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Jos wins the Rally of Wervik: 'We easily achieved fast times'

Published on 15 June 2024 by Heidi De Love

Jos Verstappen, together with his co-pilot Renaud Jamoul, took a resounding victory in the Rally of Wervik. The duo drove their Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 car in southwestern Belgium to a generous 52-second lead.

Perhaps even more important than the day's victory was the preparation for next week when the Ypres Rally is on the program. Indeed, the Rally of Wervik is used by many as preparation for that Belgian Rally Championship race.

“It went super, great”, Jos commented after crossing the finish line first. “The car felt very good and we easily achieved fast times. This was a good test for us for Ypres, where we are driving next week. We tried a lot and learned a lot.” With the changing weather conditions and similar course, it was indeed a perfect opportunity to work on the car's setup for the Ypres Rally. “Ypres obviously has a lot more stages and is a longer rally, but it couldn’t be down to the material then.”

As Saturday went on, Jos took an increasingly firm grip on the lead in the Wervik Rally. The 52-year-old driver continued: “The first round was a bit more difficult, because we hadn't driven here for a while. It was slippery and you have to cut corners a lot, so that took some getting used to. But at the end of the day, I'm very satisfied.”

The “12 Hours of Wervik”, as the rally is officially called, consists of three different stages, each run four times. During the first round over the stages Geluwe, Wervik and Kruiseke, Jos recorded second, first and second times. At that time, Davy Vanneste and co-pilot Denis Squedin led the rankings by 7 seconds.

During the second round, Jos won the first two stages and finished second on Kruiseke. With that, he had built an 8 count lead over Vanneste. With P2, P1 and P1 in the third round, that lead increased to already 22 seconds. In the fourth and final round Jos achieved P2, P2 and P1. Thus, after the total of twelve stages, Verstappen and Jamoul won the Rally of Wervik with a lead of no less than 52 seconds.