› Norwegians Andreas Mikkelsen/Torstein Eriksen of ŠKODA Motorsport-backed team Toksport WRT top WRC2 entries at the FIA World Rally Championship’s ninth round
› ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo driver Chris Ingram (GBR) wants to close the gap to WRC2 Junior category overall leader and Toksport WRT teammate Emil Lindholm (FIN)
› With five rallies left, ŠKODA drivers dominate the WRC2 Drivers’, WRC2 Junior and WRC2 Masters classifications
Mladá Boleslav, 18 August 2022 – At Ypres Rally Belgium (18 – 21 August 2022), Andreas Mikkelsen and co-driver Torstein Eriksen aim for their fourth WRC2 victory of the season. The Norwegians of ŠKODA Motorsport-backed team Toksport WRT start into the FIA World Rally Championship’s ninth round as leaders of the WRC2 Drivers’ standings. In the WRC2 Junior category, ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo crew Chris Ingram/Craig Drew from Great Britain are among the favourites.
After eight of 13 rounds, various WRC2 rankings are dominated by ŠKODA drivers. In the WRC2 Drivers’ overall classification, defending champion Andreas Mikkelsen from Norway (79 points) leads Kajetan Kajetanowicz from Poland (76 points) and Emil Lindholm from Finland (64 points). At the ninth round, Ypres Rally Belgium, Mikkelsen is chasing his fourth WRC2 victory of the season. Sharing a Toksport WRT run ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo with fellow Norwegian Torstein Eriksen, Mikkelsen already won the WRC2 category at Rallye Monte-Carlo, Rally Sweden and Rally Estonia. Kajetanowicz and co-driver Maciej Szczepaniak drove a ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo of LOTOS Rally Team to WRC2 victory at Safari Rally Kenya.
Reigning Finnish champions Emil Lindholm/Reeta Hämäläinen contributed the sixth WRC2 win of the season for ŠKODA by taking top spot of the category at their home rally. The Toksport WRT youngsters were declared WRC2 winners after the provisional winners were disqualified for a technical infringement.
Lindholm also won the WRC2 Junior class at Rally Finland, promoting him to the overall lead in this class reserved for drivers not older than 30 years. Lindholm (83 points) currently leads this classification from three other drivers of ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo: Briton Chris Ingram (67 points), Nikolay Gryazin (61 points) and Miko Marczyk from Poland (59 points). As each WRC2 competitor can score points on not more than seven rallies, Lindholm decided not to take part in the Belgian WRC round. That gives former FIA European Rally Champion and current WRC2 Junior runner-up Chris Ingram the chance, to close the gap to his Toksport WRT teammate.
One of the fans‘ favourites is multiple Belgian champion Freddy Loix, with eleven wins record holder at the former Ypres Rally. Loix is campaigning a ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo of team PTR Racing with co-driver Pieter Tsjoen in the WRC2 Masters class reserved for drivers 50 years and older. Loix is currently second in the WRC2 Masters classification behind Mauro Miele from Italy. The driver of a Dream One Racing prepared ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo is not competing at Ypres Rally Belgium.
Ypres Rally Belgium is run as part of the FIA World Rally Championship only for the second time. Its challenge are narrow and extremely bumpy tarmac roads lined by drainage ditches and telegraph poles. Due to excessive corner cutting, the asphalt is often heavily covered with gravel or even mud. These unique conditions ask for detailed pace notes and a precise racing line.
The Belgian WRC round starts on Thursday afternoon (18 August) with the official test called Shakedown. 20 special stages totalling 281.58 kilometres follow from Friday to Sunday. The finish welcomes the winner on Sunday afternoon in Ypres. The picturesque village in the West Flanders province also hosts the service park.
Did you know, that…
…the event formerly known as Ypres Rally was first held in 1965 and until 2016 counted towards the FIA European Rally Championship?
…the event, this year under the name of ARDECA Ypres Rally Belgium, is part of the FIA World Rally Championship calendar only since 2020, though due to the pandemic the debut was postponed to 2021?
…that Belgian Freddy Loix took six of his record eleven Ypres Rally victories at the wheel of a ŠKODA FABIA?
Top 3 WRC2 Drivers’ classification (before Ypres Rally Belgium)
1. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 79 points
2. Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 76 points
3. Emil Lindholm (FIN), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 64 points
Top 3 WRC2 Junior classification (before Ypres Rally Belgium)
1. Emil Lindholm (FIN), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 83 points
2. Chris Ingram (GBR), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 67 points
3. Nikolay Gryazin (ANA), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 61 points
Top 3 WRC2 Masters classification (before Ypres Rally Belgium)
1. Mauro Miele (ITA), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 85 points
2. Freddy Loix (BEL), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 65 points
3. Jean-Michel Raoux (FRA), Volkswagen Polo GTi Rally2, 52 points
2022 FIA World Rally Championship
|Rallye Monte-Carlo||20 - 23 January|
|Rally Sweden||24 - 27 February|
|Rally Croatia||21 - 24 April|
|Rally Portugal||19 - 22 May|
|Rally Italy Sardinia||2 - 5 June|
|Safari Rally Kenya||23 - 26 June|
|Rally Estonia||14 - 17 July|
|Rally Finland||4 - 7 August|
|Ypres Rally Belgium||18 - 21 August|
|Acropolis Rally Greece||8 - 11 September|
|Rally New Zealand||29 September - 2 October|
|RallyRACC Rally de España||20 - 23 October|
|Rally Japan||10 - 13 November|