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15 Aug 2013

RCE: Challenging the Devils Hill

Category: Miscellaneous, News Posted 15.08.13 18:30 by

The two Belgians Jos Jansen (in SuperCars) and Filip Baelus (in TouringCars) defended their home soil at the Duivelsberg in Maasmechelen, while Frenchman Dorian Launay claimed overall victory in the Super1600s class.


After the Rallycross Challenge Europe (RCE) had seen its inaugural event in April at Melk in Austria, to be followed by the two French races at Essay and Kerlabo, last weekend the Duivelsbergcircuit at Opgrimbie near the Belgian town of Maasmechelen hosted the fourth event of the six round long FIA recognised ‘International Series’. Although the SuperCars class had shrinked from 14 entries to just 7 starters the race was well attended, it was later claimed by the organisers that more than 6000 spectators had gathered at the venue.

Despite the fact that Czech Pavel Koutný had claimed twice a fastest time in qualification to ensure himself the pole position Belgian Patrick Van Mechelen was widely expected to win the top class A final. But eventually it turned out to become a different story and the acclaimed favourite even missing a place on the podium. The Ford Fiesta Mk7 campaigner won the start and was leading the last race of the weekend for a bit more than four laps, till coming out of his Joker Lap detour in lap five, now running behind Koutný. Compatriot and make colleague Jos Jansen, who had jokered early, was here also side by side with “PVM”. The Fiesta driver was forced to use the outside of the next corner, while Jansen in the Ford Focus Mk3 slipped into second place, into the bargain followed up by Dutchman Ron Snoeck.

Koutný jokered during the sixth lap, handing his short lasting lead over to Jansen. “Coming out of my Joker I should have given advantage to Patrick, as he was leading the point standings of the Challenge, and I’m not a regular of this series. But in the heat of the action I did not realise that, and now it’s too late,” claimed Jansen a bit coy afterwards. Prior to Round 5, the coming weekend at Valkenswaard in Holland, Pavel Koutný is now in the lead, three points ahead of Patrick Van Mechelen.

The lead of the Super1600s class is also in the hands of a Czech driver, here it is Stanislav Šusta who tops the following order of the point standings. In Maasmechelen the Škoda Fabia Mk2 driver bagged the pole position of the A final, but in the end the Belgian overall victory fell prey to Frenchman Dorian Launay and his Renault Clio Mk2. Runner-up became Václav Veverka Jr. in the Peugeot 206, Šusta eventually reaching the chequered flag in third place to complete the Czech-French-Czech sandwich podium.

While the event hosting nation had no driver on the S1600s rostrum, in TouringCars it was a different story. Belgian Filip Baelus is improving his skills with the ex-Pedro Bonnet Volvo C30. After a fourth place in Essay and a second place in Kerlabo in his home RCE round Baelus claimed twice a fastest qualifying time, to be followed by an overall victory from the pole position of the A final. His compatriots Nick Snoeys and Ivo Van den Brandt made second and third place respectively theirs, while Belgian series leader Jos Sterkens in fourth place did not reach the podium this time.

Upon national level the Challenge event did only count for the SuperNational contenders of the Belgian Rallycross Championship (BRC). Round 5 of their series was won by Volvo driver Steven Maris in the +2000 category, while Opel campaigner Jef Mertens claimed his first victory in the -2000 class.


52 minutes RCE Round 4 programme with English commentary.

52 minutes RCE Round 4 programme with Dutch commentary.


  • 1. Jos Jansen (B) Ford Focus Mk3
  • 2. Pavel Koutný (CZ) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 3. Ron Snoeck (NL) Seat Leon Mk2
  • 4. Patrick Van Mechelen (B) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 5. Jan van Loon (NL) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 6. Marcel Ottink (NL) Škoda Fabia Mk2
  • 1. Dorian Launay (F) Renault Clio Mk2
  • 2. Václav Veverka Jr. (CZ) Peugeot 206
  • 3. Stanislav Šusta (CZ) Škoda Fabia Mk2
  • 4. Dave Van Beers (B) Renault Clio Mk2
  • 5. Pavel Vimmer (CZ) Škoda Fabia Mk1
  • 6. Eric Guillemette (F) Renault Clio Mk2
  • 7. Sven Seeliger (D) Ford Fiesta Mk6
  • 8. Josef Šusta (CZ) Škoda Fabia Mk1
  • 1. Filip Baelus (B) Volvo C30/4 RWD
  • 2. Nick Snoeys (B) Ford Fiesta Mk6 RWD
  • 3. Ivo Van den Brandt (B) Mitsubishi Colt CZT RWD
  • 4. Jos Sterkens (B) Volvo C30/4 RWD
  • 5. Louis de Haas (NL) Opel Astra G RWD
  • 6. Helmut Rössl (A) Škoda Fabia Mk1 RWD
  • 7. Mandy Kasse ♀ (NL) Ford Fiesta Mk7 RWD