VILLERS-LE-BOUILLET (BELGIUM) – Thursday, March 18: Overdrive Racing has entered an all-Belgian team in the Andalucia Rally, the first round of the 2021 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, taking place in southern Spain on May 12-16.
Twenty-six-year-old Guillaume de Mevius will team up with the experienced co-driver Tom Colsoul to race a Belgian-built OT3 entered in the FIA T3 class and supported on rounds of the FIA World Cup by Overdrive Racing’s team of Belgian mechanics. This will be the first time that Overdrive Racing has run an all-Belgian team since its inception in 2007.
Overdrive Racing is running two Toyota Hiluxes for Ronan Chabot and Erik van Loon in the Jordan Baja this weekend. But workshop staff in Villers-le-Bouillet - under the management of CEO Jean-Marc Fortin - are now making their final preparations for the start of the FIA World Cup programme.
De Mevius and Colsoul will travel to Spain in May and on to the second round of the FIA World Cup in Kazakhstan on June 7-13. De Mevius will then tackle the other rounds of the series in the OT3: Silk Way Rally (July 1-11), Portugal Cross-Country Rally (September 16-21), Rally of Morocco (October 8-13), Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (November 6-12) and the Ha’il International Rally in Saudi Arabia (November 28-December 3).
Guillaume has a lot of recent experience in special stage rallies, both in the Belgian and World Rally Championships, and was Belgian Junior Rally Champion in 2017. He took part in Baja Portalegre and two back-to-back Hail Bajas in Saudi Arabia at the end of last year, winning the T3 section on his debut in Portugal and finishing second and third in T3 at the two Saudi events.
“I am very happy to be driving in the FIA World Cup with Tom Colsoul in the OT3,” said De Mevius. “For sure, everything is from Belgium, so that is quite a nice story. I did two Bajas already but I am happy to continue. This is the beginning for me in the cross-country events. It is a new adventure and I am quite motivated to learn and try to be fast in these kind of races.
“It is a new story for me. Tom has a lot of experience. I have known him for some years. The feeling is good with him. That is important in the car. I am sure he will explain me a lot of things.
“I am very happy to be with Overdrive. My father (Grégoire) created it with Jean-Marc (Fortin), maybe 14 years ago, so it’s quite fun to go back to this team. I was very young when I was going in the workshop. I was 12-years-old, so it is fun to go back and see the new OT3 project.”
Colsoul added: “This is an all-Belgian team in a non-Belgian discipline. I find it quite cool. I am super excited about it. Guillaume is a young driver and has almost no experience in cross-country, but he has a good rally base and is a good consistent rally driver. He has a well-known father in this world and so do I (Guy). Even in cross-country, both of our fathers were driving very well at times. That is quite a funny detail and, for me, it’s nice to have a young driver. It has been five or six years since I had one. I like this kind of adventure.
“Maybe I like this more than driving with an experienced guy, who I can be sure of a podium with. Another cool thing about the project is that the car and the team are also Belgian. Another funny detail of Overdrive is that Jean-Marc was actually a co-driver of both our fathers...
“This is the first time I will be in a side-by-side. I guess it’s normally the other way round and you start in a side-by-side and you get to fight yourself to the big cars. That also makes the adventure quite fun.
“I am still under a contract with Bernhard (Ten Brinke), but he is not driving rallies in the first half of the season, because of professional reasons, and he will drive in October, November and December as a preparation for Dakar. He has given me the opportunity to drive with Guillaume in the first half of the season. Although I have done this since 2003, I always say that every metre you do is a metre you learn. I thank Bernhard for this opportunity. It is nice to start something new after all these years in cross-country and I look extremely forward to it.”
OT3 by Overdrive is a six-speed, 1000cc turbo-charged side-by-side vehicle eligible for the FIA T3 category.
The lightweight off-road buggy derivative delivers around 177hp and is built of carbon fibre with Kevlar bodywork, giving it an impressive power-to-weight ratio. The extended wheelbase also allows for greater stability and the centre of gravity has been moved to the rear of the vehicle to increase performance and balance.