For over 90 years the fast flowing, also technically challenging roads of Chimay, have hosted top calibre pure road racing competition.
In the modern era, the well loved roads circuit in Belgium has since 2010, hosted a round of the International Road Racing Championship.
This years Open Trophy meeting, marks the fourth round of the 2018 running of Europe’s premier roads series.
Photo by Pekka Varis
Superbike Championship leader Danny Webb, who holds a healthy 40 plus points series lead, starts as one of the firm favourites for big bike success on Sunday.
The ex Grand Prix racer, a newcomer to Circuit De Chimay is certain to have strong competition from the likes of Wepol Racing by Penz 13.com team mate Marek Cerveny, event wildcard, former champion Vincent Lonbois, Didier Grams and nearest at present title challenger, Markka Racing’s Erno Kostamo.
Don’t discount as well rising stars such as Switzerland’s Lukas Maurer, Ales Nechvatal, David Datzer, Nico Muller from contending for standout results.
Photo by Pekka Varis
Looking towards the IRRC Supersport races, expect championship leader Matthieu Lagrive, to have strong challenges from the likes of Pierre Yves Bian, Thomas Walther, new Performance Racing Achterhoek signing Christian Schmitz, Jonathan Goetschy, plus local favourite Laurent Hoffmann.
Outside the IRRC classes, Chimay also hosts this weekend high level Super Twins, Sidecars competition.
Just some of the Super Twin riders to keep an eye on include Dave Butler, a top five finisher in the 2016 Newcomers B Manx Grand Prix, Felix Klinck, Paul Klopp, Bart Van Calster and Renzo Van Der Donckt.
Whilst notable Sidecar entrants include Estelle Leblond/Melaine Farnier, debutants Ryan Crowe/Jason Crowe, Remy Guignard/ Frederique Poux and Nev Jones/Rob Child.
There’s also races for Endurance Classics, Endurance Post Classics, Classic EVO, IPC/125 machines and national championship Superbike and Supersport races.
Established as one of mainland Europe’s most popular and prestigious roads venues, Chimay has attracted over the years many of motorcycle racing’s biggest stars.
At a glance just some of the star names to have enjoyed success at the circuit, which reminds me in parts of the legendary Spa Francorchamps include Michel Simeon, Giacomo Agostini, Barry Sheene, Johnny Cecotto, Rolf Biland, Jack Findlay and Fergus Anderson.
Photo by Robby Repsol
Competition is scheduled to get underway on Friday from 1 PM local time, which will be followed on Saturday by a full day of qualifying action, before a 14 race schedule takes place on Sunday.
Chimay Open Trophy, Practice/Qualifying/Race schedule is as follows:
1:00 – 1:30 PM Post Classic Endurance First Qualifying
1:40 – 2:00 PM BeNecup Supersport Free Practice
2:10 – 2:30 PM BeNecup Superbike Free Practice
2:40 – 3:00 PM IPC 125/Classic Evo Free Practice
3:10 – 3:30 PM Belgian Twin Trophy Free Practice
3:50 – 4:10 PM IRRC Supersport Free Practice
4:20 – 4:40 PM IRRC Superbike Free Practice
4:50 – 5:10 PM F1/F2 Sidecars Free Practice
5:20 – 5:50 PM Post Classic Endurance Second Qualifying
08:30 – 08:50 AM BeNecup Supersport First Qualifying
09:00 – 09:20 AM BeNecup Superbike First Qualifying
09:30 – 09:50 AM IPC 125/Classic Evo First Qualifying
10:00 – 10:20 AM Belgian Twin Trophy First Qualifying
10:30 – 10:50 AM IRRC Supersport First Qualifying
11:00 – 11:20 AM IRRC Superbike First Qualifying
11:30 – 11:50 AM F1/F2 Sidecars First Qualifying
12:00 – 12:15 PM Post Classic Endurance Warm Up
12:40 – 1:00 PM BeNecup Supersport Second Qualifying
1:10 – 1:30 PM BeNecup Superbike Second Qualifying
1:40 – 2:00 PM IPC 125/Classic Evo Second Qualifying
2:10 – 2:30 PM Belgian Twin Trophy Second Qualifying
2:40 – 3:00 PM IRRC Supersport Second Qualifying
3:10 – 3:30 PM IRRC Superbike Second Qualifying
3:40 – 4:00 PM F1/F2 Sidecars Second Qualifying
4:30 PM Post Classic Endurance race – 3 hours long
09:00 AM BeNecup Supersport Race 1 10 Laps
09:35 AM BeNecup Superbike Race 1 10 Laps
10:10 AM IPC 125/Classic Evo Race 1 8 Laps
10:45 AM Belgian Twin Trophy Race 1 8 Laps
11:20 AM IRRC Supersport Race 1 10 Laps
11:55 AM IRRC Superbike Race 1 10 Laps
12:30 PM F1/F2 Sidecars Race 1 8 Laps
2:00 PM BeNecup Supersport Race 2 10 Laps
2:35 PM BeNecup Superbike Race 2 10 Laps
3:10 PM IPC 125/Classic Evo Race 2 8 Laps
3:45 PM Belgian Twin Trophy Race 2 8 Laps
4:20 PM IRRC Supersport Race 2 10 Laps
4:55 PM IRRC Superbike Race 2 10 Laps
5:30 PM F1/F2 Sidecars Race 2 8 Laps
Words by Stevie Rial