Verschueren takes important BRC win on Rally de Wallonie


It was an important and hard fought win for Vincent Verschueren and Veronique Hostens on the Rally de Wallonie – the fourth round of the 2018 Jobfixers Belgian Rally Championship.

It was an important round for Verschueren as his main title rival, Kris Princen was absent, electing to skip this round (not all the rounds count). Verschueren and Hostens didn’t have it all their own way however with weather playing its part and round 2 winner Adrian Fernemont/Samuel Mailen and Cedric Cherain/Filipe Cuvelier both putting in spirited performances.

The Rally de Wallonie was the longest of the season to date, kicking off on Friday night with two runs through the Citadel in Namur before running for two days in the rural roads of Namur and Jambes. In total around 200km competitive distance over 22 special stages took place.

The weather was changeable as well with cold, wet to drying conditions testing the crews.

Verschueren led for most of the way after Fernemont and Cherain won the opening night special stages. But that doesn’t tell the whole story as Verchueren was never able to extend his gap and was within just five seconds going into the final loop.

In fact, the rally was so hard fought that on five stages (5, 13, 14, 20, 21) two drivers posted the same fastest stage time. The stage wins were shared by the three podium getters with Cherain taking 10, Verschueren with 10 and Fernémont with 7.

In the end Verschueren did hold out to win by 8.7 seconds from Cherain and Fernemont in third 17 seconds off the win.

“It is very difficult. We had to gamble with the tyres, the first stage [of Sunday] was very wet. I took rain tyres but for the last three stages it was not wet enough,” Verschueren said.

“The top three were very close all weekend and one small difference would make all the difference with the Skodas this weekend.”

It didn’t go so well for all the drivers though. Guilliame de Mervuis was back after his Corscia shunt but had to retire with damage done after a spin on SS8.

Patrick Snijers/Davy Thiere took the RGT crown with over 3 minutes to the next RGT runner – that of Olivier Cartelle/Didier Jacob.

In fact Snijers took sixth overall and was the first non-Skoda in the field.

“We were a two-wheel driver against all the lovely Skodas!” Snijers said.

“We are here to win the GT category and we are far ahead! The Porsche is quite ok in the wet, quite stable with traction – it is a lovely car!”

In this Historic section it was a comfortable win for Paul Liater in his Opel Ascona – taking the win by over 19 minutes from Patrick Mylleville/Sabine Bruyneel in their Porsche.

“It has gone very well. We led from the start…we needed the podium as it is very important for the Championship,” Liater said.

“The car has gone very well but the steering is like a truck so we need to sort that out. For the rest it is a pretty good car – the engine is very quick!”

There was a scare for Liater though on the final stage as he spun off the tarmac on a 90 degree left hander. Fortunately a field was there to save his grace but it was a nervous end to the rally for him.

In the Junior section it was Gregiore Munster/Johan Jalet taking the win in their Opel Adam R2 from Tobias Bruls/Armani Hepp’s Peugeot 208 R2. The winning margin was 31.1 seconds.

The next round of the Championship is the Sezoens Rally in May.

The RacerViews info

By Sam Tickell, April 2018

First 2 photos from PR

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