Stéphane Lefebvre spectacular winner in Ypres

Despite a big scare during the shakedown, Stéphane Lefebvre won the famous Belgian classic in front of all the players in the national championship. Leader from the first kilometers, he was able to avoid the many pitfalls to join the winning Tricolor clan in the city of cats.

Published on 24/06/2024 à 09:28

Loïc ROCCI

0 View comments)

Stéphane Lefebvre spectacular winner in Ypres

Stéphane Lefebvre added the Ypres rally to his list of achievements in Belgium (Photo: Bastien Roux/DPPI)

He made it a specialty. Stéphane Lefebvre likes to cross the border to beat the Belgians on their own turf. This is what he achieved again this weekend on the iconic special stages (Zonnebeke, Westouter, Dikkebus…) of the 4e meeting of the Belgian championship where 222,57 timed km were scheduled with 18 SS.

After the C3 for several seasons and the Toyota Yaris Rally2 in Monte-Carlo (5e of the WRC2) the 32-year-old driver was aligned with a Hyundai i20 Rally2 from the BMA team with Xavier Portier next to him. He quickly demonstrated that his adaptation skills are still just as developed even if he doesn't run much. Author of the best time in the shakedown, Stéphane then had a mishap which could have compromised his weekend. A puncture led to a trip off the road and a pair of rollovers which made people fear the worst. Bernard Munster's team intervened effectively and the Frenchman began his festival from the first sections.

Taking the lead from SS1, he never gave up his leadership seat, seeing his opponents disappear one by one, first with Jos Verstappen, then Niels Reynvoet, Maxime Potty and even Cédric Cherain. Having a 7''7 lead over Potty at the end of the first day, Stéphane Lefebvre was rid of the latter when he made two mistakes. With now almost 30'' of margin on Cherain, the Frenchman managed the very long 2 perfectlye stage. Leaving Potty to line up the best times to come back 2e, Lefebvre returned to Ypres as a winner.

While it was his 6e participation in this event, the one who was Belgian champion in 2022 registers his name for the first time on the list where he joins a group which includes Bernard Darniche, Bernard Béguin, Jean-Claude Andruet or Jean Ragnotti. Lefebvre succeeds Adrien fourmaux who also beat the locals on their home field last year.

Ranking of the 60th edition of the rally from Ypres

 

Loïc ROCCI

Journalist specializing in rallying past, present and future... and with a southern accent

0 View comments)