IRC Skydive Dubai Rally Team set to take part in historic Belgian Ypres Rally
Geko Ypres Rally, June 21-23, 2012
Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), round 6
For immediate release
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
SKYDIVE DUBAI RALLY TEAM SET TO TAKE
PART IN HISTORIC BELGIAN YPRES RALLY
· Norwegian Mikkelsen set for renewed battle with Czech Jan Kopecky
· Belgium’s vice Prime Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne set to compete
YPRES (Belgium): The Skydive Dubai Rally Team duo of Rashid Al-Ketbi and Khalid Al-Kendi will take part in one of the most famous special stage rallies in the European Championship calendar, when they tackle the Geko Ypres Rally, round six of this year’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), at the weekend.
A former co-efficient 20 round of the European Rally Championship and one of the most popular tarmac rallies in European motor sport, the Ypres Rally is based at the historic town of Ypres (Ieper in Flemish), scene of some of the fiercest fighting in the Great War of 1914-1918.
Al-Ketbi and Al-Kendi arrived in Belgium from Sicily and will take part in the two-day event at the wheel of their Skoda Fabia S2000. They will tackle 18 timed special stages over a competitive distance of 287.66km in a total route of 669.33km. They eventually finished 21st overall in last week’s shortened event.
Belgian action gets underway with the ceremonial start in Ypres at 16.25hrs on Friday afternoon and six special stages will take the leading crews up to sunset, with some of the back-markers finishing the special stages in darkness. Three special stages – Dikkebus, Westouter and Mesen-Sauvegarde – will be used twice before crews enter the overnight parc ferme halt shortly after nightfall.
Action resumes on Saturday morning at 10.43hrs with three runs through the rural Heuvelland, Vieteren-Krombeke and Watou stages that are repeated on Saturday evening after four different special stages across other Belgian agricultural terrain.
The rally action, split by several service stops at the Ypres rally centre, reaches a conclusion with the second Kemmelberg stage at 21.47hrs. The podium will take place from 22.30hrs (00.30hrs Sunday UAE time) on Saturday night.
“We don’t know anything about the special stages ourselves but we hear that they are narrow and there are a lot of corners,” said co-driver Al-Kendi.
“It is a long rally, a hard one and there are a lot of good drivers. We will try our best. It will be very hard for everyone to concentrate and get back to racing after the tragic accident last week. Gareth (Roberts) was one of the nicest people I have met in the IRC and everyone at the Skydive Dubai Rally Team sends their condolences to his friends and family.”
Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen and Czech rival Jan Kopecky are the current IRC front-runners and fractions of a second separated the Skoda duo in last weekend’s ill-fated Targa Florio in Italy. Finland’s Juho Hanninen and the Belgian duo of veteran (Mini) Patrick Snijers and Freddy Loix (Peugeot) add spice to the contest.
Adding spice to the bumper Belgian entry list, Belgium’s vice Prime Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne will navigate a Belgian driver in a Volkswagen Polo S2000, making him the first ever minister to take part in an IRC event.
The Skydive Dubai Rally Team duo is running in the 2012 IRC under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council,
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, UK mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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