The THX Racing team was present in full strength in Ypres this weekend for the season’s traditional sporting summit in Belgium. In fact, two VW Polo GTI R5 were entered, with one for the Dutchman Kevin Abbring, with Véronique Hostens as co-driver, and the second for Davy Vanneste and Kris D’Alleine.
And the least one can say is that the Theux-based team left their mark. Despite a lack of driving as compared to his nearest rivals, Kevin Abbring hit out hard right from the outset, clocking up the first three scratches to grab the reins ahead of the Irishman Craig Breen. A small error then put Abbring back in 2nd place ahead of Kris Princen. Claiming no less than 10 scratches, the Dutchman at the wheel of the Polo R5 THX would quite simply impose himself as the best performer of this Ypres Rally 2019 of an international level …
“The Polo R5 THX Racing was perfect, but that small mistake on Friday evening allowed Craig to make the difference, Kevin Abbring commented. I might possible have less rhythm than him, who is building up the events, and to hope to come back on Breen I would have needed to take far too many risks. I absolutely wanted to finish this rally, out of respect for the team and all those who made this participation possible …”
If one then adds the excellent 5th place overall of a Davy Vanneste who quite clearly drove his best Ypres Rally, one can understand that within the THX Racing team, pure satisfaction was on their faces … “Definitely a positive outcome as from the moment our two Polo R5 did not experience the slightest issue throughout the weekend, Alain Georges, the man in charge of THX Racing added. Kevin’s small loss of time on Friday quite clearly proved his lack of driving time as compared to Breen, but for an operation put together in a record time, we can but congratulate ourselves with the result, all the more so seeing Abbring registered the largest number of scratches. Which says a great deal for his top speed. As for Davy Vanneste, his top 5 represents a real choice performance which confirms that the Polo R5 excels on the Belgian special stages. My hat off to him!”
Even though Kevin had not driven for nine or ten months, preparation for the event by THX Racing and the right choice of tyres allowed our top Polo R5 to remain constantly in battle for overall victory, Lionel Hansen, the team’s technical manager confirmed. Those ten scratches he produced are proof of the product’s extreme competitiveness under these conditions, which pleases us no end. To see Davy Vanneste clinch a top 5 and register times close to those of a reference such as Freddy Loix is another satisfaction. His power surge was impressive, and the outcome was even better than the one we had hoped for. On top of that both our Polo R5 machines ran like clockwork from the first through to the last special stage, proof that their preparation could not have been better … “
Worth noting that at the end of the event THX Racing informed the Clerk of the Course of some ‘doubtful’ refuelling regarding the winning VW Polo R5. “Far be from us to deprive Craig Breen of a victory he so amply deserves, Alain Georges commented. Our team is professional, and we act as a professional team when such an incident of this type occurs. Our clients demand explanations, and we do everything to obtain these. We accept and respect the Clerk of the Course’s decision. If the situation had been reversed there is no doubt that Bernard Munster and his team would have acted in the same manner. We congratulate them on their victory, and when all is said and done, the two teams did justice to the level of performance of the Volkswagen Polo R5…”