Sebastian Tretter (right), who works at the Kaiserslautern plant, and his co-pilot Jens Nowagk are taking part in the Baltic Sea Circle. In doing so, they have to face several challenges – apart from the cold of up to minus 40 degrees Celsius.

Adventurous Rally to the Arctic Circle

On a normal working day, you can meet Sebatian Tretter in the Motorpool in the Kaiserslautern plant. When his working day is over, he likes to tinker with one of the eight Opel classic cars currently in his garage. And with one of them he has now embarked on a special journey towards the Arctic Circle: On Saturday (February 24th) the 26-year-old took to the starting line of the northernmost rally in the world, the Baltic Sea Circle.

His vehicle of choice for the journey is an Opel Astra G, built in 2002. The Astra already had clocked up 180,000 kilometres when he bought it nine years ago, and now it has covered an impressive 390,000 kilometres. “I can rely on the Astra, it has never let me down,” says the hobby mechanic. Apart from wearing parts, there have been no repairs so far. “My goal is to break the 400,000-kilometre mark during the rally.”

The trip is challenging: GPS and sat nav are not permitted, instead the teams need to rely on map and compass. The “Baltic Sea Circle” covers 7,500 kilometres around the Baltic Sea. Competing vehicles must be at least 10 years old; the use of motorways is strictly forbidden. There are challenges to solve along the way and the participants collect donations for a good cause. Sebastian Tretter and his co-pilot Jens Nowagk have decided to support the charity “Mum/Dad has cancer”.

The reliable: “I can rely on the Astra, it has never let me down,” said Sebastian Tretter.

The trained electrotechnician has prepared for all contingencies; spare parts such as spark plugs, a fuel pump and an alternator have all been packed. Spikes have also been included, as sections of the tour lead over frozen lakes. Sebastian Tretter has also equipped the Astra with steel underrun protection for rough terrain. We will report on how the 16-day trip went after our colleague returns on March 10th.

February 2024

Photos: privat, Grafik: Baltic Sea Circle