When you switch from a camera to the steering wheel

We usually find them behind their photographic cameras trying to grab the best images of competitors while rallying. As far as we know them, they have always come to Azores to photograph Azores Rallye. Usually they arrive two or three days earlier and after a quick visit to the Media Center to grab a roadbook, they visit the best spots that will allow them to take that ‘one and only’ photo that leaves everyone speechless. This time and with the postponing of the ‘real’ Azores Rallye due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Sven and Nico decided to register under the FLAT-OUT Media Agency Virtual Rally Team banner and as good German they are, driving two VW Polo GTI R5 cars.

A little bit scared at the beginning because of the 1100 participants entry list which counted with great experts of virtual rallying as well as great ‘real’ rally drivers, Nico and Sven started with no expectations, only trying to finish this ‘expected to be’ very demanding event.

By the end of the event’s first day, counting with six special stages for each, Nico confessed a “complicated day to be honest. Not the best driving. I had to learn the car in such conditions (mud and rain). Experience is missing” said the German photographer, to continue stating that he was “looking forward to tomorrow and hoping for good weather”.

Sven Kollus considered himself to be very “unlucky. First, the tire exploded just into SS1, we had to be very careful to get to service through SS2 and SS3. SS4 went good, then two spins in SS5 and finally the wipers went down in pouring rain on the last one.” Kollus expects that the next day “can get better, because it cannot get any worse.”



On the second day, the photographers team started the day with a more positive attitude since the rain, mud and the slippery surfaces were replaced by very dry surfaces and sun. But they were not free from worries at all, during the day.

By the end of the rally, Sven Kollus was the best of them two, finishing 105th overall. A happy Kollus stated, “yeah, so glad we made it. Lot of issues also today. Yesterday I thought it cannot get any worse…I was wrong (laughs). Apart from one, two mistakes today, it went good on the driving side. And to be awake is key, we forgot to change the setup in the morning, so we went on “Safari setup” from yesterday afternoon this morning. Car too high, too soft, gears too long! Big thanks to the organizers for doing such a good rally. All went well apart from the traffic jam on the way to SS4. Next time we will be back for sure!”

As for Nico, the lack of experience on this new car came along and helped to settle the result. He finished 163rd overall and declared this virtual rally had “12 really difficult stages”. He had to deal with “some problems, especially on the first day but on the second day we set some good times and I am happy with my driving.”. In conclusion Nico Meyer said that “there’s still a lot to improve for the next event but I will go practice and improve my driving. So, bring on the next event. We will come back stronger.”



Azores Virtual Rallye would like to thank everyone for participating on this event, including all ‘real’ rally drivers and professional photographers such as Nico Meyer and Sven Kollus.

A piece of advice to both you guys (Nico and Sven): by September don’t forget to return to your cameras and visit Azores. We’re counting on you again for the best photographs of the ‘real’ Azores Rallye!