Legend Boucles Bastogne: Throwback to the 70s and 80s
By Marcel Hundscheid / Speed-O-Graphica.com
Enjoy our report about the thrilling Legend Boucles Bastogne rally in Belgium and relive the 70s and 80s with these stunning images by Marcel Hundscheid.
For the 59th edition of the Legend Boucles 283 teams running a wide variety of crowd-pleasing rally machinery traveled to Bastogne in Belgium. Among the contenders for the victory were WRC driver Thierry Neuville, former WRC driver Francois Duval and six-time winner of the rally Patrick Snijers.
Bastogne, famous for the Battle of the Bulge, is a municipality located in the province of Luxembourg situated in the Ardennes. Bastogne was heavily attacked by the German forces during the winter of 1944, but thanks to strong resistance from General Patton and the 3rd US Army the Germans were forced to surrender.
Originally known as the Boucles de Spa, this event was one of Belgium’s most important rallies, running for more than fifty years. Up to 1966, the year when the organization was taken over by Alphonse Delettre, the rally was known as ‘Les Routes Blanches’. From 1967 the event was renamed as Boucles de Spa and it was traditionally held in the region around Spa. The rally was part of the European Rally Championship from 1976 until 2003.
In 2004 the final Boucles de Spa took place and from 2006 the event was known as Legend Boucles de Spa, now a historic rally event open for competition rally cars in the Legend and Classic category. As the Delettre decided to move the event in 2015 from Spa to Bastogne in the province of Luxembourg the rally was renamed Legend Boucles Bastogne.
The 59th edition became a one-car show by Hyundai factory driver Thierry Neuville and his navigator Nicolas Gilsoul in a Porsche 911.
For Francois Duval it all went wrong from the opening stage when a broken throttle pedal and throttle cable forced him to park his Ford Escort. His team managed to fix the problem and Duval resumed on the second stage. This time he had to deal with a broken exhaust pipe. Duval refused to quit and resumed for the third time, although this time a pierced fuel-line forced him to retire.
Although the winner of the 2016 edition, Bernard Munster (Porsche 911), tried his very best to follow Neuville, the World Rally Championship competitor raced in his own league. Munster had to settle for second spot and six-time victor Patrick Snijers finished third in his Ford Escort.
Results Legend Boucles Bastogne 2017:
- Neuville-Gilsoul (Porsche Carrera RS Gr.4)
- Munster-Munster (Porsche Carrera RS Gr.4)
- Snijers-Geeraerts (Ford Escort MKII BDA Gr.4)
- Kenis-Vanoverschelde (BMW 2000 Ti)
- Delhez-Bonaventure (Opel Manta Transeurope)
- Bouvy-Hottelet (Porsche 911 SC 3.0 Gr.4)
- Jansen-Van den Houdt (Ford Escort MKI)
- Mourgues-Giraudet (Ford Escort MKII BDA Gr.4)
- Caprasse-Razzi (Ford Escort MKII BDA)
- Pearcey-Shanks (Ford Escort MKII BDA Gr.4)