Tsjoen, in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, was 12.1s down on stage winner Freddy Loix after his minor scare. “I made a small mistake in the beginning when I braked too late for a junction,” said the multiple Belgian champion. “I save myself with the handbrake but only lost a couple of seconds.”
Out front, Juho Hänninen has completed the longest stage of the event with his commanding overall lead firmly intact. “I take it much more steady, very carefully,” he said afterwards.
Loix was 0.6s quicker than Hänninen having claimed to be “slowing down” in order to secure the runner-up spot in his Peugeot 207 S2000.
“We are slowing down a little bit,” said Loix, the seven-time Ypres winner. “We have been pushing to try to stay a little bit close to Juho but he has been so much quicker than us on some stages that we try to be realistic.”
IRC Production Cup leader Andreas Aigner stalled at the start of the stage and lost approximately 10s in his Subaru Impreza but continues to top the category, despite falling to eighth in the overall standings.
Mathias Viaene moves into sixth place following a charging run in his Peugeot.
The final stage, Kemmelberg 2, gets underway at 21:57hrs local time.