Tuesday, 26 February 2013 01:55

Legend Boucles de Spa - February 2013

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Written by Guus Docen       Photographs by Maurice Volmeyer (www.carlegends.nl)                                                                                                                                                                                The original Boucles de Spa rally was held between 1953 and 1990 in the Belgium Ardennes area and was well known for its typically snowy conditions. The Legend Boucles de Spa is the historic version and one of the biggest historic rally events in Europe. Just like the original rally the Legend event is held in the countryside outside the town of Spa in Belgium. The field of participants is growing year by year and participating are the biggest names from the world of rallying like Didier Auriol, Björn Waldegaard, British rally champion Gwyndaf Evans, WRC drivers Per-Gunnar Andersson, Thierry Neuville and twice winner of the 24-Hours of Le Mans, Andre Lotterer.
  The 7th edition saw a field of more than 300 historic cars entered, grouped into two classifications: the Legends and Classic where the classics have to complete the stages with an average of 50km/h and the Legends at 80 km/h.

There’s a series of tests on closed roads (including sections from special classic routes) with stops in historic sites. This year’s regularity rally was greeted with snowy and icy conditions that made navigating the Ardennes forest even more difficult and despite the cold weather the seventh edition attracted a fair amount of spectators.

Former WRC driver Francois Duval in a Ford Escort MkII took the lead driving very aggressively, and it was Belgian WRC successor Thierry Neuville who took over the lead when Duval’s gearbox expired. But just before the end of the 2nd stage the fuel line broke in engine bay bay of  Neuvilles 1985 Citroen Visa 1000 Pistes , fuel sprayed over the exhaust manifold causing a massive fire in the engine. After Neuville’s early retirement it was again Duval who took the lead, he was in the rally again because the mechanics were able to replace the broken gearbox of the Escort. Finally he won the Legend Boucles de Spa !

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