European Rally Championship: Freddy Loix's tenth win at Ypres Rally
Belgian rally legend and former WRC driver Freddy Loix scored his 10th victory on Ypres Rally, the 5th round of the European Rally Championship. It was also Škoda Fabia R5’s debut ERC victory.
Co-driven by Johan Gitsels, Loix won with a 27.5 seconds gap ahead of Frenchman Bryan Bouffier in Citroen DS3 R5. The same car was also on third, driven by Belgian Vincent Verschueren.
Although one of the most popular favourites, Loix managed a fifth overnight, after seven special stages on Friday, because this was his first time in the new Škoda Fabia R5. However, after he familiarised himself with the car, he was soon the quickest on Saturday and managed to win five of the ten special stages. Victory was assured when Craig Breen retired after SS12, Stephane Lefebvre picked up a puncture on the same stage and leader Bryan Bouffier was forced to stop to change a puncture on SS15.
“We didn’t start so quickly; we had a new car that we had to get used to. It was not such a good feeling to start off with a changing direction, but we worked very hard as a team and managed to do it step-by-step. To win the Ypres Rally for a tenth time is pretty special. For a 45-year- old driver in his 20th time here, against all these young drivers, its not so bad! It’s the highlight of my career,” said Loix.