With a brilliant victory in the East Belgian Rally, his fourth of the season, Kris Princen has won the Belgium Rally Championship for 2018. It is the second title for the 44-year old Limburger, who also became Belgian Champion in 1999.
The entry in Sankt-Vith was fantastic, with 16 R5’s at the start. The race also had a very exciting course, with no fewer than 4 drivers who posted stage wins. But, nevertheless, it was Kris Princen who was able to secure the victory in an exciting final phase with a 7 “9 lead over Adrian Fernémont.
“On the penultimate test Adrian came up strong, and he was 4” 5 quicker to the test of Sankt-Vith, so he approached at 6 “4. Still, I did not worry, because I had to test St. Vith consciously lifted the foot a bit, I knew that with a 5 seconds lead I would have enough lead on the final test,” said Princen, who thanked BMA and his navigator Bram Eelbode extensively.
“It was a very exciting race, as it has been in every race this season.This afternoon I could distance myself from Vincent Verschueren, but Adrian Fernémont kept pushing me to the limit, I am very happy, and then to know that I did not even think about the title at the start of the season, because I had a budget for just 4 rallies, and during the season the partners made extra efforts to make this possible. I will start the Condroz Rally to complete the season in beauty. ”
Adrian Fernémont, who is still in the running for third place in the championship, was proud of his second place. “We were just short of the win, but Princen was a fraction faster, I am very satisfied with this result,” said the pilot who won the Spa Rally this season.
Vincent Verschueren, the outgoing champion, led the classification after the first stage, but from the second he dropped back. Verschueren could not keep his great title rival of victory. Due to a mistake in the final test, he even lost the third place to Guillaume de Mevius. “We do not know what the problem is, but our new Skoda does not have the same power as our previous one, something was wrong today, it’s not normal that we were slower in the afternoon than this morning,” Vincent Verschueren told the vice president. Champion of 2018.
Guillaume de Mevius on the podium
Guillaume de Mevius won a strong competition with a handsome 3rd place. The pilot of the RACB National Team excelled in a brilliant way with his debut with the Citroën C3 R5. “This C3 R5 is a fantastic car that immediately gave me confidence, I have not been overly attacked, and this result exceeds my expectations,” laughed Guillaume, who confirmed all the good that he showed last year as Junior Champion.
His battle with Sébastien Bedoret, who took 3 fastest times, was wonderful. But for the 23-year-old Skoda driver, something went wrong in the final stages. Ghislain de Mevius completed the Top 5 with his Skoda, for Hermen Kobus, who secured the Dutch title, despite the fact that he had to finish the half race with a faltering differential. Patrick Snijers finished in a handsome 7th place, as the winner in R-GT. In this way he strengthens his third place in the Belgian championship, although in the Condroz Rally he may lose that podium place to Adrian Fernémont.
Tobias Brüls was by far the fastest among the youngsters. With its Peugeot 208 R2, the 23-year-old rider dominated the battle in the Pirelli Junior BRC. In the class was the second place for the Dutchman Gert-Jan Kobus, but in the Belgian youth Niels Reynvoet was second, ahead of Thibaud Mazuin and Samuel Lay. Lietaer champion
In the Historic Championship there was no measure on Gino Büx. The former RACB driver made after 4 years a noted interest. Büx won his first national competition with a rear wheel driver with a resounding victory. But, the champagne tasted best with Paul Lietaer, who captured the Belgian Historic title with his Opel Manta 400.
In the RACB Rally Criterium the victory went to Rainer Feltes with his fast Ford Escort, 15 “8 for the brand new champion in the Criterium, Philip Lommers, and Gunther Lenges in his Renault Clio.