Jos wins rally of Zuid-Limburg: 'Intense and very slippery'
Published on 12 November 2023 by Misha van der Kroon
Jos Verstappen has won the rally of Zuid-Limburg in Belgium. By finishing first in eight of the twelve stages, the 51-year-old Verstappen and his navigator Renaud Jamoul drove to victory in their Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 car.
“It was an intense rally with slippery roads. Because of the rain and mud, it was like driving on ice. Not easy at all,” Jos tells Vertappen.com. “It certainly went well, and we were also able to test several things, such as tyres and brakes. This was a smaller competition, but rallying is always fun to do. It was very slippery, but it’s good to get that experience. A great rally, that's what you’re doing it for.”
At two moments during the rally Jos had a flat tyre, at one of those moments there were even two flat tyres. “Then you just have to continue to lose as little time as possible", Jos explains. “Because everyone is cutting corners, the course gets full of mud which makes it really difficult. It was a good training, because I have never experienced these conditions before. The final three stages were also driven in the dark, so you cannot really see where the mud is. That’s what made this rally so difficult. A mistake can easily be made, especially when braking it's very slippery and it’s a challenge to keep the car on the road.”
Jos enjoys rally driving a lot, but he can't do it alone, he emphasizes. “Renaud is really good. I’m very happy that he is sitting next to me in the car, as it’s great to have a navigator with so much experience and with whom I get along very well. Our car, which is prepared by Wevers Sport, was also great today. We haven’t had any technical issues all year, which is great.”
The program on Sunday consisted of twelve special stages, which were divided over three different stages, called Aalst, Kerkom and Borlo. Jos got off to a good start on the largely unpaved course and scored P1, P2 and P1 in the first round. That gave him a lead of 23 seconds over his main competitor, Marc Turrion.
In the second round, the Dutchman scored a P1, P5 and P2. A flat tyre in the fifth stage caused a delay, and the lead of Verstappen and Jamoul shrank to 10 seconds. The same happened in the seventh stage: another flat tyre. Fortunately the time loss of eleven seconds was manageable. The third round started with a P5, followed by a P1 twice. After this, their lead over Turrion and his navigator Patrick Flas had increased to 54 seconds.
In the fourth and last round of going through the three stages, Jos showed his skills once more and finished all three stages in P1. This brought him the victory of the Rally of South Limburg. Verstappen and Jamoul eventually had a 1:10 minute lead over Turrion and Flas.