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ERC: ŠKODA CLAIMS FIFTH WIN IN A ROW AT THE YPRES RALLY

ERC A FULL 2014

ERC: ŠKODA claims fifth win in a row at the Ypres Rally

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› Record winner Freddy Loix triumphs for ŠKODA at the Belgian asphalt classic
› Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian third to claim second ERC podium in a row
› Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm continue to lead the European Rally Championship despite failing to finish on Saturday

Ypres, 21 June 2014 – Record win for ŠKODA on golden anniversary of the Ypres Rally: victory marks the first time in the 50-year history of the asphalt rally around the town of Ypres in West Flanders that one manufacturer has won the event five times in a row. Freddy Loix (B), who is supported by ŠKODA Belgium, won the rally classic for the ninth time in his career – another record. Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) of the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team finished third to pick up their second podium of the season and climb to second place overall in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) – level on points with Craig Breen/Scott Martin (IRL/GB).

“That is incredible, something nobody has done before,” said Loix. The Belgian rally legend and his co-driver Johan Gitsels (B) ended the sixth round of the ERC with a lead of over a minute. “Nine wins – this record will stand for a while, I hope. A huge compliment goes to the many fans out on the route and in the Service Park in Ypres, as the atmosphere at this rally was once again fantastic. I would also like to thank ŠKODA Belgium and the entire ŠKODA Motorsport family for the great support. The Fabia Super 2000 ran perfectly again.”

Wiegand, who produced a flawless drive on his Ypres debut, was also overjoyed. The 23-year-old kept a cool head, particularly on day two of the rally, which was dominated by numerous crashes. “My second podium in the ERC – I am over the moon,” said Wiegand, who had previously finished runner-up in Northern Ireland: “I never thought I would end up on the podium at the end of my first attempt at this difficult rally. I would like to thank the whole team and all the folks at home who have had their fingers crossed for me all weekend.”

ERC leader Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm was lucky things didn’t turn out worse. The Finnish duo started the final day of the rally in third place and clocked the fastest time on the eighth special stage on Saturday morning. However, shortly afterwards, on the “Vleteren-Krombeke 1” stage, Lappi skidded off the road in a right-hander and was forced to retire. “A stupid mistake, which cost us a place on the podium and important points in the championship,” said Lappi. “It just goes to show that this rally does not forgive even the slightest mishap. Janne and I feel incredibly bad for the team – our guys once again did a perfect job, but we have to apologise to them this time.” Despite the mistake, Lappi continues to lead the Drivers’ Championship.

In total, three ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000s finished in the top five, with Luca Rossetti/Matteo Chiarchossi (I/I) producing a stunning fightback to climb nine places on Saturday. The next round of the European Rally Championship takes place from 17th to 19th July in Estonia.

The number for the Ypres Rally: 5

Five wins in succession for ŠKODA at the Ypres Rally – no other manufacturer had ever achieved a winning run of this length in the history of the Flemish high-speed classic. And all with the same type of car too: the successful ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. As in 2010, 2011 and 2013 it was Belgian rally legend Freddy Loix who took his place on the top step of the podium at this year’s anniversary event. In 2012, Juho Hänninen (FIN) triumphed in the quick and reliable, four-wheel drive powerhouse from Mladá Boleslav.

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Ypres Rally – Final result

1. Loix/Gitsels (B/B), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 2h 43m 13.7s
2. Cherain/Leyh (B/B), Ford Fiesta R5 + 1m 09.9s
3. Wiegand/Christian (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 + 2m 14.2s
4. Kobus/De Wild (NL/NL), Ford Fiesta S2000 + 2m 32.5s
5. Rossetti/Chiarchossi (I/I), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 + 3m 44.5s
6. Vanneste/Snaet (B/B), Peugeot 207 S2000 + 5m 25.4s
7. Lefevere/Vangheluwe (B/B), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X-R4 + 6m 11.5s
8. Duquesne/Cuvelier (B/B), Ford Fiesta R5 + 6m 53.2s
9. Debackere/Cokelaere (B/B), Peugeot 207 S2000 + 6m 59.7s
10. Hadik/Kertesz (H/H), Subaru Impreza R4 + 9m 01.6s

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Karel Pokorny
Media Skoda Motorsport

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Photos:Tomáš Brčko Brázdil www.foto-brcko.cz by Rally Report Magazine Argentina and Skoda Motorsport https://www.facebook.com/motorsportskoda

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Categories:   Rally Report Magazine Argentina 14 años

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