A DNF that wasn’t deserved

2 years ago in News

A little break for now …

Mats VD Brand and Eddy Smeets were well on their way last Saturday, April 13, to get back into rallying with the BMW M3 with a great result. Staying in 12th place overall and leading the RACB M Cup, some stones and a block of concrete decided entirely differently …

Mats VD Brand: After the crash in Rally Haspengouw – mainly due to the fact that I was mentally not fit for rallying – I had worked hard in recent weeks to make a good come-back in Tielt. I work out daily but after Haspengouw there was also work to be done mentally. That was very confronting at times, but I definitely wanted to keep my promise to the team to also get better that way. The team did another stunning performance having the M3 ready in time for the TAC Rally. I also had to talk through certain things with Eddy. I personally knew that the TAC would be a tough race for me and my navigator … In the first round I was not satisfied with my pace. Nevertheless, we were in the lead with a ten second lead. From SS 5 onwards, Eddy and I were almost at the familiar pace of the past. Many people will now say that it was too hard, but this time it was certainly not the cause of the crash … At the moment I want to thank all the supporters, followers, colleagues and rally experts for the fine words of comfort. I am very down at the moment and although I would like to be back in the Sezoensrally, I think it will be nothing more for the time being and we will take a little break.

Eddy Smeets: The only words for this regrettable crash are “unmerited” or “not deserved”. Haspengouw was a very stupid mistake by Mats. This time it was just bad luck at the most stupid moment for Mats, I and the whole team. By not cutting the corner enough, the M3 slid over the nose. The right rear wheel hit a concrete wall and that catapulted us into the air … The M3 has returned very badly from Tielt and because M.A.T.S. also has to prepare a few M3’s for customers, it is not certain that our car will be ready for Sezoensrally. Maybe we should change our program now … Last year we became vice-champion in the M cup with four victories. With the small difference in the scoring, our chances for that title are already minimal, especially given the strong and fierce competition from our M cup colleagues. In addition, we are not a team that speculates on breakdowns or DNF’s from others. It now comes down to getting everything and everyone back for the next rally. We will see what that will be, but we will certainly return to the rally sooner or later.

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