Checks & Stage 1
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ROARS IN THE SNOW...
For its 63rd edition, the Rallye Neige & Glace has taken off from the Peugeot Adventure Museum in its stronghold of Sochaux. A day of administrative and technical controls before the big start, in the early evening, by night flight, for the first three tests of regularity, renewing the great tradition of the most sporting winter rallies. Nearly 150 kilometers along the Swiss border in the direction of Pontarlier and Malbuisson, the HQ of the race, reached early in the night by some 90 crews starting this 2017 edition.For its 63rd edition, the Rallye Neige & Glace has taken off from the Peugeot Adventure Museum in its stronghold of Sochaux. A day of administrative and technical controls before the big start, in the early evening, by night flight, for the first three tests of regularity, renewing the great tradition of the most sporting winter rallies. Nearly 150 kilometers along the Swiss border in the direction of Pontarlier and Malbuisson, the HQ of the race, reached early in the night by some 90 crews starting this 2017 edition.
A day at the Museum. Partner of this 63rd Rallye Neige & Glace, the Peugeot Adventure Museum is a landmark in the history of the automobile industry. With no fewer than 120 models on show, including all of the sporting epics of the Lion brand, the Sochalian Museum served as a 5-star base camp for technical and administrative checks throughout the day, opening the Brasserie on this Sunday evening, to feed everyone before the outbreak of hostilities in the early evening.
A history of generation. Already present last year at the wheel of MG B Roadster, which belonged to Jacques Brel, the Belgian Pierre Barré, this time, chose to invite his daughter Pauline to accompany him in the cockpit of a MG B GT. "This is the opportunity to put into practice the philosophy of the Two Generation Classic Rally I launched last summer in the Belgian Ardennes," explains the one who produces, in addition, all the classical music programs for The Belgian public service television (RTBF). "It's her very first rally as a competitor and it's a great reward for her since we have been dragging her with us on the rallies for years ... I even hope I can get her to drive to the ice circuit on Tuesday, Maybe on some less technical TRs ... "
Welcome to the Belgians! With 25 crews at the start of this 63rd edition, the Belgians have yet again crossed the border in number to come conquer their laurels on this Neige & Glace. With 11 victories in 13 editions, our neighbors to the north have a reputation to defend. Three former winners were Erik Van Peer and Eric Chapa (BMW 2002 TII n ° 20) and three-time winners Yves Deflandre and Eddy Gully (Porsche 911 n ° 21).
Small nails, small nails ... As of every year, the technical controls are also an opportunity to check if each team complies with the regulations regarding studded tires. With 100 nails allowed per tire, some might be tempted to add them here and there. And beware of those who do not stay in the framework! With 150 nails on each wheel, a competitor, not the least, was forced to 'drop out' some 200 nails before passing for approval before the technical stewards ...
The 4x4s start the ball rolling. Just like last year, a category specific to 4x4 vehicles was introduced on this Rallye Neige et Glace. With no less than 15 cars involved, the family of all-wheel drive is growing every year. The Lancia Delta Inegrale, Audi Quattro, BMW 325 IX and other Porsche Carrera 4 will open the track in front of the historic two-wheel drive cars.
Women, women, women ... It has been almost a decade since the Rallye Neige et Glace has welcomed a 100% female crew. Coming straight from Switzerland, Célinène Lachenal and Gaëlle Wunderli-De Zorzi, more accustomed to the Rallye des Princesses, throw themselves into the great bath of sporting regularity at the wheel of a magnificent Ford Escort RS2000, not without a touch of apprehension. The goal? Finish the rally without ... too many fears.
Sanseigne takes horsepower. The first car tonight to drive through the start arch in front of Peugetot Adventure museum is the Lancia Delta Integrale, by Joël and Corinne Sanseigne. It is reminiscent of the beautiful period when the Italian, nicknamed the " 'The Queen of Rally' by our English friends dominated the WRC planet with drivers such as Miki Biasion, Juha Kankkunen, Markku Alen and Bruno Saby. That is, in any case, that will change the Franc-Comtois couple, more accustomed to his little Lancia Y10, and now charged to 'sweep' the track with more than 200 horses under the hood!
Patrick Zaniroli (Fre/Organisator): “It is always a great pleasure to start in the prestigious setting of the Peugeot Adventure Museum, here in Sochaux. The spectators came in number for a 2017 edition that already promises to be exciting. The snow fell in quantity three weeks ago ensuring us an ideal playground on all four days of rally. We start with a night stage, well in the tradition of Neige & Glace. Then the big novelty will reside in the 3rd stage of Tuesday with a full day spent in the Swiss Jura with passes at more than 1,500 m and a TR on the ice circuit in Bullet. The lovers of gliding will enjoy! But it will be necessary to remain attentive until the end, since the final TR will be disputed on the traditional special of Rochejean, real bobsleigh track capable of upsetting in extremis the established rankings ... "
Henri Pescarolo (Fre/Porsche 911 n°22): "I believe I have not missed a single edition of this extraordinary rally taking place in the region of my childhood. If, for some time, I always had a good excuse not to find myself at the forefront, it is really no longer the case. With a perfectly tuned car, the right tires, a world-class copilot and a worthy assistance, any counter-performance is totally accountable to me! But hey, we'll have to spit in our hands to defeat the Belgian armada which has again came in numbers... "
Yves Deflandre (Bel/Porsche 911 n°21): "It must be my 9th participation and, as always, I'm here to give the best. This Neige & Glace Rally is one of my favorite appointments of the season. It is a real sports rally and there is generally more snow than on another great rally that is played in parallel ... It is superbly organized and the atmosphere is very friendly. I think this year the right choice of tires will be one of the keys to victory ... "
Célimène Lachenal (Sui/Ford Escort n°58): "Gaëlle and I are here to live an unprecedented experience. Keeping an average of 50 km / h on snow and ice will not be an easy task for two women completely new to the subject. We hope to arrive at the end of the rally safely and apologize already to the crews leaving after us and that we risk slowing down. Even if there is some apprehension, there is also a lot of excitement before the big start. "