Skoda factory driver Jan Kopecky's tough season continued with a crash at yesterday's shakedown stage in preparation for the Ypres Rally, which starts this afternoon.
Kopecky clouted a bridge on a fourth-gear corner, damaging the front-right of his Skoda. He is expected to take the start this afternoon, but his accident cost him valuable running time ahead of the Belgian round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Kopecky's teammate, local hero Freddy Loix, was fastest, four tenths of a second up on Monte Carlo Rally winner Bryan Bouffier.
Loix has taken IRC series leader and defending champion Juho Hanninen's place in the Skoda works team this week. Kopecky lies second in the championship standings and could move ahead of Hanninen with a strong showing through the Belgian lanes, but he has yet to score his first win of 2011.
Skoda UK driver Andreas Mikkelsen was third quickest, while Peugeot UK's Guy Wilks was eighth.
The event starts from Ypres this afternoon and finishes late on Saturday night.