Rovanpera heads to Belgium with a 94-point lead over nearest rival Ott Tanak, who finished second behind the Hyundai driver at Rally Finland two weeks ago, leaving the 2019 world champion second in the drivers’ standings.
However, if Rovanpera wants to become the youngest world champion in the world in Belgium, he needs to win the rally and beat the problem of the Hyundai pair Tanak and hot rally favorite Thierry Neuville.
If Rovanpera can extend his lead to 121 points, the 21-year-old will secure the championship with four rounds to go.
For example, if Rovanpera wins the rally and power rankings, Tanak would need to finish ninth and fifth in the power standings, while Neuville, one point behind Tanak in the championship, would need to finish eighth and fifth in the race. power level.
Rovanpera finished third in last year’s Ypres Rally, 43.1s behind eventual winner Neuville. Rovanpera, however, found success on asphalt this year with a victory at Rally Croatia in April.
Newville He leads the local road race, having won twice before in 2018 and 2021. Breen in 2010 In 2019, it is said that he will lead the charge of M-Sport by winning the competition.
Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images
What is Rally Belgium?
Ypres Rally Belgium
The rally follows fast, narrow and winding asphalt country roads lined with narrow junctions lined with potholes.
The event became a mainstay of the European Rally Championship, alongside the Belgian and British National Championships and the now defunct Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Last year the rally joined the WRC for the first time when the round served as a replacement for Rally Northern Ireland after organizers were unable to secure the necessary funding.
Rally Belgium winners
Ypres Rally Belgium has been dominated by local drivers for years, with 39 of the 56 editions won by a Belgian driver.
Former factory WRC driver Freddie Loix is the most prolific with 11 wins (1996-1999, 2008, 2010-2011, 2013-2016).
Previous winners include two-time world champion Walter Rohr in 1976 and the late Henri Toivo (1984). Jimmy McRae, Tony Curre and Chris Meeke are among the Britons who have enjoyed success, with Ireland’s Craig Breen winning in 2019.
Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville has won the rally twice with his last win in 2021, marking his first full WRC start at the event.
Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC
Photo by: Toyota Racing
Rally Belgium itinerary
This year’s edition will be contested over 20 stages covering 281.58 km in three days.
Thursday, August 18
Shakedown – starts 1501 BST – 1601 local
Friday, August 19 (8 stages – 97.02 km)
Phase 1 – Phase 8 – Starts 0916 BST – 1016 local
Saturday, August 20 (8 stages – 133.22 km)
Stage 9 – Stage 16 – Starts 0913 BST – 1013 local
Sunday, August 21 (4 stages – 43.92 km)
Level 17 – Level 20 – Final Level Starts 1218 BST – 1318 Local
Rally Belgium Entry List (Rally1) – Road Order
Rally Belgium shows 88 entries titled 10 Rally1 cars.
#69 Kalle Rovanpera/Jonne Halttunen – Toyota Gazoo Racing – GR Yaris Rally1#8 Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja – Hyundai Motorsport – i20 N Rally1#11 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe – Hyundai Motorsport – i20 N Rally1#33 Elfyn – Toyota Gazoo Racing – GR Yaris Rally1#18 Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston – Toyota Gazoo Racing – GR Yaris Rally1#42 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle – M-Sport Ford World Rally Team – Puma Rally1#4 Isapecka Lappi/Jan Ferm – Toyota Gazoo Racing – GR Yaris Rally1#44 Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson – M-Sport Ford World Rally Team – Puma Rally1#2 Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson – Hyundai Motorsport – i20 N Rally1#16 Adrien Fourmaux/Alexandre Coria – M-Sport Ford World Rally Team – Puma Rally1
The field includes four-time world champion Juha Kankunen, who will pilot the hydrogen-powered GR Yaris on one stage each race day.
Former Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen is set to make his WRC debut in a Rally2-spec Citroen C3.
Ot Tanak, Martin Gervoja, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
Photo by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport
What’s new for the WRC in 2022?
This year marks the introduction of new Rally1 regulations designed to make the WRC more sustainable and attract new manufacturers. Hyundai, Toyota and M-Sport Ford designed and built new cars around a new, reliable steel space chassis.
The biggest change to the cars is the mandatory 100kW hybrid unit paired with a 1.6-litre turbocharged internal combustion engine, the only key component carried over from the previous generation of cars. At the same time, this allows the power plant to develop 500bhp which is used in short bursts at every level.
Cars will weigh 70 kg more than the previous ones, this is mainly due to the addition of the hybrid system. In total, Rally1 machines weigh approximately 1260kg.
The new regulations effectively eliminated additional aero equipment such as wings and fins added to the bodywork outside the front spoiler and rear wing. The resulting overall reduction and impact on the car is reduced by approximately 15% compared to the previous generation of vehicles.
The trick center differentials used to adjust handling are now suspended in favor of simple front and rear mechanical limited-slip differentials to provide a permanent 50:50 toque split between the front and rear wheels. Suspension travel has been reduced to 270 mm.
How does the Rally1 hybrid system work?
Drivers will have a hybrid powertrain at each stage, with power boosts activated by the throttle pedal and additional boosts unlocked by regenerative braking in stages.
When pilots touch the throttle pedal, they are required to regenerate 30 kilojoules of energy before another boost is given.
The additional 130 horsepower is provided by the use of three identical homologated engine maps selected by the group depending on the type and condition of the stage.
As determined by the FIA and event organizers, drivers are required to navigate all road sections and event service parks in electric mode.
In full electric mode the car has a range of 20 kilometers, the 3.9KWH battery can be charged at up to 750 volts in the service park in 30 minutes. The composite part can withstand the impact of 70G.
The cars are 100% sustainable fuel.
Gus Greensmith, Chris Patterson, M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Fiesta WRC
Photo by: M-Sport
How can I follow Rally Belgium?
Motorsport.com offers reports, interviews and reaction.
Motorsport.tv will have regular highlights during and after each round of the WRC in 2022.
WRC Plus All Live provides live coverage from every stage.
BT Sport will feature daily highlights from every event this season.
Free to stream UK TV
ITV4 will broadcast highlights on Tuesday 23 August.
Podium: Winner Thierry Neuville, Martijn Weidage, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, second Craig Breen, Paul Nagel, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, third Kalle Rovanpera, John Halttun, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC
Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images