The Ypres Rally goes somewhere it’s never headed before for the final day: Belgium’s east!
A lengthy road section takes crews across the country to the Ardennes Forest and some very different roads.
There are just two stages, each run twice, and we got event organizer Club Superstage’s president Alain Penasse to preview what to expect.
SS17/19 Stavelot (5.62 miles)
Originally this stage was twice as long, but we had to cut it down – and change its name to Stavelot. This was because of the shortage of police in the area due to the recent flooding.
This one starts on a wide road winding up a hill for six kilometers, then we access the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps and drive on the perimeter roads to [Les] Combes where we will do the twisty downhill section before the flying finish at Blanchimont.
SS18/20 Francorchamps (6.97 miles)
The beginning of this stage is an old road from Boucles de Spa, but we are using it in the opposite direction to what we have seen before. It’s broken, bumpy Tarmac which is going to be quite slippery.
Another feature of the Sunday stage is, of course, the elevation. We have more hilly areas around Spa and we’ll see that in here. The final section of this stage – and of the event – comes to the circuit near the pitlane. We then use a small area of the paddock before going on track at La Source. From there it’s up to Raidillon for a hairpin left onto the joker element of the rallycross track for a couple of hundred meters of gravel.
The finish of the stage is right in front of the grandstand, which will make for a nice atmosphere if we have nice weather and a lot of people.