Challenge

  • Few drivers and co-drivers have experience of Ypres’ stages and must acclimatise quickly to the characteristics of the narrow and fast lanes.
  • As a WRC newcomer, a tough recce awaits crews, who must prepare highly detailed pace notes from a blank piece of paper in only two passes through each stage.
  • Road conditions deteriorate with the passage of each car. Debris is pulled onto the surface as drivers cut corners to save vital tenths of a second.  
  • Rain is an omnipresent threat and ‘incredibly slippery’ are the two words we are likely to hear most frequently from stressed drivers at stage ends in such circumstances.
  • Big roadside ditches swallow up wayward cars which stray offline. Huge wooden telegraph poles are no less forgiving.

 

Car spec

  • An asphalt set-up in theory – but far removed from the specification used on smooth sealed-surface roads like Spain. Big compromises required for roads that will ressemble gravel rather than asphalt in places.
  • Pirelli’s P Zero rubber will be used in hard and soft compounds. The Cinturato RW tyre is on hand if heavy rain leaves standing water in the stages.