Below Zero Ice Driving is delighted to welcome Belgian rally legend, Marc Duez, to our team of expert instructors for the next two weeks.
Born within earshot of Spa Francorchamps circuit, Marc was a relatively late entrant to motorsport, making his competitive karting debut in his late teens. In 1977, he embarked on the rally career that would cement his reputation as one of the great European all-rounders.
Marc’s first appearance on the global rally radar came with a works Celica drive for Toyota Team Europe in 1978. An attempt on the 1979 Belgian championship brought a run with the works Ford team at Haspengouw, five more events in a privately entered Escort and four rallies in a Fiat 131. Results included a fourth, third and second position finishes but a win proved elusive.
When Duez switched to Porsche 911 SC in 1981, the combination was electric. Duez claimed wins on the Bianchi and Rallye du Condroz rallies, a second place on the Boucles du Spa and fourth overall in the Ypres 24-hour rally. Bianchi and Boucles were rounds of the European Rally Championship, so winning a round of the ERC brought Marc to the attention of several European teams in the all-powerful World Rally Championship.
Porsche success continued in 1982, with six wins for Duez and the 911 SC to dominate the Belgian championship. The tally also included another ERC win and third place with the famous Belga squad in Haspengouw. When Belga brought an Audi Quattro A1 to Haspengouw the following year, Duez finally claimed his first win on the event, also winning Boucles de Spa in the Quattro.
Our paths began to converge in the years that followed. Marc picked up works drives with Austin Rover in the V8 SD1 and Metro 6R4, working with several Tuthill mechanics along the way. Duez won Germany’s Metz Rally in the Quattro A2 and claimed a couple of UK top four finishes in the 6R4. In 1986, Marc put in a full season of 6R4 rallying at the height of Group B notoriety, claiming first, second and third finishes in the European championship before the Group B cars were finally banned.
Marc continued his winning ways over subsequent years, putting memorable seasons together in both the BMW M3 and Ford Sierra Cosworth rally cars and claiming wins on rallies as disparate as the Circuit des Ardennes and France’s all-gravel Rallye Terre de l’Auxerrois. We were delighted to count Marc amongst our competitors in WRC RGT on events such as the Monte Carlo Rally.
Away from the rally scene, Marc has also claimed three victories in the 24 Hours of Spa, four wins at the Nurburgring 24 Hours, a win at the 24 hours of Zolder and class wins at both Daytona and Le Mans 24-Hours. Marc’s ice racing credentials are equally special, with years of racing in the Andros Trophy.
We are delighted to add Marc’s skills to the list of unique selling points here at Below Zero Ice Driving! Contact us to discuss a booking during the final weeks of our 2018 season.