66 cars await the Omloop van Vlaanderen battle


66 teams have registered for the 63rd edition of the A&D Omloop van Vlaanderen, the oldest rally on the calendar of the Kroon-Oil Belgian Rally Championship. The 10th race of the season will start on Friday evening at 6 pm for a short opening stage of 45 km against the clock, followed by three more loops of 5 stages on Saturday, good for 138 km against the clock. Saturday evening September 2 at 8.23 pm, after 20 tests against the clock, including four passages on the infamous round race on the industrial estate near the Zwaaikom, the winner will be honored on the finish stage.

#7 Munster/Louka, Hyundai i20 R5, Sam Tickell for www.racerviews.com

It is impossible to predict who will be honored, although the role of favorite logically goes to Maxime Potty, the leader in the championship. Only the 23-year-old Citroën driver has not driven since Ypres and it remains to be seen whether his car will be ready in time. Niels Reynvoet will be on edge in his own region, especially after he lost victory in his Aarova Rally due to a mistake. Reynvoet proved to have the speed to win. Vincent Verschueren also proved this in Oudenaarde, where he was only beaten by a fantastic Freddy Loix in the new version of the Fabia.

But, it will probably also be a battle between Belgium and the Netherlands for the victory, although the “orange legion” will not yet turn out to Roeselare, as was the case in Zandvoort last weekend. Yet we see Jos Verstappen able to finish close in Roeselare, just like Roger Hodenius, who was surprisingly fast in Bertrix. This time they will also be joined by Bernhard ten Brinke, who will be preparing for the Hellendoorn Rally in a Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo. The former champion of the Netherlands, currently mainly active in Dakar, does not like half measures. He will be well prepared and competitive at the start. Richard Pex is of course also present with his Citroën C3 Rally2.

Or does the danger come from a local corner, with Andy Lefevere in a fast VW Polo GTi Rally2. The past races have proven how competitive the Volkswagen can be and Lefevere already shone on his debut with the Polo. Bjorn Syx also has more kilometers in his legs with his Citroën C3 Rally2. This time he was able to prepare well to aim higher in Roeselare. Nicola Stampaert achieved his best score in the BRC in Oudenaarde. He wants to confirm in the A&D Omloop van Vlaanderen. Jimmy D’hondt and Bert Coene each present their new acquisition, respectively a Citroën C3 Rally2 for the Limburger and a Ford Fiesta Rally2 Evo for the West Fleming.

In addition to the Rally2 violence, there are also some fast GTs at the start. Gunther Monnens is undoubtedly aiming for the Top 5 with his Porsche 991 GT3, the favorite for fastest times on the Zoning… in dry weather. For the other Porsche drivers, Tuur Vanden Abeele and Henri Schmelcher, the fastest M3s of the M-Cup are especially a reference, although they should certainly not lose sight of the toppers of the Historic BRC, with Pieter-Jan Maeyaert in his fast BMW M3 E30 and especially… Paul Lietaer in his Opel Ascona 400. The “moustache” is the undisputed “Mister Omloop” with… 15 victories (12 in Historic, 3 in modern).

Special attention will continue to the Dutch Clio Trophy and certainly to the battle in the Junior BRC, in which Stadenaar Jonas Dewilde wants to make a shot at the Junior title.