The Rethorica track in Alveringem, Belgium played host for the recent third round of the Lovan RC Challenge. The race schedule saw free practice on Saturday followed by the opening qualifier, three qualifiers on Sunday and triple mains for everybody. As the track layout was also used during the recent Funcup club race, many drivers came well prepared meaning times were very competitive right from the start. In the premier EFRA Modified Touring class some big names joined th field such as Remi Callens and Robin D’hondt as European champions as well as Remi’s training partner, Guillaum Guffroy it promised to be quite a race. Remi and Guillame had the chance to race on the same layout before and Robin did manage to practice on Saturday, however but was not able to make it on race day. Remi would then set the pace in the opening qualifier and took the round TQ in front of Robin, who only had a few days of running with his Capricorn, followed by the Tamiya of Guillaume and Schumacher team driver Ian Bekaert, as Lorenzo did not start due to a stripped spur gear. In the second qualifier Remi set the fastest lap of the qualifiers with a 14,188 with Guillaume coming in 2nd and Robin 3rd. The third qualifier however was a different scenario after a mistake by Remi. Robin took the 1st place in front of Guillaume. The fourth and final qualifier was a bit of the same scenario as the one before. Remi was busy with a great run, but on lap 14 he hit a barrier, but he had the best qualifying run in his second run. Robin came in 1st, Lorenzo 3rd, Remi 4th and Ian did not start, as he was running 1/12 also and tried to take all or nothing in that class.
The finals saw great races by Remi, Robin and Guillaume, with not only great battles, but also great sportsmanship. Remi took the win in A1 with his Team Magic while Robin had a few small mistakes which cost him a second place to Guillaume. A2 then had Remi again coming out latest followed by Robin D’hondt and Guillaume. In A3 Remi had a few small mistakes which cost him some time, but he had no pressure, he was sure of his win with the first two finals. Robin managed to stay in 1st with a lot of pressure from Guillaume, with only 0.08s between them in their average laps. The overall podium then was Remi from Robin and Guillaume.
In the Stock class it was a challenge for leader Tom Adams to decide at which race to participate, as the first round of the Belgium championship was held at the same date, but Tom decided to go for the Challenge title. But the 57 entries would not make it a walk in the park for Tom … There was a clear top 4 of drivers with changed positions in the qualifiers and ending up with the number 1 spot on the grid was Dimitri de Baeker with his Xray followed by Schumacher team driver Tom Adams, Jeremy Deram (Xray) and Gunter Lambrechts with his WRC, Peter Roeygens (Sray) Jean Hannecart (Schumacher) Joeri D’eer (Xray) Gilles Hendrickx (Tamiya), Steve Dellatre (Xray) and Thomas Hostyn (Xray).
The opening A-main was not an easy race for the top drivers and Dimitri de Baeker took the win in front of Gunther and Jeremy as Tom had some bobbles and ended the race in P7. In A2 it was again Dimitri with the win and therefore the overall, followed by Jeremy, Tom and Gunter. As the race for the final podium spots was still open, the final A-main was a messy one as six cars tried to enter the chicane in the opening stages. Tom would hold the upper hand in that carnage and in the end Steve Delattre showed his class, coming from 9th to 2nd, while Dimitri de Baeker managed to come back to 3rd. Gunter quit the race after crashing on the second lap. Overall the podium was Dimitri de Baeker, with a comeback in the overall championship, Tom Adams in 2nd and event photographer Jeremy Deram in 3rd. The Stock championship is still open and will be decided at the final round.
In the Formula class Willy Voisangrin was hampered by lack of practice on the new layout as he attended the ETS race that was held the same weekend as the ETS in Germany. This allowed Kris Vanbleu to take the opening two qualifiers, but Willy got back into grips in Q3 and Q4 to take the overall pole position for the A-mains. In the finals Willy continued to stay on top, taking wins in all three main meant a clean sweep. Kris had a great run in A1 but Ghislain Mantrand took the runner-up spots in A2 and A3 to take the overall 2nd place from Kris Vanbleu 3rd.
In 1/12th scale Dimitri de Baeker took the pole position with his Xray from Ian Bekaert (Schumacher) 2nd, only two seconds behind. Fredick Carton followed in 3rd from Ollivier Cornard and Tony Bekaert. In the finals and with some fair driving, Dimitri made a clean sweep followed by Ian and Frederik. The next race will be the Funcup club race on the 3rd and 4th of March followed by the final Lovan Challenge round on the 17th and 18th of March.
Thanks to Kris Vanbleu for the report.
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