Reigning Belgian champion, Stéphane Lefebvre has dominated qualifying, putting the shine on his number 1 plate during the three runs for the Qualifying Stage. The Frenchman will open the road in the Ardeca Ypres Rally on Friday.
The top drivers lived up to expectation as the first five qualifiers wear the top five starting numbers. The first cars to cross the starting podium on Friday behind Stéphane Lefebvre are: Adrien Fourmaux, the leader in the British Championship who was second in his Ford Fiesta in each part of qualifying. Third and fourth places go to the two protagonists of the Belgian Championship, namely Cédric Cherain (Hyundai i20 N Rally2) and Maxime Potty (Citroën C3 Rally2). They were the only four drivers to set a time under the 4 minute mark on the 7.34 km qualifying stage in Nieuwkerke.
Chris Ingram was fifth in his placed his Volkswagen Polo GTI prepared by Wevers Sport. West Flemish driver Bernd Casier, who hasn’t covered many kilometers yet this year, put himself in the spotlight with a sixth fastest time, setting the exact same time as Vincent Verschueren. Niels Reynvoet, Davy Vanneste and Jos “The Boss” Verstappen closed the top 10 and the Q3 runners.
In Q2, Pieter Tsjoen sent the Skoda Fabia RS to 11th place, which mirrors the start number of Freddy Loix and the number of victories Fast Freddy has in Ypres. Gilles Pyck parked his Hyundai i20 N Rally2 in a very impressive 12th place, ahead of the other youngsters Charles Munster and Junior Planckaert. Roger Hodenius was unlucky in Q2 with a puncture that cost him 4 minutes. The remaining 15 starters in Q1 take up starting positions 15 to 30 on the opening day of the Ardeca Ypres Rally, which kicks off on Friday with a ceremonial start at 3pm on the Markt in Ypres.