Eleventh Ypres Rally win for Freddy Loix
- 26th June 2016, 11:28pm
45 year old Belgian Skoda driver, Freddy Loix, won the European Rally Championship Ypres Rally for the 11th time, an event in which Belgian drivers took five of the six top places.
Leader through day 1 was French Citroen driver, Brian Bouffier, but he retired when lying second with gear selection problems with six stages to go.
Star of the rally was French Citroen driver, Stephane Lefebvre, who had a disadvantageous running position after missing the Qualifying stage because of an engine change, then losing time with overheating gearbox trouble on Day 1, falling to 16th place overall.
He recovered until he was only 5.3 seconds behind the leader Loix with four stages to run, when he had to retire with more gearbox trouble.
Loix finally won with a margin of just under a minute from Peugeot driver, Kris Princen, with Fiesta driver Bernd Casier third. The only other top retirement was for Alexey Lukyanuk who crashed his Fiesta R5 on the opening stage.
A surprise non-starter was DMack driver Ott Tanak.
Opel Adam R2 cars took the top three places in the Junior category with Marijan Griebel finishing a half minute in front of teammates Chris Ingram and Julius Tannert. Another Adam driver, Lukasz Pieniazek, was lying fourth until he retired two stages from the end.
A special feature of the event was the appearance of Kevin Abbring in a prototype Hyundai i20 R5, who ran the stages ahead of the field as a special “VIP” zero car, but whose special stage times were not announced.
The next ERC event is Rally Estonia in mid July. This rally had no effect on the race for the ERC title. None of the top 14 drivers in the standings before the event started, and Kajetan Kajetanowicz still leads the series.
1. Freddy Loix (BEL)/Johan Gitsels (NED) ŠKODA Fabia R5, 2h22m15.1s
2. Kris Princen (BEL)/Peter Kaspers (BEL) Peugeot 208 T16, +56.8s
3. Bernd Casier (BEL)/Pieter Vyncke (BEL) Ford Fiesta R5, +1m19.8s
4. Hermen Kobus (NED)/Erik de Wild (NED) ŠKODA Fabia R5, .+1m27.0s
5. Vincent Verschueren (BEL)/Veronique Hostens (BEL) ŠKODA Fabia R5, +1m32.3s
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