With a prologue and four long days of off-road racing, Red Bull Romaniacs is not only the most extreme hard enduro, it’s also the longest. Each year, Martin Freinademetz’s team of track managers spends nine months preparing the ground for the Romaniacs. “It’s an almost endless task,” says track Director Klaus Sørensen.
When the few riders who finish the Romaniacs course finally cross the finish line, they’ll have come through more than 660 of the toughest Enduro-kilometres of the year.
Every kilometre has already been explored, tested and prepared by a group of dedicated extreme off-road riders who carry with them the battle scares from previous Romaniacs and other extreme competitions.
Even now, they’re already looking at new sections for next year’s race. “Between April and December I’m out on my bike four or five days a week," says Sørensen. He uses the winter break to fine tune the course on the computer so that the track is navigable for the riders by GPS but also accessible for race medics, cameramen, checkpoint crews and RBR blogger who all get their own sets of directions. And then Klaus has to fit in spectator points and routes for the press.
Klaus Sorensen’s introduction to the wilds of Romania came in 2007 when he was on a private freeride tour nearby and heard that Red Bull Romaniacs was about to take place. He and one of his touring friends decided to take part in the race, entering the hobby-team class.
“Obviously we weren’t in the least bit prepared for what lay ahead of us,” he says, “and we couldn’t finish. He returned in 2008 and finished in the expert-single class. In 2010, the Dane became the track manager responsible for planning each stage (a role he repeated last year). This year, he’s moved up to track director to take control of planning for the whole race.
"We’re constantly scouting for new track. Whenever I'm here, I’ll check out passages that look promising. There are many partly forgotten and overgrown old footpaths, and uncovering them is not always easy.
“Of course sometimes we find what would make a great individual section, but we can’t find a way to incorporate it into the rally.”
One of the golden rules behind Red Bull Romaniacs is that the whole course has been tested by experienced riders before any of the competitors take to the track. "I’ve been over every section of the Romaniacs 2012 course,” says Sørensen, “although it does takes a 'bit longer than the top pros," he says with a wink.
Stay tuned to redbull.com/motorsports for more Red Bull Romaniacs news.