Preview of the Belgian Rally Championship and Rally van Haspengouw


The Jobfixers Belgian Rally Championship gets underway this weekend with the Rally van Haspengouw and RacerViews will be there to cover the action for the first time. It is the start of our foray into the Championship and we hope (*all going well) that we will be at many rounds of the Championship for 2018.

But as we are new, and there isn’t a lot of English language media around the Championship we should have a quick course on what to expect.

It is one of stronger rally championships around the world and will feature nine rounds, mostly on tarmac. The rallies are held over one or two days and typically see around 130km of rallying per day. The liaison distances are small too, with the first round having about 45% competitive distance vs liaison.

The 2018 Belgian Rally Championship season

1 –  24 February – Rally van Haspengouw
2 – 9-10 March – Spa Rally Spa Asfalt
3 – 7 April – TAC Rally Tielt
4 – 27-29 April – Rallye de Wallonie
5 – 19 May – Sezoensrally Bocholt
6 – 23-26 June – Rally van Ieper
7 – 31 August – 1 September – Omloop Van Vlaanderen
8 – 30 September –  East Belgian Rally
9 – 3 November – Condroz Rally

The competition

The lead class is the R5 class and the Rally van Haspengouw features cars from four manufacturers with six Skodas leading the field. We see two entries for Peugeot, one Citroen and two M-Sport Fiestas.  On top of that there are seven Group N cars.

Defending his Belgian Rally Championship, Vincent Verschueren is back with a Skoda and is expected to enter into a massive battle with the Skoda of Kris Princen. The two took six of the nine wins last year. Princen taking four to Versshueren’s two but the latter took the Championship due to a consistently finishing on the podium and were only separated by four points at season end.

Kevin Abbring is not returning for the full season this year and his place is taken by former Junior Champion, Guillaume de Mevius. Abbring had scored a win in the Peugeot last year and despite the problems with the car, the French always turn out a good tarmac car. Additionally, de Mevius performed well on Rallye Monte Carlo this year and could be a dark horse for a win or two this year.

Outside the lead class, there are three RGT cars – all Porsches and three former WRC cars – two Subarus and a Mitsibushi. Five cars line up in the R2 class with three M-Sports, an Open and a Skoda.

Added to the outright competitors is a strong field of historic entries with 14 MCM class cars, dominated by BMW, with a smattering of cars in the other historic classes. Last year’s Historic Champion, Robin Maes has stepped up to a Skoda R5, leaving the field wide open for a new leader.

There are a further 26 cars entered in the “criterium” and 42 in a regularity class.

The tyre choice is fairly open for competitors with Michelin, DMack, Pirelli, Yokohama and Hankook all having tyres eligible for competitors.  There are competitions within the Championship for some manufacturers. DMack has their own DMack Trophy where the highest DMack runner will take a €50,000 prize.

So what of the first round?

The Rally van Haspengouw will take place over 12 special stages, three loops of four stages over narrow country roads. There is 157km of stages with the longest stage, Heers, coming in at 15km. The weather looks like it will be dry but cold, with temperature expected to be -6 to 6 over the course of Saturday.  Some competitors have been testing over the course of this week. Narrow tarmac roads with muddy verges seem to be the order of the day – meaning that the roads will probably get slipperier throughout the day.

Last year it was a massive battle between Princen, Verschueren and Abbring with the three within 13 seconds at the end and Princen taking the win by just 4.8 seconds.

There is no reason to think this year will be any less exciting.

And we will be there!

The RacerViews info

By Sam Tickell, February 2018

RacerViews was established in 2011 and with the aim of delivering a new web experience to motorsport fans. We bring you more than just the news. Our exclusive interview and galleries brings you the views from the track, from the racers. Our extensive race review collection allows you to keep up with the action from around the world. The team of passionate pros have decades of experience in the motorsport field. Our social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube bring you more, a holistic experience. We have more than 3100 followers on Twitter and more than 2 million views on Google Plus. Our mission is to bring exclusive content is in safe hands.

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Apologies if there are any errors, I am working with Google Translate and very limited knowledge of Dutch!