Toyota Gazoo Racing’s title-chasing duo Elfyn Evans and Sébastien Ogier will prepare for Renties Ypres Rally Belgium by tackling the country’s Hemicuda Rally this month.
The one-day event on 25 October is based in the small town of Koekelare, close to Belgium’s North Sea coast in the north-west of the country. It comprises three loops of three asphalt stages covering almost 90km.
It will offer vital seat time for the Yaris World Rally Car pair, neither of whom have competed before in Ypres, which makes its FIA World Rally Championship debut on 19 – 22 November as the penultimate round.
A team spokesperson confirmed: “We are entering this rally for test purposes to get experience of the Belgian roads and conditions.”
After finishing third at last weekend’s Rally Italia Sardegna, Ogier admitted he had little idea what to expect from Ypres.
“I have no clue about this event at all. For sure I think I will need to do some preparation, watch some videos, try to learn a little bit what to expect, we’ll have some tests,” he said.
The pair are joined in the 147-strong Hemicuda entry by Hyundai WRC 2 drivers Nikolay Gryazin and Ole Christian Veiby. Also listed is young Finn Sami Pajari, who is one of three drivers in realistic contention for the FIA Junior WRC crown.
On the same weekend Craig Breen will continue his preparations by driving a Hyundai i20 World Rally Car in the South Belgian Rally, a round of the Belgian Championship.