Leading drivers have come out in favour of the FIA European Rally Championship's first Qualifying Stage to run on asphalt.

Taking place during last week's Geko Ypres Rally, the stage was contested by 13 crews with eventual event winner Freddy Loix setting the pace in his ?KODA Motorsport Fabia Super 2000.

"I knew it was a very important, otherwise you would drive just two times like before just to see how the car is going and then stop," said Loix. "But now everybody was very well prepared for the start and it was really interesting."

Peugeot Rally Academy driver Craig Breen was also a fan.

"It brought a little more excitement to the whole event," he said. "It kept me quite sharp and it's also good for the spectators because we're competing and people are pushing hard."

While the running of a Qualifying Stage is compulsory on all gravel events it remains optional on asphalt rounds.



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