Peter Demeyere wins Classic Rally Challenge
The maiden edition of this new Challenge showed a couple of surprises before the start, and even more during the season. The idea was to create a sort of mini Championship for Belgian teams, and hopefully some foreign teams too, since 4 of the 6 events counted for the Flanders International Rally Challenge. Once bookings closed, the majority of the teams turned out to be foreign, with 4 British and 1 German team to compete with the Belgians.
However, bad luck would reign the Challenge. Bill Cook had a major crash at ORC Canal Rally that would ruin the rest of his season, Les Allfrey had a bad moment in Wervik as well. Mechanical nightmares would give a headache to Stephen Stringer, Ralph Merten and especially Richard Weaver, while Pascal Regnier was kept off the stages due to an overload of work in his business.
This led to only two competitors who had a more or less trouble free run: Walloon ace Christophe Jacob and Flemish ace Peter Demeyere, after all a battle the way it was intended to be. Bot men won their class in the events they started, and ended equal in points. However, Demeyere had a lot more stage wins in class, so he is the logic Champion. Nice cups are waiting, plus a free start for the next season. Congratulations!
More details on the 2018 Challenge will be posted early 2018, but all the events remain the same. Just note that Rally de Tournai moves to May.





With Cristophe Jacob struyggling with gearbox troubles, Jeremy Achtergalcould do anexcellent move in Tournai, however mechanics decided otherwise, so nothing changes with one event to go. See what it gives...



Our second to last event is running this weekend. No trace from the leading duo Jacob & Demeyere, so this will be an excellent opportunity for Jeremy Achtergal to claim some points back. The only possible opposition would have come from Bill Cook, back in business after his big crash at ORC Canal Rally, but Bill chose to do Hemicuda Rally, unfortunately the very same weekend. See what it gives for Jeremy. With the British squad troubled with all sorts of mechanical nightmares, the result of the maiden CRC year could very well be very Belgian.



Easy to do a rally report sometimes. Christophe Jacob was the only CRC man at the start and the finish of Chevrotines Rally, top score and back in business for the Challenge. All other competitors had a broken car or holiday duties. Next event is Rallye de Tournai, If Jacob and/or Demeyer score good points thee, the title is won. See who turns up first...



Bill Cook did not get his badly damaged Talbot repaired in time, Stephen Stringer and Richard Weaver could not make it, so we looked forward to a nice little battle between Peter Demeyere and Les Allfrey. Unfortunately Les had to withdraw at the second to last stage, so Peter takes a max score, and nothing for the rest! Next event is Chevrotines, where our Walloon friends Jacob, Actergal and Regnier will be back, we also expect Ralph Merten to return, wait and see who makes the crossing from the UK. Anyway, halfway the season no one is sure of any title yet. Pretty cool....



Round two of CRC, and our first Flemish entry got in, finally! Peter Demeyere/Yves Demeestere joined the troops, and with bookings closed now, they could do a smashing deal in the Challenge, with only Bill Cook and Les Allfrey to rival them in ORC. Peters' BMW 323i is quicker than the gr.2/1 cars but can not rival the BDA Escorts, so the team was put in gr.3. Both Bill and Peter showed good pace, until Bill Cook crashed off, also Les Allfrey did not make it to the end. This means the first outing for the BMW has paid off really well, scoring the max points score possible. This puts Demeyere right next up to Christophe Jacob now, sharing the lead. We will see how things go on in round three, Wervik Rally. Bill Cook might be uncertain, but we have Stephen Stringer back, Les Allfrey if he gets his car repaired, also Richard Weaver should join in the debates if all goes as planned. More news in a fortnight!



Our first rally has been run, and we can already see some developments. Christophe Jacob took the best start and leads, but despite he had planned ORC or Wervik as a Flemish round, Christophe has to resign his entry since both events clash with Tour De Corse Historique, where Christophe will defend the Belgian pride. So only Chevrotines and Tournai remain, same story for Pascal Regnier by the way. So it looks like our British guests Bill Cook and Stephen Stringer wil take off really good during the following events, since they both have planned several Flemish FIRC/CRC events as well, just like our German friend Ralph Merten in his smart Golf and Walloon driver Jeremy Actergal, unlucky in Salamandre. Later these months, also Les Allfrey and Richard Weaver will start their season, and if some Flemish drivers join in as well, things could get really interesting!




Times change, the sport changes. Who could ever have thought that the cars which were once the backbone of the WRC as we know it, would be excluded from most events or championships nowadays? Or in the best case just would be tolerated without being able to score points anymore, all since new categories like WRC 1.6 or R5 were created? Some sleep in a museum, others collect dust in the corner of a workshop. These cars are simply too cool to be ignored or even forgotten, and there are still so many around!

On the other hand, who would have predicted some 20 years ago we would see a massive army of top Historic cars nowadays? With a very active motorsport industry around it? Being nostalgic has its reasons, maybe things were simply more fun in the past. aims to become a platform for the old and the not so old, with spectacular cars giving the crowd top entertainment, where drivers can live their passion and compete with each other in affordable and well organised events.

Belgium is well positioned in Europe to avoid long travelling, and has a thriving rally culture to offer with loads of fans and exciting closed public road stages. Setting up a new concept like this will not be easy, but we will keep on pushing our efforts to boost both Challenges to an international success!