Kris Princen is the master of Rally van Haspenouw, taking the opener to the Belgian Rally Championship five times – a record equalling feat.
So Kris Princen winning in Landen shouldn’t scare people. What should scare them is how easily he did it.
The defending Champion took his brand new BMA prepared Volkswagen Polo R5 to victory by almost 20 seconds – though his final loop was very much a controlled run.
In second was Cherain in another Volkswagen and third was Sebastian Bedoret in a Skoda Fabia R5 – almost a minute off the pace.
What is worse for his competitors is he claims to have not pushed.
“The car worked well today, I didn’t really have to push throughout the rally. I was able to keep a controlled pace,” Princen said.
“We did two days of testing before hand on roads like these and that was very useful. We knew we had a good setup on the car and there were no surprises.”
However next time out, the Spa Rally could be a different as it will present a very different rally to Haspengouw.
In Spa, the rally is longer, with differing terrain, altitude changes and a greater variety of corners.
And the weather is prone to change.
An entirely different challenge.
“We will do the Shakedown for Spa as it is such a different rally – an entirely different challenge.
“Here the roads are very quick with a lot of heavy breaking. There the roads will flow much more with the natural terrain.
“And the weather is always a factor.”
It is also worth noting that the Championship is a long one and there was a little bad luck for two of his Skoda competitors with Vincent
Verschueren having two punctures and Adrian Fernemont retiring with a drive shaft problem.
“Yes, we had a great rally here – but the competition is tough. We are very happy after this weekend.”
The RacerViews info
By Sam Tickell
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