Pieter Tsjoen takes Aarova Rallysprint


There was a large crowd on hand for the fifth edition of the Aarova Short Rally of Oudenaarde-Kruisem held under a bright sky. Vincent Verschueren was the fastest on 5 of the 7 tests, but it was Pieter Tsjoen who controlled the race from start to finish with his Skoda Fabia R5 Evo. The first victory of his team Pieter Tsjoen Racing.

For the first time, the start stage and the closed fleet were invited to the beautiful Markt in Oudenaarde on Saturday evening. The huge audience, combined with the Meet & Greet and Apero, created a very pleasant atmosphere that especially the local drivers  enjoyed.

Pieter Tsjoen started very well on Sunday morning. After that Vincent Verschueren clocked in, but he did not come closer than 3 “2. The 8-time Belgian champion scored his second victory in Oudenaarde, although Kevin Abbring was in charge in 2017.

“It had to happen sometime. This victory in the GP of Oudenaarde is good,” laughs Pieter Tsjoen. “I made the difference on the first tests. I took a little head start there and I checked that. We drove fast, but I mainly adjusted my speed to Vincent’s times.”

Vincent Verschueren stranded in second place: “I left a little too much time in the opening test because my tire choice was not optimal and in the third test I went wrong, because I was not there with my head. The time that I couldn’t quite catch up with that. The race was a test too short. I am satisfied with the times we drove, “said Vincent Verschueren, who will only be back in action in the BRC in the Condroz Rally.

Tim Van Parijs sent his Porsche to a handsome third place. He was the only survivor among the Porsche drivers, because the Degro-Porsche that was driven by Chris Van Woensel burned out on KP 2, Jochen Claerhout made a steering error and Patrick Snijers crashed on the very last test, after which he did not enter the Porsche the closed fleet.

“It was a wonderful weekend,” Tim Van Parijs said. “For us it was a dream to be allowed to start on the Markt and that new test in Kruisem was very nice and challenging. In the race I immediately went on the attack and the times were excellent. Fred Miclotte tried, but we could keep him off the podium. Mission completed! ”

Fred Miclotte sent the Skoda Fabia R5 Evo with which S├ębastien Bedoret won the Omloop to fourth place: “And I am very satisfied with that, because we have driven a regular race. I could not get more out of the Skoda than today. Moreover, I could don’t take all the risks, because S├ębastien Bedoret still has to ride the East Belgian Rally within two weeks with this Fabia. ”

Paul Lietaer, after giving up Patrick Snijers, who ran a puncture on the final test and then stopped the fight, finished fifth with his Ford Escort Cosworth. A great result of the “mustache” between modern R5 violence. The Dutchman Jan de Winkel, who came to test a Polo R5 from Hans Weijs with a view to the Hellendoorn Rally, had to push his car to the last time control due to running out of petrol. De Winkel came in sixth for Steven Vergalle, who rode a great race after he was able to gain some rhythm last weekend in Roeselare. Geoffrey Vander Schelden became 8th with the Fiesta R5 from Weijs Motorsport: “We had not tested with the Fiesta and on the first test we had a problem with the pop-off valve. Then it turned out that the Fiesta R5 can no longer compete with the more modern R5s. We turned our times last year, but the differences with the rest were bigger. ”

Niels Reynvoet had less luck in his own region: “We drove with a gearbox with longer proportions, which made it more difficult because I had to go back to first gear every time. I also made a mistake, pushing a tree in Kruisem,” said Reynvoet .

Bas van Kamperdijk closed the Top 10 with the second VW Polo R5 from Weijs Motorsport, ahead of Kurt Boone and Jean-Baptiste Broekaert, who lost a place in the Top 10 due to a torn turbo casing.

Stefaan T’joens can celebrate an 8th VAS title, after a 7th victory this year in Division 2.

Translated from Dutch