Local hero Thierry Neuville had an advantage in the shakedown today and deservedly recorded the best time, namely 4: 22.50, ahead of Ott Tanak with 0.8 seconds and Sebastien Ogier with 2.1 seconds.
In the first special stage today Reninge-Vleteren 1 with a length of 15.00 km the fastest were Ott Tanak / M. Jarveoja with Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC followed by Thierry Neuville / M. Wydaeghe also with Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC at 2.3 seconds.
Surprisingly good weather for the Irishman Craig Breen with navigator Paul Nagle again with Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC only 2.5 after Tanak.
The race starts in perfect conditions 22 degrees and light clouds - dry tracks.
Sebastien Ogier made minor mistakes, finishing on 6th position in stage 1.
In general, there are a lot of chicanes in the Ypres rally, where there is dirt on the tracks and it predisposes to errors in braking distances by the racers.
Rally Ypres 2021 continues, and for today a total of 8 special stages are planned.
Rally Ypres Belgium part of the World Rally Championship will be held this weekend from 13th to 15th August. A total of 20 speed sections, 295.78 km of racing length and transitions of 653.71 km. The center of the event is the city of Ypres (Ypres) in western Belgium near the French border and close to the North Sea.
The track in asphalt, a flat race using the roads along the agricultural lands.
The difference compared to other asphalt roads is that here the asphalt is very flat and very fast route interrupted by rectangular intersections.
The longest speed stage is Hollebeke passed twice on Saturday and is 25.86 km long.
Until now, Rally Ypres was used in the European Rally Championship before in the IRC series, but after the crisis with the epidemic Ypres managed to rank among the big ones.
A total of 108 pilots have been registered for the asphalt race.
This is the 8th race on the calendar with 12 rallies in the 2021 season. It is led by Sebastien Ogier with 148 points, who would have a slight advantage over his pursuer Elfyn Evans with 111 points. Great expectations from the Belgian driver in his home race Thierry Neuville, who is third in the standings with 96 points.
The race starts on Friday afternoon and ends on Sunday, August 15 on the track known from Formula 1 Spa-Francorchamps.
Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä has made history by becoming the youngest-ever driver to win a World Rally Championship (WRC) event, aged 20 years and 290 days.
He broke the record established by his Toyota team boss, Jari-Matti Latvala, who was a Ford driver back when he won the 2008 Rally Sweden aged 22 years and 313 days.
As a result, Rovanperä was two years and 23 days younger than Latvala when he crossed the finish line at on Rally Estonia, having dominated the rapid event to win eight of the 24 stages, with a winning margin of nearly a minute over Hyundai’s Craig Breen.
The Irishman equalled his best-ever WRC result, while another Hyundai – driven by Thierry Neuville – came third.
Fourth place for Toyota’s reigning champion Sébastien Ogier was enough to ensure that the wily Frenchman extended his considerable championship lead.
Rovanperä's job was made a lot easier by the demise of home hero and 2020 winner Ott Tänak. The Hyundai driver set off at a blistering pace but on the third stage picked up a puncture, which cost him around 25sec and demoted him to seventh. Pushing hard to make up the deficit, he went off on the following stage, damaging the car too badly to continue Friday’s action.
He was back on Saturday and, in a galling taste of what might have been, set nine fastest stage times over the course of the event. But the damage had already been done in a season to forget for the Estonian, who admitted that his title bid is now all but over.
The rapid gravel stages of Estonia – like Finland, but with fewer jumps – proved to be a massive challenge, where confidence was everything. Toyota’s Elfyn Evans didn’t quite have the feeling he needed and could only manage fifth, ahead of the top M-Sport Ford Fiesta of Teemu Suninen.
The highest-placed Rally2 car was a Skoda Fabia driven by reigning European Rally Champion Alexey Lukyanuk, who also currently leads the European standings. The Russian rolled on the final stage but still somehow managed to salvage eighth overall.
Temperatures were incredibly hot in Estonia, at higher than 30deg C, which made looking after the tyres particularly important, as the soft compound was nominated as the main choice for the first time this year. As a result, tyre temperatures up to 140deg C were reported at the ends of stages.
The Junior WRC category, which uses identical Fiesta Rally4 cars, was won by Sami Pajari, who is often billed as the next up-and-coming star from Finland, set to follow in the footsteps of Rovanperä.