Legend Boucles @ Bastogne 2020
Clarification regarding the ‘Slow Zones’
Since the announcement, during the press conference at Libramont, of the main new innovations that will feature in the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne 2020, certain subjects have quite clearly caused some talk. Kicking off with the ‘Slow Zones’ in certain regularity tests. A notion at times misinterpreted, and which deserves being re-explained …
“In the past we have been able to resort to PC, the organiser Pierre Delettre explained. The aim first and foremost was to slow down the cars, and even to oblige them to stop, and this in ‘sensitive’ zones, where care and attention was of the essence. The worry of these PC was that certain competitors did not come to a full standstill, whilst others complained of a waste of time when having the PC stamped. It was therefore interesting for us to look for an alternative. And it came from Endurance circuit racing …”
Those that regularly follow the 24 Hours of Le Mans will have noticed that in the event of a problem on the track ‘Slow Zones’ are set up, obliging the competitors to seriously reduce their speed on a specific section, between a point A and a point B. “This is exactly the principle will shall be applying on certain RT, Pierre continued. Essentially for reasons of safety on certain tricky zones or when entering a village. There was also a wish to preserve the clutches of historic vehicles at the start, by avoiding frequent stop-start issues. Let’s not forget that our racing machines have reached a certain age, and that the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne course does not want us to add additional pressure …”
As such each ‘Slow Zone’ will oblige the teams to respect a given time between entry and exit, actualised by highly visible panels. These ‘Slow Zones’ will be between 200 and 300 metres in length depending on the area, and the competitors will have 20 or 30 seconds in which to cover them, which is equivalent to an average of 36 km/h which everyone will be able to handle as they wish, either through stopping in the zone or by adopting a constant speed. All in all the intention is not to exit the zone before the foreseen time, as otherwise a penalty similar to a missed PC in the old formula will be applied. The advantage of this system is that one single stopwatch is required to manage the ‘Slow Zone’. No reason to have one’s eyes rivetted on the odometer.
Worth specifying that for the ‘Classic’ category the appearance of these ‘Slow Zones’ will not lead to a variation of the overall average of the RT involved. It will quite simply be a question of catching up the average further along, similar as to when the competitors stopped at a PC. The philosophy therefore remains identical in ‘Classic’: no alteration of average, apart from in exceptional cases when the course requires it.
In no way is there any question of complicating the running of the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne, but rather to link the respect for mechanics with safety. But competitors can be reassured, there will not be tens of ‘Slow Zones’ during these two days of the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne 2020. Everyone will be able to go into the attack as they please, especially in the ‘Legend’ and ‘Challenger’ categories…