ERC - Belgian aces plan swap drive in Ypres

Top Belgian drivers Bernd Casier and Pieter Tsjoen are planning a swap drive with a difference when the FIA European Rally Championship resumes on the Geko Ypres Rally in their homeland later this month.

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ERC - Belgian aces plan swap drive in Ypres
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IRC 2008 Ypres Westhoek Rally Bernd Casier Volkswagen

With both drivers lacking a full budget to take part in their own right, an audacious plan has been hatched to share a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 on the asphalt classic with each taking it in turns to drive and co-drive.

“Rallying is in my blood but I’ve been struggling to find the budget and I’ve not driven this year and have really missed it,” Tsjoen explained. “I saw Bernd at a party recently and he told me he had the same problem so, after some drinks, I said why don’t we stop being competitors and become partners. It might sound crazy but I’d sooner do this than not drive at all.”

Tsjoen, who won in Ypres in 2001, reckons his co-driving experience amounts to three rallies only and concedes that both he and Casier will be “in pain and in fear” during the event.

In terms of which driver does which stage, Tsjoen admitted that remained a sticking point. “The goal for the moment is I do the stages I like and Bernd does the stages he likes,” said Tsjoen. “However, I am 1.79 metres tall and Bernd is 1.92 metres so we’re not sure how easy it will be to the change the seat – we might have change position at each service.”

The Geko Ypres Rally forms round six of the 2013 ERC season from 27-29 June.

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