Freddy Loix scored his ninth Ypres Rally victory yesterday in Belgium. He started Saturday’s final leg trailing Kevin Abbring by 24.8 seconds but moved in front when the Dutchman retired his Peugeot 208T16 with mechanical failure on stage 13 across the border in France.
Abbring gained some consolation by landing the prestigious Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy for his charging display and nine stage wins. “I’m still proud of my performance on my first time here in a four-wheel-drive car and I’ve gained some confidence for the future,” said the Dutchman. “It’s a shame we retired but I’ve driven without mistakes and the car has been fantastic. I really appreciated the fight with Freddy and I was still able to enjoy the rally.”
Jim McRae, who finished sixth overall in the National Ypres Historic Rally event and first in class in an Opel Ascona, presented the Colin McRae Trophy to Kevin and said: “The man who stood out among everyone else was Kevin Abbring. If he hadn’t had his mechanical problems definitely he would be the winner.”
In the race for the ERC title, Esapekka Lappi continues to head Craig Breen in the standings despite a car-wrecking crash on stage nine. The Finn and co-driver Janne Ferm were taken to hospital for precautionary checks but were later given the all clear. Breen also retired after myriad technical issues struck his 208T16. Lappi’s lead over Breen is now 33 points at the halfway point in the season.
Neil Simpson and Claire Mole were in the top 10 when the Fabia S2000 left the road on stage 14.