Autosport

2nd VLN race of 2018 + Gallery by Andrejs Guscins

On 7th April the green light was given for 2nd VLN race of 2018 season.

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All day long the weather conditions where fantastic, bright sun and a warm weather provided great atmosphere at the ring.  

More than a 180 cars started the race on legendary Eiffel track. 

The big names where on starting grid of 2nd VLN, like DTM drivers Nico Müller and Edoardo Mortara, The triple Le-Mans winner André Lotterer, also Sheldon van Der Linde and Marcel Fassler shared Audi R8 LMS build by Team Land.

It was a first victory for Jesse Krohn and Connor De Phillippi of 2018 season with Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3

It was a first victory for Jesse Krohn and Connor De Phillippi of 2018 season with Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3

 

After problems on Fridays training session team worked hard to solve all of them and managed also to get cars setup right and it paid of with a victory and it was 40th overall victory for BMW at VLN.

Klaus Bachelor and Martin Ragginger in their Falken Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R managed to finish 3rd and took their second top three result on a row.

Klaus Bachelor and Martin Ragginger in their Falken Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R managed to finish 3rd and took their second top three result on a row.

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Andreas Gülden showed pure endurance racing and won the TCR class with the Seat Cupra TCR of Mathilda racing as solo driver.

Andreas Gülden showed pure endurance racing and won the TCR class with the Seat Cupra TCR of Mathilda racing as solo driver.

The three Norwegians Håkon Schjærin, Alte Gulbrandsen and Kenneth Østvold where able to qualify first and later celebrated third position with their new livered Audi RS 3 TCR.

The three Norwegians Håkon Schjærin, Alte Gulbrandsen and Kenneth Østvold where able to qualify first and later celebrated third position with their new livered Audi RS 3 TCR.

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Rally Legend Boucles 2018 by Andrejs Guscins

Legend Boucles rally in 2018 celebrated its 60th anniversary. It was held from 2nd till 4th of February.

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On the 3rd of February, 300 classic rally cars came out to the start.  The rally was driven in a mountainous forest area in the district of Bastogne. Participants were divided into 4 categories: classics, demo, legend and Challenger.

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Bernard Munster, Francois Duval, Gregoire De Mevius, Paul Griffiths, Thierry Neuville, Bryan Bouffier, Yves Matton, Tim Pearcey and many more well known rally drivers participated in this rally.

The three times Vice-World rally champion and winner of Rally Legend Boucles 2017, Thierry Neuville, raced outside the standings, as his freshly built Opel Corsa A  was not homologated, but Thierry made a promise to fix this problem for next year.

Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul in their Opel Corsa

Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul in their Opel Corsa

The demo group was filled with 11 different Subaru’s, presenting the entire line of all Subaru’s ever involved in WRC.

Emile Premont and Jean-Claude Boniverd in Subaru Legacy 4WD Turbo

Emile Premont and Jean-Claude Boniverd in Subaru Legacy 4WD Turbo

Visiting the rally for the second year in a row, I enjoyed the views of the Ardennes and the atmosphere of this Motorsport festival and I had the opportunity to plunge into the past and see the rally of 60-70’s and 80’s. I am glad that this attracts not only the older generation but also young people. 

At this time of the year usually in the Ardennes it snows, but on the way to Bastogne, I didn't see any of it and therefore I was afraid to loose the opportunity to whitness a pure winter rally.

The first day was rainy and there was mud and slush everywhere, but in the evening it started to snow.  The next morning my dream came true.  There were snowy hills and forests in combination with  classic rally cars. What else is needed for happiness ?

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Rally is being held throughout the day and night and the total length of the special stages was 215,72 km. I had to look for good spots from where I would take my pictures well in advance, but not everything went according to plan. Weather conditions made it difficult so I had to improvise a lot. 

I was fortunate to see how, alongside the motorway, Yves Matton’s team was changing the rear axle of his car. It was interesting to observe the well-coordinated work of the team and see from first hand how they coped with their task in such conditions and with minimal equipment.

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My attention was drawn of course to the Ford Escort, the first two generation. They took each turn in a light, beautiful drift, leaving always a smile on my face.

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Also the sound of the Porsche 911 with their amazing sound of flat six made me smile. It was also interesting to watch the four Lada crews, two of them with Lada VFTS, Group B cars.

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As an old Mitsubishi rally fan, seeing Starion and the Lancer 2000 Turbo, I still hope that someday Mitsubishi's management will take a step in the direction of Motorsport again.

Why do I love auto sports? There is always a friendly atmosphere, no matter which brand of car or which driver you prefer.  You can always find a companion and discuss what is happening at that moment. There is always someone who will share interesting facts and new information.

All together I can conclude that this rally is on my list of "must-visit".

Although tired, frozen and dirty, I did not want to leave. I got a huge amount of fun that would last through this winter period without racing until the start of the big season.


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