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Van mreže KarlheinzTopic starter

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« Odgovor #165 poslato: Avgust 29, 2016, 08:47:41 posle podne »
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  • ŠKODA victory at the Barum Rally: Kopecký defends title in the Czech Rally Championship

    ​› Flawless season record: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler secure fifth of five possible season wins in the MČR national championship and claim the title crown before the end of the season
    › Fourth national championship title for Jan Kopecký after victory over the European elite at the Barum Czech Rally Zlín – red and black special paintwork delights fans
    › Michal Hrabánek: "Optimum reward for the entire team's hard work"

    ​Zlín, 28 August 2016 – ŠKODA works duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) won the Barum Czech Rally Zlín, thereby defending the title in the Czech rally championship (MČR) before the end of the season. Kopecký won the national championship for the fourth time after 2004, 2012 and 2015. The experienced driver remained unbeaten in his ŠKODA FABIA R5 with its spectacular red and black special paintwork in the fifth round of the MČR season and in doing so prevailed over the European elite. The successful ŠKODA team of Kopecký/Dresler staged a dramatic duel with Alexey Lukyanuk/Alexey Arnautov (RUS/RUS), who forfeited their chances of a win after an accident on the final special stage, over the three days of rally action.

    ​"The Barum Czech Rally Zlín is a classic and was a real highlight of the season once again this year. Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler did a fantastic job, keeping their cool in a dramatic duel and bringing home victory. This sees us defend our national championship title from last year with the ŠKODA FABIA R5. Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler have also kept their clean slate in the fifth round of the year – that speaks for itself. Successfully defending the title is the optimum reward for the entire team's hard work," said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

    This year's Barum Czech Rally Zlín consisted of 15 special stages over a total of 229.94 classified kilometres, of which Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler won a total of ten stages. The classic rally was characterised by a close battle between ŠKODA works duo Kopecký/Dresler and Russian duo Alexey Lukyanuk/Alexey Arnautov. Throughout the entire rally, the two teams were separated by just a few seconds. The Russian duo retired on the final special stage due to an accident; they were in second place at the time. Thousands of enthusiastic fans experienced the drama of the rally up close and personal – and cheered as Kopecký/Dresler in the FABIA R5 with a red and black special paintwork crossed the finish line. Kopecký burst into tears at the finish.

    "I can hardly put my joy into words. We not only got our fifth of five possible wins of the season here at the Barum Rally, but we also clinched the Czech rally championship. It is always difficult to win a title, and even more difficult to defend a title," said Jan Kopecký. "The FABIA R5, the magnificent ŠKODA Motorsport team and my family as my moral support enabled me to achieve this milestone in my career. At this high level here in Zlín we saw how strong our car is. Kudos to Alexey Lukyanuk and Alexey Arnautov, who made things really difficult for us this weekend."

    A total of eleven ŠKODA FABIA R5 contested the rally around Zlín, and the top five spots ended up going to the high-tech racers. Tomáš Kostka (CZ) finished in second place ahead of Jan Černý (CZ). Despite suffering a puncture, Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian (D/D) who competed with support from ŠKODA Motorsport, finished in fifth place. "I am pleased with our performance at the Barum Czech Rally Zlín. There is enormous enthusiasm among the Czech fans and it was great to be able to gain experience here in the Czech Republic once again," said Kreim.


    Final standings of the Barum Czech Rally Zlín:

    1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; 2:07.34.7 hrs.
    2. Kostka/Kučera (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 2:34.0 min.
    3. Černý/Černohorský (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 2:41.9 min.
    4. Valoušek/Havelková (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 3:47.7 min.
    5. Kreim/Christian (D/D); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 5:16.1 min.

    The number of the day: 4

    At the Barum Czech Rally Zlín, ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký won his fourth title in the Czech championship for the fourth time after 2004, 2012 and 2015. And deservedly so: With co-driver Pavel Dresler he has triumphed in all five of the rallies held in the current season of the Czech rally championship (MČR). Their advantage of 2:34.0 minutes over the second-placed duo at the Barum Czech Rally Zlín, Tomáš Kostka/Ladislav Kučera is evidence that the duo are in a league of their own.

    Czech Rally Championship (MČR)

    Event/ Date
    Rally Šumava Klatovy; 29.04.–30.04.2016
    Rally Český Krumlov; 27.05.–28.05.2016
    Rally Hustopeče; 17.06.–18.06.2016
    Rally Bohemia; 02.07.–03.07.2016
    Barum Czech Rally Zlín; 26.08.–28.08.2016
    Rally Příbram; 30.09.–01.10.2016
    • Vozi: OctaviA5 1.9TDI 2008 Elegance+

    Van mreže KarlheinzTopic starter

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    « Odgovor #166 poslato: Septembar 20, 2016, 10:44:42 pre podne »
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  • APRC: ŠKODA aims to extend championship lead in Japan

    ​› Fourth race in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) from Friday to Sunday at the Rally Hokkaido in Japan
    › ŠKODA duo Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall travel to the race as championship leaders after claiming three wins out of three so far this season
    › Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian gunning for their first APRC triumph
    › Michal Hrabánek: “Victory would be an important step towards defending our APRC title”

    ​Mladá Boleslav, 19 September 2016 – ŠKODA has set its sights on victory at the fourth race of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), a win that would further increase the chances to clinch the title with races still to come. Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/AUS) from the ŠKODA MRF team have recorded three wins in three APRC races so far and travel as championship leaders to the 15th Rally Hokkaido, which takes place from Friday to Sunday. Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian (D/D), who lead the German Rally Championship (DRM), are the second ŠKODA pair in the land of the rising sun and are out to claim the first APRC victory of their career.

    ​“In Japan, we can take an important step towards defending our APRC title at the Rally Hokkaido. We are represented by two strong driving teams, who will both want to fight for the win,” says ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek, adding: “The ŠKODA drivers have already recorded three wins and three more podium finishes in the APRC this season, proving that our ŠKODA FABIA R5 is a great rally car. Another win would allow us to extend our lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship.” ŠKODA is currently 38 points ahead of Subaru with three rallies remaining and aiming for a fifth consecutive APRC title.

    This year, the Rally Hokkaido is being held for the 15th time and will take place around the city of Obihiro on the island of Hokkaido. Sapporo, which hosted the Winter Olympics in 1972 and is the largest city on the island, is approximately two and a half hours from the rally HQ. A total of 18 special stages are scheduled, over a combined distance of 220.02 kilometres. The routes around Obihiro often become very slippery in cool conditions early in the morning, and in the evening. The experienced ŠKODA MRF team know how to deal with these conditions: in the last three years, ŠKODA drivers Gaurav Gill, Jan Kopecký (CZ) and Pontus Tidemand (S) have all triumphed at the rally, which aficionados say is reminiscent of the World Rally Championship event in Wales.

    Gaurav Gill aims to extend his Drivers’ Championship lead in Japan and maintain his perfect record with a fourth APRC win of the season: “The season has been perfect for us so far. We have been able to build up a bit of a lead over Fabian Kreim. We want to extend this lead, but we know how strong Fabian is, so it won’t be easy.”

    Gill leads the overall APRC standings with 115 points at the halfway point of the season. Kreim is 29 points behind in second place and still has every chance of claiming the title. The German driver is competing in the APRC for the first time this season and has delivered some convincing performances, claiming two second-place finishes and a third place in China. “The APRC is uncharted territory for me but I am satisfied with my performances and results so far. Of course it would be great to win, but Gaurav Gill is hard to beat. And, unlike me, he knows the rally,” says Kreim.


    FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)

    Event/ Date

    Rally Whangarei – New Zealand; 29.04.–01.05.2016
    Rally Queensland – Australia; 18.06.–19.06.2016
    Rally Zhangye – China; 05.08.–07.08.2016
    Rally Hokkaido – Japan; 23.09.–25.09.2016
    Rally Malaysia – Malaysia; 29.10.–30.10.2016
    Rally India – India; 10.12.–11.12.2016
    • Vozi: OctaviA5 1.9TDI 2008 Elegance+

    Van mreže KarlheinzTopic starter

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    « Odgovor #167 poslato: Septembar 25, 2016, 10:15:38 posle podne »
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  • APRC in Japan: Fourth win of the season for ŠKODA and championship leader Gill

    ​› After the typhoon: Gaurav Gill triumphs at the Rally Hokkaido with his new co-driver Stéphane Prévot and extends his overall lead in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
    › Second ŠKODA duo of Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian complete the one-two result
    › Michal Hrabánek: “The ŠKODA drivers and our FABIA R5 can cope with the most difficult of conditions”

    ​Obihiro/Japan, 25th September 2016 – Fourth win in the fourth race of the season: Gaurav Gill (IND) won the Rally Hokkaido in the FABIA R5 to move closer to the next title win for ŠKODA in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). The stages in Japan were extremely muddy due to the recent typhoon - but Gill and new co-driver Stéphane Prévot (B) mastered the difficult conditions with the ease of champions. The second ŠKODA MRF duo of Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian (D/D) completed the one-two result, reaching the APRC podium for the fourth time this season.

    ​“At the last APRC rally in China, we head to deal with extreme heat and desert sands, and this time in Japan we had muddy stages with big potholes. We were able to celebrate a win in the APRC standings on both occasions. This proves that the ŠKODA drivers and our FABIA R5 can cope with the most difficult of conditions,” concluded ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “Congratulations to the whole team from ŠKODA MRF. Now we have to continue to work hard and ensure that we don’t lose concentration in the remaining two races of the season.”

    A typhoon with torrential rain had covered some roads on the island of Hokkaido in mud and detritus. However, the Japanese organising team managed to clear all the stages and make them ready for competition in time for the rally to start. Conditions were extremely complicated for the 19 competitors in the APRC - deep puddles and mud made the 220 stage kilometres hazardous and slippery.

    Despite this, both ŠKODA drivers were in perfect control of their FABIA R5s. Fabian Kreim took the lead in Friday’s first stage, 0.1 seconds ahead of his team-mate Gaurav Gill. However, the 34-year-old Indian driver took command on Saturday and gradually extended his lead - although he had a new co-driver at his side in the form of the experienced Stéphane Prévot (47). Gill’s regular co-driver Glenn Macneall (AUS) was competing at a rally in Finland. As proceedings drew to a close Gill/Prévot won the battle of the ŠKODAs, 1:50.6 minutes ahead of Kreim/Christian in second place.

    “Of course I was a bit nervous before the rally, due to the change of co-driver. But everything worked out really well, although we had changed the set-up of our FABIA R5 completely after the last APRC rally in China. So I am really happy with this win,” commented Gill.

    He has now extended his lead in the drivers’ championship after four wins in four races this season and is ideally placed to repeat his 2013 APRC title win. This would mean the fifth consecutive title for ŠKODA in the prestigious continental championship. ŠKODA also moved further ahead of Subaru in the manufacturers’ championship. The final two races of the season, taking place in Malaysia and in Gill’s home country of India, will be decisive in the title race.

    The 23-year-old Fabian Kreim once again proved just how talented he is - gravel rallies are completely new territory for the German driver. “This was my first time here and the conditions were really extreme, with deep potholes and a lot of mud. We can be more than pleased with the fourth podium finish. As always, our ŠKODA FABIA R5 ran perfectly,” commented Kreim. He is the clear leader in the Germany Rally Championship (DRM) - and he has the chance to secure his first national championship title at the “3-Städte-Rallye” on 21st and 22nd October, before returning to compete in the APRC again.


    The number of the Rally Hokkaido: 18

    It doesn’t get any better than this: the schedule for the Rally Hokkaido contained 18 stages over 220 kilometres, and a ŠKODA FABIA R5 was fastest on 18 occasions. The victorious Gaurav Gill recorded the fastest time on twelve stages and his team-mate Fabian Kreim was quickest on six occasions.


    FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)

    Event/ Date
    Rally Whangarei – New Zealand; 29.04.–01.05.2016
    Rally Queensland – Australia; 18.06.–19.06.2016
    Rally Zhangye – China; 06.08.–07.08.2016
    Rally Hokkaido – Japan; 23.09.–25.09.2016
    Rally Malaysia – Malaysia; 29.10.–30.10.2016
    Rally India – India; 10.12.–11.12.2016
    • Vozi: OctaviA5 1.9TDI 2008 Elegance+

    Van mreže KarlheinzTopic starter

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    « Odgovor #168 poslato: Oktobar 04, 2016, 05:49:51 posle podne »
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  • WRC 2: Kopecký claims ŠKODA Motorsport’s 20th podium finish with the FABIA R5

    ​›    Second place for ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler at the Rally France in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
    ›    Five stage wins for the Czech champions

    ​Bastia, 2 October 2016 – Works driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) claimed the 20th podium finish for ŠKODA Motorsport with the FABIA R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). The experienced Czech and his co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) finished second at the infamous Rally France on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. Asphalt specialist Kopecký was embroiled in a thrilling battle with eventual winner Elfyn Evans (GB) over 390.92 kilometres against the clock, and underlined his class with victory on five of the ten special stages.

    ​“We would obviously have liked to win, but congratulations to Elfyn Evans on his deserved victory. We are pleased to have reached a small milestone. We are proud to have racked up 20 podium finishes for ŠKODA Motorsport on the global platform that is WRC 2 since our FABIA R5 made its debut last year. Our thanks go out to the entire team,” said Michal Hrabánek. The ŠKODA Motorsport Director will accept nothing less than success: “We will continue to work hard to improve. There’s no time to catch one’s breath: we want to be back in contention again next time out at the Rally Spain.”

    Endless corners, blazing sunshine, and heavy showers on Saturday - the “Rally of 10,000 Corners” put the drivers and cars through their paces over the three days on Corsica. This was underlined by the fact that only four cars in the WRC 2 class completed all stages of the rally. These included two ŠKODA FABIA R5. Frenchman Julien Maurin, at the wheel of his customer car, finished fourth at his home rally.

    ŠKODA works driver Kopecký thrilled thousands of spectators along the route with his battle for class victory with Ford driver Elfyn Evans. The very first stage, “Aqua Doria - Albitreccia 1”, ultimately proved to be pivotal, with Kopecký dropping 17.9 seconds over the course of 49.72 kilometres. The 34-year-old Czech was playing catch-up from this point on, and although able to close the gap to Evans, courtesy of some blistering times, he was unable to overtake the experienced WRC driver in the overall standings.

    As such, Kopecký once again had to settle for second place at the “Tour de Corse” - the same position he occupied for three years in a row between 2011 and 2013. The rally formed part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in 2011 and 2012, and belonged to the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) in 2013. The iconic rally returned to the world championship calendar last year. “I’m happy with my performance, although I would obviously have liked to win. The routes on Corsica are always a real test for the tyres and brakes – but this time the rain also made it slippery, and thus even more complicated, for the first time,” said the ŠKODA works driver.

    The previous seven rounds of the WRC 2 had all been won by a driver in ŠKODA FABIA R5. Works driver Esapekka Lappi (FIN) won his home rally in Finland and in Germany, while team-mate Pontus Tidemand (S) triumphed at the Rally Portugal. Teemu Suninen (FIN) was victorious in a FABIA R5 in Mexico, at the Rally Italy on Sardinia and at the Rally Poland. Nicolás Fuchs (PE) won for ŠKODA at the Rally Argentina.

    Elfyn Evans extended his overall lead in the WRC 2 class, and now has 120 points to his name. However, the title race is still wide open, as the Brit has no further opportunities to score points. He has already contested the maximum seven races, in which it is possible to score points towards the overall standings. Suninen (93 points) and ŠKODA works driver Lappi (82) both have a further two opportunities in their FABIA R5 with three races remaining and 25 points on offer for a race win.

    The other two ŠKODA works drivers, Jan Kopecký (55 points) and Pontus Tidemand (49), also still have a mathematical chance of clinching the title. For this to be possible, however, they would have to win all three remaining rallies. The first opportunity for Kopecký and Tidemand to underline their title credentials comes at the Rally Spain from 13 to 16 October, where they will represent the ŠKODA Motorsport team.

    Result of the Rally France (WRC 2):

    1. Evans/Parry (GB/GB); Ford Fiesta R5; 4:14:22.0 hrs
    2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 0:33.3 min
    3. Bonato/Boulloud (F/F); Citroën DS3 R5; + 3:39.6 min
    4. Maurin/Thimonier (F/F); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 4:10.1 min


    The number for the rally: 6

    Works driver Jan Kopecký made it onto the podium in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) with the ŠKODA FABIA R5 for the sixth time at the Rally France. He finished third at the 2015 Rally Italy on Sardinia, before claiming his maiden WRC 2 victory at the Rally Germany. He followed this with second place at the Rally Spain. This year, Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler finished runner-up at the Rally Italy, Rally Germany and now the Rally France.

    FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

    Event/ Date               
    Rally Monte Carlo; 21.01.–24.01.2016
    Rally Sweden; 11.02.–14.02.2016
    Rally Mexico; 03.03.–06.03.2016
    Rally Argentina; 21.04.–24.04.2016
    Rally Portugal; 19.05.–22.05.2016
    Rally Italy; 09.06.–12.06.2016
    Rally Poland; 30.06.–03.07.2016
    Rally Finland; 28.07.–31.07.2016
    Rally Germany; 18.08.–21.08.2016
    Rally China; 08.09.–11.09.2016 (cancelled)
    Rally France; 29.09.–02.10.2016
    Rally Spain; 13.10.–16.10.2016
    Rally Great Britain; 27.10.–30.10.2016
    Rally Australia; 17.11.–20.11.2016
    • Vozi: OctaviA5 1.9TDI 2008 Elegance+

    Van mreže KarlheinzTopic starter

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    « Odgovor #169 poslato: Oktobar 11, 2016, 10:48:11 pre podne »
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  • WRC 2: ŠKODA showdown at the Rally Spain heralds crucial phase of title race

    ​› Last year’s winner Pontus Tidemand and Czech champion Jan Kopecký at the wheel for the ŠKODA works team
    › Teemu Suninen another title contender in the ŠKODA FABIA R5 – ten ŠKODA FABIA R5s in the starting field
    › Seven wins already for ŠKODA in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
    › Michal Hrabánek: “The most experienced driver tends to win the Rally Spain”

    ​Mladá Boleslav, 10 October 2016 – Ten ŠKODA FABIA R5s on the starting list, three of which are still in with a chance of winning the championship – the Rally Spain heralds the crucial phase of the FIA World Championship (WRC 2) with a genuine showdown between the ŠKODA drivers. Representing the ŠKODA Motorsport works team are last year’s winner Pontus Tidemand (S) and his co-driver Jonas Andersson (S), and Czech champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ). From Thursday to Sunday they can expect an exciting battle with the man currently second in the championship, Teemu Suninen (FIN), at the wheel of a ŠKODA FABIA R5 run by a private team.

    ​“We are at the business end of the season, and we have a high-class field,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “Anyone wanting to win here must be on the very top of their game.” He sees the Rally Spain as one of the highlights of the world championship season, as it is the only “hybrid rally”, with one day predominantly on gravel and two on asphalt. “The most experienced driver, who copes best with all the different surfaces, tends to win the Rally Spain. It goes without saying that the driver also needs a perfect car to cope with these specific challenges. The fact that the field in Spain includes so many ŠKODA FABIA R5s speaks volumes for our rally car,” said Hrabánek.

    Although the first 3.20 of the 340 kilometres of special stage will take place on the asphalt roads of Barcelona on Thursday, the ŠKODA FABIA R5s will start with a gravel set-up. The reason: roughly 89 per cent of Friday’s special stages will be contested on gravel roads. The ŠKODA Motorsport team then faces a big challenge on Friday evening: the mechanics have just 75 minutes to ensure the high-tech cars are ready for a return to asphalt roads, as the majority of Saturday and Sunday’s special stages will be held on this surface.

    Last year, the ŠKODA Motorsport drivers passed this test with flying colours: Pontus Tidemand and Jan Kopecký finished first and second – a success the two works drivers would love to repeat this year. “I obviously have fantastic memories of the Rally Spain. I definitely want to get back on the top step of the podium, although the opposition will be tough - particularly the ŠKODA’s of Jan Kopecký and Teemu Suninen,” said Tidemand. Recent victory at the Rally Uppsala in his native Sweden has given Tidemand a boost of confidence. On the same weekend, Kopecký finished runner-up at the Rally France. This represented the 20th podium for ŠKODA Motorsport with the FABIA R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2).

    “I am looking forward to the Rally Spain. It will all come down to who adapts quickest to the different surfaces,” said Kopecký. “If I can manage that, I have a good chance of winning. After three runner-up finishes in a row in WRC 2, it is about time I won one.” Like team-mate Tidemand, he needs a win to keep his chances of winning the WRC 2 title alive. The man best placed in the title race is Teemu Suninen, who is currently second behind Elfyn Evans (120 points/seven races) with 93 points from five races. The third ŠKODA works driver Esapekka Lappi (82 points/five races) is also still in contention. He will not be in action in Spain, but could still pick up points in the remaining two races in Great Britain and Australia.

    Seven of the last eight WRC 2 races have seen a ŠKODA FABIA R5 driver winning. Works driver Lappi won his home rally in Finland and triumphed again in Germany, while team-mate Pontus Tidemand (S) celebrated a win at the Rally Portugal. Victory in Mexico, on Sardinia and at the Rally Poland went to Suninen, while Nicolás Fuchs (PE) triumphed for ŠKODA at the Rally Argentina.


    FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

    Event/ Date               
    Rally Monte Carlo; 21.01.–24.01.2016
    Rally Sweden; 11.02.–14.02.2016
    Rally Mexico; 03.03.–06.03.2016
    Rally Argentina; 21.04.–24.04.2016
    Rally Portugal; 19.05.–22.05.2016
    Rally Italy; 09.06.–12.06.2016
    Rally Poland; 30.06.–03.07.2016
    Rally Finland; 28.07.–31.07.2016
    Rally Germany;´18.08.–21.08.2016
    Rally China; 08.09.–11.09.2016 (cancelled)
    Rally France; 29.09.–02.10.2016
    Rally Spain; 13.10.–16.10.2016
    Rally Great Britain; 27.10.–30.10.2016
    Rally Australia; 17.11.–20.11.2016


    Did you know …

    … the starting list for the Rally Spain features no fewer than ten ŠKODA FABIA R5s? As well as the two works duos Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) and Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), the following eight customer pairings will also be in action: Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN), Armin Kremer/Pirmin Winklhofer (D/D), Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari/Killian Duffi (Q/IRL), Ghislain de Mevius/Johan Jalet (B/B), Max Rendina/Emanuele Inglesi (I/I), Julien Maurin/Olivier Ural (F/F), Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjærmoen (N/N) and Bernhard Ten Brinke/Davy Thierie (NL/NL).

    … the WRC 2 drivers can only score points in seven selected rallies? The best six results then make up the driver’s overall score. Britain’s Elfyn Evans currently leads the way with 120 points following his victory at the Rally France. However, Evans has already completed his seven races, in which he can score points towards the overall standings. This leaves the title race wide open. Spain represents the penultimate opportunity to pick up points for second-placed Teemu Suninen (93 points) in his ŠKODA FABIA R5. ŠKODA works driver Esapekka Lappi (82) is not racing in Spain, but also has a further two opportunities to add to his points tally, with a maximum 25 points up for grabs at each rally. The other two ŠKODA works drivers, Jan Kopecký (55 points) and Pontus Tidemand (49), also have a mathematical chance of winning the title. To achieve this, however, they would have to win each of the three remaining rallies in Spain, Great Britain and Australia.

    … the ŠKODA mechanics must be on the very top of their game at the Rally Spain? An extra-long service on Friday evening gives them 75 minutes to switch the two ŠKODA FABIA R5s of Pontus Tidemand and Jan Kopecký from a gravel to an asphalt set-up. In the case of many rally cars, this time will be used to replace springs and shock absorbers, adjust the right height and fit a thinner underbody protection, among other things.

    … the drivers’ visibility will be seriously hampered on the gravel roads on Friday? The dust whipped up by the cars often hangs in the air for several minutes, particularly in the valleys in the hilly Spanish landscape.

    … the Rally Spain was held for the first time in 1957? It has formed part of the FIA World Rally Championship since 1991. It was first staged on the Costa Brava, before moving to Salou on the Costa Daurada.

    … the service park is located in a theme park? The “PortAventura” park in the popular tourist town of Salou, near Tarragona, attracts thrill-seeking holidaymakers from around the world every summer. It also includes the Costa Caribe waterpark and four hotels.

    … the rally features what is probably the most spectacular roundabout in the World Rally Championship? The rally drivers must drive all the way around a roundabout on the Duesaigües special stage. Failure to do this results in a 30-second penalty. This spectacular action obviously goes down well with the fans, thousands of whom flock to the stage, which, as it did last year, will again form the closing Power Stage in 2016.
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    « Odgovor #170 poslato: Oktobar 14, 2016, 10:06:43 posle podne »
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  • Tidemand ahead of Kopecký: One-two lead for ŠKODA Motorsport at the Rally Spain

    ​›    At the front: Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson 3.0 seconds ahead of the second ŠKODA works duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler
    ›    Mud and rain: A total of three ŠKODA FABIA R5 at the front in difficult conditions in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) – title contender Teemu Suninen unlucky
    ›    Top performance by ŠKODA Motorsport's team of mechanics: Set-up changed from gravel to asphalt in 75 minutes

    ​Salou, 14 October 2016 – Mud, rain and aquaplaning: Despite difficult conditions, ŠKODA Motorsport has taken a one-two lead at the start of the Rally Spain. Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) head into the final weekend of the third from last round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) season with a lead of only 3.0 seconds over the second works duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ). ŠKODA's team of mechanics also delivered a brilliant performance: The two FABIA R5 of Kopecký and Tidemand were converted from gravel to asphalt set-up in an extended 75-minute service on Friday.

    ​"Switching between asphalt and gravel, the Rally Spain demands everything from everyone – the mechanics, drivers and the rally car. The extreme track conditions after the stormy rainfall made everything even more complicated. Which is why we are really pleased with the interim result," said Pontus Tidemand. Last year's winner snatched the lead from his team-mate Kopecký in a dramatic ŠKODA duel on the final special stage on Friday. However, Tidemand's lead is minimal after 119.10 kilometres mainly on gravel. A total of three FABIA R5 lead the standings in the WRC 2 – further proof of the class of ŠKODA's rally car.

    There are a good 200 kilometres to go around the Costa Daurada on Saturday and Sunday, which will mainly be on asphalt. The Rally Spain is the only "hybrid rally" on the WRC calendar, at which the tracks switch between gravel and asphalt. The rally got underway with a stage on the streets of Barcelona on Thursday evening, which Kopecký won. Then on Friday morning the anticipated three-way battle of the ŠKODA title contenders developed on the softened tracks saturated with deep puddles.

    Teemu Suninen (FIN) temporarily took the lead in his FABIA R5 in action for a privateer team. However, the Finn was forced to retire his car on the longest special stage of 38.95 kilometres, "Terra Alta 1", after suffering a defect. This dealt a bitter blow to his ambitions of winning the WRC 2 title. After his retirement, the afternoon's stages on drying tracks became a battle of the best times between the two works drivers Tidemand and Kopecký.

    "The three-way battle became a duel with Pontus. No doubt it will be an extremely thrilling weekend. Anything is possible in Spain, especially since we will now be on my favourite surface of asphalt," said the Czech champion. Last year, Tidemand and his team-mate Kopecký celebrated a one-two result at the Rally Spain. A repeat doesn't seem out of the question after the successful start.

    Interim standings Rally Spain (WRC 2):

    1. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S); ŠKODA FABIA R5; 1:22:53.7 hrs
    2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 0:03.0 min.
    3. Maurin/Sarreaud (F/F); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 1:23.6 min.
    4. Aasen/Engan (N/N); Ford Fiesta R5; + 2:45.1 min.
    5. Ten Brinke/Thierie (NL/NL); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 6:07.3 min.


    The number of the day: 38.95

    The longest special stage of the Rally Spain is 38.95 kilometres and called "Terra Alta". Works driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) and third-placed driver in the overall standings, ŠKODA customer Julien Maurin (F), managed to complete the first pass of this stage in exactly the same time. Both mastered the distance in their FABIA R5 in 27:20.2 minutes and in doing so shared the best time in the WRC 2. Incidentally, a ŠKODA FABIA R5 topped the timesheet on all seven special stages on Thursday and Friday.


    FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

    Event/ Date               
    Rally Monte Carlo; 21.01.–24.01.2016
    Rally Sweden; 11.02.–14.02.2016
    Rally Mexico; 03.03.–06.03.2016
    Rally Argentina; 21.04.–24.04.2016
    Rally Portugal; 19.05.–22.05.2016
    Rally Italy; 09.06.–12.06.2016
    Rally Poland; 30.06.–03.07.2016
    Rally Finland; 28.07.–31.07.2016
    Rally Germany; 18.08.–21.08.2016
    Rally China; 08.09.–11.09.2016 (cancelled)
    Rally France; 29.09.–02.10.2016
    Rally Spain; 13.10.–16.10.2016
    Rally Great Britain; 27.10.–30.10.2016
    Rally Australia; 17.11.–20.11.2016
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    « Odgovor #171 poslato: Oktobar 16, 2016, 11:05:39 posle podne »
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  • Celebrations at the Rally Spain: ŠKODA Motorsport repeats 2015 one-two victory

    ​› In reverse order: this time around, Jan Kopecký won ahead of Pontus Tidemand
    › Recording 18 best times, the ŠKODA FABIA R5 is the outstanding car at one of the most challenging races in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
    › Three ŠKODA drivers still in with a chance of claiming the WRC 2 title
    › Michal Hrabánek: “Top performance from the whole team“

    ​Salou, 16 October 2016 – Celebrations in the sunshine on the Costa Daurada: ŠKODA Motorsport has repeated the one-two victory from 2015 at the Rally Spain. After a dramatic duel over 321.08 kilometres, it was the Czech champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler who triumphed this time, 15,3 seconds ahead of the second works duo Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S). Last year, it was Tidemand who had claimed victory ahead of Kopecký at one of the most challenging stops on the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) calendar.

    ​“That was a top performance from the whole team! Regardless of whether they were on gravel or asphalt, in rain or sun - both our driving teams were totally concentrated at all times and neither of them took any unnecessary risks, despite battling one another for the win. The Rally Spain represents a unique challenge on the world championship calendar. This repeat of our one-two victory proves once again how much quality our FABIA R5 has,” commented ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek, before looking ahead to the two remaining races of the WRC 2 season and adding: “We have made sure that we still have every chance in the battle for the title.”

    This battle for victory was a roller-coaster of emotions for the two ŠKODA works drivers and thrilled the tens of thousands of fans who lined the stages on the picturesque Costa Daurada for four days. Jan Kopecký had taken an early lead after winning Thursday's opening stage on wet streets in the pulsating metropolis of Barcelona. Team-mate Pontus Tidemand moved ahead on the muddy gravel stages as the torrential rain continued on Friday. However, on Saturday his 3.0-second advantage had disappeared quickly on asphalt - Kopecký overcame tyre problems to reclaim the lead and went into the final day 14.3 seconds ahead. On Sunday, the 34-year-old Czech driver successfully held off Tidemand's final attacks before throwing himself into delighted victory celebrations.

    “This win at the Rally Spain is worth its weight in gold. After three second-place finishes in a row in the WRC 2, it was about time I got a win,” commented Kopecký. The experienced driver celebrated his second win with the FABIA R5 in the WRC 2, having triumphed at the Rally Germany in 2015. In eight of the last nine WRC 2 races, victory has gone to a driver in the high-tech four-wheel drive car from the Czech manufacturer. Works driver Esapekka Lappi won his home rally in Finland and claimed victory in Germany. Victory in Mexico, on Sardinia and at the Rally Poland went to Teemu Suninen (FIN), while Nicolás Fuchs (PE) triumphed for ŠKODA at the Rally Argentina. Works driver Tidemand celebrated a win at the Rally Portugal.

    However, he was unable to repeat his 2015 triumph in Spain. Tidemand: “It was a tough fight with Jan. I tried absolutely everything but he put on a great performance. Congratulations to Jan - the most important thing was to secure the one-two victory for ŠKODA.”

    Three ŠKODA drivers are still in with a chance of winning the WRC 2 title with two races remaining this season, in Great Britain and Australia. Teemu Suninen finished in fifth place in Spain, driving a FABIA R5 for a privateer team, and is in second place in the overall standings with 103 points. He is followed by the works drivers Esapekka Lappi (82) and Jan Kopecký (80). The two ŠKODA Motorsport drivers have only competed in five races this season and still each have two chances to collect 25 points for a win. Suninen can only record points one more time. The Rally Great Britain (27 to 30 October) will host the big showdown between all three ŠKODA title challengers. WRC 2 leader Elfyn Evans (GB/120 points) has already completed all seven races in which he can collect points for the overall standings this season.

    Final standings Rally Spain (WRC 2):

    1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; 3:22:08.7 hrs
    2. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S); ŠKODA FABIA R5;  + 0:15.3 min.
    3. Turan/Zsiros (H/H); Peugeot 208 R5; + 14:54.1 min.
    4. van den Heuvel/Dockx (NL/NL); Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X;+ 25:02.6 min.
    5. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 29:09.0 min.


    The number of the rally: 18

    What a demonstration: the ŠKODA FABIA R5 was the fastest car in the WRC 2 class in 18 out of 19 special stages at the Rally Spain. Works driver Jan Kopecký delivered a convincing performance, recording the fastest time on twelve occasions. On the 38.95 kilometres of the longest special stage, “Terra Alta 1”, he shared the fastest time with French driver Julien Maurin, who was competing in a FABIA R5 for a privateer team. Works drivers Pontus Tidemand (5) and Teemu Suninen (1), in a customer car, recorded the other best times for ŠKODA.


    FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

    Event/ Date               
    Rally Monte Carlo; 21.01.–24.01.2016
    Rally Sweden; 11.02.–14.02.2016
    Rally Mexico; 03.03.–06.03.2016
    Rally Argentina; 21.04.–24.04.2016
    Rally Portugal; 19.05.–22.05.2016
    Rally Italy; 09.06.–12.06.2016
    Rally Poland; 30.06.–03.07.2016
    Rally Finland; 28.07.–31.07.2016
    Rally Germany; 18.08.–21.08.2016
    Rally China; 08.09.–11.09.2016 (cancelled)
    Rally France; 29.09.–02.10.2016
    Rally Spain; 13.10.–16.10.2016
    Rally Great Britain; 27.10.–30.10.2016
    Rally Australia; 17.11.–20.11.2016
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    « Odgovor #172 poslato: Oktobar 24, 2016, 11:07:04 posle podne »
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  • Championship battle enters finishing straight in Great Britain: three ŠKODA drivers set sights on the title

    ​› ŠKODA works drivers Esapekka Lappi and Jan Kopecký, as well as Teemu Suninen, still in with a shout of winning the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
    › All three works duos - Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler and Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson - line up in the WRC 2 class at the penultimate rally of the season
    › Michal Hrabánek: “The key now is to keep a cool head”

    ŠKODA at the World Championship rally in Great Britain ŠKODA at the World Championship rally in Great Britain ŠKODA at the World Championship rally in Great Britain
    ​Mladá Boleslav, 24 October 2016 – Three ŠKODA drivers will be fighting to keep their title hopes alive in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) at the Rally Great Britain. For works drivers Esapekka Lappi (FIN) and Jan Kopecký (CZ), as well as Teemu Suninen (FIN) in a ŠKODA FABIA R5 run by a private team, the penultimate round of the season from Friday to Saturday will go a long way to deciding who ends the year as champion. ŠKODA Motorsport is represented by three duos on the notorious Welsh gravel routes: Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN), Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) and Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S).

    ​“The key now is to keep a cool head. This crucial stage of the season is all about driving to the best of one’s ability, and also who has the strongest nerves,” says ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “This is all the more important because the Rally Great Britain is unpredictable, due to its unsettled weather. However, we go into the race full of confidence with our three teams, on the back of our one-two at the Rally Spain,” Hrabánek continues.

    The Rally Great Britain is regarded as one of the biggest challenges on the WRC calendar. Meteorologists agree that the weather in Wales is particularly unsettled. As well as unforeseeable weather, the crews are also faced with unpredictable surfaces. Parts of the gravel rally soon transform into a mud and sludge rally. For a total 332.87 kilometres against the clock, spread over 22 special stages, the drivers struggle with extremely low grip levels and the constant risk of crashing and ruining any hopes of success.

    Despite this, Esapekka Lappi, who sat the last two rallies out, is looking forward to the Rally Great Britain: “I love these pressure situations and travel to Wales full of confidence. After all, we won our last two rallies in a row in Finland and Germany.” Jan Kopecký is also riding the crest of a wave after his victory at the Rally Spain: “I showed there that I can also perform on gravel. I’m out to underline that in Wales,” Kopecký continues.

    The position is clear: ahead of the final two races in Great Britain and Australia, three ŠKODA drivers are still in contention in WRC 2. Teemu Suninen remains in second place with 105 points. He is followed by the two works drivers Esapekka Lappi (82) and Jan Kopecký (80). However, the two ŠKODA Motorsport drivers have competed in just five races this season, meaning they both have another two chances to pick up the 25 points on offer for a win. Suninen, on the other hand, can only pick up points at the Rally Great Britain. WRC 2 leader Elfyn Evans (GB/120 points) has already contested his full quota of seven races, at which he can score points towards the overall standings.

    The chances of another ŠKODA triumph in Great Britain are looking good. After all, eight of the last nine WRC 2 races have been won by a driver at the wheel of the Czech carmaker’s high-tech four-wheel drive car. Works driver Jan Kopecký won the Rally Spain last time out. Team-mate Esapekka Lappi was victorious at his home rally in Finland and in Germany. Teemu Suninen (FIN) came out on top in Mexico, Sardinia and Poland, while Nicolás Fuchs (PE) won the Rally Argentina for ŠKODA. Works driver Tidemand claimed victory at the Rally Portugal. The Swede may no longer be in with a shout of winning the title, but is out to show his potential in Great Britain: “I obviously want to make it onto the top step of the podium with ŠKODA!”


    FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

    Event/ Date   
               
    Rally Monte Carlo; 21.01.–24.01.2016
    Rally Sweden; 11.02.–14.02.2016
    Rally Mexico; 03.03.–06.03.2016
    Rally Argentina; 21.04.–24.04.2016
    Rally Portugal; 19.05.–22.05.2016
    Rally Italy; 09.06.–12.06.2016
    Rally Poland; 30.06.–03.07.2016
    Rally Finland; 28.07.–31.07.2016
    Rally Germany; 18.08.–21.08.2016
    Rally China; 08.09.–11.09.2016 (cancelled)
    Rally France; 29.09.–02.10.2016
    Rally Spain; 13.10.–16.10.2016
    Rally Great Britain; 27.10.–30.10.2016
    Rally Australia; 17.11.–20.11.2016
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    « Odgovor #173 poslato: Oktobar 30, 2016, 11:52:43 posle podne »
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  • APRC: ŠKODA celebrates its fifth consecutive title – Gill wins Drivers’ Championship a round early

    ​› Rally Malaysia: Gaurav Gill celebrates his fifth season win at the fifth round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) and adds a second drivers’ title to his 2013 trophy
    › Ahead of the season finale in India: ŠKODA can no longer be beaten in the Manufacturers’ Championship
    › Michal Hrabánek: “Extremely important triumph for the ŠKODA brand and our FABIA R5”

    ​Johor Bahru, 30 October 2016 – ŠKODA has good reason to celebrate at the Rally Malaysia: the successful Czech car maker has secured its fifth consecutive manufacturers’ and drivers’ title in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). On top of that, India’s Gaurav Gill has already claimed the drivers’ trophy in the prestigious continental championship with his fifth season win in the fifth leg of this season’s APRC. It is his second drivers’ cup, having won in 2013. This means that the ŠKODA MRF team already has the most important titles in the bag ahead of the grand season finale in Gill’s native India from 3 to 5 December.

    ​“The fact that we have secured our fifth consecutive title in the APRC a round early is testament to the quality of the team. The Asia-Pacific region is a key market for ŠKODA, so this is an extremely important triumph for the ŠKODA brand and our FABIA R5. Whether we were competing in searing heat on the edge of the Gobi Desert in China, after a typhoon in Japan or now in the difficult conditions in Malaysia – we were fast and demonstrated the quality of ŠKODA vehicles in front of tens of thousands of fans,” commented ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

    Old hand Gill (34) was rejoined by his usual co-driver Glenn Macneall (AUS) at this event and was the measure of all things once again at the Rally Malaysia. He initially fought it out with the second ŠKODA MRF duo, Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian (D/D), during the first five stages on Saturday, held around the city of Johor Bahru in the blazing heat. Then, Kreim – who recently won the German rally – made a mistake and was unable to continue that day due to a technical problem. He returned on Sunday, however, and put in five best times on the muddy tracks to finish in the overall ranking in third place. This gave the German driver his fifth podium position in the APRC during his first season on gravel.

    Meanwhile, APRC expert Gaurav Gill took the top spot on the podium for the fifth time this year. “Although we won comfortably in the end, it was hard work. At the Rally Malaysia, you don’t just fight it out with the other teams – you fight it out with the difficult conditions at the rally itself too. But our ŠKODA MRF team did a fantastic job again,” said Gill, who was delighted at having wrapped up the championship title before the end of the season: “It’s a dream to claim a second title in the APRC, having won in 2013. Back then, I won with the FABIA SUPER 2000, this time it’s the FABIA R5 – the ŠKODA cars are just incredibly good. I’m already really looking forward to the season finale in my native India, where I can start the event as the champion.” It is the fifth time in a row that a ŠKODA driver has won the APRC, following victories by Chris Atkinson (AUS/2012), Gill (2013), and works drivers Jan Kopecký (CZ/2014) and Pontus Tidemand (S/2015), who were both competing in the British leg of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) this weekend while the Rally Malaysia was under way.

    ŠKODA also has an unbeatable lead ahead of Subaru in the APRC Manufacturers’ Championship. This latest title was partly thanks to the talented 24-year-old Fabian Kreim and his co-driver Frank Christian. “We’re absolutely delighted that ŠKODA has won the title. Congratulations to Gaurav Gill, who deserved to win this championship title with a strong performance. This year’s APRC taught me an unbelievable amount about driving on gravel, which was previously unknown territory for me.” Kreim is in second place in the overall APRC standings.


    The number of the Rally Malaysia: 14

    The ŠKODA FABIA R5 was the standout car once again at the fifth leg of this season’s APRC. The Rally Malaysia was made up of 14 stages covering just over 230 kilometres, and the high-tech four-wheel-drive from the Czech Republic was unbeatable on every section. Winner Gaurav Gill claimed the best time on eight stages and his team-mate Fabian Kreim was the fastest driver six times.


    FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)

    Event / Date
    Rally Whangarei – New Zealand; 29.04.–01.05.2016
    Rally Queensland – Australia; 18.06.–19.06.2016
    Rally Zhangye – China; 05.08.–07.08.2016
    Rally Hokkaido – Japan; 23.09.–25.09.2016​
    Rally Malaysia – Malaysia; 28.10.–30.10.2016
    Rally India – India; 03.12.–05.12.2016
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    « Odgovor #174 poslato: Oktobar 30, 2016, 11:53:27 posle podne »
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  • ŠKODA works driver Lappi wins the Rally Great Britain and remains in the running for the WRC 2 title

    ​› ŠKODA works duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm celebrate an overall win in Wales in their ŠKODA FABIA R5 – the WRC 2 title will be decided in Australia
    › Works driver Pontus Tidemand takes second place on the podium – Teemu Suninen and Jan Kopecký give ŠKODA a quadruple win
    › ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek: “The result in Wales is excellent – now the focus is on the championship final in Australia”

    ​Deeside, 30 October 2016 – Victory for ŠKODA works driver Esapekka Lappi and his co-driver Janne Ferm at the Rally Great Britain. The “flying Finns” claimed their third season win in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) in their ŠKODA FABIA R5, giving ŠKODA its second triumph in the space of a few hours. Earlier, Gaurav Gill (IND) won the drivers’ title in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) 11,000 kilometres away in Malaysia, also behind the wheel of a FABIA R5, giving ŠKODA its fifth consecutive manufacturers’ trophy. Back in Wales, the second ŠKODA factory team consisting of Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) were rewarded for their catch-up tactics with second place ahead of Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN) in a privateer team’s ŠKODA. Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) finished fourth, giving ŠKODA a quadruple win at the Rally Great Britain. This means the WRC 2 title will be decided at the season finale in Australia.

    ​“Congratulations to Esapekka and Janne on their win at the Rally Great Britain. It’s an outstanding result. They both drove very cleverly at this important rally,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “Going easy on the car because there were no midday services and nevertheless setting the pace paid off for us. Now the focus is on the season finale in Australia, where we have the chance to clinch the title.”

    Thanks to the result of the Welsh leg, suspense is guaranteed at the season finale at the Rally Australia (17–20 November). The rules mean that ŠKODA works driver Lappi – currently third in the season standings with 107 points – is the only contender among the current top 3 who can score additional points in Australia. His rivals at the top of the season standings, Elfyn Evans (Ford) and Suninen, have already completed the maximum number of seven qualifying events and cannot rack up any extra points as a result. Lappi needs to finish at least second Down Under to move up to the top of the WRC 2 standings.   

    “The Rally Great Britain went perfectly for us. Conditions on the courses in Wales weren’t quite as difficult as in previous years and the set-up of our ŠKODA FABIA R5 was perfect. The whole team did an outstanding job,” said Lappi at the finishing line. “We’re delighted to have won, but we also know that we need to start preparing for Australia straight away, where it’s down to us to achieve our big goal for the season.”

    The outcome in Wales means that a driver in the high-tech four-wheel-drive FABIA R5 has won nine out of the last ten WRC 2 legs. GB winner Lappi also triumphed at the event in his native Finland and won the German rally. The ŠKODA works pairing Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) won the Rally Spain, and their team-mates Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) bagged a season win at the Rally Portugal. Suninen took first place in Mexico, Sardinia and Poland, while Nicolás Fuchs (PE) won the Rally Argentina for ŠKODA.

    Tidemand also has every reason to be pleased with the outcome of the Rally Great Britain. In a furious bid to catch up with Suninen, he scored six best stage times to ease past the Finn on the last trial of the rally and claim second place. Meanwhile, Kopecký took fourth place overall in the third works ŠKODA, giving the car maker a quadruple win in Wales.
     

    Final standings Rally Great Britain (WRC 2):

    1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5; 3:24:00.3 hrs
    2. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 0:29.1 min.
    3. Suninen/ Markkula (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 0:30.2 min.
    4. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 2:18.8 min.
    5. Aasen/Engan (N/N); Ford Fiesta R5; + 4:25.3 min.


    The number of the rally: 19

    With 19 out of 22 possible stage wins at the Rally Great Britain going to the ŠKODA FABIA R5, the four-wheel-drive from Mladá Bodeslav has once again proved its mettle in this international competition. Works driver Esapekka Lappi won no fewer than eight of the time trials in Wales, followed by his team-mate Pontus Tidemand (6) and Suninen (5) at the wheel of a privateer team’s ŠKODA FABIA R5. The remaining three stage wins went to Kevin Abbring (NL, Hyundai).


    FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

    Event/ Date               
    Rally Monte Carlo; 21.01.–24.01.2016
    Rally Sweden; 11.02.–14.02.2016
    Rally Mexico; 03.03.–06.03.2016
    Rally Argentina; 21.04.–24.04.2016
    Rally Portugal; 19.05.–22.05.2016
    Rally Italy; 09.06.–12.06.2016
    Rally Poland; 30.06.–03.07.2016
    Rally Finland; 28.07.–31.07.2016
    Rally Germany; 18.08.–21.08.2016
    Rally China; 08.09.–11.09.2016 (cancelled)
    Rally France; 29.09.–02.10.2016
    Rally Spain; 13.10.–16.10.2016
    Rally Great Britain; 27.10.–30.10.2016
    Rally Australia; 17.11.–20.11.2016
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    « Odgovor #175 poslato: Novembar 15, 2016, 12:13:03 posle podne »
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  • ŠKODA works driver Lappi out to clinch the title as the world championship reaches its climax in Australia

    ​› Second place sufficient for ŠKODA works duo Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm to claim the title in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
    › WRC 2 title already guaranteed to go to a ŠKODA driver: either Esapekka Lappi or Teemu Suninen set for overall victory
    › Michal Hrabánek: “We want to crown this already exceptional season”

    ​Mladá Boleslav, 15 November 2016 – On top down under: ‘flying Finns’ Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm are out to secure a historic title for ŠKODA Motorsport at the final round of this season’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). Second place at the Rally Australia, which runs from Thursday to Sunday, is all the works duo needs to claim victory in the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championship. The ŠKODA brand is guaranteed to finish on top of the overall rankings: Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN) currently lead the championship. They have contested the season in a ŠKODA FABIA R5 run by a privateer team, but will not be at the start line in Australia.

    “Everybody has been working really hard to put our ŠKODA works driver Esapekka Lappi and his co-driver Janne Ferm in a position to win the title in Australia,” said Michal Hrabánek. “We want to crown this already exceptional season.” The ŠKODA Motorsport Director did, however, warn of unpredictable conditions at the 312.98-km Rally Australia. “Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm will have to be wide awake at all times. If they are, they could reward themselves for their strong performances, especially in the second half of the 2016 season,” said Hrabánek.
    Esapekka Lappi has won the last three WRC 2 rallies he started. After his triumph on the gravel at his home race in Finland, he then won the Rally Germany on asphalt. He then went on to complete a hat-trick of victories on his debut at the muddy Rally Great Britain at the end of October. In the process, he also came out on top in the direct duel with fellow ŠKODA driver Teemu Suninen, who finished third. Despite this, Suninen still leads the overall WRC 2 rankings with 120 points. However, of the top drivers, only Lappi, who is currently in third place with 107 points, can score any points in Australia.

    Victory or second place will suffice for ŠKODA Motorsport to come away with one of the most prestigious titles in its 115-year success story. Juho Hänninen (FIN) had previously won the championship in 2011, driving a ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000 in the S-WRC class – the forerunner to WRC 2. Lappi would adopt the WRC 2 title from Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q), who wrapped up the 2015 championship in Spain, at the wheel of a ŠKODA FABIA R5. For 25-year-old Lappi, winning the title would be the greatest success of his career – a career that has already seen him win the Finnish Rally Championship (2012) and the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC/2014).
    “Now we are only one step away, we obviously want to win the WRC 2 title,” said Lappi. “We are fully aware that the Rally Australia is not a foregone conclusion. However, we do have fond memories of down under.” In 2013, Lappi/Ferm won their class at the Rally Queensland, which formed part of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC).

    Few rallies have such a wide range of different conditions along their route. Narrow sections that require the drivers’ utmost attention alternate with fast, long sections through Australia’s rainforests. It is not only dangerous animals that can be found at the roadside, but also numerous trees, which are even more dangerous for the drivers as they do not forgive any lack of concentration. Extremely fine sand makes things more difficult still, as it both reduces the level of grip and, in combination with the merciless Australian sun and tall trees, can create light effects that impede the driver.

    As if the conditions were not extreme enough, the drivers will also have to face one of the WRC season’s longest special stages on Saturday. At a length of 50.8 kilometres, ‘Nambucca’ is longer than a marathon. The ‘Wedding Bells’ Power Stage will bring proceedings to a close on Sunday. Whatever happens, ŠKODA will then be able to celebrate a successful season, as Czech car maker’s high-tech, four-wheel drive car has won nine of the last ten WRC 2 races.

    FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
    Event/Date
    Rally Monte-Carlo; 21/01–24/01/2016   
    Rally Sweden; 11/02–14/02/2016
    Rally Mexico; 03/03–06/03/2016
    Rally Argentina; 21/04–24/04/2016
    Rally Portugal; 19/05–22/05/2016
    Rally Italy; 09/06–12/06/2016
    Rally Poland; 30/06–03/07/2016
    Rally Finland; 28/07–31/07/2016
    Rally Germany; 18/08–21/08/2016
    Rally China; 08/09–11/09/2016 (cancelled)
    Rally France; 29/09–02/10/2016
    Rally Spain; 13/10–16/10/2016
    Rally Great Britain; 27/10–30/10/2016
    Rally Australia; 17/11–20/11/2016 
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    « Odgovor #176 poslato: Novembar 20, 2016, 06:22:24 posle podne »
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  • Historic day for ŠKODA in the WRC 2: Lappi/Ferm claim World Champion title

    ​› ŠKODA works duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm clinch the drivers' and co-drivers' title in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) with victory at the Rally Australia
    › One of ŠKODA Motorsport's greatest successes in its 115-year history – victory in the team standings as well
    › ŠKODA FABIA R5 is the outstanding rally car in its class in 2016: 10 wins in 13 races in WRC 2
    › Michal Hrabánek: "A day of celebration for the ŠKODA brand"

    ​Coffs Harbour, 20 November 2016 – Historic day for ŠKODA: The "Flying Finns" Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm are crowned World Champions. With their commanding victory at the Rally Australia, the ŠKODA works duo clinched the drivers' and co-drivers' title in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) for the first time and were over the moon as they climbed onto the roof of the winning FABIA R5 after crossing the finish line. ŠKODA Motorsport was also victorious in the team standings of the WRC 2 and with this triple title celebrates one of the greatest successes in its 115-year history.

    ​"It is a day of celebration for the ŠKODA brand! I am proud of the entire ŠKODA Motorsport team. Naturally of Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm first and foremost, who rewarded the entire team for their fantastic performances this season here in the Australian heat. A big thank you also goes to the engineers and mechanics, without whom this success would not have been possible," said Michal Hrabánek. The ŠKODA Motorsport Director also views the success as confirmation of the development department of the Czech car manufacturer: "10 of the 13 races in the WRC 2 were won in the ŠKODA FABIA R5 this year. That says everything about the quality and speed of our rally car."

    And the FABIA R5 was victorious again Down Under: With his victory at the season finale of the world championship in Australia, Esapekka Lappi catapulted himself to the top of the overall standings of the WRC 2 with 130 points and as champion becomes the successor of Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q). Second place in the drivers' standings went to Lappi's fellow Finn Teemu Suninen (120), who contested the season in a privateer ŠKODA FABIA R5. The championship victory is another milestone for ŠKODA: Juho Hänninen (FIN) was victorious in the S-WRC, the predecessor series of the WRC 2, in the ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000 in 2011.

    Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm's victory was never in doubt on the approximate 280 classified kilometres of the Rally Australia on difficult gravel tracks. With the best time on the first special stage on Friday, the Finns took the lead in the WRC 2 and extended it steadily with further top times. Despite the dust and the heat, Lappi maintained a clear view at the wheel, won a total of 22 of the 23 stages, and finished with an impressive advantage of 4:35.8 minutes over brand colleague Nicolás Fuchs (PE) in a privateer ŠKODA FABIA R5. Esapekka Lappi set further milestones with his fourth win in a row. He gifted the ŠKODA works team its tenth victory and 25th podium for the FABIA R5 in the WRC 2 since the new rally car made its debut at the Rally Portugal in May last year.

    25-year-old Esapekka Lappi celebrates the greatest success of his career with the championship victory in the WRC 2. He clinched the European championship title in 2014, but this year's victory over the best drivers and cars in the WRC 2 class is to be rated even more highly. "I am over the moon. This is one of the biggest days in my life as a rally driver! The nervous tension ahead of the Rally Australia was high, but fortunately Janne and I kept a cool head throughout and clinched the deserved victory for the entire team. Thanks to the entire team at ŠKODA Motorsport, who always provided us with a perfect car. Now we can celebrate together," said Lappi.


    Final standings at the Rally Australia (WRC 2):

    1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5; 2:53:38.0 hrs
    2. Fuchs/Mussano (PE/ARG); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 4:35.8 min.
    3. Ptaszek/Szczepaniak (PL/PL); Ford Fiesta R5; + 6:42.9 min.


    The number of the Rally Australia: 4

    Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm celebrated their fourth win in a row in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) at the Rally Australia, thereby clinching the drivers' and co-drivers' title. The spectacular winning streak began at home on gravel in Finland at the end of July, then came a victory on asphalt at the Rally Germany. At the Rally Great Britain, Lappi and Ferm were also unbeatable on muddy tracks, before they were crowned champions in Australia. But the season didn't get off to a perfect start. Third place at the Rally Sweden was followed by ninth place at the Rally Italy on Sardinia and another third place at the Rally Poland. However, after that Lappi/Ferm were in a class of their own.



    FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

    Event / Date               
    Rally Monte Carlo; 21.01.–24.01.2016
    Rally Sweden; 11.02.–14.02.2016
    Rally Mexico; 03.03.–06.03.2016
    Rally Argentina; 21.04.–24.04.2016
    Rally Portugal; 19.05.–22.05.2016
    Rally Italy; 09.06.–12.06.2016
    Rally Poland; 30.06.–03.07.2016
    Rally Finland; 28.07.–31.07.2016
    Rally Germany; 18.08.–21.08.2016
    Rally China; 08.09.–11.09.2016 (cancelled)
    Rally France; 29.09.–02.10.2016
    Rally Spain; 13.10.–16.10.2016
    Rally Great Britain; 27.10.–30.10.2016
    Rally Australia; 17.11.–20.11.2016
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    « Odgovor #177 poslato: Decembar 06, 2016, 01:48:33 posle podne »
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  • FIA Gala in Vienna: ŠKODA crew Lappi/Ferm receives world championship trophies at the Hofburg

    ​› Historic triumph: Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm receive their Driver and Co-Driver trophies for victory in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
    › Successful year: ŠKODA also wins continental championships in South America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, as well as nine national titles
    › Christian Strube: “The numerous international titles and wins show that we have developed the ŠKODA FABIA R5 into a real winning car”

    ​Mladá Boleslav/Vienna, 2 December 2016 – Coronation in Vienna’s Hofburg palace: ŠKODA works duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm were greeted with applause by the elite of the motorsport world, who had gathered in the Austrian capital, as they were crowned world champions. The “flying Finns” were at the glamorous gala, put on by the International Automobile Federation (FIA), to collect their trophies for winning the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ title in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). ŠKODA drivers Gustavo Saba (PY) and Gaurav Gill (IND) also won the continental championships in South America and the Asia-Pacific region in the ŠKODA FABIA R5. Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q) was victorious in the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC), while a further nine national titles also went the way of the Czech car maker, making 2016 one of the most successful years in the 115-year history of ŠKODA Motorsport.

    ​“The numerous international titles and wins show that we have developed the ŠKODA FABIA R5 into a real winning car. The whole ŠKODA team is very proud of the extraordinary success of our motorsport team,” said Christian Strube, ŠKODA Board Member for Technical Development.

    “We made history with the first title for ŠKODA in the WRC 2. The trophies are a nice confirmation of the class of the ŠKODA FABIA R5 and its crews,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek and added: “However, we will not rest on our laurels, but will work hard to ensure we continue to enjoy success in the future.” The ŠKODA works team will once again compete at selected rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) in 2017.

    The spotlight was on Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm at the gala evening in Vienna, where the world champions from other series, including Formula 1 and the endurance and touring car world championships, were also honoured. Just two weeks after their victory at the Rally Australia, the works duo were rewarded for an outstanding season, in which they won four of the seven rallies they started, with the world championship trophies. In total, 10 of the 2016 season’s 13 races were won by drivers in the ŠKODA FABIA R5.

    “We had an excellent car,” said Lappi. “We must say a big thank you to the ŠKODA Motorsport team, who did a magnificent job to lay the foundation for the biggest success of our careers so far. We have every reason to celebrate,” Lappi added. The world championship title is the crowning moment of the 25-year-old Finn’s four years with the ŠKODA Motorsport team, with which he won the European title in 2014. The WRC 2 title is another milestone for ŠKODA: Juho Hänninen (FIN) had previously won the S-WRC – the predecessor to the WRC 2 series – in a ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000 in 2011.

    ŠKODA was also the dominant manufacturer in two prestigious continental championships in 2016. Gustavo Saba/Fernando Mussano (PY/ARG) triumphed in the ŠKODA FABIA R5 in the FIA Codasur South American Rally Championship. Gaurav Gill wrapped up the fifth title in a row for ŠKODA in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with races to spare – also at the wheel of the high-tech powerhouse from the Czech Republic. The final round of the APRC takes place in India this weekend. The ŠKODA FABIA R5 was also the car of choice for Nasser Al-Attiyah, who was crowned rally champion in the Middle East.

    Second place in the APRC went to Fabian Kreim (D), who also won the German Rally Championship – one of nine national championships to go the way of the ŠKODA FABIA R5 in 2016. In the Czech Rally Championship (MČR), the ŠKODA works duo of Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) won the title for the second year in a row. They are undefeated in ten starts since the ŠKODA FABIA R5 made its debut. In Belgium, ŠKODA legend “Fast” Freddy Loix was victorious in the national championship for the fourth time in a row, and subsequently announced his retirement from rallying. The title won by Kalle Rovanperä was another remarkable achievement: at just 16 years of age, he became the youngest rally champion in Latvian history.

    A further five drivers have already been crowned national champions in the ŠKODA FABIA R5: Norbert Herczig (Hungary), Pavel Valoušek (Slovakia), Esben Hegelund (Denmark), Desi Henry (Ireland/National Forest Championship) and Sylvain Michel (France/asphalt). In Paraguay, the race for the winner’s trophy has come down to a two-man battle at the final round of the season between ŠKODA FABIA R5 drivers Gustavo Saba and Didier Arias. ŠKODA’s customer racing programme has been a spectacular success: over 80 high-tech cars have now been sold to private teams around the world.
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    « Odgovor #178 poslato: Decembar 06, 2016, 01:49:21 posle podne »
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  • Win number six of the APRC season: Champion Gill and ŠKODA triumph in India

    ​› Six rounds, six wins: Gaurav Gill wins his home race to complete a flawless season for ŠKODA in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
    › Glenn Macneall takes the Co-Driver title – fifth win in a row for ŠKODA in the Manufacturers’ and Co-Drivers’ competitions in the APRC
    › Michal Hrabánek: “You could not wish for a better way to round off what has been a successful 2016 for us on the rally scene”

    ​Chikmagalur/India, 5 December 2016 – The perfect end to a magnificent year of rallying for ŠKODA in 2016: local favourite Gaurav Gill claimed a much-celebrated home win at the final round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in India. Victory at the Rally India came three days after the new APRC champion’s 35th birthday, and completed a flawless record of six wins from six races. The latest success in the impressive ŠKODA FABIA R5 also earned his co-driver Glenn Macneall (AUS) the Co-Driver title in the APRC. ŠKODA was already guaranteed its fifth title in a row in the Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ Championships coming into the final race.

    ​“You could not wish for a better way to round off what has been a successful 2016 for us on the rally scene. World rally champions Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm received their trophies in Vienna on Friday. Three days later, Gaurav Gill and Glenn Macneall climbed onto the top step of the podium for us again and were crowned APRC champions in front of thousands of fans at the final rally of the season, which took place in the key Asia-Pacific region. That was the best possible advertising for the ŠKODA brand,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

    Thousands of fans had flocked through the coffee plantations to watch Indian rally hero Gill. However, it was his ŠKODA MRF team-mates Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian (D/D) who initially took the lead on Saturday’s only special stage. Unfortunately, the exciting all-ŠKODA duel only lasted until the fourth stage on Sunday, which the German rally champions were unable to finish due to a damaged suspension. After that, Gill was untroubled and won all twelve stages on day two. Kreim returned to the rally on Monday and won three of the final four stages to climb back into fifth place. However, it was Gaurav Gill who took a popular victory after 225 kilometres against the clock.

    “This victory in my home country is the icing on the cake at the end of an outstanding 2016. I would like to say a special thank you to the ŠKODA MRF team, which has always done a perfect job. It is thanks to this that I was able to add a second APRC title to the one I won in 2013,” said Gill. As well as the triumph in the APRC, ŠKODA also won the continental championship in South America, courtesy of Gustavo Saba (PY). Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q) won the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC), also at the wheel of a ŠKODA FABIA R5, and a further nine national titles also went the way of ŠKODA drivers. However, the highlight was undoubtedly the historic victory in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) for Lappi/Ferm in the FABIA R5, which made 2016 one of the most successful years in the 115-year history of ŠKODA Motorsport.


    The number for the Rally India: 17

    17 stages, 17 sage wins: the ŠKODA FABIA R5 once again ended the APRC season with a flawless record. As at the previous two rallies in the continental championship, in Malaysia and Japan, the two drivers in the high-tech four-wheel drive powerhouse left the opposition in their wake on every single stage of the Rally India. Rally winner Gill took 13 stage wins, while Fabian Kreim was the fastest man on four special stages.


    FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)

    Event/ Date
    Rally Whangarei – New Zealand; 29.04.–01.05.2016
    Rally Queensland – Australia; 18.06.–19.06.2016
    Rally Zhangye – China; 05.08.–07.08.2016
    Rally Hokkaido – Japan; 23.09.–25.09.2016
    Rally Malaysia – Malaysia; 28.10.–30.10.2016
    Rally India – India; 03.12.–05.12.2016
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    « Odgovor #179 poslato: Decembar 20, 2016, 01:07:33 posle podne »
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  • ŠKODA well prepared for the 2017 rally year

    ​› Experienced WRC driver Andreas Mikkelsen returns to his roots to drive the ŠKODA FABIA R5 at the iconic Rally Monte Carlo
    › Works drivers Pontus Tidemand and Jan Kopecký also go in pursuit of the title at selected rounds of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
    › Michal Hrabánek: “We want to back up 2016’s success”

    ​Mladá Boleslav, 20 December 2016 – Following an extraordinarily successful year in 2016, ŠKODA Motorsport has landed a surprise coup ahead of the new rally season. Experienced WRC driver Andreas Mikkelsen (N) and co-driver Anders Jæger (N) will make a guest appearance for the works team at the wheel of the ŠKODA FABIA R5 at the iconic Rally Monte Carlo, which takes place from 19 to 22 January 2017. The opening round of the FIA World Rally Championship also marks the start of the new season with the works team for Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) and Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ). ŠKODA is the defending champion in the WRC 2 class.

    ​“With the world championship title, three continental and ten national titles, 2016 was one of the most successful years in the history of ŠKODA Motorsport. We want to back up this success in 2017, and kick off the new rally year at the famous ‘Monte’. The ŠKODA Motorsport works team will contest selected rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) and will also race in the Czech Rally Championship,” said Michal Hrabánek. The ŠKODA Motorsport Director will once again put his faith in works drivers Pontus Tidemand and Jan Kopecký in 2017. However, he is also looking forward to the guest appearance of Andreas Mikkelsen: “We are obviously proud to see him in the ŠKODA FABIA R5. In a way, Andreas Mikkelsen is returning to his roots.”

    The 27-year-old Norwegian, who is now regarded as one of the world’s top rally drivers, began his rise to the top with titles in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in 2011 and 2012. Back then, he was victorious in a ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000. In 2011, he made his first appearance for the Volkswagen Motorsport team at the Rally Finland, again in the successful ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000. He then went on to finish third overall in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2014, 2015 and 2016, winning three races in the top tier of rallying. On 20 November 2016, Mikkelsen/Jæger were victorious at the Rally Australia, the final race for four-time world champions Volkswagen in the WRC.

    “It feels like I am coming home,” said Andreas Mikkelsen. “ŠKODA gave me an opportunity right at the start of my career. I have so many fond memories of the ŠKODA FABIA and am really looking forward to getting back in that car. I hope I can get a good result for ŠKODA, although the ‘Monte’ is a very difficult rally.” Works drivers Tidemand and Kopecký will certainly be among the experienced WRC driver’s toughest rivals. After all, they have a lot of experience and victories under their belts with the ŠKODA FABIA R5. Tidemand won the WRC 2 class in Portugal in 2016, while Kopecký triumphed in Spain.

    The icing on the cake in a successful 2016 for ŠKODA Motorsport was the first Driver and Co-Driver title in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2), courtesy of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN). ŠKODA drivers Gustavo Saba (PY) and Gaurav Gill (IND) also won the continental championships in South America and the Asia-Pacific region in the ŠKODA FABIA R5. Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q) triumphed in the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC), while a further ten national titles went to drivers at the wheel of ŠKODA cars. This made 2016 one of the most successful years in the 115-year history of ŠKODA Motorsport.

    The 2017 calendar for the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

    Event/ Date               
    Rally Monte Carlo; 19.01.–22.01.2017
    Rally Sweden; 09.02.–12.02.2017
    Rally Mexico; 09.03.–12.03.2017
    Rally France; 06.04.–09.04.2017
    Rally Argentina; 27.04.–30.04.2017
    Rally Portugal; 18.05.–21.05.2017
    Rally Italy; 08.06.–11.06.2017
    Rally Poland; 29.06.–02.07.2017
    Rally Finland; 27.07.–30.07.2017
    Rally Germany; 17.08.–20.08.2017
    Rally Spain; 05.10.–08.10.2017
    Rally Great Britain; 26.10.–29.10.2017
    Rally Australia; 16.11.–19.11.2017
    • Vozi: OctaviA5 1.9TDI 2008 Elegance+

     


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