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Last year saw our first visit to the Rallye de Wallonie and we could not resist a return visit. A total of 22 stages saw a tough battle at the top. After the opening pair of stages round the citadel in Namur, Adrian Fernémont & Samuel Maillen (Fabia R5) held a slender lead over Cédric Cherain & Filip Cuvelier (Fabia R5) with 2017 Belgian Rally Champions Vincent Verschueren & Veronique Hostens (Fabia R5) completing the top 3. As the real meat of the rally started Verschueren picked up the pace and by lunchtime had taken over at the top with Fernémont slipping down to 3rd place behind Cherain.

The top 3 places did not change again on the Saturday but the time gaps between the top two never exceeded ten seconds with Fernémont never more than 20 seconds off the lead either. Over the final loop of stages Cherain and Fernémont closed in on Verschueren to leave a tense battle on the final day. With another 8 stages to go and rain soaking the stages overnight tyre choice would be crucial and both Cherain and Fernémont closed in on Verschueren over the opening two stages. The top two were now just 5.7 seconds apart.

A stunning sequence of equal times then followed as the gap remained the same for the next 4 stages with Verschueren just edging a tenth out on the penultimate stage. Verschueren hit the final stage hard and eventually took the win by 8.7 seconds over Cherain with Fernémont just 17 seconds off the lead at the end of two full days rallying. The first 2WD crew home were Patrick Snijers & Davy Thierie in 6th place in the superb sounding Porsche 997 GT3, which was the star of the rally for us.

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