The former Viper Rally is new to the World Cup calendar. Asphalt slopes in Flanders are a unique challenge – Tests for the first time at the Formula 1 race track at the Spa-Francochamps
The Viper Rally is one of the most difficult asphalt events in Europe for decades. The narrow agricultural roads in the western part of Belgium pose a particular challenge because of the constant change between the terrifying and mirror-smooth road surface between fast passages and slow 90 degree junctions. In addition, the deep drainage ditches and the innumerable line masts adjacent to the pistol all mercilessly punish the driving error.
Over the coming weekend (August 13 to 15) the traditional event will be part of the World Championship for the first time Rally Belgium. The final of the Formula 1 race track at the Spa-Franco Champs is new.
Photo: Imago Images / Panoramic
“You can only win this rally if you focus 100 percent on a very clean driving style,” explains Hyundai Driver Theory Newville. The Belgian knows what he is talking about. Together with his colleague Craig Breen (Ireland), he is the only work driver who knows the former Viper Rally from a cockpit point of view. Which made Newville a top favorite automatically in his first World Cup home game. Can anyone slow down the current current third overall?
Definitely world champion Sebastian Ogier. The French Toyota driver not only has the cleanest driving style, but is generally harder to overcome on the torque. Seven-time champion is considered the best racing intelligent driver; He must be able to quickly switch to unique track features.
As the current leader on the list, Opier also has the advantage of starting first during Friday’s opening. Because the slope on each car is dirty when the curve is cut, participants in the rear starting positions struggle with a continuously deteriorating grip. In rain this effect increases dramatically. “It will be an exciting rally and I like difficult situations,” Belgium newcomer Ojier said.
Best of all, Ojier’s teammate Kalle Rowanper (Finland), (Gravel) Rally Estonia and former world champion Ott Tenak (Estonia) are likely to be eliminated from Hyundai. On the other hand, for the Ford duo of Adrian Formax (France) and Gus Greensmith (Great Britain), a spot on the podium would be a big surprise.
Photo: 24 Hour Spa / SRO / Kevin Pecks
The rally will feature Belgium (20 special stages over a total of 311 km) in a different format for the World Cup premiere. Stages on Fridays and Saturdays will usually take place around the medieval, scenic city of Ypres, but on Sunday 80 participants will be taken to the Spa-Francochamps, about 250 km away. The final will take place near the Formula 1 race track, including the final sprint through the world-famous Iowa Rouge curve.
The World Rally Championship homepage (www.wrc.com) streams all special stages live on the Internet, and this service is charged. Service TV (www.servustv.com/sport) will broadcast live on both WP Internet on Saturdays and Sundays, and partly on free TV.
Travel fan. Freelance analyst. Proud problem solver. Infuriatingly humble zombie junkie.