Ultimate proof of the popularity of the Ostbelgien Classic is that even the snow invited itself to the party in Eupen on the first day marked by a short but intense stage, acting as a perfect warm-up for the final of the FIA Trophy for Historic Regularity Rallies, on 2 December. And it was the well-known orange Porsche 911 of Yves Deflandre, fresh from his Ypres Historic victory, this time assisted by Jennifer Hugo, that was the initial leader of the event after the first two tests and a run on the Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps.
Reigning FIA Regularity Champions, father and daughter Stanislaw and Anna Postawka started as number 1 in their FSO Polski Fiat but were immediately in trouble when they missed a junction and collected a large number of penalty points.
The following day was like a marathon for the crews, and by evening, Lucien Letocart and Baptiste Gengoux led the way, taking in their wake leaders of the FIA classification Jean-Jacques Martens and Aswin Pyck (Volvo PV444), Patrick Lambert and Yves Noelanders in a BMW 2002 Ti, and Jacques Evrard/Christian Bernard, with Deflandre down to sixth but still holding third place in the FIA standings.
Lambert Takes the Title
Another full day of tests on Sunday in variable conditions with sprinklings of snow took competitors back to Eupen, with Lucien Letocart and Baptiste Gengoux holding good in their Opel Manta Gsi to win the event overall by a scant ten points to Patrick Lambert and Yves Noelanders, who had overtaken Jean-Jacques Martens and Aswin Pyck to take the FIA Championship title.
“A small mistake on Saturday, in fact a CP that we forgot to note, cost us the overall victory,” commented FIA winning navigator Noelanders, “but what mattered to us was to win the FIA title to succeed Joseph Lambert himself. With Patrick, Joseph’s son. I can say that we are very proud of what we have done, very proud to have won this FIA crown, especially in front of the one who has meant so much to the discipline in Belgium.”
See our report in the January/February 2023 issue
These stories are all from the pages of Historic Motor Racing News. Some have been abbreviated for this web site. If you'd like to receive the full version, please visit our subscription page where you will find postal subscriptions available. A full subscription also entitles you to access the current issue online (available soon), so you can take it with you and read it anywhere, and we are working on providing full access to our archives of back issues exclusively for our subscribers.