After five gravel rallies in a row, it will be a change in surface for the drivers to contend with this weekend as the asphalt returns with Ypres Rally Belgium.
It’s only the second time the World Rally Championship will visit the country in its history, following a successful maiden outing last year on the roads around Belgium’s West Flanders region.
Home hero Thierry Neuville will be keen to take his first win of the year, a dominant display on last year’s rally saw him victorious on home soil.
So, what’s in store for the drivers this year? Here’s all the key information ahead of the weekend.
Total 88 crews
10 Priority 1 crews
37 Priority 2 crews (WRC2)
7 Priority 3 crews (WRC3)
27 Non-priority crews
There are no driver swaps or major changes for any of the three teams heading to Belgium this weekend, aside from M-Sport, which is only bringing three cars to Ypres Rally as opposed to the five it took to Finland last time out.
Jari Huttunen heads back out of the M-Sport Rally1 camp after his outing on his home event, while Pierre-Louis Loubet will miss out this weekend’s rally as per his part-time WRC schedule with the team.
Hyundai’s lineup remains completely unchanged. Oliver Solberg will contest the rally in the team’s third seat before handing back over to Dani Sordo who will return for Acropolis Rally.
Toyota also bring an unchanged team with Esapekka Lappi back in the car once more.
|69||Kalle Rovanperä||Jonne Halttunen||Toyota GR Yaris Rally1|
|8||Ott Tänak||Martin Järveoja||Hyundai i20 N Rally1|
|11||Thierry Neuville||Martijn Wydaeghe||Hyundai i20 N Rally1|
|33||Elfyn Evans||Scott Martin||Toyota GR Yaris Rally1|
|18||Takamoto Katsuta||Aaron Johnston||Toyota GR Yaris Rally1|
|42||Craig Breen||Paul Nagle||Ford Puma Rally1|
|4||Esapekka Lappi||Janne Ferm||Toyota GR Yaris Rally1|
|44||Gus Greensmith||Jonas Andersson||Ford Puma Rally1|
|2||Oliver Solberg||Elliott Edmondson||Hyundai i20 N Rally1|
|16||Adrien Fourmaux||Renaud Jamoul||Ford Puma Rally1|
Championship leader Andreas Mikkelsen is back in the mix this weekend after missing Rally Finland and will be keen to bridge a gap between himself and championship rival Kajetan Kajetanowicz, who does not feature on the entry list for Ypres Rally.
Meanwhile Yohan Rossel returns after being absent from the past three rounds, he could make up ground on championship leader Mikkelsen should results go his way.
Perhaps the one they all need to beat is Freddy Loix, who has won Ypres Rally a staggering 11 times in the past. Another win could be very difficult in a Rally2 car, but don’t discount him from the WRC2 equation.
|20||Andreas Mikkelsen||Torstein Eriksen||Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo|
|21||Yohan Rossel||Valentin Sarreaud||Citroën C3 Rally2|
|22||Nikolay Gryazin||Konstantin Aleksandrov||Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo|
|23||Jari Huttunen||Mikko Lukka||Ford Fiesta Rally2|
|24||Stéphane Lefebvre||Andy Malfoy||Citroën C3 Rally2|
|25||Grégoire Munster||Louis Louka||Hyundai i20 N Rally2|
|28||Freddy Loix||Kris D’alleine||Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo|
|29||Marco Bulacia||Diego Vallejo||Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo|
|31||Chris Ingram||Craig Drew||Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo|
|35||Georg Linnamäe||James Morgan||Volkswagen Polo GTI R5|
In the WRC3 category, championship leader Sami Pajari is back in a Rally3 car after a second Rally2 appearance of the season on Rally Finland earlier this month, but he won’t be scoring championship points.
Instead, Jan Černý, Enrico Brazzoli and Zoltán László will vie for WRC3 honors.
But elsewhere in the class look out for Belgian legend Patrick Snijers who is armed with a Ford Fiesta Rally3.
|45||Jan Černý||Tom Woodburn||Ford Fiesta Rally3|
|46||Enrico Brazzoli||Manuel Fenoli||Ford Fiesta Rally3|
|47||Zoltán László||Tamás Kürti||Ford Fiesta Rally3|
The Ypres Rally brings 175 miles worth of stages for the drivers to complete, just eight miles shy of what last year’s event had in store.
Friday’s leg consists of eight stages that will be completed throughout the day. A first pass of Vleteren will start the rally off in the morning, before the short Langemark stage concludes the action early in the evening.
Saturday’s itinerary moves into the longer stages of the weekend with two passes each of Reninge, Dikkebus, Wijtschate and Hollebeke on the cards for the drivers. By the end of the day 83 miles will have been completed across the second leg.
This year’s final leg is completely different to the one seen in 2021, with the Spa-Francorchamps circuit not featuring on the itinerary for 2022.
Instead, the day will consist of four stages, starting off with a first pass of Watou, which will hold the third stage of the day, whilst Kemmelberg will be contested as the second stage of the final leg and also as the weekend’s powerstage.