The Legend Boucles @ Bastogne 2023 are back with their festivities on the Place McAuliffe
It is a tradition that can only be good. With more than three months to go before the next edition of the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne, the Royal Automobile Club de Spa brings together the media and its partners in order to announce the expected novelties. On Wednesday, Pierre Delettre and his team were in La Roche-en-Ardenne to preface the 2023 edition, which will above all be the great return to the Place McAuliffe, in the heart of Bastogne...
After the sanitary interlude that resulted in the relocation of the 'centre' of the event to the Marché Couvert last March, the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne 2023 will clearly return to its good habits and a more than traditional decorum... "The 2023 edition will indeed be marked by the return of the marquee on Place McAuliffe, explains Pierre Delettre. And the weekend will start again on Friday evening with the big parade of all the cars on the main street of Bastogne. In addition to the much appreciated autograph session with the main crews. In short, we are back to good habits, to the great pleasure of the public, but also of the shopkeepers of Bastogne... "
The 2022 interlude at the Marché Couvert will nevertheless leave a trace. “We are indeed going to keep the assistances around the Marché Couvert," continues Pierre Delettre. There was a demand from the teams for this, and from a practical point of view, there are clear advantages. However, this situation will change in the future, particularly due to the planned works at the Marché Couvert. But for Friday 3, Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 February, the teams will once again be able to take advantage of the large surface available there.”
As for the course of the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne 2023, it will also go back to the past... "The day of Saturday will be full of two five regularity tests (stages)," announces Eric Chapa, in charge of the course. With a return to Bastogne in the early evening. The next day, on the other hand, we will return to the forest. The restrictions linked to the swine fever are no longer relevant, so there will be five stages in a row, with numerous forest passages, and one of the sections will be 25 to 30 kilometres long! In short, we are going back to our roots, proof that a certain normality is back. And that's good... ".
From a sporting point of view, the main novelty of the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne 2023 will be the transformation of the 'Classic 60' category into 'Classic 65'. An increase of the average speed to be respected, which is accompanied by the compulsory presence of a six-point roll bar in the cars.
“As part of the recent Racing Festival, we organised a technical pre-check which proved to be very useful, continues Pierre Delettre. Few competitors really played the game, but the teams present were able to realise that sometimes you think you are in line with the regulations, when this is not necessarily the case. In close collaboration with the RACB Sport, we are considering the possibility of repeating this operation in December. The objective is clear: to limit as much as possible the possible problems during the technical control operations in Bastogne. We don't want to leave anyone by the side of the road, but safety must clearly prevail, especially when the class average is increased.”
It should be remembered that this obligation of a roll bar does not concern cars entered in the 'Classic 50' category, which remains unchanged.
Finally, it should be noted that the 'Challenger' category is evolving, accepting cars until 31 December 1990, which is also the case in 'Classic 65'.
The entries for the Legend Boucles @ Bastogne 2023 will open on November 1st at midnight, with a special focus on the 'Legend', 'Challenger', 'Youngtimers', 'Classic 65' and 'Classic 50' categories. More on this soon...