BRC: Thrilling end to the Sezoens Rally (Report)


The 47th edition of the Sezoensrally once again had a particularly exciting course. The final decision was not made until some time after the finish. Before the start of the very last special stage, the power stage in Veldhoven, leader Maxime Potty and closest pursuer Niels Reynvoet were barely 1″7 apart.

Sezoens Rally, Kroon Oil Belgian Rally Championship. Shot by Sam Tickell for

On the very last test, Niels Reynvoet clocked the fastest time, 0″3 faster than Maxime Potty, who seemed to win the race, but there was still electricity in the air. Niels Reynvoet did not agree with the chrono that was assigned to him on the Brueghel special stage (KP 10), where he had achieved a better chrono according to his own data. After reviewing the evidence and data provided, the Committee of Stewards decided to award Niels Reynvoet the same time on KP 10 as his competitor Maxime Potty. A time that was 5″ faster, so that Niels Reynvoet and Kris D’Alleine ultimately won the Sezoensrally with a 3″6 lead, ahead of Maxime Potty. It is the third victory in a row for Niels Reynvoet, who remains leader in the championship.

“The weather conditions were extremely difficult today, but we set our own pace from the first test. We drove fast, but controlled. During the first tests we were able to gain some distance from the rest of the field. The duel with Maxime was exciting. When it started to rain on Saturday at the start of the final lap, it became tense because we had to fit slicks and rain tires crosswise, but Maxime had made the same tire choice. It remained exciting until the last test, but we already knew that our time was not correct. We were confident that we had won the match, even if the final decision came later. In any case, we are doing a fantastic job for the championship,” said Niels Reynvoet.

Sezoens Rally, Kroon Oil Belgian Rally Championship. Shot by Sam Tickell for

Maxime Potty accepted second place, although he had his reservations. “You know, we went all out on the very last test to maintain our leadership position. If the starting position turns out to be incorrect afterwards, we might have taken fewer risks… Oh well, we fought a great duel,” said Maxime Potty, the defending champion who finished second for the fourth time this year.
The last test resulted in even more position changes. Jos Verstappen, in third place all day long, close to the two leaders, left the track in the final kilometers with his Skoda. For the second time in a row, after his run in the Wallonia Rally, Jos Verstappen dropped valuable points.

Because Cédric Cherain suffered a puncture on the penultimate test and lost more than two minutes, third place ultimately went to Bastien Rouard, also in a Hyundai i20 N Rally2.

“Luck has chosen my side today. I’ve had bad luck so many times. Just think of that flat tire that cost me victory in the Rallye des Ardennes. Today I fell back due to a flat tire in Gerdingen, but on the last lap Cédric Cherain also had a flat there. It gives me third place. Finally! Now I will do everything I can to be at the start in Ypres as well,” said Bastien Rouard.

Cédric Cherain was of course disappointed: “You sometimes have matches where things don’t work out. Today I never had the optimal confidence on the Maas gravel. I already made two mistakes on the first test and my lack of experience in this match played tricks on me. Still, I was in contention for the podium, until I had a puncture on the penultimate test and on the last test… Very sad.”

Charles Munster drove his first fastest time in the Belgian championship in the Season Rally. The Hyundai driver also finished fourth last season and matched that performance, despite a lack of rhythm. “At the beginning of the race we had a disadvantage due to our late starting position. The tests were already very dirty and muddy when we started. Things went better in the second half of the match. I don’t think we were far from the limit on the dirt,” said Charles Munster.

Vincent Verschueren finished fifth, but the 2018 winner could not be satisfied with that. After all, he never competed for the podium with his Citroën C3 Rally2. “I think we really need to work with a good engineer for Ypres, because we made the wrong choices today in terms of adjustments. There is certainly more to it,” says Vincent Verschueren honestly.

Although it had been since 2013 that Cédric De Cecco had started in the Season Rally, he sent his Citroën to sixth place, ahead of John Wartique, who sent the VW Polo to seventh. Nicolas Stampaert finished the race with some good times, good for eighth place, ahead of unlucky Cédric Cherain and Tom Boonen, who finished in the Top 10 for the second time.

Sezoens Rally, Kroon Oil Belgian Rally Championship. Shot by Sam Tickell for

RGT – Monnens wins after Snijers DQ’d

After problems for Gunther Monnens, who broke the power steering on a stone on the opening test and then punctured the radiator on a post, and after the disqualification of Patrick Snijers due to a technically non-compliant restrictor, the victory in the Porsches went to Henri Schmelcher.

Junior and Stellantis Cup – Depotter dominates

In the Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup, Lander Depotter was fastest on his BRC debut with the Opel Corsa Rally4, ahead of Tom Heindrichs, who lost time due to a puncture, and Pierre-Manuel Brasseur, who started too cautiously. In the Clio Trophy, Nard Ippen took advantage of a Cristian Sugar slider to win convincingly. Patrick Diels won the M-Cup, after a elimination race, ahead of Bert Bosmans and Dany Claesen. And in Historic there was a logical victory for Dirk Deveux with his Ford Sierra Cosworth.