Legend Boucles @ Bastogne 2017
Heading for a great vintage year in the ‘Classic’ category
If on the one hand the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne is not a true speed rally, in the ‘Classic’ category there can be no doubt that this is a regularity competition in the purest sense, held at a maximum average speed of 60 km/h. All held over closed special stages, contrary to most other events. And this ‘Classic’ category was showcased last year, with a specific communication widely appreciated by the competitors, and in fact to be repeated.
At the dawn of the 2017 edition, and with the event being held in just over two months, we can already announce that this vintage will be exceptional … and that the winning team will be different! Yves Deflandre, who clinched the laurels last February, will in fact be back in ‘Legend’, opening the door to all the others …
Under the governance of Eric Chapa, the ‘Classic’ category will experience new evolutions in 2017, which first and foremost focus on speedier publishing of the results … “The Blunik system that was adopted last year proved to receive unanimous support, Pierre Delettre, organiser of the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne explained. Nonetheless we worked hard to eliminate the sole weak point: the speed in recovering the results. Last year the opening car was in charge of collecting the data, whereas next February the tags will be downloaded at the end of each special stage, which will allow for a speedier publication of the results, obviously provisional and as such unofficial, but widely indicative. Moreover, the numerous times registered will not go amiss in contributing to levelling out the battle between the powerful and less powerful machines. As for the road-book, Eric Chapa and Jean Caro are personally taking care of this, guaranteeing a tool in the purest ‘Classic’ spirit, with numerous reference points. There is also improvement regarding the pace notes system with a view to the forest special stages on the Sunday, which will be largely simplified as compared to last year, these sections being handed over to the competitors in the form of a video upon their return to Bastogne on the Saturday evening… “
In the ‘Classic’ category bringing vehicles together closer to the series than those entered in ‘Legend’, the quality of the unpaved sections brings about recurring grounds for discussion. Here also the organisers wish to be more than reassuring … “It’s quite simple, the two areas that were judged to be too damaging by the competitors last year have been removed from the course, Eric Chapa added. We can already announce good unpaved routes and special stages boasting as many challenges, even at an average of 60 km/h. Admittedly, there are always more delicate sections, however these will be clearly marked in the road-book, and there will never be any times recorded just after that section. It’s out of the question that the ‘Classic’ category should take on the form of being a car wrecking yard. If necessary, we will go so far as to reducing the average.”
The event’s timing has also been reviewed, in order to allow the competitors to return earlier to the Place McAuliffe in Bastogne on the Saturday evening. Basically as compared to last year they will gain one hour, allowing them to take advantage of the restaurants of the region … but also to discover via video, the special forest stages on the menu on the Sunday.
Photo libre de droits : Jacques Letihon / www.letihon.be
Always regarding the ‘Classic’ category, the make of tyres remains a free choice, as long as they are of the ‘winter’ type and ‘euro’ homologated and are nor a re-tread. As a reminder the tyres in ‘Classic’ will not be marked. The tables with the changes of the averages will be handed over to the competitors, while a co-driver training session for teams entered in ‘Classic’ will be organised during the course of the month of January and will be announced shortly.
Worth noting that the ‘Tracking’ device will also relate to the ‘Classic’ competitors. This will allow friends and supporters to follow the evolution of their favourite team … but also for the Clerk of the Course to take note of the cars immobilised in the middle of a special stage. All the more important at a safety level on Sunday in the forest.
If the experienced Pascal Collard will continue to be the ‘Competitors’ Relations’ person in ‘Classic’, it is worth noting the creation of a ‘Seniors’ classification regarding teams where the driver and co-driver show to have a minimum of … a combined age of 120 years! And take it from us, there is a risk it might become crowded …
On the sporting front, we can already announce that teams having finished in the top-10 overall last February, no less than … 7 have already registered! A question of keeping a close eye on Reuter-Vandevorst (Porsche 914/6), the Frenchmen Magdziarek-Lhomme (BMW 2800 CS), Ninane-Simon (Opel Kadett C), Dujardyn-Deplancke (Porsche 911 Carrera RS), Miroux-De Moor (Datsun 240 Z), Gengou-Gathy (Volvo 142 S) and Van Dalen-Minguet (Ford Escort MK2). An initial list of favourites to which we can presently add Delporte-Bozet (Porsche 924), Vermeersch-De Bièvre (Fiat 124 Spider), Gonin-Gonin (BMW 2002 Tii), Hennes-Wilputte (BMW 320i), Schoonbroodt-Gehlen (Ford Escort MK1), Baugnée-Remion (Ford Escort MK1), Simon-Duschesne (Porsche 924 S), Crucifix-Caldeira (Porsche 911 Carrera), etc., A far from exhaustive list, which should continue to be filled with an astonishing regularity … Which, more than ever, is the underlying theme in ‘Classic’!