A crowd of pretenders for the top 10!
The most astonishing fact with the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne, is that everyone – or near on – do not want to be left out. By taking care of the equipment. Outcome: personalities from motorsport, be it rally or circuit, are all jostling, and all dream of reaching the top 10. Consequently the up-coming Frenchman Pierre-Louis Loubet will arrive with a good Citroën Visa 1000 Pistes Gr.B with his fellow countryman Vincent Landais, fully determined to prove that historic rallying is also something for young lions!
A world name in the field of … horse and carriage teams, Félix-Marie Brasseur one day announced his retirement from motorsport. Nobody believed him, quite rightly, as this globe-trotter is once again bringing out his Porsche 911 breathed on by MY Vintage for an umpteenth time of pleasure in the company of his son Jehan-Félix. Especially as Félix-Marie owes us a return match following his off-course trajectory some twelve months ago.
Other ‘world star’, Fred Bertrand is known by the misnomer ‘Krugger’ for all custom ‘bike fans! His creations make the headline news of numerous magazines on all continents … but the young man, citizen of Basse-Bodeux, is also a rally enthusiast, and with fearsome handling skills. He shares the cockpit of a first-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI with Laurent Burton. And he is supermotivated …
France will decidedly be well represented in Bastogne. Jean-Jacques Julien and Benoît Juif are highly awaited with their Ford Escort MK2. This will also be the case for their fellow countrymen Maxime Vilmot and Ronan Choucroune on the one hand, Patrick Hautot and Sylvain Cantrel on the other, always with MK2 machines
Deutschland uber alles or God Save the Queen?
In their drive to internationalise their event, Pierre Delettre and his collaborators have built close ties with the organisers of another popular historic event: the Rallye Köln-Ahrweiler, in the German Eifel. This has brought about the exceptional presence in Bastogne of several top-quality teams, kicking off with Georg Berlandy and Peter Schaaf, who with their superb Opel Kadett GT/E dominated the 2018 edition of the Köln Ahrweiler. And they are not concealing their ambitions: to win!
It is in fact the top rankings of the German event that will be meeting up in Bastogne, with the confirmed presence of Michael Küke and Joachim Carl (Porsche 911), Christoph Schleimer and Michael Wenzel (Vauxhall Astra), but also Timo Rumpfkeil and Helmar Hinneberg (Mercedes 190 2.3 16S), namely the 2nd, 3rd and 5th of the Köln Ahweiler 2018! Which must look more like an offensive.
These newcomers will be crossing swords with their fellow countrymen Thomas and Martina Schulz (Ford Escort MK2), Andreas Gerst and Jan Enderle (Ford Escort MK2), as also Stefan and Michael Uhl (Ford Escort MK2).
A Germanic surge that the British teams will attempt to counter, with as bridgehead the ever-regular Tim Percey and Neil Shanks (Ford Escort MK2), very at ease in the forest regularity sections, and this year joined by a certain Alan Walker, with John Connor (Ford Escort MK2), spokesperson of the out-and-out sideways on in the Roger Albert Clark (RAC) Rally…
Quality, quantity… and variety
Highly awaited by the enthusiasts will be the Renault 5 Turbo Gr.4 Ragnotti-Andrié look of the Frenchman Paul Chieusse and the female Luxembourgian Andrée Hansen, but also the former Henri Toivonen and Guy Fréquelin Opel Ascona 400 Gr.B, which brings about another Frenchman, Frédéric Rosati, permanent ode when it comes to spectacle. As for François Lethier, always teamed up with the local Marc Sevrin, he will this time be putting his foot down in a Triumph TR8, Benoît Galand retrieving the command of a Peugeot 504 Coupé V6 which had served him well in the past …
In a nutshell, nothing but joy in sight on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd February, with on the programme 12 special stages on ‘asphalt’ on the first day, and 7 forest sections, worthy of the RAC Rally, the following day. Of which one piece of bravura covering some … 42 kilometres! All this on the principle of a Target Time, that is to say a time impossible to achieve. In brief: pedal to the metal!
This major historic rally party will kick-off as from Friday 1st February, with on the programme the traditional autograph session under the ‘Gulf Vintage’ marquee on the Place McAuliffe and the presentation of all the cars in Bastogne’s commercial thoroughfare. Enough to draw the fans in their thousands… (End)