Great number of Super 2000 cars and top drivers Just one more month to go to the 2010 Geko Ypres Rally and we are starting to get a good picture of what the list of participants will look like. Some put their name down on Day One of the ...
Great number of Super 2000 cars and top drivers
Just one more month to go to the 2010 Geko Ypres Rally and we are starting to get a good picture of what the list of participants will look like. Some put their name down on Day One of the registrations but amongst the top drivers, we are still waiting for a few big names. The most important category is of course the Super 2000 category and we do have a nice crowd there already. We should even beat last year's record number of participants. At this moment already 27 cars have entered.
Skoda has confirmed that its usual factory drivers, Juho Hanninen and Jan Kopecky, will be in Ypres as well as Guy Wilks who gets the backing of Skoda UK. They will have fend off "mister Ypres Rally"- Freddy Loix - but also Bernd Casier who is always very fast on the roads around Ypres. We will also have some outsiders with a Skoda, such as Didier Van Wijnsberghe, Dutch champion Mark Van Eldik and Antonin Tlusak and Pavel Odlozilik, both participants to the European Rally Championship.
Shining WRC star Sebastien Ogier at the start
The main competitor of Skoda in Ypres will of course be Peugeot 207 Super 2000, especially the one with Kris Meeke behind the wheel, winner of the Ypres Rally in 2009. The man from Ireland will not be the only big name this year though as up-and-coming WRC star Sebastien Ogier will be on the starting grid too. The very fast Frenchman is looking forward to take the battle to the experienced S2000 drivers, just like he did at the Monte Carlo Rally earlier this year. The Belgian colours will be sported by Pieter Tsjoen and Patrick Snijers, both top specialists of the event, and Thierry Neuville who showed his great pace last year already in his then first ever rally with a Super 2000 car. The Peugeot gang will be completed by Bruno Magalhaes of Portugal, Daniel Oliveira of Brasil, Corrado Fontana of Italy, Austrian Franz Wittmann and the charming Burcu Cetinkaya of Turkey. The latter will have to fend off our Belgian flying lady, Melissa Debackere, to capture the "lady's trophee".
Ford is the new name in Super 2000 this year and they have decided to send Hankook driver Andreas Mikkelsen to the Geko Ypres Rally with an M-Sport Fiesta. Michal Solowow and Maciej Oleksowicz of Poland will both bring their own Fiesta S2000. The two official Protons Satria will be driven by Alistair McRae and Chris Atkinson. Both are former WRC factory drivers and Ypres will be a serious challenge for them. A third Proton will be driven by privateer Tom Cave.
So what about Abarth? Tim Van Parijs will be there, but so far we have not heard anything from the Italian side, although we do expect ERC contender and Ypres 2008 winner Luca Rossetti to come to Belgium. Maybe he will also bring his team mate, and also former Ypres winner (2006), Giandomenico Basso.
Things are really looking good in the Super 2000 category as well for quality and numbers. This should again be a top year!