Compact and spectacular course, 23 special stages, 50% against the clock While the registrations for the Renties Ypres Rally are flowing in at VZW SuperStage, it is high time to present the competition in detail. Similar to each year, the course has been fine tuned to guarantee the necessary revamping. As such for Belgian and foreign drivers it remains a challenge to discover the traps during the recces and to make up the speed difference on the small narrow roads.
The competitive part kicks-off on Thursday evening with the renowned Qualifying Stage and shakedown in Nieuwkerke. Following two recces of the 5,37 km special stage, as from 19.35hrs the Gold-entries will have the opportunity to produce a top time. The 15 fastest drivers will be allowed on Friday midday to choose their starting position. For the other entrants (Gold Entry – RGT & RC2) the result of the QS becomes their starting position.
Following the starting position Friday midday on the podium in Ypres, the first competitor will drive over the start podium at 16.20hrs. They then head off in the direction of… Langemark, the competition’s new opening stage. This stage will only be held as the opening special stage on Friday evening, after which two passages are foreseen for the Historics.
The loop then continues with the SS of Dikkebus, Dranouter, Mesen and a slightly shortened version of Hollebeke. The stage at Dranouter recaptures part of the former “Heuvelland” stage and that of the shakedown.
Following servicing in Ypres, a second passage follows inkkebus, Dranouter, Mesen and Hollebeke.
Over the years it has become apparent that the opening evening in Ypres, representing more than 91,73 km at speed, can be decisive. Numerous times in the past record holder Freddy Loix mentioned that the driver who clocked up the fastest time in Langemark stood a good chance of winning..
New stage in Vleteren
After a good night’s rest, as from 10.00hrs on Saturday some 14 special stages and 186,82 km against the clock are on the menu. The day kicks-off with the 15 km long stage on the Kemmelberg, since last year renowned for its two jumps. Last year several drivers were taken by surprise. This is then followed by Zillebeke, a stage whose finish has been altered, and Zonnebeke, with a new start and especially a revised finale close to the centre of Ypres, so that after a short liaison the competitors can regain the Markt for the servicing.
The second half loop includes 4 stages, beginning with a shortened and in the beginning a revised version of Reninge. This is followed by the brand new timed run of Vleteren and the known classic in Watou and Westouter-Boeschepe, the longest stage.
After two loops the winner of the Renties Ypres Rally 2018 will on French soil, at the finish in Boeschepe, be able to pop the champagne cork, prior to being celebrated with fireworks on the always full of atmosphere finish podium on the Grote Markt in Ypres.
Rendezvous on Friday 22ndand Saturday 23rdJune for a top-of-the-bill Renties Ypres Rally 2018, a battle between Belgian, British and international outsiders of a top level in Flanders Fields!