ERC A FULL 2014
Entries now open – Geko Ypres Rally
FIA European Rally Championship 2014 – Geko Ypres Rally
11 April 2014
Countdown to the Geko Ypres Rally has officially started now that entries have been opened for the fiftieth anniversary of the event. Interested crews better not wait too long to complete their registration form, given the massive interest from teams to take on Europe’s rallying aces on the narrow and bumpy Ypres roads.
On 7 June 1965 thirty-four crews lined up for the first ever Ypres “inter-team” challenge, predecessor to the current Geko Ypres Rally. This year organizers expect a multifold of that number of competitors, given the popularity of the European Rally Championship and the huge commercial success of the R5 models, the new top class in the Belgian and European championships.
M-Sport has more than 50 Fiesta R5 cars running, and also Peugeot and Citroen have homologated their R5 cars. The Peugeot 208 T16 made a very impressive debut at the Acropolis rally a few weeks ago. Peugeot Rally Academy youngsters Kevin Abbring and Craig breed dominated the event. Dutchman Abbring was quickest on the tarmac stages, and after he abandoned Breen duly secured the first victory for the T16. Both Peugeot drivers are expected on the starting grid in Ypres, along with Portuguese star Bruno Magelhaes. Belgian rally team DG Sport has also ordered a Peugeot R5 for Ypres, most likely to be driven by eight times Belgian champion Pieter Tsjoen.
The Ford Fiesta R5 has proven its worth at many occasions already since its launch. Kajetan Kajetanowicz wants to do the full European Championship with a Fiesta, and we also expect in Ypres end of June. Local hero Bernd Casier, who shared a Skoda with Tsjoen last year, is looking for a strong result in Ypres with a Fiesta R5, just like young gun Cédric Cherain, who took on the WRCs in the latest Condroz Rally. Cherain will drive the Fiesta of the J-Motorsport team, the same car driven by team manager Jourdan Serderidis in the Acropolis Rally.
More R5 cars can be expected from Citroen, who have readied their DS3 R5. Bryan Bouffier could well take the wheel of the new DS3 R5 in Ypres,whereas also twofold Belgian S2000 champion Vincent Verschueren and the Symtech racing team are expected to line up DS3 R5 cars for Ypres.
One thing for sure, Freddy Loix will be in for a tough fight to secure his ninth victory. The Belgian champion will try and repeat the victory he took at the wheel of the Skoda Fabia last year, with more Fabias lined up for Skoda Motorsport factory drivers Esapekka Lappi en Sepp Wiegand.
To keep up to date with the latest news, bookmark our brand new website www.ypresrally.com.
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