Adrian Fernémont. A double Belgian champion.


There were massive smiles in the San Maziun Group after the finish of the Spa Rally. With good reason too. Adrian Fernémont and Samul Mailen had just successfully defended their Belgian Rally Championship for the team.

Adrian Fernémont/Samuel Mailen ~ Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo ~ Spa Rally 2021 ~Belgian Rally Championship ~ Shot by Sam Tickell for

Fernémont won the 2019 Championship, when he was the dark horse. After the 2020 season was cancelled due to Covid, Fernémont had high expectations and some pressure on his shoulders.

By his own admission, he was feeling the pressure coming into the final round. There was a tight, three way battle between the Skoda, Gregiore Munster and Ghislain de Mevius. Thirteen points separated the trio after seven rounds. Each had winning form and each could have taken the crown.

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In Fernémont’s favour was his previous success in the Spa Rally and knowing how to win a Championship.

Equally, there was the drive – with a new little sticker going on the car on Saturday night. There was a little superstition as well, with Fernémont’s father wearing the same shirt to each rally. Now with two Championships, these superstitions might have something to them.

Then there was the on-stage run. An incredibly consistent performance throughout the weekend. Fernémont concentrated on his own rally, letting Rossel go ahead. Rossel was not playing any part in the BRC, so there was no point to chance him and possibly risk his own rally.

Where rivals made mistakes in the tough, very wet and slippery conditions, Fernémont made no mistakes. Just metronomic consistency.

The rally was much like his year. He finished on the podium in every rally he entered.

South Belgium – 2nd

Omloop van Vlaanderen – 3rd

East Belgium – 2nd

Rallye de Wallonie – 1st

Sezoensrally – 2nd

Rallye Condroz-Huy – 1st (BRC)

Spa Rally – 1st (BRC)

That is consistency. Unbeatable consistency.

Fernémont summed up his approach after the conclusion of the Spa Rally saying, “I knew that avoiding mistakes would be the key to success, because we are evenly matched. Just like in the Condroz, I was able to avoid mistakes. Really, this is such a relief. The tension has really bothered me in recent weeks, but this award makes up for a lot.”

Adrian Fernémont/Samuel Mailen ~ Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo ~ Spa Rally 2021 ~Belgian Rally Championship ~ Shot by Sam Tickell for

The feeling and relief was obvious right after the rally. When you would talk with him throughout the rally, indeed the season, you saw a man focussed. Winning is important. And make no mistake, it is a team that has to find their funding. They have no golden goose to rely on.

Naturally and for all the top drivers, competing a the front is hard but the Fernémont story is a little different. But to end, it is probably best to leave those words to the 2021 Champion himself.

“What a weekend! It was an extremely difficult rally to manage, on the stages and mentally. With Samuel Maillen, we told ourselves that the key would be not to make mistakes here, at the Spa Rally. This has been verified. By finishing second in the rally and first in the BRC, we won a second Belgian Champion title. What a sensation !”

The RacerViews info

By Sam Tickell

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