The Legend Boucles @ Bastogne also ‘at home’ in Stoumont…
René Marin: to each his own wheels!
A sprightly 69 …and still full of enthusiasm! It is true that René Marin, who perfectly personifies the ‘gentleman driver’ in the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne pack, took to motorsport late in life, having first taking care to successfully complete his professional career. “In fact I was 47 years old when I took up rallying, René commented. It was in 1996, at the wheel of a Renault Clio Williams, in no less than the … Boucles de Spa! Together with Stéphane, my son, in the right hand bucket seat. And the first special stage of my life was in the Clémentine… in the snow! Quite an adventure, and the beginning of a great and long story … “
Since those initial runs, René Marin has enjoyed 20 reruns in the ‘Boucles’, always at the wheel of a Renault, the initial Clio Williams having made way for a Clio RS. And as from the moment the Boucles de Spa became ‘Legend’, this regional stager opted for the 5 GT Turbo. He remained faithful to the diamond shape logo machine, a second model having superseded the first, always in the ‘Legend’ category with its high average speed. “The car dates from 1985, developing 110 bhp¸ René explained Careful, nothing to do with the 5 GT Turbo Group N machines that in former times Jean Ragnotti and Alain Oreille drove! On the mechanical front mine is markedly far more modest, but even so efficient … “
Originally from Winamplanche, in the Verviers region, we met up with René Marin in the centre of the La Gleize village, in the commune of Stoumont, for the traditional photo shoot. It is true to say that the special stages drawn up around Stoumont and Trois-Ponts form the link with the former Legend Boucles. From that no way should we conclude that René Marin shows signs of nostalgia … “The special stages drawn up in the region of Bastogne are quite simply beautiful, and even extraordinary, the near on septuagenarian continued. And Sunday’s forest stages are the tops! For an amateur driver such as myself, who enjoys rallying, it’s a pure pleasure to have fun in such conditions. And seeing the course is demanding, there is always a possibility of finishing up in the first half of the rankings, even with 110 bhp..What more could one ask for? “
Proof of René Marin’s fondness for the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne, he made the effort of having his R5 GT Turbo displayed next to the tank presiding over the entrance of the superb December 44 museum in La Gleize. As a small nod to its counterpart displayed on the Place McAuliffe in Bastogne. To each his wheel, in a manner of speaking …