Less than two months before the event, those eager with impatience can now register for the speed and regularity tests of the Rally 4 Porsche, which will take place in Huy on 3 and 4 June. So it’s high time to shed some light on the course!
In October 2022, the Rally 4 Porsche was a newcomer in the world of rallying, and the event immediately impressed followers and participants. The latter will be even more numerous for the second edition, as the event has been moved forwards, to a more favourable summer date. It is now scheduled for the first weekend in June. In the meantime, some big names on the entry list have also been divulged. In addition to the previously announced Robert Droogmans, the three winners of last year’s speed test – Emile Tollet (“Classic”), Thibaud Mazuin (“SR/modified”) and Andy Lefevere (“Modern”) – are already certain to compete and face the competition.
In the regularity rally, with the “ASAF Regularity VHRS”-label, two average speeds are used (50 or 65 km/h). Among the first entrants, we note the presence of Jacques Evrard and Yves Deflandre, while Didier Gathy is also still diligently looking for a car that would allow him to write his name on the winners’ list a second time.
More than the sporting aspect, on which the « R4P »-team led by Yves Matton and Jean-Marc Fortin is still hard at work, it is above all the satisfaction of being able to offer a complete course that predominates: “We can never thank the councils of Huy, Clavier and Somme-Leuze enough for the trust they have placed in us. Better yet, we also welcome the enthusiasm and dynamism of the Villers-le-Bouillet town council, which has decided to follow in their footsteps. The welcome they have given us exceeded our wildest expectations. In addition to a special stage, we also organize a regroup, close to the town hall”, says Yves Matton.
Due to the relatively short period between the first two editions, the course has not undergone any major changes. ”We have indeed decided not to change the two stages that were very popular in 2022, Moulin de Solières and Clavier”, says Stéphane Lhonnay, responsible for the course and safety. “The latter was very much appreciated by the drivers, especially because of its length and challenging character, while in Solières the incredibly spectacular passage on the gravel of the car park at the Mill has already acquired a cult status. The same applies to the first braking zone of the test, where the growling engines can be heard from afar. As for the new stage of Vaux-et-Borset, on the territory of Villers-le-Bouillet, this stage will start at the roundabout in the village of Warnant-Dreye (with the Porsches, this guarantees – an absolutely safe – spectacle!), after which the stage continues with a somewhat Haspengouw route of almost 10 kilometres.”
Another novelty of this test is the use of two ‘slow zones’, which the participants will have to respect thoroughly. It is a well-known concept from regularity events, but new for speed tests. “Although some participants are quite sceptical about it, our competition – which is not eligible for any championship – is the ideal opportunity to try out new concepts for the future of rallying”, says project manager Julien Frère. “However, the participants can rest assured, we will brief them sufficiently on how to respect these slow zones. More communication will follow later to prevent the public from going to these zones, because there will not be much interesting to see.”
A varied menu, with a course of three loops of three stages, for a total of 368.47 km, of which 105.51 against the clock! The first cars will leave the starting podium on Avenue Delchambre in Huy on Sunday 4 June at 8 a.m., while the finish is scheduled around 6:30 p.m. on the Grand’Place of Huy. At that point, the names of the « best Porsche drivers » in each category are known, drivers who will have avoided all the difficulties of the challenging course. We would like to repeat that the speed rally is open to foreign teams, vintage cars, modified prototypes and modern GT3s, while the VHRS (50 and 60 km/h) and ‘Demo’ categories are open to any Porsche whose production started before 31/12/1997. The Englishman Keith Mclvor (Porsche 911 SC) is also the first competitor from across the Channel to register for the speed rally. Just like last year, fans can also go to the tests completely free of charge.