Abbring wins Ypres & Cronin wins BRC Round

Kevin Abbring won the Ypres Rally overall following an epic duel with his former Hyundai WRC team-mate Thierry Neuville before he crashed out. Neuville was competing on the event with the backing of Hyundai Belgium and setting the pace until SS6 on Friday night, when he lost control of his i20 R5 on a layer of gravel coating the Ypres asphalt. This left Abbring, now campaigning a Peugeot 208 T16 R5 - and Bryan Bouffier to fight for honours over 160 miles of stages.

Bouffier had led the majority of the event in his Skoda Fabia R5, before a 24.3 seconds lead was erased, when the 2011 Monte Carlo Rally winner slid wide and visited a ditch, dropping time to Abbring but he closed back in before a strong final loop of three stages gave Dutchman Abbring the honours by eight seconds, this year with Belgian champion and 2015 Ypres winner Peter Tsjoen switching from driving for pacenotes to partner Abbring. The win also gave Abbring maximum Belgian Rally Championship points, ahead of third man overall Bernd Casier.

Ypres this year hosted the British Rally Championship as well as the new TER series and the Belgian championship, which resulted in an increased overall entry and works M-Sport driver and three-time British champion Keith Cronin finished a creditable seventh overall and took maximum points in the British Championship after many of his fellow BRC drivers crashed out, including points leader Fredrik Ahlin.

The result now leaves Osian Pryce leading the BRC series by seven points over Ahlin, Matt Edwards and Pryce rounded out the top three British entrants on the Belgian event. Neuville had rejoined the rally for Saturday and took a number of stage wins as poor consulation!

24th June, 2017