

Day Four – Zagreb to Banja Vrućica

Day Five – Banja Vrućica to Sarajevo

Day Six – Sarajevo to Budva

Day Seven – Budva to Dubrovnik

Day Nine – Dubrovnik to Split

Day Ten – Split to Zadar

Day Eleven – Zadar to Opatija

Congratulations to all of the crews that took part in the Adriatic Adventure


The winners of the Classic Category are:

1. Bruno and Carmo Rodrigues (62) – Volvo 164

2. Simon Spinks and James Grayson (38) – Ford Escort

3. Florence Fontaine and Morgan Hector (39) – Chevrolet Camaro SS

The winners of the Vintageant Category are:

1. Manuel and Irene Dubs (10) – Ford Coupe

2. Horst and Helga Friedrichs (5) – Alvis Speed 20 SA

3. Stephane Huynen and Marleen van Praag (12) Bentley Mk VI Special

Event Photo Galleries – Will BroadheadFrancesco Rastrelli

Detailed Results

Full Detailed Results Book

Final Overall Results

Final Overall Penalties