Legendary Belgian racer Freddy Loix is set to compete at his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship with Škoda Motorsport.
The 42-year old has twice enjoyed success on the Ypres Rally with the Czech car manufacturer, and is hopeful of completing a hat-trick when the event gets underway on Thursday [27 June].
He joins a potent squad which, with the Czech duo of Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, leads the way in the ERC standings after five rounds.
"I'm really happy to be back behind the wheel of the Škoda Fabia S2000 for the Ypres Rally,” Loix confirmed, “I have a lot of very good memories here driving in this great car."
The Belgian veteran last tasted victory at his home rally in 2010 and 2011 and, in his whole career, has racked up seven wins in Ypres. His place on the 2013 event, complete with co-driver Frederic Miclotte, has been made possible by the support of Škoda Belgium. The two have proven to be quite the successful pairing as, with the help of Loix, Škoda was able to secure the ERC constructors' title in both 2010 and 2011.
"I would like to thank all our partners, who have been able to make this possible," Loix said, "If you're aware of the 112-year history of Škoda in motor racing and the importance of the Ypres Rally, you know how special this rally is to all of us. The fight for places on the podium will be keenly contested."
Despite that, the seasoned pro is optimistic that he will be competitive from the very first stage and then be able to build on that throughout the event.
Kopecký and Dresler have already impressed when demonstrating how fast the Fabia S2000 can go on various surfaces, having won three of the four ERC races they have competed in so far this season, as well as taking second place in Corsica, racking up a table-topping 146 points to date.