Loix wants fun in Ypres

Loix wants fun in YpresFrom Rally Ypres [ 05/06/2019 ].
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Freddy Loix returns to the start of the Renties Ypres Rally three years after taking his 11th win. At the end of June, he will line up with a Skoda Fabia R5 the newly formed - PTR, Pieter Tsjoen Racing. Between 1996 and 2016, Freddy Loix won no less than 11 times in Ypres, took 113 stage wins and the Limburger stood on the podium 14 times in total.

The breakthrough

Freddy Loix, together with current VW Motorsport boss Sven Smeets, shone in his outings in with an Opel Astra GSi. Then they surprised friend and foe with his first Ypres rally in a leading car, showing strongly against other world star's like Armin Schwarz. In 1996 with an identical official Toyota Celica GT-Fours, the German was had to cede to his Belgian rival with a gap of 2:44. Patrick Snijers was more than 5 minutes back in third.

"In 1995, I finished fourth in Ypres with the Opel Astra Gsi, ahead of many drivers in powerful 4x4s, such as Andrea Aghini, who finished fifth with a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo," says Freddy. "At that time we were driving with the bit between my teeth. A year later, in 1996, the same bit was in my teeth, only then we were driving a much faster top car. In Spa I had already been close to winning with the Toyota Celica GT-Four, but I made a small mistake there and because the reverse gear didn't work, we lost too much time, and in Ypres we drove at the same pace of the previous year, and it became quickly apparent, because we beat our teammate Armin Schwarz with 2:44!"

The victory record in Ypres, shared by Gilbert Staepelaere, Robert Droogmans and Patrick Snijers, stood at 4 for years. But, after 4 consecutive wins from 1996 to 1999, "Fast Freddy" equalled the record, which he would then take in 2008, when he took the Peugeot 207 Super 2000 to victory. But, his dominance with the Skoda Fabia's was really overwhelming. From 2010, on no less than 6 occasions, Loix was untouchable with the Czech machine. Freddy Loix experienced one of his most emotional moments in his career in the run-up to his participation ... and victory in 2013.

Invincible

"At that time I was driving a Ford Focus WRC in the Belgian Championship, but that car gave me little satisfaction," says Freddy. "I always won the races with a big lead and furthermore I didn't think the WRC was a" fast "car in cornering. I didn't get goosebumps at the wheel. Skoda Belgium offered me an offer in Ypres with an official, new Skoda Fabia Super Skoda Motorsport S2000. During the preparatory test session in Alveringem I drove a run to bring the machine up to temperature, and in the second run I went full speed right away, we drove up and down once and I returned to service. I literally started crying with happiness and adrenaline. Finally I had the feeling that I was driving a fast, perfect car. The reaction from Fred Miclotte was also clear: "Freddy, if you drive this pace in Ypres, then we will drive them all in one minute! "We won the rally by 1:21 ahead of Bryan Bouffier ... "

The secret

Freddy Loix will start at the end of June with a Skoda Fabia R5. Yet Freddy Loix is not aiming for a twelfth victory this year.

"No. When I stopped in 2016, I was looking forward to something else. In the meantime, I am in charge of an Aston Martin concession in Brussels and I have not been testing for Skoda Motorsport or Michelin this year. In short, I will miss competitive rhythm. It would not be normal if I could immediately beat the top champions of the Belgian Championship. Can I also just ride a rally for fun? I want to have fun in Ypres, although of course I will give the best of myself," concludes Loix.

And, can we finally know the secret to dominating in Ypres from Freddy himself?

"I revealed that after my last victory in Ypres. Everyone always thought and said that the fast corners made the difference in Ypres. That I used every inch of the road and therefore was faster in the fast turns where there were big cuts. But, no, I made the difference in the slow corners, in the countless T junctions, where you have to be very focused and drive as cleanly as possible to keep as much speed as possible in the car. If you are 1 km/h faster at the end of the corner, then after the next straight you can make a difference of 2 tenths of a second, which seems like nothing, but at the end of the stage you will have put a few seconds together. That makes the difference between winning and losing. It was good that everyone thought I was going to look for the difference in the fast corners, so my competitors often took even more risks and they made mistakes, while all the top drivers wanted to be fast had to dare to keep their foot down ... "

This year the master is competing against his student, Sébastien Bedoret, , the current official Skoda Belgium driver.

"That will certainly be a nice duel. Sébastien has a lot more rhythm and my presence will push him. We will at least test together and we also do our service side by side on the Grote Markt, so that I can give him tips. I look already looking forward to the fantastic weekend in Ypres! "