Article By John Williams

Q & A with Freddy

Freddy Loix came from almost 30 seconds behind to score a sensational 10th win on the Kenotek by CID LINES Ypres Rally, and in doing so gave the brand new ŠKODA Fabia R5 victory on its FIA European Rally Championship debut. caught up with him after the event.

How special is this, your incredible 10th Ypres Rally win?

“My start yesterday, I was trying, but it was not going as everyone was expecting and it was quite difficult with the new ŠKODA to find some grip when changing direction. We were talking a lot over the 'phone to the engineers, because we had to react because everyone was pushing a lot. I was 25-26 seconds behind, but the moment we found the right set-up, we just went flat-out! So yes, this win is very special."

When you were 25.8 seconds behind the leader at the end of leg one, and your ŠKODA Fabia R5 wasn't changing direction the way you wanted. Did you still think you'd win Ypres Rally win this weekend?

“Last night, definitely not, because I knew that if we could not find more speed in changing direction that we could never follow the leading cars. But on leg two, after the first stage, already I had a better feeling and straight away I was on the 'phone to my engineers again, saying we still need a little bit more grip in some kind of corners. After a few clicks for the second stage this morning, then I knew it was my time."

You have given the ŠKODA Fabia R5 its ERC debut, first ERC stage win and first ERC victory. How proud does that make you feel?

“I'm very proud. On the other side, I was surprised yesterday. We had a good feeling on the test, but when we started the rally on Friday, I thought 'shit, this is going to be a difficult one' and we had to react. Of course the experience from me and my team, ŠKODA Motorsport sent some people over and with some clever people we found the right set-up. Then it was party time!"