Taking part in the Ypres Rally is the dream of many-a-daring boy, and these dreams ended in a fantastic adventure and two beautiful victories. Bjorn Syx put in a great performance in the Las Vegas Ypres Historic Rally, while his good friend Cedriek Merlevede did the same in the Sas Pils Classics Ypres Rally. These ex-autocrossers have written a piece of history at the Historics.
Bjorn Syx showed all his intentions yesterday by taking the lead from the second stage, after Stouf had to give up after a strong start. The Italian duo “Lucky” -Fabrizia Pons was able to secure second place after Vanwijnsberghe's problems on Friday. For a moment they had to fight against the BMW drivers Christophe Merlevede and Danny Kerckhof. But the latter had to retire his M3 in the afternoon with technical problems. Merlevede decided to put sense over valour when the engine started to warm up. In the end he settled for a secure third place. Mats Van den Brand, who was preparing cars this weekend was also happy and was rewarded with a first and third place for his many work and advice. Guino Kenis and Valter Jensen completed the BMW success by occupying places four and five.
Further on we see Carlo Mylle (Porsche) on 6 and "Zippo" with the Audi Quattro in seventh. This mechanically sympathetic Italian had no technical problems in the Friday section, but had to pull off on the first stage, if this did not happen he would certainly have been a podium candidate. The top 10 therefore was rounded out by Anders Jonhsen and Piet Declercq, both in Porsches, then Tim Jones in his Ford Sierra Cosworth.
In the national Sas Pils Classics Ypresrally the crows was focused on the battle between regular championship drivers - Arthur Kerkhove and Dirk Deveux, and regional drivers - Patrick Mylleville and Stefaan Prinzie. Only insiders knew to keep an eye on debutant Cedriek Merlevede, who started with the former Prinzie Opel Ascona. Cedriek took three stage wins in a row Saturday morning. When they got back to Ypres for service, the Merlevede-Vandenbussche duo had a 19-second lead over Dirk Deveux and Eddy Smeets. The Limburg duo knew it was time to sound the attack bell, and certainly closed the gap to 11 seconds. The stage, with a difference of 15 seconds between the two drivers, there was meant to be a definitive answer. Deveux pulled out all the stops and took the fastest time, some ten seconds faster than Merlevede, but was still 5.7 seconds off the win. A great debut win for Merlevede.
Arthur Kerkhove was able to consolidate his Belgian Championship position with a third place. As this was the weekend for good friends as Poperingnaars Alain Vermeulen (BMW) and Bart Ruyssen (VW Golf) held places four and five. Next came the Porscheists Patrick Mylleville and Geert Lacour then came Rudi Dekimpe, Ron Dennis and Mathieu Lietaer, all with Ford Escort MK2, to take care of the rest of top 10 places.