The TAC Rally was the first chance we got to see Kevin Demaerschalk in the 2019 Belgian Rally Championship. After a few outings in the Citroën C3 R5 last year, he is back with the J Motorsport car this year.
We know the Citroën has pace as Stephane Lefebvre won at Condroz in the car and we had hoped that Guilliame De Mevius would show its potential but issues in Haspengouw and Spa ended that hope early on.
So, as the only ongoing Citroën in the field, Demaerschalk is an important car for the French marque. The opening stages did not look healthy though with 7th, 11th, 9th, 8th outwardly showing that this team may not threaten the domination of the Skodas and the VWs.
But soon, a run of 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 2nd occurred and the pace was suddenly there.
“In the beginning we had some problems with the brakes and it took some time to find the problem but in the end when the brakes were fixed we had some good times,” Demaerschalk said.
“In two weeks, at the Rallye de Wallonie, we have some good preparation for that round.”
If the rally had been taken from SS9 onwards, he would have been in a fight for a podium in the end, with only Kris Princen faster over SS9-13, before a slower time on the final stage.
But the ingredients are there. The car and the driver have pace. What’s more, they will be going for results, trying things to setup for next year, and individual glory this year.
“We don’t drive for the Championship this year. We will drive for 5 or 6 rallies where the others will do the whole Championship. We will look rally to rally for good results.”
Importantly too, the team can change the car, with it being owned by J-Motorsport, not being leased through a different team.
It gives opportunity to learn and try things that would usually be off limits.
Of course, Demaerschalk is no strange to Citroëns, having rallied a DS3 R5 and R3 for many years in the past but the C3 is arguably a far more fancied car on tarmac. More opportunity to try new things.
“Last year, the C3 was not our car but this car is our car so we can do different things to the car and to the setup.
“We have shown that it is a good car and normally we do the rest of the Championship and I am really looking forward to it.”
And he will be out in Namur. Like everyone else, it will be a different challenge. Longer, different style of roads and sitting in a field of 21 R5 cars, a sea of Skodas and Volkswagens, it will be interesting to see how the French interloper will go.
The RacerViews info
By Sam Tickell
We are passionate, dedicated motorsport professionals.
In 2019, we will be trackside at
- The World Endurance Championship
- Belgian Rally Championship
- British GT
You will also find us at selected rounds of Blancpain, IMSA, WRC, and more. We aim to bring you interviews and photos you won’t see anywhere else. We don’t aim to break the news, rather we aim to bring the voices of the racers to you and atmosphere of the event to you at home. Our social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube bring you more, a holistic experience. We partner with racers and professionals in the industry and give back where we can. If we can help you or you have a story to share, please contact us.
In the past RacerViews has directly partnered with