Organizers of the Geko Ypres rally have finalized the itinerary and special stages for the 2012 event. Crews will tackle 18 special stages in total, covering almost 300 km of narrow, twisty and bumpy farm roads. Up to 60% of race distance has been revamped, including a completely new route for the classic Heuvelland special stage.
Run in the surroundings of Ypres, the 2012 edition of the Geko Ypres Rally will cover a total distance of 675 km, with 293 km of special stages. No less than 60% of the rally will consist of new special stages or revamped existing stages, making this demanding rally even more challenging for crews, and more attractive for spectators.
The official start of the rally will take place late afternoon Friday 22 June 2012. Day 1 will have six special stages, two of which will be repeated. Highlight of this first day could well be the all new stage of Westouter, an extremely technical and twisty special stage with lots of magnificent spectator points..The other three stages on Friday are the Dikkebus, Langemark and Mesen-Sauvegarde. Westouter and Langemark will be driven once, Mesen-Sauvegarde and Dikkebus twice.
The action will continue on Saturday 23 June with another twelve special stages. 5 stages will be run twice whereas the two stages in France (Lille Métropole) will only be run once. Rally Manager Alain Penasse comments: "This second day of Geko Ypres Rally features the very popular stages of Kemmel, Watou, Vleteren-Krombeke (formerly known as Proven-Vleteren), Hollebeke and Heuvelland. The famous and very demanding special stage of Heuvelland, the longest of the rally, has been thoroughly revamped and will be entirely new in comparison to last year. Also Kemmel has been completely redesigned and the special stage of Vleteren-Krombeke has undergone substantial changes as we wanted to make the stage more attractive and easier for spectators to reach."
The Geko Ypres Rally will also cross the French border in this year's edition, with two special stages in the North of France. The special stage of Lille Métropole will be held in the vicinity of Linselles, whereas the show special stage in the centre of Wasquehal remains.
Alain Penasse looks forward to a legendary edition of the IRC classic: "18 special stages, 60% new or revamped routes, special stages designed for spectator comfort and the world's fastest S2000 cars will definitely make the 2012 Geko Ypres Rally one of the highlights of the IRC championship."