Verstappen did not reach top speed in special stages familiar from the WRC

Formula star Max Verstappen's father, Jos Verstappen, took on a new challenge in his rallying career over the weekend.
Jos Verstappen
Jos Verstappen. Photo by: Belgian Rally Championship
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The 52-year-old Verstappen, also known for his time in Formula racing, competed on gravel for the first time in his career. And it wasn’t just any race for his debut on the new surface, but the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages, part of the British Rally Championship.

In this rally, Verstappen enjoyed the special stages familiar from the Wales WRC event, including the classic Sweet Lamb, Myherin, and Hafren stages. Although the elder Verstappen has achieved success on tarmac in the Belgian rally series, his speed on gravel was not yet competitive for the top positions. Verstappen finished 11th, four and a half minutes behind the leader.

“We previously tested on gravel, or actually on sand, in the south of France. We really liked it, so started to look for a nice place for a rally on gravel. That is why we did the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages. It was really difficult, but I enjoyed it,” Verstappen, who competed in a Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 car, explains on his website.

“It was incredibly foggy during the first stages. Fortunately the notes we had were good. But we had to build it up, because we had never driven here before. It was a completely new challenge, totally different than what I am used to. But we went for it, and it was great.”

The rally was won by the host country’s Osian Pryce with his Ford Fiesta Rally2. Pryce, who retired in the opening rally of the British Rally Championship in March, needed the victory to keep his championship hopes alive. Pryce beat fellow Ford driver William Creighton by 20 seconds.

Chris Ingram, who won the season’s opening race, finished third in Wales. Ingram fell just over half a minute behind the leader with his Volkswagen.

The British Rally Championship will continue with the Jim Clark Rally at the end of May. The series includes a total of six races. Ingram remains at the top of the standings ahead of Creighton.

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