gatheringBelgium has finally been allowed to stage a round of the World Rally Championship. Not quite into sports? No thanks on duty. Below is a WRC crash course for dummies. Five questions and five answers
• What is the World Rally Championship or WRC?
There are almost two separate disciplines in motorsport: track racing and rally competition. The World Rally Championship or World Rally Championship is what F1 means to track races: the absolute pinnacle. Where F1 came to our country from the start in 1950, the arrival of the World Rally Championship in Belgium this year is the first ever. The World Rally Championship was created in 1973 and our country had never seen a round before. The most famous World Cup races are Monte Carlo, Safari or Rally Finland. The World Rally Championship consists of 12 to 14 rounds per year, with the same F1 grades. Whoever gets the most points is the world champion.
• What is the World Cup Rally?
Unlike races on a track, such as the Grand Prix F1, a rally consists of a number of time trials or special stages (KPs) that participants complete individually. For a world championship race, the distance is a good 300 km against the chrono, split into about 20 separate KPs over three days. Rally racing can be conducted on both unpaved and asphalt roads, so in the case of Ypres it is asphalt. The first cars on the track will be the top performers in the WRC or WRC, including Thierry Neuville.
• Why are there two people in a rally car?
Because only two explorations are possible on a rally track (with a road car with a top speed of 70 km/h!). As a result, the driver does not know the track, unlike Formula One drivers who can solve an infinite number of laps and learn the course by heart. That is why the rally driver calls the co-driver or navigator who, as it were, “reads” the track using the feedback system. Every road detail is recorded in this system. Winning a rally is the work of two people in the car between whom they must have absolute confidence. The duo often stays together for a long time, but at the beginning of this year Thierry Neuville changed the co-driver.
• Where will the Belgian World Cup match be held?
On Friday and Saturday afternoons there are sixteen stages on the roster at Ypres and another four on Sunday around the F1 circuit in Francorchamps. On Friday there is the opening stage Reninge-Vleteren, followed by KPs from Westouter-Boeschepe, Kemmelberg and Zonnebeke. Each test is completed twice. Saturday starts with the KP of Hollebeke, the longest running rally rally. Follow Dikkebus, Watou and Mesen-Middelhoek. Focus shifts 300km east on Sunday for a final around the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps with four stages including the Power Stage. The trials are open to the public, subject to necessary COVID conditions.
• Are there Belgian participants in Ypres?
Of course, of course! In addition to the Neuville-Wydaeghe (Hyundai) duo, there is one Belgian co-driver in Class One WRC, Renaud Jamoul. He’s sitting next to young French promise Adrien Fourmaux in a Ford Fiesta WRC. In addition, this race is also a round of the Belgian Rally Championship with all the big Belgian names such as Peter Tesjoen, Chris Prinsen, Vincent Verschoren…
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