Strong field to contest TAC Rally this weekend


Verschueren, Fernémont and Cherain in pursuit of Potty

A week after the Rallye des Ardennes, the fourth round of the Kroon-Oil Belgian Rally Championship is on the program with the TAC Rally in Tielt. The organization of the Tieltse Automobielclub is one of the 6 “championship” events, so that almost all title candidates will be present on Saturday 8 April. With 18 Rally2s and 5 fast GTs at the start, the battle for the podium and close places of honor will be fierce.

#46//Verschueren Vincent&Prévot Stéphane//Škoda Fabia R5//TAC Rally 2019, Belgian Rally Championship//Sam Tickell with RacerViews

The program of this 48th TAC Rally starts on Thursday evening, April 6, with the traditional shakedown at De Ratte, where the teams get the chance to set up their cars for the Tielt special stages. The race itself consists of three loops of four stages on Saturday 8 April, together good for 142.44 km against the clock. The names of the special stages sound familiar: Sliderskapelle (14.93 km), Ondank (9.66 km), Poelberg (8.45 km) and Oosthoek (14.59 km). The first participant will cross the starting stage in the Europahal in Tielt at 8:30 am, where the winner will be honored at 7:30 pm.

Of the tenors, Gino Bux is forced to forfeit after his heavy sortie last weekend. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Maxime Potty will lead the peloton as leader in the Belgian championship with his Citroën C3 Rally2, but he will get a lot of resistance. Just think of two-time Belgian champion Adrian Fernémont, who is looking for confidence, and Cédric Cherain, who wants to take his first victory in the Hyundai. Bastien Rouard, second in the BRC standings, came close to his first victory in the Hyundai i20 N Rally2 last week in Dinant. Wondering if he can confirm that performance in West Flanders. And what about Cédric De Cecco, who was already on his way to a podium finish or even a win in the South Belgian Rally, until he committed a speeding violation. He will be eager for a revenge.
Niels Reynvoet already came close to victory in Tielt last year. If he has a good grasp of the Citroën C3 Rally2, he can surprise. This time Charles Munster is also present again with his fast Hyundai i20 N Rally2.

Vincent Verschueren, two-time winner in Tielt, is certainly a winner. Last year he was the strongest with the VW Polo GTI Rally2. This time Verschueren will start with a Skoda Fabia Rally2 from SXM. It is not an Evo, but Verschueren has always felt good in the Fabia. The East Fleming is being navigated by Jasper Vermeulen this season.
SXM team boss Fred Miclotte will also take the wheel of a Skoda Fabia himself this time, just like Junior Planckaert, who made a solid debut in Dinant with the Evo version. It is certainly also looking forward to the times of Master favorite Roger Hodenius, who will probably start with the brand new Skoda Fabia RS Rally2.
The other Skoda Fabia’s Rally2 are in the hands of John Wartique, Emile Breittmayer, who will discover the stages in Tielt, and Nicola Stampaert. Christophe Verstaen, Tobias Brüls and Richard Pex defend the colors of Citroën. Ford can count on two Masters, title holder Jimmy D’hondt and local specialist Bert Coene, who is always fast in Tielt.

Just behind the Rally2s, the GTs will provide a spectacle, with two established names at the front: Glenn Janssens and Gunther Monnens, both with a Porsche 991 GT3. The surprises are Amaury Molle, who starts an official program with the Alpine A110 on MRF tires, and Pieter-Jan Michiel Cracco, who exchanges his Rally2 for a fast Porsche. Henri Schmelcher is also coming to Tielt with the Porsche 991 GT3.

Behind the fast Mitsubishi of Kurt Boone, we get the first direct confrontation between Jonas Dewilde and Benoit Verlinde, two youngsters who are going for the Junior title with a Renault Clio Rally4. Maxim Decock lies in wait with his Opel Corsa Rally4 to take advantage of every misstep.

That is certainly not all, because the MOOOD M-Cup brings 18 fast BMWs to the start, led by Philip Lommers, Franky Boulat, Loïc Pirot and Brecht Hoorne, the (mechanical) bad luck of the first two races. Still, everyone is especially looking forward to the chronos of Mats Van den Brand, who wants to show the potential of the M3 E36 once again.

Three of his creations, the “Mats” BMW M3s E30 of Pieter-Jan Maeyaert, Cedriek Merlevede and Rainer Hermann will try to keep the Opel Ascona of phenomenon Paul Lietaer from victory in Historic. We can also expect spectacle from Bert Cornelis (Opel Monza), Claude Debue (Opel Ascona) and especially from Olivier Breittmayer with his exclusive Ferrari 308 GTB.

In short, the poster of the TAC Rally, which will be held on Saturday 8 April, looks impressively strong again.