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Tue 16 Aug 2022

Belgium Countdown: Route + Maps

The pace is hot, the farm lanes are narrow, and the deep ditches which line the stages are famously unforgiving. When the WRC returns to asphalt at Ypres Rally Belgium this week (18 - 21 August), there will be little chance to pause for breath.

Round nine of the FIA World Rally Championship marks Belgium's second appearance on the calendar and a return to sealed-surface roads for the first time since the Croatia Rally in April.

Taxing stages in the Flanders region comprise an extremely compact route surrounding Ypres' bustling market square, which is transformed during rally week to host the teams. 

In a change from the usual WRC format, Thursday's Nieuwkerke (7.34km) shakedown takes place from 1600hrs in the afternoon and follows the traditional start ceremony in the town centre.

After a mid-morning start on Friday, competitors trace an anti-clockwise loop of four stages around Ypres, never straying far away from the atmospheric Grote Markt service park in the shadow of the Menin Gate war memorial.

Vleteren (11.97km) takes crews south to Westouter – Boeschepe (19.60km) and then on to Mesen - Middelhoek (7.99km), which starts in the cobblestone square of Belgium's smallest city. Langemark (8.95km) - which featured as last year's shakedown - rounds out the loop before the respite of service. 

The quartet is repeated in the afternoon before a return to service brings a frenetic day to a close.

Saturday's leg is even more compact, squeezing eight more treacherous tests covering 135.83km into a 269.05km route.

It begins with Reninge (15.00km), which is followed by Dikkebus (14.29km) and Wijtschate (15.00km). Hollebeke (22.32km) is the rally's longest stage and precedes service before the loop is repeated in the afternoon.

Rally Route: WRC Ypres Rally Belgium 2022

Sunday's closing leg is drastically changed from 2021 when crews headed for the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Instead, this year's finale remains in the Flanders region. 

Double runs of Watou (12.36km) and Kemmelburg (13.31km) are punctuated by a 20min service, with the second pass of Kemmelberg forming the bonus points-paying Wolf Power Stage. 

The 20 tests cover 281.58km.

  • Full coverage from Ypres Rally Belgium will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
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