Round three of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship gets set for the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye at Romaniacs in Romania on July 25-29. One of the pinnacle events on the annual calendar, the infamous Romanian Hard Enduro readies itself for its 20th edition. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler leads the way in the FIM HEWC standings having won both rounds of the 2023 season so far.
• Romaniacs gets set for its 20th edition
• Racing takes place across five days, including the infamous Sibiu city prologue
• Manuel Lettenbichler leads the championship entering round three
With round two of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship at Red Bull Erzbergrodeo complete, the world’s best Hard Enduro riders now head to Romania for the iconic Red Bull Romaniacs. Known the world over, the five-day Hard Enduro Rallye will put competitors from over 55 nations through their paces from July 25-29.
From the spectacular city prologue in the heart of host city Sibiu, to the formidable mountain passes of the surrounding Carpathian Mountains, it’s an event that’s become a right of passage for every Hard Enduro competitor.
For 2023 the Red Bull Romaniacs celebrates its 20th anniversary with ‘The Impossible Edition’. Building excitement, the event gets underway on Monday with an official opening ceremony that includes a ‘meet and greet’ with the top Gold class riders. Tuesday sees riders take on the city prologue with a series of timed runs in the morning, followed by an evening of racing for all classes. With championship points on offer for Gold class competitors, there’s sure to be some hectic bar-to-bar action.
An early start on Wednesday leads riders out into the wilderness for the first of four monstrous Offroad days. From the deep dark forest floors to sky high mountain paths, Romaniacs is sure to deliver some incredible and riding.
This year event organisers have ramped up daily coverage with their LIVEmaniacs broadcasts. Each day the toughest signature sections will be shown live, along with Saturday’s final hill climb and the crowning moment of this year’s Red Bull Romaniacs winner. On top of that there will be live broadcasts of the opening ceremony and all Prologue finals. All LIVE broadcasts will be available on iridehardenduro.com
Lettenbichler aiming for third win of 2023
With two wins in 2023, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler heads to Romania as the current championship leader. The German has been nothing short of exceptional so far and will be aiming to extend that points lead in what is arguably his favoured event. Already a three-time winner of the event, you can be sure Manuel is betting on a fourth victory.
Sitting 12 points behind him in the standings is FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart. The Canadian has enjoyed a strong start to 2023, including a podium result at round two. Although this will only be his second time in Romania, Hart is rapidly improving in the rallye format of Hard Enduro and will be a threat.
One point behind Hart is Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt in third. The Brit is riding strong. However, following a debut Red Bull Erzbergrodeo podium, Billy injured his shoulder and arrives to Sibiu with limited bike time.
ECONT Bulgaria’s Teodor Kabakchiev holds down fourth in the title chase. The Bulgarian comes to the fore in multi-day events and will be out to better his podium result of runner-up in 2022. Only time will tell if we see the Bulgarian take his debut FIM Hard Enduro victory next week.
Jarvis sets sights on eighth Red Bull Romaniacs win
Winner of Red Bull Romaniacs in 2022, Graham Jarvis knows the Carpathian Mountains like the back of his hand. Despite being the elder statesman of the Gold class, his stats speak for themselves. Seven victories and 12 podiums in the race means Graham will be in the mix.
Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman and Wade Young are no strangers to success in Romania. Both have stood on the podium for a total of seven times, with Wade already a previous winner.
GASGAS’ Michael Walkner, Rieju’s Alfredo Gomez, and David Cyprian (KTM) will all be eager to fill the top-10 placings next week too.
While not a round of the FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Championship supported by KLIM, Rigo Racing’s Matthew Green and TTR Squadra Corse’ Mitch Brightmore will both start in Sibiu. Green has experience in Romaniacs and would love to better his result of seventh from 2022. For Brightmore this will be his first foray into the Carpathian Mountains.
Eager for more Gold class action, Sandra Gomez (Zonapaddock Racing) will push for another top result and chance to take the Women’s Hard Enduro Performance Award supported by GASGAS trophy.