Anglais Passion

Robert Droogmans: “Fans prefer cars drifting”

What memories do you have of your years with the Porsche 911?

“I always loved driving a Porsche, simply because it was a car designed to be a racing car. An Escort, for example, was a family car converted into a rally car. That’s why I always preferred the Porsche. My greatest memories? They are beautiful and sad at the same time: my rallies against Henri Toivonen, for example, when he was at the wheel of a Porsche as well. Or the rallies with Jean-Louis Dumont as my teammate on the Belga team. Unfortunately, that story had a sad ending.”

Huy and Namur have a rich rally history. How big are the differences between the rallies of the 80s and 90s and the rallies of today?

« Enormous. Some rallies have become fairground spectacles. Sixteen stages, what is that about? In the past, Ypres or Namur had 50 stages or more, and they were also driven at night. That is no longer possible. I am very grateful that I was able to experience those wonderful times. But that also shows my age.”

Before Rally 4 Passion, you also took part in other Festivals. What do you think is the secret of their success?

“On places where we used to have to downshift twice and get the Escort or the Porsche sideways – otherwise we wouldn’t get through the corner – drivers now go full throttle. A modern-day rally car barely steps out. But the fans would much rather see cars drifting than modern cars that go through the corners as if on rails.”

Rally4Passion in the spotlight on Boukè !

Last week, the R4P team received a visit from Boukè, the “made in our country” media from Namur. The opportunity for Yves Matton, one of the initiators of the project, to answer Pierre Robert’s questions.

Find this report on the Bouké Média website:

The ex-Loix Toyota Celica GT-Four at the start!

One of the finest pieces in MY Gallery’s collection, the ex-Freddy Loix Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 Gr.A – the real one, in which he competed on Rally Finland and Rally Australia in 1997 – will be at the start of Rally4Passion.

Unfortunately, Freddy is unavailable for professional reasons, so Yves Matton will be taking the wheel of this spectacular car that has made rallying history. He will be joined on his right-hand side by his daughter Élise, with whom he has already competed in several events in the past!

Ford Escort MK2 Tribute « Esprit Festival »

Kinley, Pepsi, Total Gold, Castrol, Andrews – Heat for Hire, Belga, Rothmans, Cossack, Eaton Yale, Duckhams… So many iconic colours associated with the Ford Escort Mk2.

Totally in the spirit of Rally 4 Passion, even if it’s not an original car or a replica, this Ford Escort Mk2 brings together a dozen legendary liveries that have marked the model’s history!

Julien Elleboudt (Enseignes Plexi), the Dinant-based lettering specialist, has come up with a particularly original idea for the decoration, and as always he’ll be putting on a great show this weekend…

A BMW M3 Fina that will delight fans of the Ardennais Volant

35 years have gone by since then, but the BMW M3 Gr.A Prodrive of Marc Duez and Alain Lopès continues to be the stuff of dreams for many enthusiasts… With its legendary Fina livery, this M3 has remained etched in people’s memories.

The same is true of Benoît Gillot, who chose to reproduce the colours of the famous ‘Ardennais Volant’ in the 1989 season on his BMW M3.

The Bavarian car’s 4-cylinder 2.3 engine is going to sing…

The Corolla WRC, winner 3 times in Namur, at the start!

It’s a car that has left its mark on the history of the Rallye de Wallonie that will be at the start of this first edition of the Rally4Passion – Huy-Namur Rallye Festival.

Although it no longer sports its historic colours, this Toyota Corolla WRC is in fact the original car (K-AM 607, chassis #629) which Pieter Tsjoen won on the Rallye de Wallonie in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

It began its WRC career in the hands of Carlos Sainz, before being driven by the late Rocco Theunissen. Since 2006, it has been owned by Bertrand Pierrat from the Vosges, who will be delighted to bring it back to Belgium for Rally4Passion!

Bruno Thiry: “Every enthusiast wants to attend the Festivals!”

Bruno, Rally 4 Passion is also part of the Rallye de Wallonie. A rally in which you last competed in… 2004.

Together with Nicolas Gilsoul, I had a program in the European Championship for Kronos and Citroën. We started the season with a Saxo S1600, before switching to the C2. In Namur, we got involved in a sketch that made quite a few people laugh, as we were disqualified for being too light! In Ypres, we received confirmation that the RACB scales were not quite right…

Eifel Rallye Festival, Alsace… You’re almost a stalwart of these types of events.

I recently took part in a festival in Austria with Wolf-Dieter Ihle. He suggested I drive one of the cars from his collection, an ex-Mikkola Audi 200 Quattro Gr.A. I love the atmosphere of such events. There are no worries. In case of mechanical problems, you can take your time to carry out the repairs. Every enthusiast wants to attend. The atmosphere is excellent. I think it’s fantastic!

This weekend, your Cosworth Gr. A is a replica of your car from the 1994 Sanremo. That was your first season as a factory driver with a 4×4 in the world championship.

My first season with a 4×4. We were fortunate to have the exact same car as Delecour and Biasion, a car built by RAS in Boreham. Wonderful memories. It was a very virile car, a beast. For a young lad, it was the Holy Grail! Just like for Grégoire Munster and his official Ford Rally1.

An ex-Hirvonen Fiesta Super2000 for Xavier Baugnet!

In Rallye Monte-Carlo 2010, Mikko Hirvonen created a sensation by winning his first rally with the brand new Ford Fiesta Super2000 developed by M-Sport!

In this opening round of the IRC, the Finn, Ford’s official WRC driver, made light work of the conditions and the official Skoda and Peugeot drivers.

At the Rally 4 Passion – Huy-Namur Rallye Festival, Xavier Baugnet will be putting on a show in this bewitching-sounding Fiesta Super2000 sporting the livery of the 2010 Monte-Carlo Rally, which recently arrived at MY Gallery.

Show’s on, both visually and sonically!

And another R5 Turbo at the start…

Three’s company! After the Renault 5 Turbo 2 Tour de Corse ‘Hertz’ ex-Bartoli and ‘Diac’ ex-Chatriot of Fabrice Rossi and Christian Klein, Rally 4 Passion is delighted to welcome a third 5 Turbo, in this case that of Jean-Bernard Stirling.

Coming from Alsace, this Renault 5 Turbo Tour de Corse look Maxi also features one of the model’s most emblematic liveries, that of François Chatriot’s Maxi 5 Turbo in 1986.

That year, Chatriot finished runner-up in the French Championship in his official car in Diac livery, and also took second place in the Tour of Corsica.

The show’s on !

Bruno Thiry back in Giesse colours!

Remember: in 1994, exactly thirty years ago, after shining in 2-wheel drive with Opel Team Belgium, a young Belgian driver created a sensation in his first races at world level in 4-wheel drive.

Driving a Ford Escort RS Cosworth Gr.A prepared by RAS Sport, Bruno Thiry was among the elite of world rallying. Just before finishing the season on a high with a podium finish on the RAC Rally, Bruno took a magnificent 4th place at Sanremo in the wake of Didier Auriol, Carlos Sainz and Miki Biasion, but also ahead of Colin McRae, Gianfranco Cunico and Juha Kankkunen…

This Ford Escort Cosworth Gr.A was decorated in the colours of Giesse and Aprimatic, and will always be remembered. At Rally 4 Passion, Bruno Thiry will find these famous colours again on his 1994 Sanremo replica Ford Escort RS Cosworth Gr.A from the MY Vintage workshops.