Inside line on the Ypres roads

After five stages on gravel, the World Rally Championship returns to asphalt in Belgium, where the narrow and fast roads of the Flemish countryside will provide the backdrop for the ninth round of the season.

Returning to its traditional four-day format, the Ypres Rally has no shortage of new features compared to 2021, the year the Belgian event made its debut in the world championship, such as Friday’s opening special stage, Vleteren, and the Kemmelberg cobbled stage, which has been upgraded to a Power Stage. 

In total, the race includes 20 special stages on ten routes to be completed twice, totalling 281.58 kilometres.

WHY TYRES MATTER IN BELGIUM

The roads around Ypres (all stages are within a 25-kilometre radius of the town) have an average slippery asphalt, made even more treacherous by debris and any mud that the cars carry onto the road after cornering.

Such conditions become even more challenging in the event of rain, always lurking in Belgium. The tyres are required to ensure maximum grip and optimum performance in conditions that can change even within the same test.

The busiest day is Saturday when the longest stage of the rally will be run (over 133 km) with SS Hollebeke closing both sections, which is the longest of the event (22.32 km).

info courtesy of Pirelli Motorsport

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