A race in the race : 13 stages in…
Renault Clio
Kris Princen was off to a flying start yesterday as he took the lead amongst the Renault Clio R3. His retirement before stage 4 (broken alternator) left Kevin Abbring in a fairly lonely first place. Despite incurring a 10" penalty, the Flying Dutchman still leads the series 40 seconds ahead of Pierre Campana. Then there is a bigger gap. Allessandro Bettega and Eric Mauffrey are fighting for third place and are only 9", but 2'30" behind the class leader. Let's also not forget that Koen Lauwaert saw his race really cut short: he went off on SS2.

Things were looking great in the Citroën C2 R2 MAX series with, amongst others, Weijs of The Netherlands and Martin McCormack of Ireland taking the fight to the many locals: Caren Burton, Raphaël Auquier, Matthias Boon, Davy Vanneste… Weijs and Burton were clearly faster than the rest, ahead of Boon and Auquier. The latter already dropped out on the first stage (electrical problems) while Weijs strengthened his grip on the lead. Weijs actually remains ahead of the pack, despite being on his 4th set of brake discs since the shakedown and having feared a problem with the throttle-body. Burton is still approximately half a minute behind on him, which is mostly down to a problem on SS4 (when oil ran onto the clutch). He solved the problem by sacrificing his own Coke and his crew solved the issue at the last service after taking the gearbox out. McCormack sits in third, some two minutes behind on Burton. He took benefited of Boon's retirement after SS10.

Ghislain de Mévius, Anthony Martin and Filip Pyck are the top 3 men in the Ford Fiesta Sporting Trophy. The race has been very eventful however. Cédric Cherain took the lead early in the race and maintained this until stage 12. His engine let go on the road section to stage 13 unfortunately. Matthias Priem retired earlier in the race for the same reasons. Cédric De Cecco put his car in second spot for a while but hit a stone on SS4 and damaged a wheel as he tried to overtake the third car on the stage… He was relegated to the back of the pack. Another remarkable driver, the young Kevin Demaerschalk tried to join the Cherain-train on Friday. He again lost it on Saturday as he went off on stage 10. Ghislain de Mévius, who was more than 1 minute behind on Cherain after SS9 suddenly, saw himself leading the Trophy. Anthony Martin sits in 2nd place 55"5 behind on de Mévius. He admits being too careful. Filip Pyck comes in third, but already at more than 2'00" of the leader.

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