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HomeBlogArdennen Rennen 2023: Gents Racers Reunite

Ardennen Rennen 2023: Gents Racers Reunite


Final October, the very first Ardennen Rennen performed out within the Ardennes area of south-east of Belgium.

The winding forest roads supplied a spectacular backdrop to this driving occasion for Porsches and Volkswagens of a classic selection, with darkish skies and rain solely including to the spectacle. You possibly can try my protection of the 2022 Ardennen Rennen right here. Based mostly on what I skilled simply from a spectator standpoint final yr, I knew I needed to return to the Ardennens for the occasion’s 2023 operating, and I’m very glad I did.

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Ardrenne Rennen: The Gents Racer Reunion invitations homeowners of choose pre-1970 Porsches and Volkswagens – together with 356s, 912s, 914s and 911s, and Beetles, Buses,
Karmann Ghias and Kind 3s – to participate within the 500km weekend drive. And that decision for entries was effectively and really answered, with nearly double the variety of opponents as final yr and a pleasant 50/50 combine between the manufacturers.

The 2023 programme started at R-Lodge in Aywaille on Saturday afternoon for technical inspection, adopted by a prologue stage to find out the automobile beginning order for Sunday’s major occasion – a day-long drive from Liège to Bastogne and again once more, with a picnic lunch break in between.

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There’s quite a lot of historical past on this space, and the route chosen by the organizers – a very totally different one to 2022 – took in plenty of roads that noticed rally motion many many years in the past when these automobiles have been new.

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Regardless of being restricted to 2 makes and a handful of fashions, there was loads of range within the discipline. The standout for me was a super-rare Porsche 356 Speedster, however sadly that automotive broke down throughout Saturday afternoon’s prologue. Fortunately for the proprietor, his different 356 – a  Pre A Cabriolet – could possibly be swapped in, and ran like a attraction on Sunday.

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If alternative and possession permits, having two automobiles available just isn’t a foolish concept. Vehicles #49 and #50 are each owned by the identical gents, and have been pushed over from the UK particularly for this weekend of enjoyable.

Closing out the primary day was a four-course dinner paired with an amazing choice of native beers and wines.

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As talked about earlier, final yr’s Ardennen Rennen was extraordinarily moist, so having the solar out and a brand new route which took in small cities this time round, made it really feel like a very totally different occasion.

Images-wise, these little cities did pose a little bit of a problem. The slim, cobbled lanes have been nice, however the trendy automobiles round and abundance of avenue indicators stripped away quite a lot of the occasion’s classic really feel. Out within the rural areas, it wasn’t a problem in any respect although.

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Early Sunday morning, the driving side of the occasion started correct.

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In contrast to a typical rally, the place mixed particular stage instances are added collectively for an total time, the Ardennen Rennen is extra about consistency. It’s not the staff that will get from level A to level B the quickest that wins; common speeds are calculated on non-disclosed sections of the complete route and revealed afterwards.

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The truth that the competing automobiles aren’t going flat-out truthfully doesn’t matter. Simply seeing these cool classics on gorgeous roads is sufficient.

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There’s a bunch of really passionate folks behind this occasion, and it actually reveals. The 2023 Ardennen Rennen was all the pieces I hoped it might be and extra; the one draw back is, it’s now turning into a biennial occasion, which suggests I’ll have to attend till 2025 to do it once more.

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