Classic Sports Car



Geert and Cédric de Jaeger

Of the three crews, the de Jaegers have the most experience with the Tiger. They contested two local events leading up to the 2023 Monte, one in May 2022 and one in October, the latter claiming the car’s engine – which subsequent­ly ramped up Tim Motte’s stress levels. The pair has turned more competitiv­e miles than the others and would be considered the bookies’ favourite.

The duo also appears to have truly embraced the American-powered hybrid. “The noise of the V8 is superb,” enthuses 61-year-old father, and driver, Geert. “We installed headphones, but don’t use them.”

Son Cédric agrees, although he rarely gets behind the wheel. He is, though, a committed navigator of eight years’ standing, despite being only 23: “With our AC Ace we contested regulariti­es, so the focus was more on me than father. I enjoyed the pressure – and the attention.”

Carlo Mylle and Steven Vyncke

“We were fortunate that a lot of snow had fallen days before, bringing out the true potential of the Tiger,” confesses Carlo. ”It’s easy to drive because you know it’s going to understeer. Uphill the driver is in control, but downhill not so much. The handbrake is essential.”

The team is hugely experience­d, having competed together in at least 20 events. Carlo started in 2000, first with a Peugeot 205 1.9 GTI then with a Porsche 996, which was an associatio­n that netted a national championsh­ip GT Class win in 2009. As much as he enjoys driving quickly, an outing with an older 911 in the Ypres Historic rally turned his head towards historic cars. As Steven rightly claims: “The driver can only make a difference when it’s snowing.”

Carlo has the last word: “We were only able to drive four out of the 16 stages in a normal way, with properly working equipment. Despite our problems, though, we were very happy that all three Tigers finished the rally after 2800km through snow, ice and vicious oncoming traffic on small roads. The car definitely has the potential to finish in the top 10, as shown by our two friends.”

Maxime Castelein and Filip Deplancke

This final pairing provides the perfect combinatio­n of youth and experience. Filip started navigating in 1997 and has contested 10 Rallye Monte-carlo Historique­s since 2007, three with Maxime’s father in a trio of rally heavyweigh­ts – a Ford Escort, an Austin-healey and a Porsche 904 GTS – although the first outing with Castelein Jnr was aboard a Saab 96.

“I’ve come close to being on a winning team,” laments Filip. “Three times in a Porsche 914/6 we were leading but spun out on black ice. I really liked the Tiger. It’s a bit like being in your living room: very comfortabl­e.”

Young Maxime is also a fan: “You can feel the weight over the nose, but it’s quick and powerful.” Maxime has raced his father’s Porsche 906 at places such as Spafrancor­champs, but is more than happy to divide his time between the two discipline­s. Judging by his pace on some of the stages – he was fastest on one, second on another – major success is just around the hairpin.

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