Legend Boucles @ Bastogne 2020
What we already need to know …
There was a time when the in-between season left a void when it came to information. Since the coming of the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne at the beginning of the month of February, there is permanent and on-going news and the Royal Automobile Club de Spa event is clearly taking over during the course of the many weeks. As they have been accustomed to, Pierre Delettre and his team are bringing together the media, partners, certain competitors and those in charge of municipalities as from this Wednesday, with a view to setting the scene for the 2020 vintage of the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne. And it is clear that there is already an abundant amount of information …
Rendezvous the first weekend of February!
First essential information: the date of the event. Never easy to schedule, in order to be in tune with the diaries of the municipalities concerned, but also to avoid any clash with one or other international event that could deprive the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne 2020 of certain stars. At the end of the day it will be Friday 31st January, Saturday 1st February and Sunday 2nd February that the upcoming edition will be held. Information that propagated itself in an impressive manner on the social networks, proof that it is awaited. That’s putting it mildly …
Between simplification and back to reason when it comes to technical matters
On the technical regulations front, the two essential notions are ‘simplification’ and ‘back to reason’. For the ‘Classic’ category, the identical regulations are retained, the requirement of fitting a roll-bar being set at 2021, as previously announced.
As from no the ‘Legend’ and ‘Challenger’ categories will retain identical technical regulations. This will prevent a car judged to be non-conform in ‘Legend’ from moving over to ‘Challenger’ and jostling with the hierarchy. On the other hand, in ‘Challenger’, the cars will need to have been built before 1987. In ‘Legend’, the ‘Annexe J2 FIA’ (up until 1990) cars with two-wheel drive only will be accepted. Their age coefficient evolves, going from 1,4 to 1,2.
Major information for the ‘Legend’ category is the abolition of the ‘Super Legend’ concept, misunderstood and complicated to read.
Which implies that as from now in both the ‘Legend’ and ‘Challenger’ categories, brakes and suspension are a free choice!
Sequential gearboxes and steering wheel paddle shifts are accepted, but bring about a penalising age coefficient of 1,5. However the presence of such gearboxes does not result in a move to the ‘Challenger’ category…
Regarding the engines, a 20% re-bore is permitted without resulting in a modification of the coefficient. In the event of a re-bore of more than 20%, or moving from 8 to 16 valves, a 1,5 coefficient will be applied.
On the other hand, replacement engines of the ‘Millington’ or ‘Honda’ type for the Ford Escort, remain forbidden. A possible transfer to the ‘Demo’ is envisaged but not as yet confirmed.
Regarding the coefficient, the regulations have also been simplified:
- Vehicles built up until 31/12/1961: 0,95
- Vehicles built between 01/01/1962 and 31/12/1986: 1,00
Axing of the PC in favour of Slow Zone
At the sporting regulation level the 2020 edition of the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne will be characterised by the axing of the PC and the creation of Slow Zones, similar to the World Endurance Championship. It will concern shortish sections in which a time will be imposed. The reasons that led to this decision are multiple:
- Safety of the personnel, and namely the marshalls
- The wish to reduce the speed at entry of villages, generally where the public are present in numbers
- The wish to preserve the cars’ cutches through avoiding the frequent stop-starts in the middle of RTs …
These Slow Zones will be signalled by means of red and green panels on the right-hand side of the road. The speed will be in the region of more or less 30 km/h.
RIS Timing, Tripy and José Bailly for the time keeping
Regarding the time keeping of the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne 2020, RIS Timing will be in charge of the ‘Legend’ and ‘Challenger’ categories, whereas Tripy, with renewed equipment and partnered with José Bailly’s team, will draw up the hierarchy in ‘Classic’. Tripy will also ensure a ‘tracking’ of each car, which will notably allow to control the speed through the Slow Zones.
Revised schedule for the sake of greater conviviality: exit the Province of Liège!
It was a request from certain teams, to which the R.A.C. Spa team acceded. The schedule of the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne 2020 has been revised, notably for the Saturday and Sunday. Prior to that, the technical and administrative checks will start on Thursday 30th January and will extend through to Friday 31st January, in the same way as the marking of the tyres. Friday 31st January will also be the day for recceing Saturday’s stages for the teams of the ‘Legend’ and ‘Challenger’ categories. And to end the day on Friday, and true to tradition, the autograph session– in the presence of the top teams – and the Parade of the cars in the heart of Bastogne remain more than ever on the programme.
For Saturday and Sunday, the course will be more compact. The intention is clearly to leave later in the morning and to return earlier in the evening, but also to allow for longer ‘Regroups’, all in all far more comfortable. This will offer the opportunity, where required, to curb eventual delays, unavoidable in this type of event with such an XXL grid!
Concretely, on Saturday there will be 5 RTs, all different as compared to 2019, to be covered twice. One of the biggest novelties this year is that all these regularity tests are located in the Province of Luxembourg! In other words, the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne will no longer be calling in on the Province of Liège, allowing the competitors to spend less time on liaison sections. In total this will mean two hours saved throughout the day!
On Sunday the programme moves from 7 to 6 forest RTs … whereas the total kilometres covered remains identical to 2019! As such one ‘special’ is being removed, but competitors cover the same number of kilometres over the others. An ‘XXL’ RT still features on the programme, covering a distance of near on 40 kilometres! Sunday’s programme, with its forest RTs, will be widely renewed as compared to last February’s edition, with only one section being retained, according to the principle of alternating between the RTs. Further proof that the course possibilities in the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne remain important, with new courses being regularly sent to the organisers with a view to future editions!
Worth noting that for the ‘Classic’ category, only one RT on Sunday will be in ‘Power Stage’ mode with double penalties. Here also the opinion of the competitors at the end of the 2019 edition was taken into account.
We are also announcing the arrival of new municipalities, who will be replacing their Liège counterparts, with Houffalize (important Regroup at Garage Lambin), Gouvy, Léglise, Martelange (stop at the Gulf petrol station) and Libin. These municipalities hold a warm welcome in store for the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne, and will be joining Bastogne, Bertogne, Vaux-sur-Sûre, Libramont (a festive Regoup organised by the traders’ association), Tenneville, Saint-Hubert, Paliseul, Bertrix and Fauvillers.
‘Legend-Challenger’ and ‘Classic’ will head off in different directions on Sunday morning!
Always concerning Sunday, the course will be in the shape of an ‘8’, which implies that ‘Classic’ on the one hand, ‘Legend’ and ‘Challenger’ on the other, will head off in different directions at the start!
The aim is that the leaders should return around 15.30hrs-16.00hrs, in order to organise a formal ceremony within a reasonable timetable ..… and in all conviviality celebrate the arrival of this 2020 edition!
Legend Boucles 4 Women: we’re continuing!
Inaugurated last February, the Legend Boucles 4 Women operation, aimed at giving pride of place to the ladies, will continue in 2020. Beyond the purely promotional aspect, the organisation’s objective is also the sound out the feminine sex. In this way the comments received will notably result in the improvement of the sanitary services at the start of each RT as also during the various ‘Regroups’…