Motorsport News International
BELGIAN NATIONAL RALLY : Rally de Hannut
Patrick HAYOT Mon Feb 17 1997
NATIONAL RALLY : Rally de Hannut
Surprise at Hannut ! Eight years ago, he has only ran with a Citroen Visa and a Lancia Delta Integrale gr. N. Since ? Nothing !
This year, he decide to come back in rally competition and to run with a four wheel drive. Insane ! For us, certainly. But for him, it was his challenge. Allright, Michel Maes was a potential outsider, but winner of this 30th rally of Hannut. Yet he has make the perfect race and wins this rally 3 sec. before Steveny. One more again second in two weeks, Steveny (Ford Escort Cosworth gr. A) doesn't down. Sure that Maes and the Cilti's Subaru Impreza were a terrible and very efficient tandem, but Steveny has met somes problems with his 7 gearbox. He has changed for a 6 and he don't profited then Maes has not exploited at maximum his new "toy".
For anothers and logicals outsiders, it was a total collapse. Laurent Verhoestraet had to withdraw up financials limits while Van Woensel was excluded because he ran without spare wheel then for Vandy, itwas as similar decision for a boost no conform ! Colmant (Mazda 323 GT-R) and Janssens were quickly eliminated in the first round. The struggle for the third place in gr. A was played between Lauwers (Ford Escort) and Devos (Toyota Celica 4WD). As at RTS, Lauwers was better than his direct current.
In gr N, it was similar of the gr. A. Normaly, Kurt Heckters, official Mitsubishi's driver, was the logical winner. But this one had met boost problems and his rival Kris Van Woensel had direct profited of this situation. During all the rally, Heckters had pourchased the new lead in gr N. but it was too late for him. He finish fourth at 1.01 of Van Woensel, excellent third of the final.
One shot for Bernard Dethier (Nissan Sunny GTi-R) and as always a bright performance. Seventh, he is just before the gr N of Peerenbooms (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3), Stassart (Ford Escort Cosworth), D'Hulster and Lowie (Lancer Evo 3).
In F2, Rene Georges (VW Golf GTi 16V) finish 13th of this rally and 24 sec before the three ZX 16V of the Citroen ZX Trophy winned by Frederic Beco.
He is following at 19 sec by Bruno Blaise and at 40 by Stephane Lonnay.