BRC battle to resume at Rallye du Wallonie


Two weeks after the East Belgian Rally, the fifth round of the Kroon-Oil Belgian Rally Championship is scheduled for this weekend in Jambes. Some tenors are absent, which gives others the chance to recover in the championship. With a win, Adrian Fernémont can take the lead in the Kroon-Oil BRC, but the local favorite does not get a safe passage to victory.

Because the Covid crisis made rallies impossible in the first half of the year, many competitions are held in the autumn. The races follow each other in quick succession and that means that the drivers and teams have to make choices, because preparation for a race takes time and the mechanics also need time to get the cars back in top condition. Moreover, in the final standings of the championship, the drivers can only count 6 results, while there are 9 races on the calendar. A number of tenors do not start this Rally of Wallonia, including championship leader Ghislain de Mevius, who has a personal reason not to participate in his home rally. After all, he is a witness at a wedding.

It gives Adrian Fernémont, the 2019 champion, along with navigator Samuel Maillen, the chance to take over the championship lead. With a win, his first of 2021, the Skoda driver would take the lead (with 4 results each). Moreover, Fernémont is eager to win, after his narrow defeat in Sankt-Vith against Grégoire Munster. The Hyundai driver can make it two victories in a row in this Rally of Wallonia, which should suit him. The Hyundai i20 Rally2 will undoubtedly feel at home on the fast track.

Cédric Cherain had to retire very early in Sankt-Vith, but on the opening stage the Liège driver proved that he has the speed to run at the front with the previous version of the Skoda Fabia Rally2. Cédric De Cecco opts for a Citroën C3 Rally2 this time. Bastien Rouard is aiming for a top result in this Rally of Wallonia with a Ford Fiesta Rally2, after a solid performance earlier this year in the South Belgian Rally. Nicolas Stampaert will discover the course of the Rally of Wallonia with his Ford Fiesta, but the East Fleming still has a silent dream to finish in the top 5. Harry Hérion opts for a Skoda Fabia Rally2, Henri Schmelcher remains faithful to BMA’s second Hyundai i20 Rally2, and Sébastien Luis starts a Skoda Fabia Super 2000, the car with which Jan Kopecky won the 2012 IRC round in Sicily.

In the GT class we are looking forward to the debut of Olivier Collard with a Porsche 997 GT3. “Flash” is a specialist of the Rally of Wallonia, so Glenn Janssens, who is entering a 991 GT3, has been warned. Stefaan Prinzie, who narrowly gave up on Janssens in Vresse-sur-Semois, wants to put the Porsches on fire again with his Alpine A110. We are already looking forward to Arthur Kerkhove’s first chronos. The young Historic rider from Ronse makes his debut with an Alpine A110.

Behind the Subaru’s of Laurent Léonard and Xavier Lannoo, we are curious about the battle in the Clio Trophy Belgium, in which Gilles Pyck takes a shot at the overall victory. Benoit Verlinde, Corentin Dozot and especially Tom Rensonnet, the driver of the RACB National Team, will do everything to keep the leader in the standings of the victory.

The spectacle in the Rally of Wallonia starts on Friday evening at the famous Citadel of Namur, where the BRC tenors complete two passages. After this prologue, 13 more special stages will follow on Saturday, good for a total of 170 km against the chrono. The winner will be honored on Saturday evening at 9.30 pm on the finish podium in Jambes.