Rallye de Monte-Carlo - BMA among the world references!

Rallye de Monte-Carlo - BMA among the world references!

04.02.2019: Straight after the Romania Historic Winter Rally, Bernard Munster’s BMA team headed off for Gap, to be at the start of the World Rally Championship 2019, the legendary Rallye de Monte-Car

Straight after the Romania Historic Winter Rally, Bernard Munster’s BMA team headed off for Gap, to be at the start of the World Rally Championship 2019, the legendary Rallye de Monte-Carlo. A prestigious event in which the Thimister-Clermont based team had entered two cars, namely the Volkswagen Polo R5 of the Frenchmen Bertrand Pierrat and Aurélia Chevalier, as also the Skoda Fabia R5 for Grégoire Munster and Louis Louka.



 
And they were faced with an extremely complicated Monte-Carlo, with ever varying conditions that did not make the task any easier for novices, namely the two BMA teams. Entered in WRC2, Grégoire Munster and Louis Louka had but one objective: to build experience for their first entry. Nothing was easy for sure, but the Skoda Fabia R5 BMA did not go unnoticed, permanently featuring in the category’s top 5 …



“I think we can be satisfied with what we achieved, Grégoire commented. It definitely wasn’t obvious, and in just a few days one can learn a great deal. Namely to cross the types of rubbers, with a view to having the best equipment possible in special stages over the course of the kilometres. Up against rivals with far more experience than us in this type of car and on this specific type of event, our pace was good.




It’s obviously a great pity that the adventure had to come to an end on Saturday, all the more so seeing the error made was minimal. Two or three metres too late at a braking point, ice, and we found ourselves on the outside of a bend, touching a tree stump. The suspension was damaged, and for us the Monte-Carlo ended there. Pretty frustrating, because a good overall result was totally foreseeable. On the other hand, experience of the WRC and the Monte-Carlo, was enormous … »





At the ripe age of 64, the Frenchman Bertrand Pierrat, co-driven by Auréla Chevalier, needed to get the measure of the event, the WRC rules, and a Volkswagen Polo R5 he had discovered a few weeks earlier at the Dévoluy …




“I’m descended from a generation that had the habit of carrying out lots of recceing before an event, Bertrand explained. Well the rule in WRC limits the number of passages to two per special stage! Which is not very much … Outcome: even though we tackled this monument with great humility, I did not feel myself ‘at home’. In the sinuous sections we performed well, even very well, but on the fast sections, up against these young WRC lions as also those ‘locals’ who know the course well, we suffered.




A wise old man once told me that at the Monte-Carlo, so as not to take rash risks, one needed to privilege studs, which is what we did on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday, prior to moving over to ‘softs’ on the Sunday. Despite several adventures we won’t forget for a long time, the objective was to do everything within our power to reach Monaco.



Especially once Grégoire and Louis had disappeared from the rankings. Actually, this team is truly fantastic, and we needed, with Aurélia, to bring the car through to the end, to pay tribute to them. Which motivated us even more … Because working with Belgians is just a pure pleasure. Thanks to them!”


From his side Bernard Munster drew up a positive assessment nonetheless … “We most probably experienced the trickiest Monte-Carlo from these last fifteen years, the BMA boss explained. Taking into account his limited experience, notably with crossed tyres which can at times make the handling rather ‘strange’, Grégoire registered some good times.



He was plagued with bad luck when he touched that tree stump, which broke the shock-absorber’s platform. The damages were minor, but there were still 15 kilometres of special stage to cover, another 17 kilometres section and a long liaison As such it was unplayable. As for Bertrand Pierrat, he reached his objective, namely to reach Monaco, without making the slightest mistake, whilst rewarding the public with some spectacular passages. In those conditions, well done to him …”






-BMR also photos

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04.02.2019 / MaP

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