Menu Close

Report East Belgian Rally 2018

Personally, I’ve always had something with the EBR that I couldn’t find in other matches, even as a spectator. Maybe it’s the beautiful surroundings, the East Cantons mentality, … I don’t know but it’s hard for me to describe how much I’ve been looking forward to this match.

(Photos Wim Becker)

Because we have only been able to drive very few km with the M3, we were ready for the shakedown on Thursday.
In retrospect, this was certainly not a superfluous luxury because the first passages went anything but smoothly.
Fortunately, the situation improved as the evening progressed, but there was certainly no question of a flawless run.
But that could not spoil the fun, it was clear from the first meters that we were going to have a great time. The weather forecasts were ideal and the tests are amazing to say the least!

Because the weather gods had turned the thermostat down considerably Friday night and there were still some damp spots left here and there, we had chosen to start somewhat carefully and not let ourselves be caught in the first km ‘s.
After the first loop we set the bar a little higher for the next 2 KP’s and increased the pace a bit from FP3 St-Vith. The R-Box BMW behaved exemplary but with the team it went less smoothly. We regularly choked on the notes, which resulted in several hesitations and because I also stubbornly kept making the same mistakes, there was not really a significant improvement in terms of rhythm. In addition, Luc was fighting a fierce battle with his intestines and other intestines and to make matters worse, had to lose out on KP Burg Reuland. We want to spare you the juicy details for hygienic reasons.

Fortunately, a service followed so that after some cleaning work the cockpit was a bit potty trained again and we could largely dispel the slightly less pleasant smell. From now on, plastic gloves and AXE for Men are part of the standard service equipment.

Because we still had understeer in the slower situations, we lowered the car slightly at the front and softened the suspension a bit. Luc had meanwhile been polished and provided with the necessary medication but still had the color of a white smyrna carpet but still felt good enough to continue the fight. Just to emphasize that as a co it is absolutely not easy in the EBR let alone in those circumstances, so kudos to persevere.

We then finished the next loop of 4 KPs with a slightly modified setting and focused on making km’s, collecting data and above all learning. That worked well until the re-group where the BMW that up to that moment was running like a Swiss movement, groaned for a moment when starting to enter the re-group. It seemed as if our already well-sized 17kg energy source also had a weak moment.

Once on the service, the alternator appeared to have stopped work in solidarity with ryanair staff.
Since the head of the department of the service was not served by this unannounced action, it was immediately decided to replace it with a new one that was willing to work.
In the meantime, the servicemen had also put the suspension back in the initial configuration because the understeer had not improved at all, on the contrary the rear was no longer so stable in the fast impellers. We made another creditable attempt to accuse the diff but that too was not fair, the problem is more with the pilot. Would there still be some typical pioneering edges not completely erased?

In the meantime, the men were already so attuned to each other that everything was handled perfectly within time, the battery was given the necessary energy shots again and we were therefore confidently on our way back to the last loop of 4 Kp’s.

Everything looked like we were definitely going to make it to the finish, unnecessary risks had already been removed from our todo list anyway and the car was perfect almost all weekend.

Nevertheless, an adjustment has been made to the further scenario beyond our control.
We had already seen on the VTM news a few days before the EBR that there is a shortage of electricity in November. Since we gave little credence to this reporting, and especially it was far from November, we were not worried at all.

A bit too premature, almost at the end of KP 9 Büllingen we completely ran out of electricity, and that more than a month too early!
Lights off, engine off, power steering gone, … (especially light off in full action was a bit of a shock)
Once parked on the side we made some frantic resuscitation attempts, but the R-Box BMW turned out to be clinically dead.

Deeply disappointed and completely unencumbered, we were then left on the side of the road until our lifeguards in distress came to rescue us with the jumpstart. (AED for the cars among us)
1 push on the start button and the BMW was alive and kicking again. This way we were able to drive to the service independently.

All assignments are a pity, but this really tasted very sour, especially the actual problem is in a shrinkage connection of the alternator connector. So a stupid thread has decided on our assignment.

Nevertheless, we look back quite positively. We had a terrified amusing. Super organization and incredibly beautiful KP’s.
If we include the shakedown, we have done quite a few kilometers and we have been able to collect enough data to do some updates during the winter months and especially we have a bit more experience with this fantastic car.

The potential is certainly there, we have a fantastic service team, super enthusiastic people who manage everything logistically and culinary in the right direction add to that a group of fanatical supporters and all the ingredients are there to start looking forward to 2019..

Thank you all so much !!!!!!

2019 will also be a learning year for R-Box, but we are determined to raise the bar a little higher every rally and to offer the spectators more and more spectacle.

See you next year in Haspengouw!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *