Geko Ypres Rally
Round 5, Belgium
Geko Ypres Rally has made itself a strong reputation to attrack a start studded entry field and an army of spectator. The spectator friendly atmosphere on the stages and in the servicepark guarantees the high numbers of visitors each year. In 1976 the rally became part of the European Championship and since 2006 one of the pioneer events of the International Rally Challenge. This year we signed a three year contract with Eurosport Events.
The heart of the rally is located in the bustling and historic town center of Ypres, famous for its typical architecture and impressive town square where the servicepark is located throughout from Wednesday on. This year’s event is as usual a very compact asphalt rally full of new developments but above all one that enables us to dwap up a efficient safety plan in order to give accesss to as many spectators as possible to the stages in an orderly controlled manner that does not jeopardize the safety of the rally.
The introduction of the popular „Spectator Arenas” along the stages was most welcomed by the spectators who got spoiled with rally radio, result service and catering and toilet facilities. It is our ambition to develop this rallyadicted tool to another dimension and host the more than 60.000 spectators in an enjoyable atmosphere.
The starting field counted last year 97 competitors from 21 different countries and with 13 different car brands. Local hero Freddy Loix gained his six overall victory in Ypres after a stunning drive, beating his team mate Jan Kopecky in another works Skoda Fabia S2000. Talented Thierry Neuville completed the podium.
Last year we managed to put in place an unique system where we were able to transmit nearly all stages live onto the big screens in the servicepark and the 22 restaurants situated on the main square. Also the results were permanently projected through this media channel.
Ypres becomes every year the place to be to a significant number of journalists. In 2010 we saw a media attendance of 275 accredited journalists from 16 European countries.
The show weekend of „Geko Ypres Rally” starts on Thursday 23 June with the scrutineering followed by the shakedown in Nieuwkerke in the evening. On Friday afternoon we have a drivers gathering with autograph session in the „Rally Village” of our servicepark. The rally will be run on Friday 24 evening and Saturday 25 June including 290 kms of SS on twisty asphalt surface of various qualities.