Veteran World Rally Championship driver Freddy Loix secured his tenth win on the Kenotek Ypres Rally, round five of the FIA European Rally Championship, after a drama filled final day in Belgium. The Belgian driver won on his first appearance in the new Skoda Fabia R5 after Craig Breen, Bryan Bouffier and Stephane Lefebvre all hit trouble.
Day 1 leader Craig Breen held on to his advantage over the first three stages of the day but a puncture on the eleventh test handed the lead to Bouffier. An off road excursion into a field on the following test left him with a damaged engine forcing his retirement.
A puncture for Bouffier cost him the lead a few stages later and the Frenchman had to settle for second in the end. Loix stayed out of trouble and crossed the finish line almost a minute and a half ahead of Bouffier.
In ERC2 Tibor Erdi controlled proceedings and won the class by well over three minutes. In the ERC Junior round there was heartbreak for German driver Marijan Griebel as a puncture on the final stage cost him victory having led for most of the event. Diogo Gago suffered massive disappointment also as he crashed his Peugeot 208 R2 out of the event on the final stage. He would have taken victory at Griebel’s expense had he finished. Victory eventually went to earlier leader Aleksander Zawada who won the event by just 1.2 seconds.
The next round of the ERC takes crews to Estonia for the Auto 24 Rally Estonia on July 17.