Pieter Tsjoen debuts his own team

Pieter Tsjoen debuts his own teamFrom Rally Ypres [ 11/06/2019 ].
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Eight-time Belgian rally champion Pieter Tsjoen will read the notes for Freddy Loix in the Skoda Fabia R5 prepared by PTR, the new Pieter Tsjoen Racing team. Moving to the role of team boss, Tsjoen as a driver, won the Ypres Rally in 2001, together with his uncle Steven Vergalle in a Toyota Corolla WRC. His tally remained with just one Ypres victory as a pilot.

"From 2003 we were no longer allowed to drive a WRC in Ypres, so I always had to rent another car for that race and adapt," says the East Flemish businessman. "The period with the Super 1600s was particularly difficult, because I was used to a WRC with its turbo engine, while in Ypres I suddenly had to drive a staged S1600 with only front-wheel drive. I was on the podium a few times, but in the end Freddy was Loix a bit too strong, I have always admired Freddy, now Thierry Neuville is the best rally rider Belgium has ever known, but as a young rider I looked up at Freddy Loix, who performed well in the World Championship. For me, titles were conquered, but Freddy was still of a different level. He proved that in Ypres. "

The bond with Freddy Loix has always been special, because in 2007 Pieter Tsjoen temporarily put an end to his career in Ypres and he gave Freddy Loix the opportunity to replace him in the Abarth Grande Punto S2000. It was the start of Freddy Loix's second career.

"I remember that well. Pieter called me to talk. We agreed to stop at Café Het Vervolg on the Markt and he announced that he would stop. I had the opportunity to take over his program with the Abarth S2000. Really a unique gesture," says Freddy Loix.

"Yes, I always appreciated Freddy very much. When we were still competitors, he was always very open. When I asked him about the adjustments, he always gave tips. You have to be very sure of that because there are few drivers that dare help their competitors go faster. Freddy never made it a problem to give someone good advice, "says Pieter Tsjoen. "That is why I once wanted to ride together with Freddy. This year all the pieces of the puzzle fell together. The Ypres organisation wants us to start, Skoda helps and both Freddy and I are looking forward to it."

It will be a remarkable start for Pieter Tsjoen Racing, the new team that founded the eight-time Belgian champion.

"Unfortunately we cannot start with a Fabia R5 Evo, because it will be delivered later this year. That is why I bought an almost new Skoda Fabia R5 from Erik Wevers, a car with the latest specifications."

Pieter Tsjoen and Freddy Loix have also practiced taking notes.

"I have already mastered his note system and we are also going to participate in Wervik before the start to gain rhythm. That will be our biggest handicap, that lack of rhythm. With age, you also need more time to get into the rhythm. But I have no doubt that Freddy will be fast. Does he say that we will not start to win? That makes sense because of course he does not have much rhythm. But, I do not know any driver who does not drive to finish as high as possible, "laughs Pieter Tsjoen. "I'm aiming for a good result in Ypres."

Together, Freddy Loix and Pieter Tsjoen are good for 12 Belgian rally titles and as many victories in Ypres as pilots. There is no better challenge for the new generation of rally drivers who want to follow in the footsteps of these great champions.