IRC ace Loix gives ŠKODA home rally victory
"It was a lovely but difficult rally"
The Intercontinental Rally Challenge pacesetting ŠKODA Motorsport team has made it three wins from three starts on its home event, Rally Bohemia, after Freddy Loix claimed a debut victory yesterday.
Driving a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, the Belgian – fresh from his GEKO Ypres Rally triumph the previous weekend – moved into first place on Sunday morning when overnight leader Roman Kresta retired his Fabia S2000 with a mechanical fault.
Amid persistent heavy rain the 40-year-old Loix maintained his advantage to the finish to beat Pavel Valoušek in a Peugeot 207 by 35 seconds alongside co-driver and countryman Frédéric Miclotte.
“It was a lovely but difficult rally, actually way more difficult than Ypres,” said Loix, the current leader of the IRC drivers’ standings. “We couldn’t believe our eyes in the first few stages how fast we were [going] through all those little villages and narrow passes between trees. It was a real adrenaline thing and I enjoyed that a great deal. The weather on Sunday was incredibly nasty, which made things very difficult, but we knew that to win we had to go fast but play it cool and safe at the same time.”
Rally Bohemia is based in ŠKODA’s hometown Mladá Boleslav. The company’s motorsport head Michal Hrabánek was delighted afterwards: “We are always expected to win at home, so we are really happy about this result. I hope that the fans enjoyed the event, too, despite all the bad weather.”