For a long time, it looked like there would not be a rally in Spa this year. The organization couldn’t afford an edition like 2012. Despite all troubles, they continued their efforts, raised entry money with a 20%, and they succeeded in getting almost 250 cars to the start in Spa, many of them driven by real rally personalities, like the vice-world champion Mikko Hirvonen to name just one.
Traditionally, Thursday and Friday the cars are undergoing a technical inspection, to make sure it’s safe to allow them on the roads. After all, Boucles de Spa is a rally with several regularity tests on different spots in the wide neighborhood of Spa. And each car has to drive the distances between the different RT’s on the public roads.
No RT on Friday night this year, the novelty of the 2013 edition was the show RT in Bilstain. Very entertaining for the spectators as the RT was very spectacular. Bad luck stroke down real quick for vice world champion Mikko Hirvonen, whose car caught fire due to a petrol leak in the first RT. Game over for Mikko Hirvonen. The famous Belgian rally driver Thierry Neuville had to cope with mechanical problems. First an electricity failure, which could be solved rather quickly. Later on a broken clutch which forced Neuville to stop the race.
The bad luck of his competitors , combined with his highly developed rally skills, assured a first place for Françcois Duval at the RT7, competed at the wonderful Clémentine.
After some time corrections for Duval, Bernard Munster came closer in his Porsche 911. Just before the final race, the RT at the very reputed Stoumont-Chevron , Duval had the lead by just 2 points. Despite heavy fog, he finally crossed the line with .63 seconds advance to Bernard Munster.
The 55th edition of the Boucles de Spa attracted thousands of visitors, and even though some of them misbehaved with a canceled RT as a consequence, I can only say this was a very successful edition. Let’s just hope the organization has the same opinion, and continues this wonderful tradition of rallying in the snow of the Belgian Ardennes.