Knowing before I even go to Ypres that I will not like the Ypres Rally, Wednesday morning I began my trip to Belgium.
Arriving I immediately start the recce to find spots for my photos. The problem from the beginning was that I could not watch all the specials stages as the tickets were divided into combo 1 and combo 2 so I had access to half of the special stages of the rally.
All you could see were corner cuts, small or big, and fields of corn or potatoes, and generally grass everywhere, so visibility was limited. Also, in Belgium, even in national championship rallies, there are signs everywhere for spectators to sit 10 meters away from the road. So from the very first kilometers I understood that the race will be difficult, at least for photos. After two days of recce I was finally not happy at all with the spots I had found but it was WRC rally, how crap it can be???
So Friday and the day was big since it has Shakedown and the first day of the rally. From the very first day, the complaints have started from the professional photographers about the organization but also about the marshals who did not let them do their job in a rally that was already difficult for them. The spots that the organization has chosen for the accredited photographers were tragic! Beside to spectators spots or behind them. End of the first day late at night and finally the photos were better than I expected.
Saturday morning last day in Ypres before the trip to the Spa. I marginally took three passes and only in the morning I was finally happy with the spot I had chosen.
Saturday night I arrive at Stavelot which is the special stage that I will see twice on Sunday. You immediately understand that it is a different race, nothing to do with Ypres. For the special stage I had no idea since I could not recce it and so searching a bit in the morning I found an indifferent spot with a small corner cut. Half an hour before the start of the race, they kicked us out, so I searched frustrated for a place to take pictures. Eventually, I ended up panning behind trees, bushes and a bridge …
Finally, the ticket price made a negative impression on me as I had given about €150 for Friday’s Shakedown and the half special stages of the rally. But to enter the Spa circuit you had to pay another ticket with an extra parking ticket.
Conclusion, never in Ypres for a rally unless it is WRC…
See you at EKO Acropolis Rally FINALLY!
Nikos “Mk2” Tsaknias