Tac Rally 2018 – Second victory in the M cup
Due to the alternating and sometimes very slippery asphalt, TAC rally is a very difficult event for someone who makes his debut there. Mats VD Brand knows all about that since his visit to Tielt last weekend. From SS 5 he set his sights on victory in the M cup. Thanks to a perfect osmosis with his navigator Eddy Smeets, the M.A.T.S team and a perfectly running BMW M3, he won this cup for the second time in a row.
Mats VD Brand: The TAC Rally started with a not ideal tire choice. At SS 1 I immediately experienced what Eddy warned me about several times. In and around Tielt there is very slippery asphalt in places. You can easily go off but there is little margin for it because of the ditches, poles and even houses. So it came down to just building up confidence. Boulat started very strong and had a 22 seconds lead after the first round. From SS 5, however, we went full on new Hankooks in the counterattack and caught up almost 10 seconds in one stage. But it was only during the third pass on SS Schuiferskapelle that we got the lead in the M cup thanks to a new scratch. The M3 again gave no shrinkage and we put it without a scratch on the finish podium. We are therefore very satisfied with the result. It is also very nice that many spectators come to tell us personally that they enjoyed our passages!
Eddy Smeets: After the first loop Mats said that that TAC Tielt is more difficult than WRC Germany, especially due to the constantly changing grip. But he has approached the rally perfectly by giving himself a learning round and only after that start attacking. The duo Boulat-De Busser was determined to counterattack the last two SS. But those stages were canceled unfortunately. It’s a fact that they were competing very strongly and that will only benefit the tension in the M cup 2018.
Header: Vincent Lannoo
Below: Davy Degryse
Tags: Belgian Rally Championship, BMW, BMW E30, BMW E30 M3, Eddy Smeets, Mats vd Brand, RACB, TAC Rally