Ypres Rally Belgium winner Ott Tänak says there is “no question” the World Rally Championship needs events like Ypres Rally Belgium “where rallying is loved”.
Ypres featured as part of the WRC calendar for the second time this season following its debut in 2021.
There isn’t understood to be a deal between WRC Promoter and the Rally Ypres organizer for the event to remain in the championship, but it would be a shame if the WRC never returned according to Tänak.
“I mean there is no question that WRC needs these kinds of events where the people have this kind of passion with the rally,” he said.
“I mean, coming here, doing the stages, seeing these huge crowds it means it is the place that rally needs to be and where the rallying is loved.
“It is best for all of us, also the manufacturers love that people are here and it is great to be here.”
Ypres is a unique challenge for drivers with its deep cuts and menacing ditches, and has proved a tough nut to crack where previous experience pays real dividends.
Elfyn Evans explained: “I agree with what Ott said. OK, it is not the most exciting prospect to come to the stages on one hand because they are quite specialist.
“But obviously now, with a couple years of experience, they start to be a bit less new and a bit more familiar.
“But the service in the town square, the atmosphere all weekend and a proper itinerary as well, where there is a chance to get sleep on a night is not so bad!”
The rally’s more condensed itinerary – influenced by the stages being so close to service in the center of Ypres – particularly appealed to Esapekka Lappi.
“It feels like a historic rally,” he said.
“I did one last year, actually. It was part of the Finnish championship, European Historic Rally Championship. The time schedule was very similar.
“You have late mornings, long road sections in terms of times, not in terms of distance. It was really nice to wake up in the morning and you realized you recovered from the previous day. You are not shaking like I was in Finland.
“It is a very unique event in terms of the roads,” Lappi added. “I would not say I am a fan of it but maybe I should be now [after finishing on the podium]!
“It is about junctions and a lot cuts. It is a very unique event so let’s keep it in the calendar if I can do results like this!”