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Ypres Rally Belgium (WRC) - 13-15 Aug 21

Posted: August 1, 2021 11:30 AM - 1437 Hits

Counting Round - 2021 World Rally Championship

McErlean “fully focused” on upcoming World Rally Championship outing

Posted: August 1, 2021 11:30 AM

Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy ace Josh McErlean believes next month’s Renties Ypres Rally (13-15 August) is the best chance of securing a top FIA World Rally Championship result in 2021 as he is set to tackle the Belgian event in a Hyundai i20 R5.

The Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing driver will tackle his second WRC qualifier of the year and will head to the event fresh from an outing in the FIA European Rally Championship last weekend in Italy; Rally di Roma Capitale (23 -25 July).

The 21-year-old from Kilrea, Co. Derry and co-driver Keaton Williams showed an impressive pace on the tough Italian roads which are famed for suiting the local drivers and was running inside the top-twenty before getting caught out on a tricky section of the final loop of the event, forcing the Hyundai off the road.

But McErlean is quick to take the positives away from his performance in Italy.

“There is no hiding it was a tough event for us and of course ending the rally off the road is really disappointing, but we have plenty to focus on as we continue to rack up our experience of events like this and the unique European roads,” said McErlean.

“We encountered a few issues but I`m proud of how we overcame them, and our speed really did progress throughout the rally. That’s a key metric for me and it’s well known that mastering the Italian tarmac is a fine art. It was my mistake that put us out, but overall it’s been a great start to the year and only a minor blip when I look towards the future. Keaton, the PCRS Rallysport team and my backers have been so supportive and have been superb all weekend. Now we re-set and go again”.

Proving his pace on both surfaces, McErlean has enjoyed an impressive run of form this season, with a sensational third overall at the Olympus Rally in America and Rally di Alba in Italy. He also scooped fifth in the WRC3 category of the gruelling of Rally de Portugal which also marked his last outing in the WRC in May.

And McErlean won’t have long to wait to return to the WRC tour as the Ypres Rally, the next event in his busy schedule takes place in just a few weeks and the progressive youngster is eager to make a return to the country which he has visited twice before as part of his Junior British Rally Championship campaign.

The Belgium event will see a change of co-driver, as James Fulton steps into the seat as Williams is unavailable due to other commitments.

“It’s a really quick turnaround and I`m super excited to be heading back to Belgium to compete. Being in the WRC again is fantastic and I’m eager to build the relationship with James in the car".

"It’s nice to finally have some previous experience of the roads we will be competing on and that really does boost the confidence to push on. It’s the first time it has been a WRC round as well, so I think there is a lot of unknowns about the event but to be part of the atmosphere and experience is a true privilege. I`ve been looking forward to this for a long time now and should be a great chance for a result”.

“We are going to come back stronger and I`m fully focused on getting a strong result and that’s only been possible thanks to the support of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy and all my partners for helping us to get there, they have been incredible. It’s an exciting adventure that is only just beginning”.

Entry List

Posted: July 30, 2021 6:29 AM

Bernard Degroote Ypres Historic Rally to run on Sunday, June 27

Posted: March 28, 2021 9:18 AM

After 27 events as part of the Ypres Rally, the 28th Bernard Degroote Ypres Historic Rally will be held separately on Sunday 27 June. On the last weekend of June, the Market in Ypres will provide that typical rally atmosphere once again.

The Renties Ypres Rally Belgium moves to the weekend of 13 to 15 August, but this year the Markt in Ypres will be dominated by rally cars throughout the last weekend of June. The 28th edition of the Bernard Degroote Ypres Historic Rally will be held on Sunday 27 June on a course with three different special stages. The start and finish podium will be on the Markt in Ypres, where the participants will be welcomed on Saturday and Sunday.

In 1993 the first edition of the Ypres Historic Rally was won by the Brits Geoffrey Crabtree and Liz Jordan in a Porsche 911. A year later, former World Champion Bjorn Waldegard was the fastest, again with a Porsche 911. The Bernard Degroote Ypres Historic Rally has become a classic with an international pedigree. In 2021, the rally will count for the Historic Belgian Championship and will be organised separately in Ypres.

"For Club Superstage it felt strange not to organise a rally in Ypres at the end of June. That is why we have chosen, in consultation with the city council, to organise the Bernard Degroote Ypres Historic Rally on our traditional date at the end of June," said Jan Huyghe from Club Superstage. "With this, we create an additional event to support the local hospitality industry and for our organisation, it is an ideal warm-up for the WRC round in mid-August."

On 27 June, the Historic drivers will be put in the spotlight on the stage on the Markt in Ypres. A cosy, rally atmosphere is assured.

Renties Ypres Rally Belgium to take place on 13 to 15 August 2021

Posted: March 28, 2021 9:18 AM

After it was officially announced last week that the Renties Ypres Rally Belgium will feature in the FIA ??World Rally Championship this year, we now know the date of the event. The Renties Ypres Rally Belgium will be held from 13 to 15 August 2021.

It took some juggling and consultation with the parties involved and with organisers of other motorsport events on that date. But the decision has been made: the Renties Ypres Rally Belgium will start on Friday, 13 August and the winner of the very first Belgian round of the FIA ??World Rally Championship will be crowned on the finish podium on Sunday, 15 August.

The City of Ypres is very proud to welcome the FIA ??World Rally Championship.

"When we were forced to cancel the 2020 edition in October last year due to the health crisis, it was a serious blow. We are very happy and proud that we will have the opportunity to receive the FIA ??World Rally Championship in our city. It took some organising to find a suitable date, but after consultation with all parties, we arrived on the weekend of August 13-15. This is a huge boost for tourism because it puts Ypres in the international spotlight. Last year, reservations for overnight stays poured in en masse and that will undoubtedly be more so this year with this date in full summer," said Diego Desmadryl, Alderman for Economy, SMEs, Tourism and Events for the City of Ypres.

"For us as an organisation it is a great date, as for many people it is a long weekend and we fall in the middle of the school holidays. Moreover, this date is also ideal for the Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, where two weeks later the GP Formula 1 is on the program." says Jan Huyghe on behalf of the organiser Club Superstage.

Mayor Emmily Talpe is also delighted: “Now that the vaccination campaign has started, we have high hopes that more will be possible this summer. Together with many others, I am already looking forward to another rally weekend in our city. The fact that the rally will continue as a World Championship round, the first ever in our country, is the culmination of a close collaboration between the organisation and the city of Ypres. A collaboration that has been going on for over 50 years. We are very honoured to be the host city. It will be a great promotion for Ypres, both at home and abroad.”

A little piece of advice: don't wait too long to plan your trip to Ypres!

The FIA World Rally Championship in August in Ypres

Posted: January 14, 2021 3:13 PM

Never say never again. The FIA World Rally Championship is coming to our country after all. The Renties Ypres Rally Belgium will count for the World Rally Championship in August. This will be the first time in history that a round of the World Rally Championship will be held in Belgium.

Well, that's it! Two months after Club Superstage had to cancel the penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship 2020 with pain in its heart due to the second wave of the Covid pandemic, the joint efforts of the many volunteers have not been in vain. Initially the Renties Ypres Rally Belgium was nominated as a reserve round for 2021, but today Belgium’s top rally has definitively gained a place on the 2021 FIA WRC Calendar.

"Following the cancellation of the rally at the end of October, we remained in close contact with the FIA and WRC Promoter, emphasising that our event was ready to take its place on the WRC calendar," said Alain Penasse, President of Club Superstage. "Our employees had proved that they could switch quickly and organise a WRC event at short notice. We will be able to welcome the FIA World Rally Championship in Ypres for the first time in mid-August! Broadly speaking, we will use last year's format again. This was clearly appreciated by the participants, as the registration list for the 2020 edition looked impressive with 140 teams registered".

The Renties Ypres Rally Belgium is traditionally held at the end of June, but the 2021 World Championship fixture will be held in August.

"Of course we had to take into account the other dates on the FIA WRC 2021 calendar. In August we will replace the UK round. We also had to take into account the availability of the market in Ypres and the possibilities at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, where the GP Formula 1 will be held at the end of August. That's why mid-August seems ideal," concludes Alain Penasse.

The FIA World Rally Championship coming to Ypres in August will give a huge boost to tourism and catering in the region.

"The tourism and hospitality sector has been severely hit by the Covid pandemic. By bringing the World Championship to Ypres, the Renties Ypres Rally Belgium will give a tremendous boost to the hospitality and tourism sector in the region. Now that vaccinations are starting in our country, everyone hopes to be able to enjoy their regained freedom again this summer. This will certainly create a unique atmosphere on the Market Square in Ypres and along the special stages," says Jan Huyghe, director of Club Superstage.

The worldwide interest of fans in the Renties Ypres Rally Belgium was enormous two months ago. This summer they will be served at the Renties Ypres Rally Belgium, a historic event for the Belgian sports world.

Event Website

Posted: January 14, 2021 3:09 PM

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