Under the patronage of the German-speaking Community
In just one edition, the Ostbelgien Classic, organised by Michael Bartholemy and his team, has established itself as a perfect promotion of the whole of Eastern Belgium. The German-speaking Community is returning the favour by providing the event with significant support, so much so that this regularity event dedicated to the cars of yesteryear is placed under the patronage of Minister-President Olivier Paasch and the Minister for Sport and Youth, Isabelle Weykmans. This is the result of supra-regional charisma and the positive public image of Eastern Belgium.
“The organisers of the Ostbelgien Classic completed their first edition last year, and when the decision was made to continue the adventure in December 2020, no one could have foreseen that a pandemic would change things”, comments Olivier Paasch, Minister-President of the German-speaking Community. “Today, society is learning how to deal with coronavirus on a daily basis, but the general situation remains extremely critical and also presents the events sector with the great challenge to reconcile economically profitable activities with health regulations and distancing measures. Taking the risk and having the courage to see through such a project in spite of these unfavourable conditions deserves respect and support. May the Ostbelgien Classic this year also – and especially – be a reflection of a dynamic, committed and positive German-speaking community.”
And the event scheduled for Friday 4th, Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December is intended to involve and unite as many people as possible in Eastern Belgium. “As Minister for Sport and Youth, I find the idea of including two young people under the age of 25 living in the German-speaking Community to be an interesting experience”, says Isabelle Weykmans. “Indeed, the organisers have decided to invite a two-person team, with an application and selection procedure that will determine the names of the driver and co-driver who will find themselves at the starting line with a historic vehicle, the appropriate equipment and their own assistance. The call for entries will be launched via the press; the only condition for the pilot is to have a valid driving licence. I don’t want to go into the whole procedure but, in this sports programme, it will be about time management, skill and virtual driving.”
All that remains is for those interested to mark the dates of 4th, 5th and 6th December in their diaries, so as not to miss out on an experience that promises to be unforgettable for fans and enthusiasts of great races and vintage cars.
In addition to the pleasure of driving and co-driving, the Ostbelgien Classic provides the opportunity to discover or rediscover a unique natural setting and landscapes, to enjoy with friends who share the same passion the sense of conviviality of an entire region, and to say to oneself, like Pierre de Coubertin, that the most important thing is, above all, to participate…
“It goes without saying that the support of the leaders of the German-speaking Community constitutes an additional boost”, comments the organiser, Michael Bartholemy. “There are still a few places left on the entry list, so it’s time for the undecided to officialise their participation in this event. For information, we are currently finalising a Covid-19 test system in collaboration with healthcare professionals and private partners, in order to make the event as safe as possible and to ensure a smooth return of the contestants to their home countries. The City of Eupen is also helping us a lot with this health issue, as are our partners, i.e. the hotels, restaurants and other places that will welcome the convoy during the stops scheduled in the programme…”.