Usually in November I prepare for the last race of the year but in recent years the Rallye du Condroz is the penultimate race for the Belgian championship. This year the race had quite a few changes so I decided to watch almost all the stages to find new spots. Departure on Thursday morning for the first specials. Late in the afternoon and after it got dark, I went for a walk to the service and then to the hotel to get the schedule for the next day. Friday and the race traditionally starts with the shakedown. With the beginning I entered in the atmosphere of a classic Condroz. Rain, cold, mud and the classic drunk spectators that will always spoil the nice atmosphere of a rally race. Unfortunately, the route was different from previous years with few nice spots. After 2-3 hours and with several delays I left to see the rest of the specials in my attempt to find some nice spots since the organizers this year decided to put ribbons on almost all the corners so that the drivers don’t make cuts. So there is no spectacle, but also ribbons everywhere, offering a miserable background for the photos. Another ride to the service to add some stickers to my collection and back to the hotel to plan the first day.
Saturday early morning and I’m on the first stage of the race. I set the flashers hoping that at least the first good ones would come out since the sun had not come out. After the first 10-15 cars I left for the second pass of the day which is a classic and nice part of the race. An hour before the start of the match, the organization together with the police kicked us out of the place because it was dangerous. So suddenly after so many years the same spot became unsuitable for viewers. Every time scenes like this make me want to stay home or just grab a chair and sit down to watch the race. In the end, few spectators and those of us with credentials remained at the scene. Some good photos and back to the same special that I was in the morning but at a different point. Pleased with this special and I head for the last pass of the day to a spot known from previous years. But the organization decided that this year the point must be changed and put ribbons everywhere, the result it was to destroyed the point and made it completely indifferent. Irritated and almost ready to leave I decided to sit in the woods with whatever light was left and whatever came out…
Sunday my program had 3-4 passes. First special on a dirt spot with little water and people left and right reminding a bit of the good old days. Very pleased with the spot and the photos. Second pass, nothing special, it was more to add something to the program to fill the day. On the way out I changed the program and decided to do one last shot at a spot that I have photographed before and has quite a few different options.
End of the race and I’m on my way back. Arriving home I check my cell phone on social media for results and photos and I start seeing strange posts as if something has gone wrong. Before I start translating, a message on the mobile phone comes from a photographer asking me if I’m okay because there was an accident. Unfortunately, two children aged 18 and 16 died after an exit involving a racing car. I hope next year this race is not on the program because every year something always happens. Also, it strikes me that it is always in the same race with the organization to do absolutely nothing and with the police not to do a single block in between the special for breathalyzers.
The next race will logically be the Spa Rally around the well-known track that hosts the service of the race.