Results Sprint de la Principauté 2017

Ten days ago the Belgian Hillclimb Championship visited the Chimay Circuit for the Sprint de la Principauté. The final results proved to be impossible to find until now. That is why they are a week late.
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Results Course de Côte de Ry des Glands 2017

The Belgian Hillclimb Championship will visit five races in five consecutive weekends. The first of this tour was the Course de Côte de Ry des Glands. This 4 kilometre long hillclimb was last contested in 2011. Because of the weather and the long delays the really fast times were not achieved. Still the average speed of the winner was over 166 km/h!

That winner was Jacques Marchal. Driving again in his well known Norma M20F sportscar set fastest time of the day already in the first timed race. Emmanuel Gonay was right behind him in second place. The two leaders could not improve their times anymore the rest of the day. Anthony Loeuilleux and Georges Hubert on the other took some time to warm-up. They scored their fastest times in the third and final race of the day. This placed them third and fourth overall respectively. Jacky Gourdet finished fifth overall while Yanick Bodson was the fastest touringcar driver in sixth.

The Ry des Glands Hillclimb also counted towards the regional hillclimb. Julien Vandeput is virtually unchallenged in division 4. With his Van Diemen Suzuki he was once again the quickest driver of the field. On this superfast hillclimb it is important to keep the momentum in your car. This gives an opportunity for very brave drivers who drive smaller cars to score a good result. For example Daniel Dierckx scored his best result yesterday with sixth overall. But the bravest of them all was Christophe Lenouvel. With his Citroën AX he was massively quicker than anyone else and best touringcar driver. If he had driven in the national event, he would have been very close to Yanick Bodson! The more powerful cars had to settle for the smaller trophies. Alain Cricus had only one set of tires with him which was a big problem in the changing weather. Still the Porsche 996 GT3 pilot finished third-best in division 1-2-3 behind Francis Gilles. Olivier Dubois scored some valuable points in the championship race with fourth in the touringcars.

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Results Course de Côte de Vresse-sur-Semois 2017

The Course de Côte de Vresse-sur-Semois was the fourth round of the Belgian Regional Hillclimb Championship. The weather conditions were not ideal but still better than last year.

Julien Vandeput had no problem extending his lead in Division 4 with another victory. The Van Diemen Suzuki pilot had just one opponent today in local Kart-Cross driver Florian Collard. Despite the lack of opposition Vandeput motivated himself to also win the event.

In Division 1-2-3 for touringcars Christophe Le Nouvel gave another great performance to take victory. With his little Citroën AX Le Nouvel managed to set fastest times in all three race heats. After two race sessions Alain Cricus had placed his Porsche 996 GT3 in second. But a great last run saw Olivier Dubois move up to the runner-up spot and demote Cricus to third.

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Provisional Entrylist Course de Côte de Vresse-sur-Semois 2017

The next hillclimb in Belgium is the Course de Côte de Vresse-sur-Semois. This year it counts towards the regional hillclimb championship. It is the longest and perhaps the most challenging hill in Belgium. 42 drivers have entered so far plus a few demo drivers. There are always late entries in Belgium so hopefully the list will grow a little more before Sunday.
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Hillclimb Videos 22 and 23 April 2017

A couple of videos from the hillclimbs that were competed last weekend.
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Results Course de Côte de Sy 2017

Results of the Course de Côte de Sy.

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Hillclimb Videos 8 and 9 April 2017

A couple of videos of the hillclimbs that were competed last weekend.

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Results Course de Côte de Vencimont 2017

Jelle de Coninck absolutely dominated the opening round of the Belgian Hillclimb Championship this weekend. At the Course de Côte de Vencimont the four-time champion was 2,5 seconds faster than runner-up Anthony Loeuilleux and 6 seconds quicker than third placed Philippe Dewulf! Even though the entrylist was rather slim it was nonetheless a great performance. Reigning champion Jacques Marchal only brought his Van Diemen FX singleseater to Vencimont to focus on the regional support race. Although it was not really possible to be competitive with this car he still finished fifth overall in the national race. The Formula 3 class was quite competitive with three quite equal drivers. Philippe Fusillier was the class winner here and fourth overall. He was quicker than Didier Boemer in his new Lola B06/30 (7th overall) and Roland Braquet (9th overall).

With Dewulf we have already mentioned the touringcar winner. Here he was as dominant as De Coninck in the sportscars. Dewulfs lead over runner-up Martin Bach was 4 seconds. Eric Schwilden completed the podium. Last year’s championship contenders Fabrizio Casciaro and Stephane Emond were both absent.

In the regional race Julien Vandeput was fastest in two out of the three races. Yet he did not win as Jacques Marchal had a slightly better aggregate time. Third fastest was the touringcar winner Olivier Dubois. His main challenger in Division 1-2-3 was Christophe Le Nouvel. Sadly two broken driveshafts meant that the Citroën AX pilot dropped to fourth. Instead it was Francis Gilles who claimed second place. Third was for Alain Cricus who competed his first hillclimb event with a road-legal Porsche 996 GT3!

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Results Course de Côte de Mont Saint Aubert 2017

The Belgian Regional Hillclimb Championship started this weekend with the Course de Côte de Mont Saint Aubert. Almost 50 drivers were present of which almost 40 competed in the speed hillclimb. Among them were a lot of local rally drivers which will probably not participate in the rest of the hillclimb championship.

Providing correct entrylists remains a difficult subject in Belgium. For starters Mont Saint Aubert continued the ‘Belgian’ practise of not communicating any form of entrylist before the event. The list that was produced on the day of the actual event is full of mistakes. To make matters worse those mistakes were not corrected and appear in the final results! I try to be as accurate as possible on this website, but here I can only give you the final results with the errors included…

Back to the race. Peter Vanderhauwaert normally competes in rallies and rallysprints with a small Citroën Saxo. And with some succes as last year at Mont Saint Aubert he was third overall. This Sunday he had the opportunity to drive a Skoda Fabia 4×4 Turbo in rallycross specifications. With this powerful car he immediately claimed overall victory. Christophe Le Nouvel had some small mechanical issues with his Citroën AX GTI but he still manage to finish second overall. He was also declared winner of Division 1-2-3 because Vanderhauwaert was for some reason entered in Division 4. Over the winter the Dubois family equipped their Lotus Elise with a new gearbox. Their first event of the year was succesful and Olivier finished third overall.

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Video Course de Côte de la Citadelle (Namur) 1990

Driving along the Route de Merveilleuse towards the top of the Citadelle of Namur today, it is hard to imagine that this 2 kilometre long road once hosted one of the most important hillclimb races in Belgium. For example there is a narrow chicane on the bottom part of the road, which on closer inspection is actually a fortified gatehouse! But the most extreme part of the track comes right after. Halfway up the hill the drivers must negotiate a 360 degree turn where they have to cross both under and over a 3 metre wide bridge! That must have seemed a little crazy even back then!

The Course de Côte de La Citadelle was part of the very first season of the Belgian Hillclimb Championship in 1957 and it remained on the schedule until 1991. The video below is from the 1990 edition. The winner was Marcel Tarres in front of his French compatriots Christian Debias and Anne Baverey. Gerard de Ville de Goyet steered his mighty Porsche 935 to fourth and was best Belgian driver. With fifth place Hervé Bayard was well on his way to his 8th Belgian Championship (out of 10). Some of the names lower down the order sound familiar even to today’s readers, like Christian Hauser (father of David), Yanick Bodson and Leon Linden. Full results of the 1990 edition can be viewed on the trackpage.

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