The famous asphalt race debuted last year at the WRC, but was excluded from the original schedule for 2022 as the WRC left room for the possibility that the Northern Ireland Rally could join the calendar.
However, in December last year, it was announced that Rally Northern Ireland’s hopes of joining the 2022 calendar were dashed after failing to secure the necessary funding by the deadline imposed by Motorsport UK to ensure it could sufficiently host the event.
Rally Ypres Belgium faced competition from Czech Rally Barum Zlin to fill the vacancy on August 18-21, but the WRC today announced that Belgium will now host the ninth round of the 13 finals this season.
“Belgium brought something completely different to last year’s WRC because of its complex special sections and fast format, which meant someone had little time to pause to catch their breath,” said Jonah Sibel, managing director of WRC Promoter.
“The Ypres region is wholeheartedly rushing into the week of the rally. The scenes are buzzing and we are confident that this time it will be ubiquitous in the city itself if fans are let into the beautiful Grote Markt service park.
“We were very impressed with the professionalism and plans of the organizing team in Zlín,” Zibel added.
The atmosphere at the rally in Ypres
Photo: Toyota Racing
“The rally remains a key event in the FIA European Rally Championship, and the door remains open to their WRC ambitions. We look forward to continuing to work with them.”
FIA WRC category manager Andrew Whitley added: “Ypres Rally Belgium entered last season in exceptional circumstances and was able to hold a strong and innovative event that showcased the DNA of the Belgian Rally.
Last year Hyundai Thierry Neville won an unforgettable victory at the Ypres Rally in Belgium after holding the then teammate Craig Brynand Calais Ravanper of Toyota completed the podium.
Next week the WRC is heading to Sweden for the second round of the championship.
On Thursday, it was confirmed that the competition will be held in 17 stages instead of 19 after organizers were forced to cancel two stages due to reindeer in the area.