|“Right from the start of the event it was important to try to make the difference, when the conditions were extremely treacherous, Stéphane Lefebvre commented. And it worked. I must admit that I was somewhat surprised about the importance of the time gaps on such a course. Once we headed up the rankings, we went into a governing mode, even though we had to be additionally careful. We know that a puncture can easily happen here, and in the final special stages we never dropped our guard. Roll on the South Belgian Rally! “
More the ever Stéphane Lefebvre gave the impression of mastering all the parameters in this opening round. “To participate in rallies with Stéphane is an incredible joy for the entire team Alain Georges continued. Its super enjoyable, as his teammates were able to appreciate this weekend.”
And his teammates were quite obviously all far less experienced. Staring off the young Maxime Potty, co-driven by Renaud Herman, who finished the event in 7th place overall. “As we were able to ascertain during the test sessions in the Vosges, Maxime proved his worth, Alain Georges construed. He made a few small mistakes, but the potential is there. We are now going to compare his data with Stéphane Lefebvre’s, in order to continue a learning process that has really only just begun. The work method is different, and Maxime is displaying loads of enthusiasm. The best is yet to come …”
What to say about Jos Verstappen? Awaited by all the fans and enthusiasts, the Formula 1 World Champion’s pater astounded more than one. Up in an incredible 4th place overall at the end of the first loop, even though he was only competing in his first ever rally, Verstappen concluded the event in 8th place overall, claiming the new Masters Cup reserved for drivers over the age of 50. “What to say, other than Jos’ top speed and driving skills are quite incredible, Alain Georges added. Near the end of the day, namely in the dark, he was tired and made the odd mistake. But we will find some solutions, we will continue the work, and mark my words you will see Verstappen surprising quite a few people this year. It is also pleasant to see that the individual does not get fired up, he remains down to earth and takes pleasure from doing it … “
When it comes to pleasure, Richard Pex, a close friend of Jos Verstappen, also took a great deal of it in the Haspengouw. “He went through to the end, and I think that inwardly he felt as though he had won a world rally championship, the Team Principal smiled. When Jos Verstappen and Stéphane Lefebvre applauded him as he crossed over the podium, I think that Richard was as in levitation. He loved every minute, and the spirit within the team more than won him over … “
What better way of concluding the opening round of the Kroon-Oil Belgian Rally Championship 2022. Time to head off for Vresse-sur-Semois for the South Belgian Rally, with its course focussing on the talents of the best drivers.
Pictures : Jérôme Deskeuvre and Sophie Reginster