Freddy Loix clinched his eighth Ypres Rally victory on his first European Rally Championship appearance of the 2013 season, as the event came to a dramatic finish with two cars on fire on the final stage.
Driving a factory-assisted Skoda, Loix led from the outset, but had Craig Breen close behind until a broken driveshaft cost the Peugeot driver nearly two minutes on Friday night.
That meant Loix started Saturday's 14 stages over a minute and a half clear, and had to just avoid mistakes on the often muddy surface.
Breen mounted a charge in a bid to at least get back up to second. He reclaimed third from ERC debutant Hayden Paddon, who later crashed out, but Bryan Bouffier proved out of reach.
Having settled for third, Breen then slid into a ditch on the final stage, but he still held on to his podium as the stage was subsequently stopped due to Davy Vanneste and Mikko Pajunen's cars catching fire in separate incidents.
Breen was eventually able to rejoin and make it to the finish. With SS20 turned into a liason section, he was therefore credited with a notional time and retained third place.
ERC points leader Jan Kopecky chose not to attend this event under the series' dropped score format.
Francois Delecour pulled his entry due to a lack of finance, while leading Belgian stars Pieter Tsjoen and Bernd Casier's plan to share a car - taking turns driving and co-driving - was scuppered by engine problems before the start.
Leading finishers after SS20: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Freddy Loix Skoda 2h32m19.4s 2. Bryan Bouffier Delta Peugeot +1m21.0s 3. Craig Breen Sainteloc Peugeot +1m52.5s 4. Andy Lefevere Atlantic Mitsubishi +6m36.4s 5. Hermen Kobus Kobus Ford +6m41.2s 6. Michal Solowow Cersanit Ford +7m00.0s 7. Melissa Debackere Duindistel Peugeot +9m38.5s 8. Andras Hadik Hadik Subaru +10m09.3s 9. Antonin Tlustak GPD Skoda +10m25.3s 10. David Croes Duindistel Mitsubishi +12m07.7s