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Thu 13 Jan 2022

Loix turns back clock with Monte return

Freddy Loix likes Rallye Monte-Carlo. Why wouldn’t he?

The Belgian cut his teeth competing on asphalt offering consistently inconsistent levels of grip. That’s right up the street of round one.

When the FIA World Rally Championship landed in his own backyard for last year’s Renties Ypres Rally Belgium, it was a source of some frustration that the former WRC star couldn’t find the time to compete. 

He’s changing that next week at Rallye Monte-Carlo (20 - 23 January), when he makes his first WRC start since 2004.

Loix, 51, will drive a ŠKODA Fabia Rally2 for Pieter Tsjoen’s team. Tsjoen will co-drive in the car. The pair completed a successful test, finishing second on a Belgian national event in November.

Loix’s last WRC visit to Monte might have been 18 years ago when he finished fifth in a factory Peugeot 307 WRC, but his ability in the French Alps has shone through more recently. He tackled the non-WRC counting Rallye Monte-Carlo in 2009 and 2011 and finished second overall on both occasions.

Prior to his Peugeot outing in 2004, Loix tackled the Monte twice with Hyundai, three times with Mitsubishi and once in a semi-works Toyota.

A pair of top-six finishes aboard a Lancer badged as a Carisma GT in 2000 and 2001 were a solid demonstration of his ability and affinity for an event he’s started nine times.

The amiable Belgian will face an uphill task as he starts his first Rallye Monte-Carlo in 11 years – and certainly chasing a third successive podium will be a very big ask, but if the weather cuts up rough and experience as well as speed is called for, Loix could be something of a dark horse in the WRC2 category.

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