by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 16
Ypres: Loix or Snijers could take a fifth win MERC leader Nasser Al Attiyah heads to Lebanon aiming for a third Middle East championship rally win in four events this year, hoping in addition to become the first driver of a new Subaru Impreza N14 car to win an asphalt rally. Lebanon is the only asphalt event in the MERC series each year, and is traditionally the only event when local drivers stand a good chance of beating regular championship contenders. Last year Nasser finished second on this event behind the local driver Roger Feghali, five times a previous winner, who once again will drive a Mitsubishi. For this occasion, Feghali has a new co-driver, Giovanni Bernacchini, who is Gigi Galli’s regular world championship partner. Bernacchini told Nasser Al Attiyah of this plan when they met in Turkey, “Ah, you are lucky!”, Nasser exclaimed. “It will be a holiday for you. You won’t need to read any pacenotes. Roger knows every inch of the rally by heart!” A great Subaru versus Mitsubishi battle is in store, the only intruder in the top class being the troublesome Toyota Corolla S2000 of Saudi driver Ahmed al Sabban. WHO is the greatest Ypres driver of them all? Maybe we will know next weekend after this year’s running of Belgium’s biggest rally, the Ypres Westhoek Rally. Three drivers have won this event four times – the late Gilbert Staepelaere, Freddy Loix and Patrick Snijers. The latter is again behind the wheel of a rally car, selected as BF Goodrich’s rallying ambassador for the event, driving a Kronos team Peugeot 207 S2000, while for this year’s event, Loix moves from a VW Polo S2000 to a Peugeot 207 S2000. Loix understands the event very well: “The most important thing is cutting corners, because each corner tends to be followed by long straight stretches, and the faster you leave each corner the more time you save. The trick is to know where you can safely do this, because it is difficult to spot where it is safe to cut a bend during recce. “Also, cars need to be able to have responsive and precise steering. At Ypres there are a lot of double corners where cars have suddenly to change direction.” Being a qualifying round of both the FIA European Championship (ERC) and also the IRC, the event has once again received a remarkable entry. In the major rally there are some 100 competitors, and almost as many entries again in the subsidiary event for Classic cars, held on the same roads. As with all of the FIA’s regional championships, this is an event in which no World Rally Cars will be seen! Super 2000 cars will again be ranged against Group N cars. There are a record 18 Super 2000s and over 20 Mitsubishi Group N cars in the list but remarkably few Subarus, which are excluded from the IRC series. No fewer than 17 cars complying with the FIA’s new Group R have also been entered. In addition to the usual support from Peugeot and Fiat cars, VW Polo S2000 cars will be seen back in international action for the first time since Ypres last year. Run out of Belgium by the Rene Georges team, the Polo S2000 cars now feature many engine and chassis improvements, described by the team’s technical coordinator Jack de Keijzer as “a big step forward”. Middle East series heads to Lebanon WRC news >> 17