This year’s Ardeca Ypres Rally 2022 will be a very significant event for Craig Breen and Paul Nagle.
The M-Sport are returning to the scene of their greatest achievements in recent times.
Last year, driving for Hyundai, they finished second in what was the rally’s firs time being included in the WRC.
Two years earlier the won the biggest rally in Belgium driving a Bernard Munster Motorsport prepared VW Polo R5.
The 2022 event will be held entirely in the Ypres region. Last year, history was made with the first WRC edition of the Ypres Rally that concluded last season on the mythical circuit of Spa-Francorchamps. It produced beautiful images, but for the participants it meant that they had to complete a liaison of almost 300 kilometers early on Sunday morning. This year, Club Superstage, the organiser of the Ypres Rally, presents a compact competition in the Ypres area, with the iconic Kemmelberg providing the backdrop for the Powerstage.
“It was not only the long liaison to Spa-Francorchamps that played a role in this decision to stay in Ypres. It was practically impossible to finish the WRC round on the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, as at that time, the preparations for the Formula 1 Grand Prix have already started,” said Alain Penasse, President of Club Superstage.
The Ardeca Ypres Rally is held in the Westhoek for three days, resulting in a rally of 282 kilometers against the clock, with a total of 695 kilometers. That provides a high percentage of competitive action with 40.56% of the distance covered being competitive kilometres. This has been unseen in the FIA World Rally Championship.
The competition opens on Thursday August 18 with where the crews and spectators will create special atmosphere with the ceremonial start on the Grote Markt in Ypres. Afterwards the teams head to Nieuwkerke for the Shakedown, which will be held from 4 pm.
On Friday, August 19, two loops of four special stages are scheduled. The opening stage this time is Vleteren, followed by the special stage of Westouter, which is partly held on French territory. This is followed by Mesen-Middelhoek, including the well-known start on the market square of Mesen, and finally the Langemark test.
On Saturday, two more loops of four special stages will be run, with the classics Reninge, Dikkebus, Wijtschate and finally Hollebeke, with its 22.41 km the longest special stage of the race. The first two days will start around 9am and the cars will arrive back in the center of Ypres around 6:30pm.
The Ardeca Ypres Rally will conclude on Sunday 21 August with two classics in a mythical setting, Watou and the special stage over the Kemmelberg. After the second pass of the Watou stage, the participants will regroup in Loker, where they will prepare for the Wolf Powerstage. It will be held on the Kemmelberg, with its 13.38 km a providing a unique and representative special stage that reflects the history of this classic asphalt rally.
The grand finale on the Kemmelberg is followed by a celebration on the finish podium in the historic Grote Markt in Ypres, where rally fans will undoubtedly enjoy themselves and spend hours talking of a fantastic rally week in the Westhoek.
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