François Delecour will challenge the best Belgians !


After a 2022 edition that can only be described as a transitional one, the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne are back on track at the beginning of February 2023. The constraints linked to the health crisis have disappeared, which means that the party will once again be complete, with 240 cars at the start, the return of the Friday evening festivities - autograph session and parade of the cars in Bastogne -, the emblematic McAuliffe Square which becomes once again the nerve centre of the event, without forgetting the Sunday special stages, which regain a forest character which was lacking last March...


The result is that the entry list is once again of high quality and quantity, with 240 crews entered in the 'Legend', 'Challenger', 'Youngtimers', 'Classic 65' and 'Classic 50' categories. And when it comes to the battle for the overall victory, there is no doubt that rally fans will be in for a treat!


In the wake of Thierry Neuville, Bryan Bouffier, Mikko Hirvonen, Kris Meeke and Stéphane Lefebvre, François Delecour is the headliner of this 2023 edition of the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne. At 60 years of age, the man who is aptly nicknamed 'Freine tard' is greener than ever! With four victories in the World Rally Championship, he is one of the legends of the discipline... while continuing to tease the younger generation, as we saw again during the recent Monte-Carlo Rally. In Bastogne, Delecour will inherit the famous Ford Escort Mk2 'PYB-106' from Christophe Jacob, and he didn't hide his enthusiasm during the discussions with Pierre Delettre!


However, the Frenchman from Hazebrouck in the North of France will not have an easy time of it at the Legend Boucles. On his way, he will come across a certain Cedric Cherain (Ford Escort Mk2), who is more than ever among the public's favourites after his exploits at the end of the season in the Belgian Rally Championship, but also Ghislain de Mévius (Ford Escort Mk2), who is making his comeback and who is totally motivated! Local hero Fred Caprasse (Ford Escort Mk2) has entered the race on the buzzer, with the firm intention to surprise everyone before taking his first overall victory! That's what promises...


And that's not all of course! The Legend Boucles @ Bastogne gathering competitors coming from different horizons, the list of candidates for a podium - at least! - is impressive : former winners Stefaan Stouf (Ford Escort Mk1), Jean-Pierre Van de Wauwer (Lancia Beta Monte-Carlo), Marc Duez (Ford Escort Mk2), Bernard Munster (Porsche 911 Carrera RS), but also Patrick Snijers driving an impressive Chevrolet Corvette C3 Stingray (! ), Olivier Cartelle (Ford Escort Mk2), Thibaud Mazuin (with his dad Christophe, Porsche 911 SC 3.0 Gr.4 ), Emile Breittmayer (Ford Escort Mk2), Olivier Breittmayer (Ford Escort Mk1), John Wartique (Ford Escort Mk1), Xavier Bouche (Opel Manta A), Yves Matton (Porsche 911 SC 3. 0), Fred Bouvy (Ford Escort Mk2), Johnny Delhez (Ford Escort Mk2), Guino Kenis (BMW 325i E30), Jean-André Collard (Opel Manta 400), André Lausberg (Porsche 911 S), Julien Elleboudt (Ford Escort Mk2), Grégoire Destexhe (BMW 325i E30), etc.


Apart from François Delecour, the international delegation looks good, with the Frenchmen Eric Mauffrey (Ford Escort Mk2), Thierry Barjou (Ford Escort Mk2), Bernard Vialar (Opel Kadett GT/E), Pierre-Etienne Bordet (Triumph TR8), Lionel Moutouh (Ford Escort Mk1), Cézar and Karl Vandewoestyne (Porsche 911 SC) and Maxime Vilmot (Ford Escort Mk2), the Germans Henning and Axel Schütt (Ford Escort Mk2), the British Steve Hopewell (Ford Escort Mk2), the Dutchman Armand Adriaans (Datsun 240 Z), etc.


There is no doubt that with such a line-up, there is no risk of getting bored in the Bastogne region, not only during the race, with the 15 RT’s on the programme, but also before and after! This is also what the Legend Boucles are all about...