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2018-11-08
van den Brand/Smeets: Off to Germany for the last rally!
Preview Rallye Köln-Ahrweiler

M-cup vice-champion 2018 Mats vd Brand and his Belgian co-driver Eddy Smeets are off to Germany this weekend for their last rally of this season. At the request of their tuner Dries - Bosch Tuning - they are going to look their best in the ADAC Rally Köln-Ahrweiler which among other things has the famous Nordschleife of circuit Nurburg on the program. Several Dutch teams are starting but for Mats and Eddy it will be the first time there.

Mats VD Brand:
Several customers of my supertuner participate in Köln-Ahrweiler and from the beginning of the season Dries is asking if we do not want to do this rally too. Although I never started there, I’ve heard nice things about it. The Nordschleife is, for example, a piece of a SS that we are not allowed to recce in advance. We receive pacenotes from the organization. That is very special and new for Eddy and me. That is why we prepared ourselves a little more than usual by onboards and with the SIMulator in Delft where I got to know the Nordschleife in reverse! Furthermore, the time to recce seems rather tight, but I am confident that it will be okay with Eddy.

Eddy Smeets:
We will have our work on Friday with getting everything on paper. here are no less than 10 different special stages and only two of them we drive twice. All other SS are only on the program once, so it must be right at the first pass. But from other competitionsI know that Mats is right in the good rhythm. The fact that he doesn’t improve his stage times on next passes, proves that the basic speed is excellent. Because we do not know the competition so well and we can’t estimate the other competitors, we will see where we end this weekend. Knowing Mats, that’s preferably as high as possible in the ranking. With this approach, we have largely determined our program for 2019 as well. A vice-title finds Mats as worthy as a third, fourth or sixth place, so next year he wants to try to get the champion title in the M cup of the Belgian Rally Championship. A few other ŕ la carte rallies can also be added ...

Writer: Tom Hollebeke
Photo: Marcel Ebeling


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