The Activ8 Motorsport Team travelled to South East Belgium over the weekend to compete in the opening round of the FIRC – Rally van Salamandre which took place on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd April.
The organisers laid on an excellent event covering an overall distance of 270km, of which 131 km were special stages. The stages contained a mixture of high speed straights combined with fast technical sections, split into 3 legs with each of the 4 stages being used three times.
- Renlies 15.5km
- Stree 8.80km
- Ragnies 8.5km
- Leval 11.5km
The service area was contained in the village of Stree with scrutineering, administration and Parc Ferme just a couple of miles up the road in the town of Beaumont.
Following a blisteringly hot day on Saturday for the recce, Sunday started with bright sunshine and the promise of a very hot day. The weather report suggested a small chance of rain, but the conversation was all about when we might have change the tyres to the harder compound slicks.
Rallying has a it’s ways of suddenly becoming very interesting! Whilst patiently waiting for a delay in proceedings to pass, the dark clouds began to form! By the time the crew arrived at Time Control 1, the heavens opened and road surface became extremely slippery as a thunderstorm and torrential rain passed over the area. This caught a number of crews out, but fortunately Activ8 Motorsport got through the first leg unscathed. Between stages the service crew were first informed to prepare full wets tyres, followed shortly afterwards by a message to prepare intermediate tyres. The weather had changed rapidly once more, with the rain giving way to bright sunshine in a matter of minutes. Being from the UK we are not used to this kind of weather… just rain, rain and more rain!
The slicks were re-fitted at the second service halt and the service crew had an easy ride for the remainder of the rally, only carrying out the obligatory tyre pressure checks and torquing of wheel nuts.
On stage 11, the crew were first on the scene of a bad accident which was the result of a competitors car leaving the road at high speed. Accident protocol was put in place with radio crews informed. Fortunately a crew following Activ8 had a co-driver who was a doctor who waited with the injured parties until stage commanders arrived. The Activ8 crew wish the injured a speedy and full recovery.
In conclusion – a great weekend and a satisfactory finish. Activ8 Motorsport would like to extend thanks to Hainaut Motor Club for putting on a superb event along with all of the marshals and time keepers who again, made us feel so welcome.
A special mention also needs to be given to Christophe Jacob for the help and assistance leading up to the event – greatly appreciated.
Finally, thank you to Peredur Wynn Davies for co-driving throughout the event. The team wishes you well in your future endeavours!
Activ8 Motorsport’s next event will be the Rally van Wervik on the 9th June.
Malcolm Mawdsley 26th April 2018