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ŠKODA Opšte i Razne Teme => Škoda INFO & Sport => Temu započeo: Karlheinz April 14, 2013, 11:29:28 pre podne

Naslov: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 14, 2013, 11:29:28 pre podne

Portugal Rally: ŠKODA in the lead after Friday

4/12/2013

After Day 1 of the gravel event in the area of Algarve, Finland´s Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (factory crew) are top of the WRC-2 standings.​
​Sepp Wiegand & Frank Christian of ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland are sixth after two defects.
Leg 1 of the fourth event of the FIA WRC-2 saw Esapekka Lappi win all of Friday´s five special stages: “Our main ambition in today´s first run was to get the right rhythm. It was the right decision, we were much more confident in the second runs.”

Sepp Wiegand had bad luck on Friday - a tyre defect in Stage 2 slowed the current leader of the WRC-2 down: “We were the first WRC-2 crew to have appeared on the start line today, so we mainly concentrated on our speed.” A crash into a wall in today´s last stage in Lisbon resulted in an unplanned wheel replacement. “I did not expect the track to be this slippery ... I am so fed up with myself!” Yet Wiegand had “good luck in bad luck”, because he was able to continue and will start Day 2 in sixth place.

Saturday´s programme includes six special stages, 158 kilometres in total. “This rally will be long and very, very difficult,” says Lappi. The drivers will get to the finish line on after four stages on Sunday the most exciting of which is the 52.3-kilometre long Almodovar stage known as the “royal” stage.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 14, 2013, 11:34:00 pre podne
Portugal Rally: ŠKODA in first two places

Vilamoura/Mladá Boleslav, 13 April, 2013. ŠKODA has reinforced its lead at the Portugal Rally after Day 2. Just like on Friday, ŠKODA´s factory crew, Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN), won all of the special stages in their WRC-2 category. After a thrilling chase ride, Sepp Wiegand & Frank Christian are second.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 14, 2013, 07:25:07 posle podne
ŠKODA wins in Portugal
 
Vilamoura/Mladá Boleslav, 14 April, 2013 – ŠKODA has won the WRC-2 category at the Portugal Rally. Its factory crew, Esapekka Lappi & Janne Ferm (FIN), celebrate their first FIA World Championship victory after leading the rally from to start to finish. Germany´s Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian came third to wrap up a great weekend for ŠKODA and reinforce their position top of the WRC-2 standings.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 23, 2013, 07:39:39 posle podne
ŠKODA to appear at the Azores Rally as the ERC leader

Mladá Boleslav, 22 April, 2013 – ŠKODA´s factory crew, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler, will appear at the Azores Rally as the current ERC leaders, their ambition before the fourth event of the 2013 ERC being to continue their success story in this year´s European Championship. The SATA Rally Azores is scheduled for April 25 – 27.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 27, 2013, 04:32:26 posle podne
ŠKODA driver Kopecký leads Rally Azores
 
Ponta Delgada, 26 April, 2013 – Despite extreme weather conditions and challenging special stages: ŠKODA leads the Rally Azores with driver duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) at the two-thirds mark.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 28, 2013, 09:59:42 pre podne
Simply Kopecký – ŠKODA wins on the Azores, and extends ERC lead

Ponta Delgada, 27 April, 2013 – Third rally, third victory – by winning on the Azores, ŠKODA and Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) claimed the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season’s highlight event. Simultaneously Kopecký celebrated his maiden gravel victory. However, the victory champagne was hard-earned: Kopecký and ŠKODA needed to master extremely challenging gravel stages, adverse weather conditions and strong opposition to claim victory on the Azores with the Fabia S2000.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 03, 2013, 01:55:09 pre podne
ŠKODA to field two crews in the Asia-Pacific Championship
 
Mladá Boleslav, May 2, 2013 – ŠKODA is reinforcing its portfolio of motorsport activities in the Asia-Pacific region. The newly formed ŠKODA-MRF team is to make its first appearance in the APRC this year with full-fledged factory support and two crews. ŠKODA’s factory crew Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN) and Gaurav Gill/Glen Macneall (India/New Zealand) will both start in ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. The APRC season starts with the Rally Whangarei in New Zealand on May 18-19.
 
› ŠKODA boosts its motorsport activities in the Asia-Pacific region
› The ŠKODA MRF team to appear in the 2013 APRC
› Two ŠKODA crews on the start line: Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm and Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall
› Championship starts in New Zealand on May 18-19

2013 APRC schedule:
May 18-19: Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand
June 15-16: Rallye de Nouvelle Caledonie
July 13-14: Queensland Rally – Australia
August 24-25: Malaysia Rally
September 28-29 Hokkaido Rally– Japan
November 2-3: China Rally
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 14, 2013, 10:08:38 posle podne
ŠKODA team: APRC debut in New Zealand
 
Mladá Boleslav, 14 May, 2013 – ŠKODA is getting ready for a very special motorsport premiere: the Rally of Whangarei in New Zealand (May 17 – 19) will see the ŠKODA MRF team make its debut in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). Having received full-fledged factory support, the team will field two crews, ŠKODA´s factory crew Esapekka Lappi/JanneFerm (FIN) and Gaurav Gill/Glen Macneall (India/New Zealand).
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 14, 2013, 10:17:21 posle podne
ERC leader ŠKODA wishes to succeed also in Corsica

Mladá Boleslav, 14 May, 2013 –Three appearances, three victories – ŠKODA´s performances in the ERC have been perfect so far, and the brand´s factory crew, Jan Kopecký & Pavel Dresler in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, wish to succeed also in Corsica. The fifth event of this year´s ERC takes place in Corsica over 16-18 May.

Kopecký/Dresler have converted their three appearances in the ERC this year into three wins, completing the hat-trick of victories at the Azores Rally, one of the world´s most difficult gravel events. Kopecký´s first-ever victory on gravel has reinforced ŠKODA´s lead in the ERC. Earlier on, the brand triumphed also in Austria and the Canary Islands.

Both drivers are confident also before the Corsica Rally: “Our ambition is to continue our success story and finish as high as possible. The event in Corsica has its specifics, as we´ve known since last year. However, our ambition is to put in a good performance,” says Jan Kopecký, second at the Corsica Rally last year.
The route of the Corsica Rally is 248 kilometres long and is divided into 11 special stages.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 17, 2013, 10:17:52 posle podne
ŠKODA driver Kopecký in the lead in Corsica !
 
Ajaccio, 17 May, 2013 – Half way through the Corsica Rally, ŠKODA’s driver duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) is in the lead, despite the sometimes slippery asphalt making the driving conditions challenging. The pair clinched the top spot by winning the last special stage.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 18, 2013, 11:25:17 pre podne
ŠKODA dominates in New Zealand

Whangarei, 18 May, 2013 – The newly created ŠKODA MRF teams had a perfect start to the Rally Whangarei in New Zealand. At the end of the first day and after eight of 16 special stages Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Finland) on the ŠKODA Fabia S2000 lead teammates Gaurav Gill/Glenn MacNeall (India/New Zealand) by 33.3 seconds.

Picture of Esapekka Lappi.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 18, 2013, 11:08:30 posle podne
ŠKODA driver Kopecký extends his lead in the ERC
 
Ajaccio, 18 May, 2013 –ŠKODA and driving duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) finished runner-up at the iconic Corsica Rally to extend their overall lead in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC).
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 20, 2013, 11:51:17 pre podne
ŠKODA scores double in New Zealand

Whangarei, 19 May, 2013 – The first competition for the newly formed ŠKODA MRF team has turned into a total triumph. Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Finland) won the Rally Whangarei in New Zealand on their Skoda Fabia S2000. Their teammates Gaurav Gill/Glen Macneall (India/New Zealand) came second in what was a perfect weekend for the Czech manufacturer.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 12, 2013, 02:30:57 posle podne
ŠKODA set for tough test in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship
 
Mladá Boleslav, 11th June 2013 – Following the one-two at the opening round of this year’s Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), the newly formed ŠKODA MRF team is now set for its next big test at the rally in exotic New Caledonia from 14th to 16th June. The ŠKODA crews, with driving pairs Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Finland) and Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (India/New Zealand), head to the second leg of the APRC as favourites.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 15, 2013, 04:00:27 posle podne
Team ŠKODA MRF leads at halftime of Rally New Caledonia

Noumea, New Caledonia, 15. Juni 2013 – After the one-two at the start of this year’s Asia-Pacific Rally Championship  (APRC) the newly formed ŠKODA MRF team dominated again on the first day of the rally in exotic New Caledonia. Defending Champion Gaurav Gill (India) and his navigator Glenn Macneall (New Zealand) lead the competition by a solid margin after eight special stages in their ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Their team mates Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Finnland), who had won the first Rally in New Zealand, had to retire after an accident.

​Gill was totally satisfied after the first day. “The car was perfect. The rally is very demanding but it is a lot of fun to drive here.” The Indian continuously extended his lead during the eight special stages and was more than five minutes ahead of the next competitor at the end of the first of a total of two days. The originally scheduled ninth special stage was cancelled because of heavy rain. That reduced the total length of the special stages to 225.74 kilometres.

Eight more special stages are planned for Sunday about 35 kilometres north of the capital Noumea. According to the weather forecast there is a chance of more rain. Therefore very difficult conditions have to be expected. More than half the competitors in the APRC had to give up on Saturday already. Even before the rain started Gill had reported that the course was “extremely slippery”. Since only the best car of each team is included in the scoring for the APRC team competition ŠKODA can still achieve the full points.

For Czech automobile manufacturer ŠKODA, entering the APRC represents an important step in the company’s growth offensive in international markets. ŠKODA has set its sights on increasing its global sales to at least 1.5 million units per year by 2018, with particular emphasis on the growth markets in Asia. “The APRC, as one of the region’s most important motorsport events, provides us with outstanding opportunities to present the ŠKODA brand to a large public,” said Dr. Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at ŠKODA.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 17, 2013, 12:14:45 pre podne
Clear victory for ŠKODA MRF also in New Caledonia

​› Defending Champion Gaurav Gill wins with Glenn Macneall
› Indian also leading driver’s championship after success
› Second ŠKODA win in second APRC Rall

Noumea, New Caledonia, 16. Juni 2013 – ŠKODA leads the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) after two rounds with maximum points. Defending champion Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (India/New Zealand) dominated again on the second day of the rally in the South Pacific and achieved a clear victory on the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Their teammates Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Finland), who had won the first competition in New Zealand a month ago, had already retired on Saturday after an accident.

​“That was outstanding, we have gained maximum points in the manufacturer’s championship. This has brought us closer to our aim to win this important championship”, said team manager Pavel Hortek.  „The car was perfect on both days. The support of the whole ŠKODA’s company has further improved our chances“, said the highly satisfied winner. Since only one car per manufacturer is counted for the championship ŠKODA has secured 78 points which is the maximum number after two competitions.

After one special stage had to be cancelled already on Saturday because of rain starting to fall the rally had to be further reduced on day two after heavy rain overnight. Only three special stages could be held, the rally had to be reduced to a total of 174.72 kilometres. Gill won all special stages on the two days bar one which Lappi had secured. At the finish he was almost eight minutes in front of the next competitor. Gill is now also leading the driver’s championship clearly with 69 points. The next competition will be the International Rally of Queensland in Australia from 12. to 14. July on the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane.

For Czech automobile manufacturer ŠKODA, entering the APRC represents an important step in the company’s growth offensive in international markets. ŠKODA has set its sights on increasing its global sales to at least 1.5 million units per year by 2018, with particular emphasis on the growth markets in Asia.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 18, 2013, 01:25:12 pre podne
ŠKODA: Wiegand looks to win a podium place in Sardinia

› Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian make their fourth WRC appearance in the Fabia Super 2000 this season
› High hopes for the German ŠKODA pairing in the WRC 2 Championship
› Rally Italy taking place from the 20th to 22nd June

Mladá Boleslav, 17 June 2013 – The German ŠKODA pairing of Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian arrive in Sardinia back in the title hunt. Taking place from 20th to 22nd June, the gravel-based Rally Italy is a real highlight in the World Championship calendar.

There has been a real buzz around the talented ŠKODA team of Wiegand/Christian since the start of the WRC 2 season. After securing victory in the snow at the Monte Carlo Rally, the two ŠKODA aces have also enjoyed two third-placed finishes on the ice in Sweden and on gravel in Portugal. This had propelled the German duo to the top of the WRC’s overall standings. After playing no part in the previous two races, the 22-year-old Wiegand and his co-driver, six years his senior, are now hungry for more success.

"I can hardly wait to get back behind the wheel. Of course, we are up against some stiff competition in Sardinia, but we want to be on the attack. I'm hoping for a place on the podium," said Wiegand. The German has only taken part in three of the six races staged so far this season in the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Despite this, he is currently sitting in fourth place with real hopes of mounting a challenge at the top of the leaderboard. This is a real possibility in view of the fact that each team's six best results are chosen to decide the champion at the end of the season.

"The fight at the top will remain open until the very last race. We have good chances of staying in the mix, if we continue to drive fast without making any mistakes," said Wiegand. Boulders on the side of the track are a particular hazard that makes driving in Sardinia no mean task. In addition, the Rally Italy is completely new territory for the ŠKODA driver.

"I have heard lots about Sardinia though, and am looking forward to the challenge. Gravel is my favourite road surface. This is possibly due to my previous life in motorbikes – I feel happy on gravel," said Wiegand.
The rally will be staged over 16 stages covering 304.50 kilometres in the stunning backdrop of Sardinia. Spectacular jumps such as 'Mickey's Jump' and stunning river crossings are particular highlights for the thousands of fans that flock to the rally's gravel tracks.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 18, 2013, 01:28:42 pre podne

ŠKODA looks to win the season´s first home rally


› Jan Kopecký & Pavel Dresler to make their first appearance on Czech tracks this year
› The factory crew top the European Rally Championship standings
› Kopecký & Dresler wish to repeat their victory from last year


Mladá Boleslav, 17 June, 2013 – ŠKODA yearns to succeed at its first home rally this year. The Hustopeče Rally will see the brand´s factory crew make their first appearance on home tracks this year. Jan Kopecký & Pavel Dresler wish to repeat their victory from last year. The factory crew are top of the ERC standings.
The Hustopeče Rally is the fourth event of this year´s International Championship of the Czech Republic. ŠKODA´s factory crew who are about to make their first appearance on home tracks this year in Hustopeče won the season´s first event, the Jänner Rally in Austria.


Kopecký is optimistic: “Our ambition is to show a good performance also to our home fans and win the event. We are looking forward to Hustopeče a great deal, it´s one of our favourite events. The atmosphere will be great and the home drivers are certainly tough competition.”


Taking place in the surroundings of Hustopeče, the rally is scheduled for June 21- 22 (Friday and Saturday) and is composed of 12 special stages (174.22 competition kilometres).
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 22, 2013, 07:30:12 posle podne

A Friday evening of ill fortune: ŠKODA driver Wiegand retires at the Rally Italy


› Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian make a good start in Sardinia
› A Friday evening of ill fortune: the German ŠKODA AUTO retire


Olbia, Sardinia, 22 June 2013 – A day that promised so much success ended in misfortune for Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian. The German ŠKODA duo started superbly on the first day of the Rally Italy, lying second in the WRC 2 support category standings after the first six stages in Sardinia. However, the pair was forced to retire because of technical issues in the final stage of the evening.
"At first, I wasn't finding it all too easy," said Wiegand. "The break after the Portugal Rally was simply too long. We tried to find our tempo and steadily increase our speed with making any mistakes," Wiegand added.


Although Citroën's Robert Kubica already held a commanding lead in the WRC 2 category after the first six stages, second-placed Wiegand and Christian looked set for a place on the podium.
Yet a technical problem forced Wiegand to retire his Fabia Super 2000 in the final stage of the day. "I don't know if the huge amounts of dust that we were exposed to were responsible," said Wiegand. A detailed analysis of the problem in the service park on late Friday night showed that a comeback at Rally Italy was not possible anymore.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 23, 2013, 05:37:51 posle podne
Kopecký completes a hat-trick of Hustopeče Rally victories

› Jan Kopecký & Pavel Dresler convert their first appearance on home tracks this year into victory
› Kopecký wins the Hustopeče Rally for the third consecutive time
› A thrilling battle with runner-up Václav Pech: Kopecký wins by just 2.2 sec
› The factory crew are top of the ERC standings

Hustopeče, 22 June, 2013 – This year´s “home premiere” was a great success indeed. ŠKODA Motorsport´s Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler made their first appearance on home tracks this year at the Hustopeče Rally. After a fierce fight for every tenth of a second, the ŠKODA factory crew won the event for the third consecutive time and achieved the first win on home ground this year.
Commenting on the spectacular battle, Jan Kopecký says: “The rally was a thriller until the very end, and I believe that the fans enjoyed it, too. This event is one of our most favourite ones, and we are therefore very pleased to have won here after such a spectacular battle. I wish to thank the entire team for excellent support.”

The Hustopeče Rally was the fourth event of this year´s International Championship of the Czech Republic. Kopecký/Dresler won the season´s first event, the Jänner Rally in Austria that was part of both the ERC and the Czech Championship. With three victories (Austria, Canary Islands, Azores) and one second place (Corsica), the Czech crew are top of the ERC standings.
Having won in Hustopeče (and thus completing a hat-trick of victories at this event), Kopecký is in the game for the home title, although his priority this year is the ERC.

Scheduled to take place over 12-14 July in Mladá Boleslav and its surroundings, the next event of the International Championship of the Czech Republic is the 40th Bohemia Rally, and Kopecký/ Dresler will be on the start line again.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 24, 2013, 03:21:42 posle podne
ERC: Rallying legend Loix drives for ŠKODA in Belgium

› Freddy Loix already twice a winner in the ŠKODA at his home rally in Ypres
› Partnered by Frederic Miclotte in the Fabia S2000
› ŠKODA’s Kopecký/Dresler lead in the ERC's overall standings

Mladá Boleslav, 24 June 2013 – Legendary Belgian racer Freddy Loix is set to compete at his home rally for ŠKODA Motorsport in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). The 42-year-old has already enjoyed success at Ypres Rally on two occasions for the Czech car manufacturer. His home rally will be taking place from 27th to 29th June this year. After five races, ŠKODA, headed by the Czech duo of Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, leads the way in the ERC overall standings.

"I'm really happy to be back behind the wheel of the ŠKODA Fabia S2000 for the Ypres Rally. I have a lot of very good memories here driving in this great car," said Loix. The Belgian ŠKODA driver tasted victory at his home rally in 2010 and 2011. In his whole career, Loix has racked up seven wins in Ypres. His place on the grid with co-driver Frederic Miclotte has been made possible through the support of ŠKODA Belgium. The two have proven to be quite the successful pairing – with the help of Loix ŠKODA was also able to secure the ERC constructor's title in 2010 and 2011.

"I would like to thank all our partners, who have been able to make this possible," Loix said. "If you're aware of the over 112-year history of ŠKODA in motor racing and the importance of the Ypres Rally, you know how special this rally is to all of us. The fight for places on the podium will be keenly contested." Yet the seasoned pro is optimistic that he will be competitive in the Fabia S2000 from the very first stage and then build on this this throughout the event.

Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler have already impressed when demonstrating how fast the ŠKODA Fabia S2000 can go on various road surfaces. From the four ERC races they have competed in so far this season, they have celebrated victory in Austria, in the Canary Islands and in the Azores, as well as taking second place in Corsica. With 146 points, the Czech pairing is reigning supreme at the top of the standings.
Loix has 297.93 kilometres divided into 20 stages in total ahead of him at the challenging rally in Belgium.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 27, 2013, 01:50:45 posle podne
kratak pregled od 28.06.2013.

Superb display in the rain: Belgian ŠKODA driver Loix dominates on home soil

Ieper, 28 June 2013 – ŠKODA driver Freddy Loix dominated the first day at his home rally in Belgium. In rainy conditions, the 42-year-old rallying legend and his co-driver Frederic Miclotte put on a stunning display at the FIA European Rally Championship's (ERC) sixth meeting of the season, winning five of the six stages.

Rallying legend Loix triumphs for ŠKODA in Belgium

Ieper, 29 June 2013 – Belgian rallying legend Freddy Loix secured a superb victory for ŠKODA on home soil. Despite coming up against challenging weather conditions, the 42-year-old celebrated with co-driver Frederic Miclotte in the Fabia S2000 an impressive start-to-finish victory at the FIA European Rally Championship's (ERC) sixth race of the season. ŠKODA, spearheaded by the Czech duo of Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, also leads the way in the ERC overall standings at the halfway point in the season.

Jan Kopecký looks to win Bohemia Rally

Mladá Boleslav, 8 July 2013 – After winning the Hustopeče Rally, ŠKODA Motorsport´s Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (factory crew) are looking to win also the Bohemia Rally. Taking place in the surroundings of Mladá Boleslav, the place of the brand´s head office and the very heart of ŠKODA, the 40th Bohemia Rally promises a fierce fight for every second. ŠKODA is again the event´s General Partner.

ŠKODA wants successful start to continue in Australia

Mladá Boleslav, 8 July 2013 – With two victories from two races in the bag, the factory supported ŠKODA MRF team goes into the Queensland Rally in Australia (12-14 July) as the hot favourites. ŠKODA pairings Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Finland) and Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (India/New Zealand) want to continue their successful starts to the season at this third stop in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC).

Team ŠKODA MRF leads Rally of Queensland in Australia at halftime

Caloundra 13. July 2013 – After two wins from two starts the newly formed ŠKODA MRF team dominated again on the first day of the International Rally of Queensland in Australia. Esapekka Lappi and his co-driver Janne Ferm (Finland) in their ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 have a clear lead over their team mates Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (India/New Zealand).

Bohemia Rally 2013: Kopecký/Dresler top the standings after Day 1

Mladá Boleslav, 13 July, 2013 –ŠKODA Motorsport´s Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (factory team) top the standings after Day 1 of the 40th Bohemia Rally. After today´s final super special stage on the Autodrome site in Sosnová, Kopecký/Dresler are 16.3 s ahead of the runners-up.

Team ŠKODA MRF scores clear victory at International Rally of Queensland

Caloundra, Australia 14. July 2013 – The newly formed team ŠKODA MRF has dominated in the third round of this year’s Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 secured the International Rally of Queensland in Australia by a big margin.

ŠKODA Motorsport celebrates victory at Bohemia Rally

Mladá Boleslav, 14 July, 2013 – ŠKODA is celebrating victory on its home ground. Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler in a factory Fabia Super 2000 have won the Bohemia Rally to convert their third appearance in this year´s Czech Championship into a third victory.

Romania: Kopecký back on title hunt for ŠKODA

Mladá Boleslav, 22 July 2013 – The Czech racing duo of Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler will recommence ŠKODA’s challenge for the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) title in Romania. The Sibiu Rally, which will be taking place from the 25 to 27 July, kicks off the critical phase of this prestigious competition. The ŠKODA team has a healthy lead in the ERC overall standings at the halfway point.

Kopecký leads for ŠKODA at the halfway point in Romania

Sibiu, 26 July 2013 – Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) kept everything under control during the night to lead at the halfway point of the Sibiu Rally in Romania. The ŠKODA duo have opened up a 15.4-second lead over France's Francois Delecour going into day two of the seventh race of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 28, 2013, 01:23:17 pre podne
ŠKODA’s Kopecký drives superbly to take fourth ERC win of the season

› 3:12.8 -minute lead over Delecour
› Ten stage victories on a tricky course
› ŠKODA duo Kopecký and Dresler extend their lead in the ERC’s overall standings

Sibiu, 27 July 2013 – Jan Kopecký und Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) put in a superb performance to take their fourth victory of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season at the Sibiu Rally in Romania. This latest success has extended the ŠKODA pairing’s lead at the top of the overall standings and gives them an excellent opportunity to win the Championship.

“That was a really tough race – the course is demanding and the temperatures are high. With lots of loose stones around, there is a high risk of puncture. Yet we were able to overcome all that and secure another ERC victory for ŠKODA this year. It’s fantastic,” said Kopecký. “I would also like to thank my co-driver Pavel and the entire team, because in these conditions everyone has to give 100 per cent.”

In the first outing in Romania, the team once again produced a convincing display in the ŠKODA Fabia S 2000. After a careful start spent establishing a 15.4-second gap between them and Frenchman Francois Delecour over the first day, Kopecký and Dresler continued to extend their lead in the second half of the rally.
The Czech team avoided making any mistakes on the extremely difficult gravel dirt roads, which are also littered with large rocks. Cheered on by thousands of fans engrossed in the action, they were able to win ten of the thirteen stages. One stage was cancelled due to safety concerns.

The triumph in Romania was the ŠKODA duo’s fourth in the ERC this season, after victories in Austria, the Canary Islands and the Azores; the Czech team also had a second place finish on Corsica. This represents a perfect start to the second half of the season for Kopecký, who has now extended his lead at the top of the Driver’s Championship. The Sibiu Rally was the first of six ERC events taking place in the second half of the season; the best four results will go towards the final standings.

The ERC’s next stop is in the Czech Republic for the Barum Rally, which will be taking place from the 30 August to 1 September. ŠKODA’s Kopecký and Dresler will have home advantage in what will be the stand out race of their season. Kopecký commented: “Although the pressure on us will be incredibly high, we’re looking forward to our home rally.”

Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 19, 2013, 03:26:40 posle podne
ŠKODA driver Wiegand optimistic ahead of home event

› Rally Germany from 22nd to 25th August in the region around Trier
› Fifth WRC start this year in the Fabia Super 2000 for Wiegand/Christian
› Podium chance for the German ŠKODA duo in the WRC 2 championship

Mladá Boleslav, 19 August 2013 – ŠKODA duo Sepp Wiegand (D) and Frank Christian (D) are optimistic ahead of their home event at the Rally Germany (22 to 25 August). The race on the asphalt roads around Trier and the subsequent Barum Rally in ŠKODA’s home of the Czech Republic (30 August to 1 September) represent the highlight of the season for the number one German pairing.

“I am really looking forward to our home rally. We want to show the fans what we and the Fabia Super 2000 are capable of,” said Wiegand prior to his fifth start in the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). “As always, the goal is to finish on the podium. We are doubly motivated to do well after the bad luck we had in Sardinia and last year in Germany.”

The talented ŠKODA crew of Wiegand/Christian opened the season with an eye-catching performance in WRC-2. Victory on the snow at the Rally Monte Carlo was followed by two third places on the ice in Sweden and the gravel roads of Portugal.
“The battle at the top remains exciting. Our goal is to be up there challenging with the front-runners,” said Wiegand. The Rally Germany begins on 22nd August in front of Cologne Cathedral. The drivers will then tackle 16 special stages and 371.92 kilometres against the clock. Over 200,000 fans are expected to make the annual pilgrimage to the event.

Immediately after their home event, Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian will head to the Czech Republic to face their next big challenge in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). Over 300,000 fans are expected to watch the Czech automobile manufacturer’s home rally. Wiegand: “The starts in Germany and the Czech Republic are the highlight of the season for us. We obviously want to make the most of these two opportunities.”

Source: ŠKODA AUTO
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 20, 2013, 10:34:17 pre podne
APRC: ŠKODA sets sights on fourth victoryin Malaysia

› Fourth leg of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
› Successful ŠKODA duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm lead overall standings
› Gravel rally with 15 stages covering 219.90 kilometres

Mladá Boleslav, 20 August 2013 – After three successful races, the works-assisted ŠKODA MRF team now lines up at the fourth round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in Malaysia. Championship leaders Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) and the second ŠKODA pairing of Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/NZ) have their sights set on taking another step towards the title in both the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ competitions from 23 to 25 August.

“We have to be clever. The rally has a lot of jumps and we will be faced with high temperatures,” said Lappi. “However, we are there to score more points.” The flying Finn won the season-opener in New Zealand and added a second victory at the recent APRC rally in Australia. In New Caledonia it was the turn of fellow ŠKODA duo Gill/Macneall to triumph, meaning the Czech manufacturer remains undefeated in the APRC this season – and ŠKODA is hopeful it will remain that way in Malaysia.

Experienced Indian driver Gaurav Gill is determined to be back among the front-runners following his early retirement at the rally in Australia: “We were just unlucky in Australia. That won’t happen again. We have a great car and a great team. We must obviously also bear the Manufacturers’ Championship in mind.” ŠKODA holds a significant lead at the halfway point of this competition. In the Drivers’ Championship, meanwhile, Lappi leads as well. The next round in the Malaysian state of Johor features 15 gravel stages covering 219.90 kilometres, with the anticipated heat set to make it a real test for man and machine.

For Czech automobile manufacturer ŠKODA, entering the APRC represents an important step in the company’s growth offensive in international markets. ŠKODA has set its sights on increasing its global sales to at least 1.5 million units per year by 2018, with particular emphasis on the growth markets in Asia. “The APRC, as one of the region’s most important motorsport events, provides us with outstanding opportunities to present the ŠKODA brand to a large public,” said Dr. Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at ŠKODA.

Source: ŠKODA AUTO
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 23, 2013, 12:58:05 posle podne
ŠKODA in third place: good start to home rally for Wiegand

› ŠKODA duo Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian on course for WRC 2 podium finish
› Exciting start in front of Cologne Cathedral
› Six special stages over a distance of 131.36 kilometres on Friday

Trier, Germany, 22 August 2013 – Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian got off to a good start in their home event, Rally Germany, in their ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. After the first two of a total of 16 special stages, the German duo are third in the WRC 2 category and are on course for the podium finish they have set their sights on.​
“I’m very happy with the first two stages in the Eifel region,” said Wiegand after his successful performance in the ninth race of the current FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) season. “And I hope things stay the way they are,” he said, looking ahead to the next few days. With 37.64 special stage kilometres behind them, he now trails the first-placed Pole, Robert Kubica, by just 23.2 seconds in the WRC 2 category.

The ŠKODA duo demonstrated that they are a class act in the very first special stage, Blankenheim, which is a new addition to the itinerary. The tough opener, which alternated between slow and fast bends and also ups and downs, really put the drivers through their paces. Rally Germany officially got under way on Roncalliplatz right in front of Cologne’s impressive cathedral. There was a great deal of interest in the event, with thousands of fans flocking to the presentation of the drivers.

The rally continues on Friday with three special stages in the vineyards of the Moselle region, each of which will be driven twice. In all, the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland duo Wiegand and Christian will rack up 371.92 kilometres in the course of their home rally that continues until Sunday, with the proceedings including highlights such as the “Panzerplatte” stage.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 24, 2013, 12:40:45 pre podne
Wiegand on course for podium position at Rally Germany halfway mark

› ŠKODA duo Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian ranked third in WRC 2 category
› Best German driver: “I have a good feeling”
› Matthias Kahle thrills rally fans in legendary 130 RS

Trier, Germany, 23 August 2013 – At the halfway point in Rally Germany, Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian are on course for a podium position for ŠKODA. The top German duo are ranked third in the WRC 2 category after eight of their home rally’s 16 special stages. The highlight of the ninth event in this year’s World Rally Championship (WRC) will be Saturday’s “Panzerplatte” special stage in Baumholder, which the entrants will each drive twice.

“We’re increasingly getting into the swing of things. We had a better second half of the day and I have a good feeling overall,” said 22-year-old Wiegand after a hot pursuit through the vineyards of the Moselle region. “I’ll do my very best,” he said, looking ahead to the second half of his home rally and the prospect of making it onto the winners’ rostrum.

Wiegand and Christian had difficult conditions to contend with on their first time round the “Mittelmosel”, “Moselland” and “Grafschaft” special stages on Friday morning, as their radio system was playing up. These three challenging stages featuring narrow dirt tracks through the well-known Moselle wine-growing region and alternating between slow and fast bends were then driven again on Friday afternoon. And once again, the ŠKODA team didn’t make any significant mistakes in the Fabia Super 2000.

In the supporting programme along the route, the thousands of fans were treated to the sight of the seven-time German rally champion Matthias Kahle behind the wheel of the legendary ŠKODA 130 RS. Kahle performed some daring drifts and jumps in the historic rear-wheel drive car dating back to 1975. This cult vehicle, which scored a category win at Rally Monte Carlo in 1977, will also be making an appearance on Saturday. The highlight will undoubtedly be the “Panzerplatte” stage in Baumholder.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 24, 2013, 10:44:32 posle podne
APRC: ŠKODA can defend lead

› Four special stages won, then problems for Lappi and Gill
› Difficult conditions in Malaysia
› Gill wants to score points for Team ŠKODA MRF on day two

Johor Bahru, Malaysia, 24 August 2013 – ŠKODA has an excellent chance to defend his lead in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) for manufacturers and drivers after the first day of Rally Malaysia. Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (India/New Zealand) will attack to score important points for their team in their ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 in Johor Bahru on Sunday.

Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Finland/Finland) had to abandon the rally which was held under almost irregular conditions for security reasons after a technical problem. “Of course that is very regrettable”, said Lappi, after parking his car in the Service Park. The 22 year old talent wants to attack again next week: He will make his debut in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) at the home event of ŠKODA at the Barum Czech Rally in Zlin.
His teammate Gill slid of the course of the infamous muddy tracks in the banana and palm plantations like almost all other competitors. His car had to be towed, but the ŠKODA MRF mechanics were able to fix the damage. ŠKODA had dominated the first four special stages at the beginning of the rally.

The experienced Indian Gill can not win the rally anymore but could collect seven important points for his team. To achieve this he has to win all seven stages in his sixth Rally Malaysia on Sunday. “I will give my best”, said Gill. He could be rewarded with the lead in the driver’s championship currently held by Lappi.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 24, 2013, 10:45:20 posle podne
No luck for ŠKODA driver Wiegand in his home event

› ŠKODA duo Wiegand/Christian damage their wheel suspension
› “It’s incredibly frustrating that this happened”

Trier, Germany, 24 August 2013 – Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian had a podium position within their grasp in their home event, Rally Germany, only for the ŠKODA duo to then be plagued by bad luck. During the last special stage of the third day, the pair slid off the wet course and damaged their rear left wheel suspension. But Wiegand will be back in action on Sunday thanks to the Rally 2 rule.

“It’s incredibly frustrating that this happened. Until that point, things had been going really well for us,” Wiegand said. The 22-year-old had already finished third twice in the WRC 2 category during Saturday’s stages and was only a fraction behind the driver placed third overall when the unfortunate incident happened.
Wiegand nonetheless made it to the finishing line of the 13th special stage, “Peterberg 2”, in spite of losing a lot of time, but his car was no longer able to make it to the service park in Trier. His ŠKODA was therefore towed away to be repaired by the mechanics in preparation for Sunday.

The day’s proceedings were overshadowed by a fatal accident involving one of the historic cars taking part in a non-competitive show in which both the Dutch driver and co-driver sadly died. ŠKODA would like to send its heartfelt sympathy and condolences to their families. The second “Panzerplatte Baumholder” stage was subsequently cancelled, but Rally Germany will be continued as planned on Sunday.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 26, 2013, 12:44:15 posle podne
Malaysia: ŠKODA extends lead in APRC

› Gaurav Gill takes over the lead in the driver’s championship in the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000
› ŠKODA driver wins all seven special stages of day two

Johor Bahru, Malaysia, 25. August 2013 –ŠKODA has extended its lead in the championship for manufacturers in the fourth leg of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (India/New Zealand) won all seven special stages of the Rally Malaysia in their ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 on Sunday. Gill took over the lead in the championship for drivers leading his team mates Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm. The Fins had to give up on Saturday after a technical problem had forced the team to resign from the rally for security reasons.

The extreme nature of the rally on the muddy tracks of the banana and palm plantations at the southern end of Malaysia was proven by the fact that only one APRC team finished all special stages. The two ŠKODA pilots had devided the previous legs for the APRC title amongst themselves. Lappi won the opening leg in New Zealand, Gill the next rally in New Caledonia, it was Lappi again in Queensland in Australia.
Gill was only halfway satisfied with his lead in the overall score of the APRC. “We were in the lead on Saturday until I gave away the victory at Rally Malaysia with a mistake. I paid dearly for that, but at least I could win points for ŠKODA. Now we have to work together to secure the title.” Team manager Pavel Hortek said: “We knew it would be extremely difficult and that turned out to be true. Luckily the developments in the Rally allowed us to even extend our lead.”

Lappi has the chance to attack again next weekend already: The 22 year old talent will give his season debut in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) at the home event of ŠKODA at the Barum Czech Rally in Zlin. „I am looking forward enormously to start at the home of ŠKODA“, said Lappi before he went on the long trip back to Europe.

The next APRC Rally will be held on September 28 and 29 in Japan.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 26, 2013, 12:45:25 posle podne
Wiegand finishes home event in fourth place

› “A positive end and a lot of valuable experience”
› Next up: ŠKODA home event, Barum Czech Rally Zlín

Trier, Germany, 25 August 2013 – After a strong finish, the ŠKODA duo Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian wrapped up Rally Germany in fourth place in the WRC 2 category. In the final stages of the last day, the top German drivers managed to move up one more place. Overnight, the ŠKODA mechanics had had to repair the damage to the rear left wheel suspension.

“The rally came to a positive end for us and we gained a lot of valuable experience over the four days of Rally Germany. Obviously, we had hoped to secure a podium position in our home rally, but that just wasn’t possible after our accident on Saturday,” said 22-year-old Wiegand. His four-wheel drive Fabia S2000 was so damaged in the accident that it had to be towed back to the service park to be repaired.
Sepp Wiegand will be behind the wheel again this week, when he will be competing as part of the ŠKODA factory team for the first time in the Barum Czech Rally Zlín from 30 August to 1 September. The Czech car manufacturer’s home event will also be his first appearance in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). “It’s just incredible. I’m really grateful for this opportunity and intend to do my best to make the most of it,” says Wiegand.

He will continue his pursuit of an overall podium finish in the WRC 2 category in Rally Spain from 24 to 27 October.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 27, 2013, 11:45:11 posle podne

Three ŠKODA teams compete for victory in home rally in the Czech Republic

› ŠKODA enters all its top drivers into rally around Zlín
› Local heroes Kopecký/Dresler hope to defend ERC lead
› Debut of Lappi/Ferm in the European rally series
› First start in the ŠKODA team for promising duo Wiegand/Christian
› As many as 300,000 fans expected to attend Barum Rally

Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic, 27 August 2013 – ŠKODA is entering no less than three teams into its home rally in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), in its pursuit of victory. The local heroes Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) intend to defend their overall lead in the highlight of the season, the Barum Czech Rally Zlín (30 August to 1 September). The fast Fin Esapekka Lappi and his co-driver Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) will be making their debut in the European rally series. And the German duo Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) will be lining up for ŠKODA’s works team for the first time, straight after competing in Rally Germany.

“We will do everything we can to extend our string of successes: we want to fight it out for the win,” says Kopecký. “We’re really looking forward to the great atmosphere that the hundreds of thousands of fans, most of them from the Czech Republic, will create.” The more than 300,000 rally fans who attend every year have recently been treated to four ŠKODA victories in succession, while Kopecký is in with a chance of clinching his third win in the Barum Rally, after his previous victories in 2009 and 2011. So far, this ERC season has been something of a triumph for the 31-year-old in his Fabia Super 2000, as he currently has four wins and one second place under his belt after five events. And after his most recent win in Romania, the Czech Republic’s golden child of rallying is now at the top of the ERC leader board.

Kopecký can draw support in his mission for victory from two other ŠKODA duos: in addition to Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm, the promising German pairing of Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian will also be competing for the works team of the Czech automobile manufacturer for the first time. “It’s just incredible. I’m really grateful for this opportunity and intend to do my best to make the most of it,” says Wiegand.

This year, Esapekka Lappi is competing in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) for ŠKODA, but also wants to show what he is capable of in the ERC for the first time, in the car make’s home rally. “This will be our first major asphalt rally. The standard of driving will be high and this rally will show us how fast we can be on this kind of surface,” says Lappi. The Barum Rally stages are anything but easy, alternating between high-speed stretches through forests and bumpy asphalt sections. In addition, the weather can often be very changeable. In all, the competitors will cover a distance of 721 kilometres over three days, with 15 special stages accounting for 234.78 kilometres.

There will also be plenty of excitement on offer for the fans away from the rally action at
the ŠKODA Motorsport Park in the heart of Zlín. The park, which measures 2,500 square
metres and is free to enter, features a diverse mix of sports activities, leisure
opportunities, concerts and a programme of kids’ entertainment. On the Friday, there will
also be an opportunity to meet the three ŠKODA drivers and get their autographs.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Septembar 01, 2013, 09:47:37 posle podne
Superb Kopecký secures ŠKODA’s fifth victory on home soil in a row

› Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler extend their lead in the ERC
› Third Barum success for Kopecký after 2009 and 2011 wins
› 1:01.6-minute advantage over second-placed Václav Pech
› Wiegand/Christian take fourth in works team début
› “Impressive performance from the ŠKODA works team”

Zlín, Czech Republic, 1 September 2013 – Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) put in a superb performance to secure ŠKODA’s fifth success in a row at the home event Barum Czech Rally Zlín. After a flawless drive, the duo extended their lead in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) standings. Making their first appearance as ŠKODA works team drivers, the German pairing of Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) took an impressive fourth place. The third ŠKODA duo of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) was forced to retire following an accident on Saturday.

“That was an impressive performance from the ŠKODA works team in front of so many excited supporters. Special congratulations must go to Jan Kopecký, who is now a three-time winner here at Barum,” said Dr Frank Welsch, the head of Technical Development at ŠKODA. He was able to experience the effort the entire works team had put in first hand.

Kopecký also highlighted excellent teamwork as being the key to his success: “First of all, I’d like to thank the whole team – they did everything perfectly. I’m so happy. That is a big victory for ŠKODA and for us. The car was simply in perfect order.” The experienced Czech racing ace won nine of the fifteen stages, cruising home to his third victory at the Barum Rally after successes in 2009 and 2011. “On Sunday, I drove with safety in mind; I didn’t want to make the same mistakes from 2010, when I threw away victory.”

The 31-year-old’s successful campaign in the Fabia Super 2000 is showing no signs of stopping, having now picked up five race victories and a second-place finish from six starts in the ERC. The ŠKODA drivers have also increased their lead at the top of the ERC’s overall standings. Their triumph at the Barum Rally, which saw them enjoy a 1:01.6-minute advantage over Václav Pech (CZ) in the end, also counts towards the Czech Championship. Here, Kopecký enjoys a perfect race record with four victories from four starts.
German hopes were pinned on Sepp Wiegand, who could also be happy with his performance – he finished as the fastest non-Czech driver in his first appearance as a ŠKODA works team driver. “It was so much fun, but I also had difficulties adapting to theCzech asphalt runs. As a result, the most important thing was to get the car to the finish in one piece,” said Wiegand.

The next ERC rally event will be taking place from 13 to 15 September in Poland, where Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler will continue their assault for the title.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Septembar 09, 2013, 12:52:11 posle podne
Kopecký continues ERC title hunt for ŠKODA at the Rally Poland

› Five victories and a second place finish from six starts so far this season
› Big lead in the overall standings
› “We’re looking forward to the new challenge”

Mladá Boleslav, 9 September 2013 – With victory in the bag last time out on home soil at the Barum Rally, ŠKODA’s Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) will be continuing their hunt for the title in Poland from next Friday. The Masurian Lake District will be the spectacular setting for the gravel-based Rally Poland taking place from 13 to 15 September – ŠKODA’s Czech racing duo will hope to continue their run of success there in the European Rally Championship (ERC) and wrap up the championship early.

“We’re both looking forward to the new challenge at the Rally Poland. Winning on home soil has given us an extra boost in confidence,” said Kopecký. The 31-year-old put in a flawless performance at the Barum Czech Rally Zlín to secure his fifth ERC triumph in a row for ŠKODA this season. At the same time, it was his third victory in front of a home crowd after successes in 2009 and 2011.

Driving the Fabia Super 2000, Kopecký and Dresler have recorded five victories and a second-place finish from six starts this season. The Czech pair currently sit 109 points ahead of their nearest rival in the ERC’s overall standings. Yet their focus is now solely trained on the upcoming rally in Poland: “When it comes to the number of spectators, Poland is a paradise for rally drivers just like the Czech Republic. The fans really love the sport. Gravel is a tricky surface, but we have already shown in the Azores and in Romania that we have what it takes to do well,” said Kopecký.

The gravel-based Rally Poland is one of the oldest rallying events in the world and will once again present a challenge to man and machine at its 70th anniversary. With the spectacular Masurian Lake District as the backdrop, the drivers will be faced with thirteen scenic stages covering over 230 kilometres around the town of Mikołajki. ŠKODA has a good record here: last year, Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) won here for the Czech car manufacturer, which can boast 112 years of motor racing experience.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Septembar 14, 2013, 10:42:44 posle podne
Day one of two: Kopecký eyeing up a podium finish at the Rally Poland

› Just 5.1 seconds shy of a place on the podium
› Difficult conditions on sodden tracks after heavy rain
› “We have to drive carefully and put the overall standings first”

Mikołajki, 14 September 2013 – The ŠKODA duo Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) are in fourth place after day one of the two-day Rally Poland and are eyeing up a podium finish. Conditions were extremely difficult on the tracks, which were sodden following heavy rain. Because of this, the team avoided all unnecessary risks to stay in the running for the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) title.

“Driving was incredibly difficult. The surface didn’t resemble gravel in the slightest. The routes are nothing but water and dirt – the track is full of ruts,” said Kopecký. Four of the seven Special Stages on day one – held on routes in the Masurian Lake District around Mikołajki – were shortened because of the rainfall. This didn’t stop more than 100,000 enthusiastic spectators from following the beginning of the 70th Rally Poland.

The track conditions were so bad they reminded co-pilot Dresler of the Dakar Rally. In spite of everything, the ŠKODA team kept their nerve and will go into day two just 5.1 seconds shy of third place. “We need to keep driving really intently and carefully and put the overall ERC standings first,” commented Kopecký. The experienced driver went into the Rally Poland with a 109-point lead. Another good result could help decide who will lift the trophy.

In their six events so far this season, Kopecký and Dresler have won five times and come second once with their Fabia Super 2000. The competitors face another six Stages covering 113.48 kilometres on day two in Poland.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Septembar 15, 2013, 09:47:21 posle podne
Third place in Poland: Kopecký remains on course for the title with ŠKODA

› Seventh podium finish in his seventh ERC start
› Kopecký and Dresler hold their nerves in difficult conditions
› “We made it through without making any mistakes“

Mikołajki, 15 September 2013 – Seventh start, seventh podium finish: Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler remain on course for the title in FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). In some of the worst possible conditions on a course made muddy after heavy rain fall, the Czech duo drove to a magnificent third place in the ŠKODA Fabia S 2000 during the seventieth Rally Poland.

“With one eye on the ERC title race and difficult conditions throughout, our first priority in the Rally Poland was to secure valuable points in the overall standings. This was achieved magnificently thanks to the disciplined driving of Kopecký and Dresler as well as a professional job on behalf of the whole team,“ according to Michal Hrabánek, the director of ŠKODA Motorsport.

Starting in fourth position after the first day of rallying, on Sunday Kopecký worked hard to try to move himself up a place in his first start in the long-standing Rally Poland since 2004. Even though the ŠKODA duo, with one eye on the overall ERC standings, didn’t go flat out over the demanding courses of the Masurian Lake District around Mikołajki, there was one stage win for the spectators to enjoy, of whom there were 200, 000 over the course of the weekend’s action.

“There was mud and water everywhere, as well as deep ruts. The risk for tire damage was enormous, but we made it through without making any mistakes,” Kopecký commented. This was enough for a podium finish after five victories and one second-place-finish in the previous round of the ERC season.
Kopecký retains a more than 100 point cushion over his nearest rival with three rallies of the season remaining. “We will start with Jan in the Rally Croatia, where we hope to make a further decisive step towards winning the ERC title,” Hrabánek added. The next rally in the ERC calendar will take place from 26 – 28 September.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Septembar 23, 2013, 10:45:55 pre podne
ERC title race: championship within reach in Croatia

› The 2013 European Rally Championship could have its winner with races to spare by the end of the 239.12 kilometres on the asphalt around Poreč
› ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký: “We want to score the points needed to win the championship”
› Seven podiums from seven ERC races so far for Kopecký/Dresler

Mladá Boleslav, 23 September 2013 – With five wins, a second and a third place from their seven ERC starts so far this year, ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký and his co-driver Pavel Dresler have set their sights on more points at this weekend’s 40th Rally Croatia in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). The asphalt rally, which takes place around the coastal town of Poreč from 26th to 28th September, could see the two Czech drivers clinch this year’s ERC title with races to spare.

“After the rally in Poland, which was held in very difficult conditions with rain and mud, we are looking forward to the asphalt roads in Croatia. We want to score the points needed to win the championship,” said Kopecký. “As such, our strategy will be to drive quickly, but without taking any unnecessary risks.”
ŠKODA works driver Kopecký, who has earned himself the nickname “Mister Reliable” has finished on the podium at all seven of his ERC starts in the ŠKODA Fabia S2000. The remarkable list of successes in 2013 includes five overall victories for Kopecký/Dresler in Austria, on the Canary Islands, in the Azores, in Romania and in front of their home crowd at the Barum Rally Zlín. They also finished runner-up in Corsica and third at the most recent event in Poland.

The Rally Croatia poses a real challenge for Kopecký and Dresler: the 40th anniversary of the event features 239.12 kilometres over 14 special stages on asphalt that is well-known for being slippery. The rally headquarters for the weekend is the picturesque holiday location of Poreč on the Adriatic coast. The Rally Croatia has proven to be a happy stomping ground for ŠKODA: Finn and ŠKODA works driver at the time Juho Hänninen won there last year en route to the ERC title.
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Poruka od: Karlheinz Septembar 27, 2013, 08:30:17 posle podne
ŠKODA works driver Kopecký crowned European Champion with races to spare

› Kopecký: “A dream come true”
› Icing on the cake, after a career featuring four runner-up finishes in the IRC
› Seven podiums in seven ERC races for ŠKODA duo Kopecký/Dresler
› In the lead at the end of day one at the Rally Croatia

Mladá Boleslav/Poreč, 27th September 2013 – ŠKODA rally driver Jan Kopecký and his co-driver Pavel Dresler have won the European Rally Championship* for ŠKODA with races to spare. Regardless of the outcome of the on-going Rally Croatia, at which the duo is currently in the lead at the end of day one, the Czech pair have already secured the titles in both the driver and co-driver competitions in the European Rally Championship (ERC).

Kopecký, driving a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, is the first Czech driver ever to win the European Rally Championship. “Winning the title is a dream come true for me. I would like to thank ŠKODA Motorsport and our fantastic team for the amazing work they have done this season,” said Kopecký, who now holds an unassailable lead in the Drivers’ Championship with two races to go.

After four second places in the International Rally Challenge (IRC) between 2009 and 2012, the European Championship title is the pinnacle of the 31-year-old driver’s motorsport career. Kopecký joins a host of rally legends to have won the ERC, including Germany’s Walter Röhrl and Italian Miki Biasion. Dresler is also certain of first place in the co-driver competition come the end of the season. “It is the icing on the cake at the end of a fantastic season in the ŠKODA and the highlight of my career,” said Dresler.

Team Boss Michal Hrabánek also regards winning the European Championship title as an outstanding success for the entire SKODA Motorsport team: “With the ERC title for Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, we have claimed another major success for the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 project. Our entire team has worked hard all year to achieve this goal. This is a wonderful reward for everyone involved. We have once again proven the quality of the Fabia Super 2000 and the technical expertise of ŠKODA.”

Kopecký was one of the first to drive the prototype of the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 back in 2008, including outings as lead-off driver at the Barum Rally in the Czech Republic and at the Rally San Remo. Five years later, ŠKODA and its top driver can now enjoy the fruits of their labour. Kopecký first lined up for SKODA Motorsport in 2003, signed a contract to drive for the works team in 2008, and is now European Champion. Hrabánek: “I would like to congratulate both drivers from the bottom of my heart on the greatest success of their motorsport careers.”

The title is the just reward for an outstanding season for Kopecký/Dresler in the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. The seven starts so far this season have produced seven podium finishes. The highlight for Kopecký came in the form of a home win at the Barum Rally early this September. 2013 also yielded victories at the ERC rallies in Austria, on the Canary Islands, in the Azores, and in Romania. As such, Kopecký has stood on the top step of the podium at rallies on all surfaces – from snow and ice to gravel and asphalt.

The 40th Rally Croatia consists of 239.12 kilometres over 14 special stages on infamously slippery asphalt. The headquarters for this weekend’s anniversary edition of the rally are located in the tourist metropolis of Poreč on the Adriatic coast. Last year, Finnish driver Juho Hänninen – a ŠKODA works driver at the time – won en route to the ERC title.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Septembar 28, 2013, 11:18:15 posle podne
European champion Kopecký claims sixth win of the ERC season for ŠKODA

› Kopecký: “A dream weekend”
› Eight podiums in eight ERC races for ŠKODA duo Kopecký/Dresler
› Next challenge: final round of the Czech Rally Championship

Poreč, 28th September 2013 – ŠKODA’s European champion elect*, Jan Kopecký, has added to his already remarkable record with victory at the 40th Rally Croatia. Together with co-driver Pavel Dresler, the exceptional Czech driver claimed his sixth win of the season in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). As such, ŠKODA Motorsport had two reasons to celebrate in Poreč.

“That was a dream weekend for us. We are European champions and also won the Rally Croatia. It does not get any better than this,” said Kopecký. After a cautious start, the 31-year-old moved into the lead on day one of the rally on the slippery asphalt routes along Croatia’s Adriatic coast and then simply refused to be caught. “We were quick without taking any unnecessary risks – we found the right combination again,” said his proud co-driver Pavel Dresler.

The ŠKODA duo has now finished on the podium at all eight rallies it has started in the 2013 ERC. The highlight saw Kopecký win his home event at the Barum Rally at the start of September. The pair also triumphed at the ERC rallies in Austria, on the Canary Islands, in the Azores, in Romania and now in Croatia. As such, Kopecký has stood on the top step of the podium at rallies on all surfaces – from snow and ice to gravel and asphalt. The reward: Kopecký and Dresler had already secured the title in the driver and co-driver competitions with two races remaining in the European Championship.

This was the first international title of Kopecký’s career and sees him join a host of rally legends to have won the ERC, including Germany’s Walter Röhrl and Italian Miki Biasion. Team Principal Michal Hrabánek also regards winning the European Championship title as an outstanding success for the entire SKODA Motorsport team: “With the ERC title for Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, we have claimed another major success for the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 project. Our entire team has worked hard all year to achieve this goal. This is a wonderful reward for everyone involved. We have once again proven the quality of the Fabia Super 2000 and the technical expertise of ŠKODA.”

The next opportunity to write the next chapter in this success story comes as soon as next week, when the European champions will set their sights on the next title for ŠKODA. The Czech Rally Championship will be decided at the 35th Rally Příbram on 5th and 6th October. Ahead of the grand finale, Jan Kopecký is still in with a chance of successfully defending the national title he won last year.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Septembar 30, 2013, 11:48:32 posle podne
Czech Championship: European champion Kopecký out to defend title for ŠKODA

› Four wins from four starts so far for ŠKODA duo Kopecký/Dresler in the Czech Rally Championship
› Finale at the 140.42-kilometre Rally Příbram
› “We will do our best to win our home championship”

Mladá Boleslav, 30 September 2013 – Newly-crowned European champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) have their sights set on the next title for ŠKODA. The Czech Rally Championship will be decided at the 35th Rally Příbram on 5 and 6 October. Going into the grand finale, Jan Kopecký can still successfully defend the national title he won last year.

“Having won the title in the European Championship, we have already achieved the greatest success of our career. However, the Czech Championship is extremely important. We will, as always, do our best to win our home championship,” said Kopecký. Just as they did in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), the 31-year-old and his co-driver Pavel Dresler have produced some outstanding performances over the course of the 2013 season in the Czech Rally Championship.

Four wins from four starts: their record is impeccable. The successful pairing won the Jänner Rally in Austria, the Rally Hustopeče, the Rally Bohemia and the recent Barum Czech Rally Zlín in their ŠKODA Fabia S2000. The race for the title has boiled down to a duel with compatriot Václav Pech. The destination of the title will be decided at the Rally Příbram, which features 14 special stages held on 140.42 kilometres of mostly narrow and slippery asphalt roads.

“The Rally Příbram will really put us through our paces. As always, however, we know we have a strong ŠKODA team behind us,” said Kopecký, for whom the final rally of the Czech Rally Championship has proven to be a happy stomping ground: back in 2003 and 2004, when he was just setting out on his career, Kopecký claimed two highly acclaimed wins here for ŠKODA.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 07, 2013, 01:25:25 posle podne
Lappi out to collect points for ŠKODA at the Rally Sanremo

› ERC welcomes the ŠKODA factory team’s Finnish duo Lappi/Ferm for the second time this year
› New European Champion* Kopecký will cheer his Finnish team-mates on
› Event consists of ten Special Stages totalling 232.91 kilometres

Mladá Boleslav, 7 October 2013 – ŠKODA top talent Esapekka Lappi and his codriver
Janne Ferm will go all out to collect points for the Czech factory team at
the 55th Rally Sanremo. It will be the Finnish duo’s second race for ŠKODA in
this year’s FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) following the Barum Rally in
the Czech Republic. Jan Kopecký (CZ) – who has already been named European
Champion 2013* – will support the ŠKODA team at the classic event on 11 and
12 October.

“We’re really looking forward to taking part in another asphalt rally and improving our
performance there,” said Lappi. “We put in a few good times at ŠKODA’s home event in
Zlín, but then we failed to make it across the line. We want to do better than that in the
classic rally in Sanremo, of course,” added the 22-year-old.

The winner of last year’s Finnish Rally Championship was forced to retire early from the
2013 Barum Rally due to damage to his car’s safety cage, having previously recorded top
times. 22-year-old Lappi has also bagged two wins in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship
(APRC) so far this year. In Sanremo, the Finn will be able to incorporate a few tips from
his experienced team-mate Kopecký, who has already won the ERC overall standings
with six victories and will experience the rally from the spectator’s perspective this time.

The drivers’ accommodation for the legendary Rally Sanremo is near the famous casino.
The event will really put both man and machine to the test, as it does every year. All ten
Special Stages are held in the space of just over 28 hours on narrow asphalt tracks which
wind their way up the mountains, offering a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean.
Spectacular rallying action is guaranteed during the 232.91-kilometre rally and Lappi
hopes to take centre stage with his ŠKODA Fabia S2000.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 12, 2013, 11:20:02 pre podne
Cautious Lappi ends the first day of the Rallye Sanremo in sixth place for ŠKODA

› Škoda rally pair Lappi/Ferm: “These experiences help us improve”
› New European Champion* Kopecký gives his Finnish team-mates some advice
› Six special stages over 125.02 kilometres on the second day

Sanremo, 11 October 2013 – Safety first: ŠKODA racing talent Esapekka Lappi and his co-driver Janne Ferm lie in sixth place after the first day at the 55th Rallye Sanremo. The Finnish pair were cautious during their first start at the classic course of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) and drove their ŠKODA Fabia S2000 home safely in the two night stages. Jan Kopecký, who has already been crowned 2013 European Champion*, experienced the rally live as a spectator with the ŠKODA team.

“We drove in safety mode. This rally is really tough and very difficult, but we knew that from the start and it is these experiences, which help us improve in order to be better in future. The most important thing for us here is to learn a lot and finish the rally,” Lappi explained. The 22-year-old didn’t commit any serious errors on the spectacular yet slippery course in the mountains overlooking the Mediterranean.

During ŠKODA’s home rally, Barum in Zlin, the Finn clocked some good stage times, but was unable to complete his first ERC rally of the season. The winner of last year’s Finnish Rally Championship has already exhibited his enormous talent on numerous occasions. He won last year’s ERC event in Poland, topped the WRC-2 standings in the Rallye Portugal this year and he has already notched up two victories in the current Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC).
In Sanremo, the Finn also has the opportunity to profit from the advice of experienced team-mate Jan Kopecký, who has already clinched the ERC overall classification with six victories for the ŠKODA team and is taking in this rally from a spectator’s perspective. Kopecký, Lappi and the Italian Rally Champion Umberto Scandola, also driving the Fabia S2000 and sitting in third place after the first day’s action, make for a wonderful ŠKODA family in the drivers’ enclosure close to the famous casino.

Six special stages covering a total distance of 125.02 kilometres await on day two of the legendary race. Lappi: “I want to use these stages to gain even more experience on tarmac. The guys ahead of us are really fast and it is great for us to be able to measure ourselves against them on this demanding course.”

* Subject to official confirmation by the FIA
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 13, 2013, 12:13:48 pre podne
Lappi gains ground to clinch second place for ŠKODA at the legendary Rallye Sanremo

› Fastest time in the final special stage turns fourth place into second
› ŠKODA duo Lappi/Ferm: “It’s fantastic to be up on the podium”
› New European champion* Kopecký provides valuable tips and presents the trophy

Sanremo, 12 October 2013 – Esapekka Lappi and his co-driver Janne Ferm put in a strong recovery for ŠKODA at the 55th Rallye Sanremo, finishing in second place. The two Finns delivered a strong performance on the second day of this classic rally in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) to move up four places. Jan Kopecký (CZ), who is already the 2013 European champion,* provided the pair with some valuable tips as a spectator in the ŠKODA team.

​“It was a really tough rally. It’s fantastic to have competed here for the first time and to have made it onto the podium straight away,” said a delighted Lappi. “And we have been able to gather a lot of experience on asphalt here.” The fast Finn achieved the quickest time in the tenth and final special stage, which bumped him up from fourth place and onto the podium. The spectacular mountain tracks by the Mediterranean were an entirely new arena for the 22-year-old. He is also relatively inexperienced on asphalt. But he made no mistakes in his second ERC appearance of the year. 

His experienced teammate Kopecký, who has already clinched the ERC championship title for ŠKODA with six wins this season and who experienced the legendary Rallye Sanremo as a spectator this time around, was a great help during the rally. “Jan gave me lots of very good tips,” said Lappi. Lappi was therefore all the more delighted to see Kopecký and his co-driver Pavel Dresler present the trophies during the victory ceremony on Saturday evening.

The winner of last year’s Finnish rally championship once again demonstrated his talent by finishing in second place. Last year, he won the ERC race in Poland, and this year he won the WRC-2 category at Rally Portugal. He has also already scored two wins in the current season of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), and will be in the running for the championship title at the final race in China on 2 and 3 November: “Me and my teammate Gaurav Gill have a clear goal – and that’s to win the manufacturers’ championship for ŠKODA.”
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 21, 2013, 11:48:42 pre podne
ŠKODA driver Sepp Wiegand aiming for a podium finish in Spain

› Sixth WRC rally entry of the year for the German team in the Fabia S2000
› Wiegand: “We will give it our all in Rally Spain”
› Tricky rally with asphalt and gravel tracks to start in front of Barcelona cathedral

Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic, 21 October 2013 – ŠKODA driver Sepp Wiegand and his co-driver Frank Christian want to be riding high in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), and are setting their sights on a podium finish once again in the rally taking place in Spain from 25 to 27 October. If successful, this promising German duo could also stake their place in the top three overall in the WRC 2 category during their sixth event in the current WRC season. It promises to be an exciting weekend, with the pair needing to make good 16 points to achieve this goal.

“I’m delighted to be going for top times in the ŠKODA. Rally Spain is one of the highlights in the calendar, and it goes without saying that we want to make it onto the winners’ rostrum,” says 22-year-old Wiegand, who has got ready for the challenge of Rally Spain by carrying out special asphalt tests there. “With its mix of asphalt and gravel tracks, this is an especially tricky rally – as a driver you have to adapt your driving and also the car’s set-up again and again,” says Wiegand. This means the driver, his co-driver Frank Christian and the team of ŠKODA mechanics all have their work cut out.

The Spanish rally, which takes place on the Costa Daurada, has a long history and will start in front of the cathedral in Barcelona. It covers a distance of 355.92 kilometres comprising 15 special stages and includes not only picturesque stretches, but also demanding ones in terms of driving skills. For Wiegand and Christian, the aim is to return to their good form at the beginning of the season, which saw them win in the snow at Rally Monte Carlo and take two third places, on the ice in Sweden and on the gravel in Portugal.
Wiegand is in fifth place on 67 points in the WRC 2 category ahead of Rally Spain – just 16 points short of a place on the podium. “We want to be in with a chance of finishing the season in third place overall, so we will give it our all in Rally Spain,” says Christian.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 27, 2013, 10:49:35 pre podne
Sepp Wiegand on course for a podium finish in his ŠKODA in Spain

› ŠKODA duo Wiegand/Christian ranked second ahead of the final day
› “It’s been a good day, although it was tough too”
› Rally concludes on Wiegand’s favourite surface gravel on Sunday

Salou, Spain, 26 October 2013 – Sepp Wiegand is on course for a podium finish in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 in Rally Spain. Ahead of the final day, the talented German rally driver and his co-driver Frank Christian are in a strong second place in the WRC 2 category. With the asphalt stages now behind them, most of the proceedings on Sunday in the penultimate rally of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) will take place on Wiegand’s preferred track surface, gravel.

“It’s been a good day, although it was tough too. We’re currently ranked second in the WRC 2 category, so the extra asphalt training with WTCC driver Pepe Oriola has really paid off. And with all the twists and turns in the course today, we saw just how important it was to have very precise pace notes,” said Wiegand, commenting on his performance so far in his sixth WRC rally this year. For Wiegand the highlight of the day’s driving on a course that was lined by thousands of fans was achieving the fastest time in the last special stage in Salou.

The 22-year old also benefited from the Brit Elfyn Evans having to pull out – a fact that actually pushed Wiegand up to second place overall in the WRC 2 category, behind the former Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica of Poland. “I’m really looking forward to my favourite track surface – I really like gravel. That said, there are also a lot of rocks along the side of the track, so there is always the risk that the car might get damaged. But I’ll try to play it safe and still secure a spot on the podium,” said Wiegand.

After a category win in Monte Carlo and two third places in Sweden and Portugal, the primary aim is now to get Wiegand and Christian onto the winners’ rostrum once again. If they score a top result, the ŠKODA team will still be in with a chance of taking third place overall in the WRC 2 category at the WRC final in Wales. “We absolutely want to earn ourselves that opportunity on Sunday,” said a fired-up Sepp Wiegand.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 27, 2013, 05:35:43 posle podne
ŠKODA driver Sepp Wiegand forced to pull out with podium finish within reach

› Second place in WRC 2 category until 13th of 15 special stages
› “We showed we can be competitive on asphalt and gravel”
› Congratulations to Volkswagen and Kubica

Salou, Spain, 27 October 2013 – Bad luck for ŠKODA driver Sepp Wiegand: the promising German driver had to retire on the final day of Rally Spain, just when a podium finish was within reach. He was in a fantastic second place in the WRC 2 category when he was forced to pull out due to a technical problem during the 13th of the 15 special stages in the penultimate rally of the current FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

“Obviously, it’s frustrating. We were doing really well and I was really enjoying driving. But we did at least show we can be competitive on both asphalt and gravel,” Wiegand said. The 22-year-old and his co-driver Frank Christian initially defended the second place they had secured on asphalt during the first three stages on Sunday on his favourite track surface, gravel.

Dealing with difficult visibility, Wiegand was significantly faster than the Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica (Poland) on the Gandesa, Peselis and Terra Alta special stages. But Kubica ultimately won the rally and has therefore also claimed the WRC 2 title before the end of the season. ŠKODA Motorsport congratulates Robert Kubica on this achievement! Congratulations also go to Volkswagen for clinching the WRC Manufacturers’ Championship title.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 29, 2013, 11:19:48 pre podne
ŠKODA teams fight for titles in the big APRC final in China

​› Successful ŠKODA duo Gill/Macneall at top of leader board
› ŠKODA driver Lappi: “We’ll do everything we can to clinch the manufacturers’ championship for ŠKODA”
› Three additional teams to compete in the Fabia S2000 – with the support of ŠKODA China
› 13 stages over 230.92 kilometres of gravel and asphalt


​Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic, 29 October 2013 – The factory-backed team ŠKODA MRF is optimistic ahead of the grand final of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). The final race of the APRC season will take place around Longyou in eastern China. The current overall leaders Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/NZ) and the second ŠKODA duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) will battle it out for two titles – the manufacturers’ and the drivers’ championships – from 1 to 3 November. A triumph would be the perfect finishing touch to an outstanding 2013 rally season for the Czech automobile manufacturer, as it already has the European Championship title* under its belt thanks to Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), as well as five other national and regional titles.


​“China will be another very special challenge, as the rally alternates between stretches of gravel and asphalt. We have a clear aim, and that’s to win in the manufacturers’ standings. And it goes without saying that I will also do everything I can to bring my and Glenn’s fight for the drivers’ championship title to a successful conclusion,” says 31-year-old Gaurav Gill of India. He scored his second victory of the APRC season in Japan recently, following on from his win in New Caledonia. ŠKODA is at the top of the leader board in the manufacturers’ rankings, with a 13.5 point lead ahead of the final race in China – just like Gill in the drivers’ rankings.

ŠKODA’s leadership in the manufacturers’ standings this season is in part thanks to the nifty Finn, Esapekka Lappi, who is the second ŠKODA driver to have clinched race wins in this APRC season in New Zealand and Australia. He is currently ranked fourth overall in the APRC. More recently, the 22-year-old also demonstrated his exceptional talent by coming second in the legendary Rallye Sanremo within the European Rally Championship (ERC). “We are in a very positive frame of mind thanks to this ERC success and will now do everything we can to clinch the APRC championship for ŠKODA.” If they pull it off, they will have successfully defended ŠKODA’s title, as Chris Atkinson (AUS) won the APRC manufacturers’ and drivers’ championships for ŠKODA in 2012.

China Rally Longyou will take place in the province of Zhejiang in the east of China. It covers a distance of 230.92 kilometres and features 13 stages. The mix of track surfaces, with both gravel and asphalt, means the rally will be extra challenging both for the drivers and the ŠKODA MRF team mechanics. There will be three additional teams competing in the China Rally Championship in a Fabia S2000 with the support of ŠKODA China: the British duo Niall McShea/Marshall Clarke and two Chinese pairings, Xu Jun/Liu Sheng and Jiang Zhiyang/Xie Zhijiang.

For the Czech automobile manufacturer ŠKODA, the forthcoming APRC event will be a very important appearance in its key market, China, and is also a key step in its international growth drive. ŠKODA is aiming to increase its global sales to at least 1.5 million units a year by 2018 and also to achieve strong growth in particular in the Asian growth markets. “As the APRC is one of the most important motorsport events in the Asia-Pacific region, it is an excellent opportunity for us to present the ŠKODA brand to a wide public,” says Dr Frank Welsch, Member of the ŠKODA Board of Management for Technical Development.

ŠKODA’s global successes in rallying are indicative of the brand’s class. In addition to the ERC champion Kopecký, this year the brand has already also produced national rally champions with Raimund Baumschlager in Austria, Umberto Scandola in Italy, Dimitar Iliev in Bulgaria and Marouf Abu Samra in Jordan. Gustavo Saba of Paraguay likewise triumphed in a ŠKODA, in South America’s CODASUR championship.*
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Novembar 02, 2013, 10:14:49 posle podne
Gill puts another feather in the ŠKODA cap with APRC title in China

› Comfortable lead overall for successful ŠKODA duo Gill/Macneall
› “The biggest triumph of my career”
› Manufacturers’ title within reach for ŠKODA cheered on by enthusiastic fans
› Lappi ahead of teammate Gill going into final day

Longyou, China, 2 November 2013 – Gaurav Gill has put yet another feather in the ŠKODA cap for the current season by winning the drivers’ category in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)* before the season is out. The 31-year-old Indian, who drives for the factory-backed ŠKODA MRF team, has a comfortable lead overall ahead of the final day of the last race of the season in China. In addition, ŠKODA is in with a strong chance of also clinching the manufacturers’ title on Sunday thanks to top rally driver Esapekka Lappi (FIN).

​“This is the biggest triumph of my career and I hope it’s not the last too. We won’t be celebrating until we have also won the manufacturers’ championship title, and we all have our fingers crossed. But I would nevertheless like to already thank the entire ŠKODA MRF team, without whom we could never have achieved this success,” said a delighted Gill.

Gill’s performance means that ŠKODA have successfully defended their title, as Chris Atkinson (AUS) won the APRC manufacturers’ and drivers’ championships for ŠKODA in 2012. Gill settled the competition for the championship title early by scoring successes in the APRC races held in New Caledonia and Japan in his very fast Fabia S2000.

Gill and his co-driver Glenn Macneall (NZ) are in second place overall ahead of the final day of the final rally in the current APRC season, which is taking place in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, and are second only to their outstanding teammate Lappi of Finland.

Recent evidence of the dominance of the ŠKODA MRF team in the APRC came with Lappi winning the races in New Zealand and Australia. And now he wants to win the final race too: “Being in the lead is great, but we still need to keep our wits about us when we tackle the tricky course conditions up in the mountains. After all, our main objective is now to win the manufacturers’ championship for ŠKODA in the APRC.” The schedule for the final day of the rally comprises another six stages over a distance of 124.48 km.

ŠKODA’s global successes in rallying are indicative of the brand’s class: in addition to the European champions* Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), this year the brand has already also produced national rally champions with Raimund Baumschlager in Austria, Umberto Scandola in Italy, Dimitar Iliev in Bulgaria and Marouf Abu Samra in Jordan. Gustavo Saba of Paraguay likewise triumphed in a ŠKODA, in South America’s CODASUR championship.*

* Subject to official confirmation by the FIA
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Novembar 03, 2013, 05:42:25 posle podne
The perfect final: ŠKODA also clinches the manufacturers’ title in the APRC

› Prestigious triple triumph in front of enthusiastic crowds in China
› Successful ŠKODA duo Gill/Macneall already champions in the drivers’ rankings
› Lappi wins Rally China Longyou for the Czech automobile manufacturer
› “This win is of strategic importance”

Longyou, China, 3 November 2013 – ŠKODA enjoyed a perfect final of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in China and now has three reasons to celebrate. With Gaurav Gill (India) having already clinched the drivers’ championship title,* the Czech automobile manufacturer went on to also secure the prestigious manufacturers’ title* in front of thousands of enthusiastic fans on Sunday. And thirdly, the fast Finn Esapekka Lappi won the Rally China Longyou for the factory-backed ŠKODA MRF team. This excellent weekend was the icing on the cake in an outstanding 2013 rally season for ŠKODA, which already had the European Championship title* under its belt thanks to Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), as well as five other national and regional titles.

​“Winning in the APRC is of very big importance to the ŠKODA brand – especially since we have now wrapped it all up in the strategic market of China. The entire ŠKODA MRF team did fantastically throughout the championship and I would like to thank every single member of the team for their efforts. It goes without saying that our huge congratulations go to our two winners Gaurav Gill and Glen Macneall, who have scored the biggest victory of their careers to date. And our ŠKODA China colleagues deserve some recognition too, for having presented our ŠKODA Fabia racing car in the Chinese rally championship,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

Thousands of spectators lined the gravel and asphalt tracks on all three days of the China Rally Longyou and cheered the entire ŠKODA team on. At the end of 13 special stages over a distance of 230.92 km, it was Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) who triumphed, ahead of their teammates Gaurav Gill/Glen Macneall (IND/NZ). “We are happy to have helped ŠKODA win the manufacturers’ title with our win in the final race in China. That was our primary objective. The APRC has been a great learning experience,” commented Lappi.

Win number five out of six races this season was the icing on the cake in an outstanding APRC season for the ŠKODA MRF team. Before China, 22-year-old Lappi won the races in New Zealand and Australia, while 31-year-old Gill scored wins in New Caledonia and Japan in the fantastic Fabia S2000. Together, they confidently clinched the manufacturers’ title for ŠKODA. Gill scored what he says is the biggest success of his career with his top position in the drivers’ standings, while Lappi finished in third place.

“I am the APRC champion and I am absolutely delighted. I achieved what I and the brand as a whole set out to do, which is fantastic. I would like to thank the entire ŠKODA MRF team and above all ŠKODA Motorsport, who helped me realise this dream of mine.” In addition, the win meant that ŠKODA successfully defended its title, as Chris Atkinson (AUS) won the manufacturers’ and drivers’ championships in the APRC for ŠKODA in 2012.

ŠKODA’s global successes in rallying are indicative of the brand’s class: in addition to the European champions* Kopecký/Dresler, this year the brand has already also produced national rally champions with Raimund Baumschlager in Austria, Umberto Scandola in Italy, Dimitar Iliev in Bulgaria and Marouf Abu Samra in Jordan. Gustavo Saba of Paraguay likewise triumphed in a ŠKODA, in South America’s CODASUR championship.* “The titles we have won in Europe and the other national championship wins stand as a testament to our expertise in the area of rallying. I think we have given the ŠKODA brand some fantastic advertising, which we can now build on in the Asia-Pacific region in particular,” said Hrabánek in summary.

For the Czech automobile manufacturer ŠKODA, achieving success in its strategic market, China, was a key step in its international growth drive. ŠKODA is aiming to increase its global sales to at least 1.5 million units a year by 2018 and also to achieve strong growth in particular in the Asian growth markets. And rally wins and championship titles are, of course, the best form of advertising for the brand.

* Subject to official confirmation by the FIA
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Novembar 05, 2013, 01:37:21 posle podne
Lappi sets sights on podium finish for ŠKODA in the ERC final in Switzerland

​› Third ERC start of the year for the Finnish duo driving for ŠKODA
› APRC and ERC titles already in the bag for ŠKODA
› 287,84 kilometres over 18 special stages to be tackled in the Rallye International du Valais

​Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic, 5 November 2013 – The fast Finn Esapekka Lappi and his co-driver Janne Ferm hope to secure a spot on the winners’ rostrum for ŠKODA in the final of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season. The pair plans to extend ŠKODA’s string of successes in the Rallye International du Valais to be held in the Swiss Alps from 7 to 9 November. It would be another highlight in an outstanding rally season for the Czech automobile manufacturer, to add to the European Championship title* of Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), its triumph in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)* and also five other national and regional titles.

​Lappi recently caused a sensation by coming second in the ERC’s Rallye Sanremo and also contributed three race wins to ŠKODA’s title win in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). The Czech car maker has also already won the European Championship title* in what has been a highly successful rally season for the brand, thanks to its pairing of Kopecký as the driver and Dresler as the co-driver.

“Obviously, we want to match these successes when we compete in the ERC final in our Fabia S2000 in Switzerland. In particular, Janne and I have drawn a lot of self-confidence from our podium finish in Rallye Sanremo,” says Lappi, who then goes on to warn against anyone getting their hopes up too high: “But above all, we will focus on gaining more experience on asphalt.”

It will be the third ERC start of the season for last year’s Finnish rally champion, following on from the Barum Rally in ŠKODA’s native Czech Republic and the Rallye Sanremo. The current European championship has been dominated by his teammate Kopecký in the Fabia S2000, who clinched the ERC championship title before the season was even over by scoring six wins and making it onto the podium on two other occasions in the eight rallies held so far.

ŠKODA’s global successes in rallying are indicative of the brand’s class: in addition to the European champion* Kopecký, the brand also produced national champions with Raimund Baumschlager in Austria, Umberto Scandola in Italy, Dimitar Iliev in Bulgaria and Marouf Abu Samra in Jordan. Gustavo Saba of Paraguay likewise triumphed in a ŠKODA, in South America’s CODASUR championship.* And last weekend, Gaurav Gill (India) clinched the APRC title,* while Lappi did his bit for the triumph of the ŠKODA brand while competing in China.

The 54th Rallye International du Valais will once again be a very special touchstone for Lappi. The rally’s narrow asphalt tracks wind their way through the impressive mountains near to Lake Geneva. The rally, which is based around Martigny, comprises 18 special stages covering a total distance of 287.84 kilometres. Ice and snow can be a factor in this rally in early November – but hailing from Finland, Lappi is more than prepared for such conditions.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Novembar 08, 2013, 11:23:06 posle podne
China winner Lappi in the lead for ŠKODA in Switzerland too

​› ŠKODA duo Lappi/Ferm also impressive in the ERC final in the Alps
› A lead of 43.7 seconds ahead of final day of Rallye International du Valais
› APRC and ERC titles already in the bag for ŠKODA

​Matigny, Switzerland, 8 November 2013 – He triumphed for ŠKODA in China last Sunday, and now he is in the lead ahead of the final day of the Rallye International du Valais too: the fast Finn Esapekka Lappi demonstrated his exceptional talent once again in the Swiss Alps. He and his co-driver Janne Ferm now have a 43.7-second lead ahead of the eight special stages that make up the final event of the current FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season.
​Simply making it onto the podium would be another highlight in an outstanding rally season for the Czech automobile manufacturer, to add to the European Championship title* of Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), its triumph in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)* and also five other national titles.

“We had a good day without a single problem. The ŠKODA was fantastic and the driving was a lot of fun today. The grip was much better in the afternoon, so I was able to pick up the pace,” said Lappi, who nevertheless remains cautious about his chances of winning: “Saturday will be the trickiest day. The most important thing is not to make any stupid mistakes, and then we’ll see what happens.”

The 22-year-old Finn didn’t show any signs of flagging, in spite of the seven-hour time difference to China, where he won the final race of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) last weekend. Lappi scored three fastest times in the ten special stages held so far on the winding and slippery asphalt tracks in the breathtaking mountain panorama that surrounds the rally headquarters in Matigny. His closest competitors lost time to this hugely talented driver during the Friday afternoon stages in particular, even though he is actually still something of a novice on asphalt.

Lappi recently impressed everyone by coming second in the ERC’s legendary Rallye Sanremo and also contributed three race wins to ŠKODA’s title win in the APRC. The Czech car maker has also already won the European Championship title* in what has been a highly successful year for the brand, thanks to its pairing of Kopecký as the driver and Dresler as the co-driver. The successful duo dominated the ERC season, scoring six wins and two additional podium finishes out of their eight event starts.

And now their teammate Lappi is comfortably on course to add another chapter to the ŠKODA success story. There are another eight special stages covering a distance of 146.30 kilometres to be tackled on Saturday in the 54th Rallye International du Valais. The highlight will be the Les Cols special stage, which is the longest, over a distance of 37.13 kilometres.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Mart 25, 2014, 12:24:53 pre podne
Acropolis Rally: ŠKODA lines up at classic around the Gulf of Corinth

› Lappi/Ferm and Wiegand/Christian start at the ERC rally in Greece
› A re-worked classic: the “Acropolis” for the first time in March and on a mixture of asphalt and gravel
› Victory in Latvia sees Esapekka Lappi lead the ERC ahead of the third round of the season

Mladá Boleslav, 24 March 2014 – ŠKODA lines up at the third round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) with high expectations on the back of a success. Following the win at the Rally Latvia in February, the ŠKODA works pair of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) travel to the legendary Acropolis Rally on 28 to 30 March with more points to their name (both 39 points) than any other duo. Also in action at the classic around the Gulf of Corinth: their comrades in arms from the ŠKODA AUTO Germany team, Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian (D/D), in the second ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.

“The ‘Acropolis’ is another completely new rally for us,” said Lappi. “For this reason, as with nearly every event this year, our primary goal will be to gain experience. And with a little luck are certainly capable of picking up another good result. What makes this rally particularly interesting is the fact that it switches from asphalt to gravel on day two. To be honest, I still have no idea what the asphalt streets look like in Greece. I am also curious to see how competitive our rivals’ R 5 cars are.”

Sepp Wiegand is also looking forward to the next challenge after his fifth place in Latvia. “The changing conditions mean I am expecting it to be a very testing rally,” said the German. “As a driver, you have to change from one driving style to another overnight. The car set-up also changes dramatically. My goal is to make it to the finish without any problems and to follow on from my good stage times at the Rally Latvia.”

The Acropolis Rally, for decades a permanent fixture in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), makes its first appearance on the ERC calendar this year. As well as the change in championship, the Greek round of the ERC has also been moved forward: rather than in June, as has previously been the norm, this year’s classic will take place in March for the first time.

After Friday’s qualifying on a 3.27-kilometre asphalt stage not far from the rally HQ in Loutraki, the Acropolis Rally opens with two loops of three asphalt special stages amounting to 124.62 kilometres against the clock on Saturday. A further 114.22 kilometres of special stage are scheduled for the Sunday: as well as a short 1.18-kilometre spectator stage, the competitors will also tackle two loops of three gravel stages.

Meanwhile, work on the Fabia R 5, the successor to the successful Fabia Super 2000, is in full flow in Mladá Boleslav. The development of the new racing car, which is based on the future production model of the Fabia and equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine in line with FIA regulations, is high on ŠKODA Motorsport’s list of priorities for the 2014 season. “That is our motorsport future. Entering the R 5 class is a logical step for the ŠKODA brand,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “As it stands, we expect the new car to be homologated by mid-2015.”
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Mart 29, 2014, 10:42:04 posle podne
ŠKODA with a chance of a podium finish at the half way mark in the Acropolis Rally

› ŠKODA works drivers Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm are in fourth in their Fabia Super 2000 at the classic rally in Greece
› Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian plan to restart on Sunday
› The final day of the “Rally of Gods” is 114.22 kilometres of almost pure gravel

Loutraki, 29th March 2014 – At the end of the first day of the Acropolis Rally in Greece, ŠKODA is in the running for a podium finish. The works pair Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) finished the first half of the third race of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season in fourth in their Fabia Super 2000.

23-year-old Lappi was pleased with his fourth place on Saturday, which saw the participants take on 124.62 kilometres of asphalt. “We knew before the rally started that the first day on asphalt wouldn’t be easy. Frequently changing grip conditions made it hard to find a good balance,” said the Finn, who is 28.8 seconds behind third place in the overall standings. “I’m looking forward to the gravel stages on Sunday. I’ve got my eye on the podium.”

Fellow ŠKODA drivers Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian (D/D) from the team ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland on the other hand dropped out after sliding on the fourth special stage while they were in fifth. “Unfortunately, after my slip I damaged the right-rear suspension,” said Wiegand. “It’s a bitter pill to swallow as I was doing well up to that point and had a very fast car. My thanks goes out to the entire ŠKODA team who repaired my Fabia Super 2000 so that I can get back out there again on Sunday. Let’s see what we can do on gravel.”
The second half of the classic Greek rally will, unlike the start on Saturday, mainly be driven on gravel.

114.22 kilometres have to be covered in seven special stages, including a brief 1.18 kilometre super special stage after lunch. After a total of 238.84 kilometres split across two days around the rally centre in Loutraki, the winners of the 60th Acropolis Rally will roll over the ramp.

Gallery: https://goo.gl/photos/h1oHR5uNpeH5VK8k9
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Mart 30, 2014, 11:17:27 posle podne
Acropolis Rally: ŠKODA works driver Lappi in fourth

› ŠKODA works drivers Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm drove to fourth place at the Acropolis Rally in the Fabia Super 2000
› The Finnish duo remain in second place in the Drivers’ and Co-drivers’ Classification in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC)
› Next ERC start at the Circuit of Ireland Rally on 17–19 April

Loutraki, 30 March 2014 – The ŠKODA works drivers Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) have completed the 60th instalment of the Acropolis Rally in Greece in fourth place in their Fabia Super 2000. The two Finns were consequently the best-placed duo in a vehicle with an aspirated engine at the third event in the FIA European Rally Champion (ERC) season. Lappi/Ferm remain in second place in the overall ERC standings.

“I can be happy with my performance at this rally” said Lappi, who had to just concede victory on his debut in Greece to the teams racing in vehicles with turbo engines. “We gave it everything against the guys, but this weekend anything better than fourth place was simply not going to happen. Even my tyre damage during the eighth special stage didn’t change anything. Our next outing in Northern Ireland poses a completely different kind of challenge: a purely asphalt rally, where the weather has often played a decisive role in years past. I’m looking forward to it.”

Lappi’s colleagues Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian (D/D) from the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team also picked up championship points by finishing the day’s classification in fifth on Sunday. The German duo were forced to retire on Saturday after skidding off whilst in fifth place and therefore had to open the special stages when the action started again on the final day of the Greek rally classic. “On Saturday I was completely on track until my slip-up. Finishing in the top five would certainly have been possible in spite of the tough competition,” according to Wiegand. “Playing ‘road sweeper’ for all the subsequent cars on Sunday over the gravel course was definitely not ideal. But recording the third-fastest time on the final special stage was something of a conciliatory end for Frank and me.”

In contrast to Saturday, when the rally was contested solely over asphalt roads, the competitors had to do battle with gravel stages, typical for Greece, on the final day.

The ERC is stopping off in Belfast, Northern Ireland for the Easter weekend (17–19 April), where the Circuit of Ireland Rally will be the fourth event of the season. ŠKODA will once again be competing with both its teams, Lappi/Ferm and Wiegand/Christian.

Meanwhile, work on the Fabia R 5, the successor to the successful Fabia Super 2000, is in full flow in Mladá Boleslav. The development of the new racing car, which is based on the future production model of the Fabia and equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine in line with FIA regulations, is of highest priority for ŠKODA Motorsport in the 2014 season.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWZt2Ix-sQc&feature=share&list=PLvU8NlBTh8tPPkjcDL2ZSLHIeRwxaiI6l
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 07, 2014, 11:20:31 pre podne
APRC: ŠKODA embarks on title defence with two top driver pairings

› Season gets under way with the Rally of Whangarei in New Zealand
› Last year’s champions Gill/Macneall set their sights on the title once again
› European champions Kopecký/Dresler looking forward to a new challenge

Mladá Boleslav, 7 April 2014 – The factory-backed team ŠKODA MRF is setting its sights on defending its title in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with two top driver duos. Last year’s champions Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/NZ) will be lining up alongside the European champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) in the first race of the season in New Zealand from 11 to 13 April. The APRC has never seen such a high-profile pairing of drivers. The Rally of Whangarei is the first of six races in the new APRC season.

“We had a fantastic season last year and we wrote APRC history. The first thing I’d like to do is therefore thank ŠKODA and MRF for their continued support,” says Gill, who is the first Indian to ever have won the APRC. “We won’t be resting on our laurels, though, and we will do our very best to be in with a chance of securing the championship title again this year.” The ŠKODA drivers were the first to cross the finishing line in their Fabia Super 2000 in five of the six APRC races last year, and they therefore comfortably won the manufacturers’ standings for ŠKODA.

In contrast to Gill, the Asia-Pacific rallies will be virgin territory for the Czech driver Jan Kopecký. Having won last year’s FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), he is now looking forward to an entirely new challenge. “New rallies with completely different racing conditions are obviously an exciting prospect for me,” says the ŠKODA factory driver. “We had a fantastic season in 2013 and we now want to pick up where we left off, together with the ŠKODA MRF team. I have a great car and a highly professional team. And obviously I’m hoping that my ŠKODA teammate Gaurav Gill will be able to give us lots of good tips.”

That shouldn’t be a problem in the first race of the season in New Zealand, where Gill came second last year, behind his previous ŠKODA teammate Esapekka Lappi (FIN), who is competing in the ERC this year. There are, however, new challenges this year during the 14 special stages covering a distance of 241.29 kilometres around the rally base at Whangarei in New Zealand. For example, the super special stage in the region located a good 160 kilometres north of the capital Auckland will take place under the floodlights this year.

Competing in the APRC is an important step in the Czech car maker’s drive to achieve growth in international markets. ŠKODA is aiming to increase its global sales to at least 1.5 million units a year in the next few years and also to achieve strong growth in particular in the Asian growth markets. Meanwhile back at the ŠKODA headquarters in Mladá Boleslav, work continues on development of the Fabia R 5, the successor to the successful Fabia Super 2000. Developing this new racing vehicle based on the future series model of the Fabia and featuring a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine in line with the FIA rules is the top priority for ŠKODA Motorsport in the 2014 season. “This represents our motorsport future. Moving into the R5 category is a logical step for the ŠKODA brand,” says ŠKODA’s Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “We are currently working on the assumption that the new vehicle will have been homologated by mid-2015.”

The 2014 APRC calendar:

11–13 April: Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand
16–18 May: Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie – New Caledonia
20–22 June: Rally of Queensland – Australia
15–17 August: Malaysian Rally – Malaysia
26–28 September: Rally Hokkaido – Japan
7–9 November: China Rally – China
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 13, 2014, 06:27:07 posle podne
One-two victory: ŠKODA celebrates perfect start to the new APRC season

› First and second place in Rally of Whangarei in New Zealand
› Defending champions Gill/Macneall clinch win ahead of European champions Kopecký/Dresler
› Fabia Super 2000 the superior car: “A fantastic victory for the ŠKODA MRF team”

Whangarei, New Zealand, 13 April 2014 – The factory-backed ŠKODA MRF team is celebrating the perfect start to the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with a one-two victory. The defending champions Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/NZ) won the Rally of Whangarei in New Zealand with an 11.9-second lead over the European champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ). The two ŠKODA MRF teams comfortably shook off their competitors and won all 14 special stages in the first of six races in the APRC season thanks to the Fabia Super 2000, which performed superbly once again.

“I’ve been close to winning here a number of times, and this time I finally succeeded. This is a fantastic victory for the entire ŠKODA MRF team,” commented Gill. Last year Gill, who comes from India, finished second in the season opener in New Zealand, behind his teammate Esapekka Lappi (FIN). This time, however, he put in a strong performance in a thrilling battle with Kopecký on the final day, to narrowly secure victory on the route which had been reduced to 220.87 kilometres.

The 2013 European champion had taken the lead on the first day on the dusty tracks around the rally base in Whangarei – an impressive achievement considering this was the 32-year-old’s debut in the APRC and also his first time of competing on tyres made by the Indian manufacturer MRF. “We had a really good battle with Gaurav over the entire weekend. This gives me the opportunity to improve. I haven’t had much experience with this kind of gravel rally and this is also the first time that I have competed so far away from my home in the Czech Republic. I’m therefore happy with the result,“ said Kopecký.

Gill and Kopecký are now at the top of the drivers’ standings thanks to their one-two finish. The front-runners ŠKODA MRF are also currently on course to defend their title in the manufacturers’ standings ahead of the second race of the season in New Caledonia from 16 to 18 May.
Competing in the APRC is an important step in the Czech car maker’s drive to achieve growth in international markets. ŠKODA is aiming to increase its global sales to at least 1.5 million units a year in the next few years and also to achieve strong growth in particular in the Asian growth markets.

The 2014 APRC calendar:

16–18 May: Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie – New Caledonia
20–22 June: Rally of Queensland – Australia
15–17 August: Malaysian Rally – Malaysia
26–28 September: Rally Hokkaido – Japan
7–9 November: China Rally – China
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 14, 2014, 09:28:25 posle podne
Circuit of Ireland Rally: ŠKODA drivers
aiming for Easter surprise

› Lappi/Ferm and Wiegand/Christian to start the ERC round in Northern Ireland
› Rally steeped in tradition celebrates comeback on an international level
› ŠKODA is travelling to Belfast with fond memories

Mladá Boleslav, 14 April 2014 – April showers, ever-changing road surfaces and
thousands of spectators: The Circuit of Ireland Rally is one of the most varied
and oldest rallies in the world. The fourth round of the FIA European Rally
Championship (ERC) in Great Britain, an important ŠKODA market, is one of the
highlights of the year. The Latvia winners Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm
(FIN/FIN) and the duo from Team ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland, Sepp
Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D), want to pull off an Easter surprise in the
Fabia Super 2000 from the 17th to 19th April 2014.

“It's my first time starting the Circuit of Ireland Rally,” said Lappi. “After the Acropolis
Rally in Greece, Janne and I are breaking new ground once again in Northern Ireland.
The weather can play a key role there. Sunshine, rain or anything else is possible – in
Northern Ireland everything can change in a matter of minutes.”

“Once again it’s not going to be easy going up against the new generation of
turbocharged vehicles of our competitors. But that is no reason for us to bury our heads
in the sand, after all ŠKODA has shown what the Fabia Super 2000 is capable of in
Northern Ireland previously,” explained the Finn. ŠKODA has already won the third oldest
rally in the world twice and has already proved its competitive ability this season.

Lappi celebrated a convincing victory at the first ŠKODA start this year at the Rally
Latvia. At the Acropolis Rally in Greece he managed fourth place, while fellow ŠKODA
driver Wiegand finished in fifth in the day’s standings on Sunday. The 23-year-old from
Zwönitz will start for the second time in the Fabia Super 2000 in Northern Ireland after
his debut in 2012. “My experience in 2012 is only a slight advantage since this year’s
route is completely different,” said Wiegand under no illusion. “This rally is one of the
most difficult asphalt events of the year. The grip level can change in almost every bend,
which can make for a nasty surprise. The changeable weather means that selecting the
tyres is a gamble. I’m looking forward to it.”

After qualifying on Maundy Thursday, which starts with a 4.15-kilometre asphalt stage
just outside the rally centre in Belfast, the Circuit of Ireland Rally gets underway on Good
Friday with ten special stages covering a total of 113.30 kilometres. The rally is then
decided on the closing 117.12 kilometres of timed stages on Saturday, split across eight special stages.

Did you know that …

... the Circuit of Ireland Rally was first held in 1931? This makes it the third oldest automobile rally in the world. On its debut, the event was called the “Ulster Motor Rally”.
... the Circuit of Ireland Rally is traditionally held on the Easter weekend? The start and finish of the rally are usually in Northern Ireland, while parts of the course also ran through Ireland in the past.
... this year, the Circuit of Ireland Rally is part of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) for the first time since 1991? In 2012 it was the third round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), and in 2013 it was not held due to heavy snowfall.

... ŠKODA has already tasted success twice at the Circuit of Ireland Rally? In 2009 local hero Eugene Donnelly (GB) won alongside his co-driver Paddy Toner (GB) in the Fabia WRC; in 2012 the then ŠKODA factory duo Juho Hänninen/Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN) in the Fabia Super 2000 finished first at the rally in Northern Ireland.

... ŠKODA brought home a one-two-three victory at the Circuit of Ireland Rally in 2012? Behind the winning duo of Hänninen/Markkula in the Fabia Super 2000, came Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløne (N/N) and last year’s European Champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) in second and third. Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (IRL/GB) and Sepp Wiegand/Timo Gottschalk (D/D) finished in sixth and seventh, meaning that a total of five Fabia Super 2000s secured a top 10 spot in the overall standings.

... this year is the second time that ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver Sepp Wiegand will start the Circuit of Ireland Rally? In 2012 he finished in seventh, alongside co-driver Timo Gottschalk.
... in 2013 Great Britain became the fourth largest market for the ŠKODA brand? Last year the manufacturer increased deliveries to customers by 24 percent to the new record value of 66,000 vehicles (in 2012: 53,200). This puts Great Britain in fourth place in ŠKODA's worldwide rankings, behind China, Germany and Russia – and ahead of the domestic market in the Czech Republic.

The number for the Circuit of Ireland Rally: 14

At the last Circuit of Ireland Rally in 2012, ŠKODA drivers achieved the best time on all 14 of the special stages held. Juho Hänninen (FIN), who went on to win the rally, was the fastest on eight stages and Andreas Mikkelsen (N) was the fastest on five stages. The victory on the opening stage “Titanic” went to Jan Kopecký (CZ).

FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), Drivers Standings

1. Craig Breen, 63 points; 2. Esapekka Lappi, 59; 3. Vasily Gryazin, 48; 4. Kajetan Kajetanowicz, 44; 5. Robert Kubica, 39; 6. Bryan Bouffier, 31; 7. Vaclav Pech, 30; 8. Raimund Baumschlager, 24; 9. Beppo Harrach, 20; 10. Jaromir Tarabus, 20; 11. Sepp Wiegand, 20; 12. Bruno Magalhães, 14; 13. Andreas Aigner, 12; 14. Jãnis Vorobjovs, 10; 15. Vitaliy Pushkar, 6; 16. Jaroslav Orsák, 6; 17. Roman Odlozilik, 5; 18. Stanislav Travnikov, 5; 19. Jean-Michel Raoux, 4; 20. Robert Consani, 4; 21. Martynas Samuitis, 3; 22. Siim Plangi, 2; 23. Hermann Neubauer, 1; 24. Jan Cerny, 1; 25. Mãrtins Svilis, 1.
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Poruka od: Karlheinz April 19, 2014, 12:04:41 pre podne
Lappi leads Circuit of Ireland at the halfway point
4/18/2014

​ŠKODA duo Lappi/Ferm wins seven of ten special stages on the first day of the ERC rally in Northern Ireland.
Dream start for ŠKODA at the “Circuit of Ireland Rally”: On the first of two rally days around Belfast, Northern Ireland's capital city, the “flying Finns” Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm in the Fabia Super 2000 won seven of ten special stages. The duo will start the closing eight stages on Easter Saturday with a 12.6 second advantage. Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) of Team ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland are in fourth place halfway through the third oldest rally in the world, trailing their ŠKODA colleagues by 1:49.0 minutes, and have their sights set on a podium finish.

While qualifying on Maundy Thursday was characterized by rain and freezing gusts of wind, the sun shone over Northern Ireland on Good Friday. Perfect conditions for a pure asphalt rally in which the participants had to master countless jumps and bends that are almost impossible to see on the narrow streets typical of this rally.

“It was a great day for the whole team,” said Esapekka Lappi, who won the first seven special stages of the day. “Everything went to plan. The Fabia Super 2000 performed wonderfully and the numerous jumps were a lot of fun. At times the stages felt like 'Finland on asphalt'. Eight more demanding stages await us on Saturday. I'm looking forward to it.”

Fellow ŠKODA driver Sepp Wiegand is within striking distance of the winner's podium, trailing third place by 8.8 seconds. “It's incredible how quickly this rally gets going. I think we've found our rhythm now. We proved this with the two Top 3 times at the end of the day,” said the 23-year-old from Zwönitz. “The podium is within reach. We'll give it our all on Saturday to achieve this goal.”

Number of the day: 7
The first seven special stages of the first day of the “Circuit of Ireland Rally” went to ŠKODA works duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm in the Fabia Super 2000. In the final three stages on Good Friday the two Finns finished in second, second and third. An all-round successful start to the Easter Weekend for ŠKODA, which was rounded off nicely by Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian securing two Top 3 times.

Circuit of Ireland Rally – Interim results after day:
1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN; ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000) 59:11.2 min
2. Breen/Martin (IRL/GB; Peugeot 208T16 R5) + 12.6 sec
3. Barrable/Loudon (IRL/GB; Ford Fiesta R5) + 1:40.2 min
4. Wiegand/Christian (D/D; ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000) + 1:49.0 min
5. Moffett/O’Reilly (IRL/IRL; Ford Fiesta RRC) + 2:05.5 min
6. Consani/Vilmot (F/F; Peugeot 207 S2000) + 3:05.4 min
7. Simpson/Mole (GB/GB; ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000) + 3:53.2 min
8. Moffett/Rowan (IRL/IRL; Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) + 6:00.2 min
9. Ingram/Moreau (GB/F; Renault Twingo R2) + 6:50.5 min
10. Cerny/Kohout (CZ/CZ; Peugeot 208 R2) + 7:02.2 min
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Poruka od: Karlheinz April 19, 2014, 11:13:00 posle podne
ŠKODA celebrates one-two victory in Ireland
4/19/2014

ŠKODA duo Lappi/Ferm wins the ERC Rally in Northern Ireland and now leads the championship.
ŠKODA pulled off the Easter surprise they were hoping for: At the Circuit of Ireland Rally, the fourth round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), the brand from Mladá Boleslav celebrated a resounding one-two victory. The “Flying Finns” Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm won ten of the 18 special stages that took place on fast and extremely narrow asphalt streets around Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital city. Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) of Team ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland rounded off an excellent chase on Easter Saturday with second place. Fifth-placed Neil Simpson/Claire Mole (GB/GB) in their privateer Fabia Super 2000 ensured that three ŠKODAs finished in the Top 5.

“We are delighted that we won in Northern Ireland,” said Esapekka Lappi. “The whole team worked hard for this success. Before the rally we didn’t think that we would lead from start to finish. It was a perfect rally for us. The speed and reliability of the Fabia Super 2000 were crucial in this rally that demands a lot of drivers and vehicles. Our intensive preparations paid off. Thanks and congratulations to the whole team.” With their second victory of the season following their triumph in Latvia, Lappi and Ferm have taken the lead in the drivers’ standings and the co-drivers’ standings of the European Rally Championship.

Wiegand won four special stages on day two of the rally to move up from fourth to second in the overall standings. “It’s a great weight off my mind,” said the 23-year-oldSepp Wiegand. “Our first podium finish in the ERC and even a one-two victory for ŠKODA. We’ve been working towards this since the start of the season. Thanks to the team, the lads gave us a perfect car. We improved over the two days, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to catch Robert Barrable. This will spur us on for the rest of the season.” Wiegand moved up to third in the drivers’ standings of the ERC.

The number of the Circuit of Ireland Rally: 3
Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN)’s victory sees ŠKODA recorded in the list of winners at the Circuit of Ireland Rally for the third time. In 2009, local hero Eugene Donnelly (GB) won with his co-driver Paddy Toner (GB) in the Fabia WRC, in 2012 the then ŠKODA works duo Juho Hänninen/Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN) in the Fabia Super 2000 finished first in the third oldest rally in the world.

Circuit of Ireland Rally – Final Result

1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN; ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000) 2h 06m 15.5s
2. Wiegand/Christian (D/D; ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000) + 1m 50.0s
3. Barrable/Loudon (IRL/GB; Ford Fiesta R5) + 1m 57.5s
4. Consani/Vilmot (F/F; Peugeot 207 S2000) + 5m 34.0s
5. Simpson/Mole (GB/GB; ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000) + 6m 33.5s
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Poruka od: Karlheinz April 28, 2014, 11:55:15 pre podne
At home in Český Krumlov: ŠKODA Motorsport sends its top teams into action

› ŠKODA lines up with European Champions Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ) and current European Championship leaders Lappi/Ferm(FIN/FIN)
› The 42nd Rally Český Krumlov is the second round of the 2014 Czech Rally Championship
› 14 special stages covering 169.10 kilometres await the competitors over the two days

Mladá Boleslav, 28 April 2014 – Czech Rally fans have a real treat in store this weekend. The 42nd staging of the Rally Český Krumlov (2–3 May) will see two of ŠKODA’s works driver teams in action. In addition to the European Champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), who are primarily competing in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) this season, the duo currently leading the standings in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) in the Fabia Super 2000, will also take part in the asphalt rally in South Bohemia.

“The Rally Český Krumlov is our home race and, as such, is a very special event on the ŠKODA race calendar,” said Luboš Vlček, Director of Sales for the ŠKODA brand in the Czech Republic. “The enthusiasm for rally racing and the ŠKODA Motorsport team in the Czech Republic is incredible. That’s why it is perfectly natural for us to enter our two top teams for this event.”

Kopecký, who won the rally in 2012 in the Fabia Super 2000, is particularly looking forward to the race in his home country. “The APRC challenge is our priority this year,” said last year’s European Champion. “This means that we are looking forward to being able to drive for our home fans all the more. Pavel and I have fond memories of the Rally Český Krumlov, as we won there two years ago. We’ll do our best to climb onto the top step of the podium once again.”

Lappi has the same goal for his outing in Český Krumlov. “We obviously want to be fighting for victory. It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to get some more practice on asphalt,” said the Finn. Lappi won the Circuit of Ireland Rally on the Easter Weekend and leads the ERC as he travels to the city on the Vltava, which has a population of 13,000. “There’s always something special about competing in ŠKODA's home country, even for Janne and me. You can feel the tremendous enthusiasm everywhere here.”

Once the rally gets underway on Friday afternoon, the drivers will take on seven special stages covering 73.32 kilometres. The final three stages of the day will be held in the dark and will be particularly challenging. After a short night, the rally resumes on Saturday morning, when the drivers are faced with 96.78 kilometres over seven special stages.

ŠKODA has already won 14 times in Český Krumlov

ŠKODA already has 14 victories to its name at the rally around the South Bohemian city. Two of these came in the Fabia Super 2000. In 2011, five-time Czech Rally Champion Roman Kresta (CZ) and co-driver Petr Gross (CZ) won the Rally Český Krumlov. A year later it was Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) who won in the city on the Vltava, on their way to their first joint title in the Czech Championship.
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Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 05, 2014, 12:49:53 posle podne
Luck deserts ŠKODA at its home rally in Český Krumlov: Kopecký and Lappi fail to finish

› European Champions Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ) retire on the final stage of their return on home soil in the Czech Republic
› Lappi/Ferm(FIN/FIN) win the first three special stages on their guest start in South Bohemia, but are then forced to retire
› Kopecký/Dresler next in action at the APRC event in New Caledonia in two weeks

Český Krumlov, 3 May 2014 – Good performance, but without the result to match: ŠKODA failed to finish the 42nd Rally Český Krumlov with both works duos – Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) and Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) – in the Fabia Super 2000. European Champion Kopecký, who will do most of his racing in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) this season, was running second before crashing out in wet conditions on the final stage. Lappi, who tops the standings in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), had won Friday’s opening three stages, but then had to retire with technical problems.

“We are really pleased that we were able to appear in front of our home fans again this weekend – thanks in no small part to the support of our sales department here in the Czech Republic,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “We saw a captivating battle. At this point I would like to congratulate the winners Václav Pech and Petr Uhel. You have to congratulate them on a performance like that. I can well imagine that we will line up with our works drivers at more rallies in the Czech Republic this year. However, Jan Kopecký and Gaurav Gill first head to New Caledonia in two weeks, where they will contest the next round of the APRC. Our next outing in the ERC will be in Belgium, where our young drivers Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand will be in action at the Ypres Rally.”

“It was a great battle for the victory, but Václav Pech really flew on the second day,” said Kopecký, who had not dropped out of the top three until his crash, and led the rally at the halfway point. “We did our very best and made a few changes to the set-up, but we could not close the gap on Václav. I congratulate him, he deserved the win.”

Speaking after his retirement, Lappi, who was making his first appearance at the Rally Český Krumlov, said: “It is a real shame, as we felt really good on this route. To be honest, we were positively surprised that we were so quick at the first attempt. Unfortunately the technology let us down this time, but that is all part and parcel of motorsport. We will do our best again next time.”
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Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 12, 2014, 11:18:16 pre podne
ŠKODA sets sights on more top results in New Caledonia
5/12/2014

Goal for 2014: Successful title defence in the APRC for Manufacturers.

Following the one-two at the opening rally of the season, the works-assisted ŠKODA MRF team now heads to the second round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in New Caledonia full of confidence. Defending champions and APRC leaders Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/NZ) are hungry to repeat last year’s victory, and thus to extend their lead in the overall standings. And European Champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) also believe they have a good chance of securing their first win of the season, having finished runner-up at the opening round in New Zealand. The Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie will take place on 17 and 18 May. The event is a gravel rally, featuring 17 special stages and a total 235.78 kilometres against the clock.

“We are really looking forward to the rally and have fond memories of New Caledonia. We obviously want to repeat last year’s win,” said Gaurav Gill. The experienced ŠKODA driver is actually looking for his third victory in a row in New Caledonia. However, he warns against underestimating the difficult conditions on the group of islands in the South Pacific, which belong to France: “The weather can play a vital role here, as conditions can change very quickly on the islands. The route can get very slippery if it rains.”

Jan Kopecký is yet to gain his first experience of the unique conditions on the archipelago at the other end of the world. The 2013 European Champion and his co-driver Pavel Dresler finished an impressive second when New Zealand hosted the opening round of the APRC in April, pushing the more experienced Gill all the way. His goal for the second APRC is to continue on his learning curve.

“Every rally in the APRC is a challenge for us. However, we recently did well in New Zealand, which was uncharted territory for us. That makes me optimistic that we can also be among the front-runners in New Caledonia,” said Jan Kopecký. Both rally crews share the same goal of defending the title in the Manufacturers’ Championship, which ŠKODA leads after its successful outing at the season-opener.

The starts in the APRC are of strategic importance to the Czech automobile manufacturer. The goal is to further raise awareness of the brand on international markets. ŠKODA aims to increase its global sales to at least 1.5 million units per year over the coming years, with particular emphasis on growth in the emerging Asian markets.

Did you know that...
... the Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie was held for the first time in 1967? Back then, the event was known as the “New Caledonia Safari”. The winner of the inaugural rally was Australian John Keran in a Volvo 122S.

... the Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie was first included in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in 1999? Since 2001, it has been a permanent fixture on the APRC calendar, although it had to be cancelled in 2003 due to heavy rain.

... ŠKODA has already triumphed on two occasions at the Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie? Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/NZ) won in a Fabia Super 2000 in 2012 and 2013.

... ŠKODA claimed a one-two in New Caledonia in 2012? Victorious duo Gill/Macneall were followed in second place by Chris Atkinson/Stéphane Prévot (AUS/B) in the second Fabia Super 2000, run by the ŠKODA MRF team. The Australian/Belgian pairing won the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championship in the APRC that year.

... New Caledonia is a group of islands in the South Pacific, which are owned by France? About 246,000 people live on the islands, which have a total area of 18,575 km².

... the New Caledonia Barrier Reef is the second-longest double-barrier reef in the world, after Australia’s “Great Barrier Reef”? UNESCO named the coral reef a World Heritage Site in 2008.

... France was the eighth-largest sales market for the ŠKODA brand in 2013? Last year, the manufacturer supplied 20,400 vehicles to French customers.

The number for the Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie: 6
Six special stages had to be cancelled at last year’s Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie due to heavy rainfall. After it was not possible to start the final stage on the opening day of two, only three of the scheduled eight special stages could be completed on the final day. This reduced the total distance of the rally to 174.72 kilometres.
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Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 18, 2014, 10:35:01 posle podne
Second one-two of the APRC season for ŠKODA
5/18/2014

Total domination with the ŠKODA Super 2000, despite miserable conditions in exotic New Caledonia.
The works-assisted ŠKODA MRF team overcame the miserable conditions to claim another one-two at the second round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). European champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) picked up their first win in the APRC in exotic New Caledonia, ahead of team-mates Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/NZ). Gill had previously triumphed ahead of Kopecký at the opening round in New Zealand. The two drivers are now tied at the top of the overall standings after two of six races in the APRC, while ŠKODA also holds a commanding lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship.

“We had quite a big lead on day two, so I just wanted to avoid making any mistakes on the muddy roads. I was under no pressure, and could relax in the Fabia Super 2000, which was perfect – as always,” said Jan Kopecký, who was delighted with his first win at only his second start in the APRC: “We are now level with Gaurav, which is good for the championship. It is always better when there is such a close battle.”

The Czech driver finished a full 6:12.8 minutes ahead of his ŠKODA team-mate Gill in New Caledonia. The Indian had initially led the rally on day one, but then damaged his car when he came off the road and consequently dropped a crucial amount of time. The drivers were once again faced with the trickiest of conditions on the French island in the South Pacific, with most of the route transformed into mud bath by the heavy rain. So bad were the conditions that six of the 17 special stages scheduled had to be cancelled.

Safety concerns meant that the two ŠKODA MRF drivers started the penultimate stage later than expected. This resulted in a time penalty from the jury, but this was subsequently reduced after an appeal from the ŠKODA MRF team. As such, Kopecký and Gill had to wait several hours to celebrate their one-two. “We were a victim of the conditions with our crash on day one. However, we still managed to make the most of the situation for ourselves and the team in the end,” Gaurav Gill commented. The two ŠKODA MRF drivers clocked the fastest times on all eleven special stages.

Following the latest one-two, Jan Kopecký is already looking forward to the next APRC Rally in Australia from 20 to 22 June: “I have never been to Australia, so the rally will be completely new territory for me. It will be exciting again.”

The starts in the APRC are of strategic importance to the Czech automobile manufacturer. The goal is to further increase awareness of the brand in international markets. ŠKODA is looking to increase its global sales to at least 1.5 million units per year over the coming years, with particular emphasis on the emerging markets in Asia.

The number for the Rally New Caledonia: 6

Like last year, a total of six special stages had to be cancelled due to heavy rain, which made the roads undriveable. As such, only eleven of the 17 scheduled special stages were actually held. After stages five and eight were cancelled on days one and two of the rally, only four of the eight special stages scheduled for the final day could actually be completed. The last three stages were all abandoned completely.
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Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 16, 2014, 12:18:02 posle podne
50th Ypres Rally: ŠKODA drivers looking forward to anniversary in Belgium

› Lappi/Ferm and Wiegand/Christian line up in the ERC in Belgium
› Lappi leads the European Championship going into the race
› ŠKODA has won the last four editions of the iconic rally

Mladá Boleslav, 16 June 2014 – The Ypres Rally is taking place for the 50th time – and the ŠKODA drivers have their sights set on playing a major role at the anniversary event. After the one-two at the Circuit of Ireland Rally, Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) and the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team of Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) now move on to their next challenge. The sixth round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) takes place in Belgium from 19 to 21 June.

“The Ypres Rally is new territory for me, but so was the Circuit of Ireland Rally. I hope things work out just as well this time too. One thing is certain: you have to be alert at all times on the slippery asphalt,” said Lappi. The Finn dominated in Northern Ireland on his way to victory number two of the season, having previously won in Latvia. These two wins, plus a fourth place in Greece, have taken Lappi to the top of the overall standings in the ERC with 98 points. Despite this, the 23-year-old warns against writing off the strong opposition.

“Victories from Freddy Loix and Juno Hänninen in recent years have shown that the Fabia Super 2000 can be successful in Belgium. However, this is definitely not a forgone conclusion, as our opposition is also very strong and will be going all out to end ŠKODA’s winning run,” said the Finn. ŠKODA drivers have emerged triumphant from the iconic Ypres Rally for the last four years in a row. With this in mind, the manufacturer from Mladá Boleslav is obviously looking to mix it with the front-runners again at this year’s anniversary rally.

And fellow ŠKODA driver Wiegand is also keen to get in on the act, having produced an impressive fightback to finish an excellent second at the Circuit of Ireland Rally. “Claiming my first podium in the ERC is a weight off my shoulders. I obviously want to back that performance up in Belgium, although it is new terrain for me. The pace notes, which I will write together with my co-driver ahead of the rally, must be one hundred per cent right,” said the 23-year-old ŠKODA driver. With 48 points to his name, Wiegand currently lies fourth in the ERC standings.

Also lining up for the ŠKODA motorsport family: last year’s winner Freddy Loix (B) – this time in a privately run ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. The 42-year-old rally legend from Belgium is a force to be reckoned with at his home rally: Loix won at the wheel of a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Loix is joined at the start by Neil Simpson (GB), another experienced driver in the 270-hp four-wheel drive car from Mladá Boleslav. The 41-year-old authorised ŠKODA dealer from Clitheroe in Lancashire has
returned to professional rallying this season after a break of twelve years. Simpson
finished fifth at the Circuit of Ireland Rally in a Fabia Super 2000. Good omen: Simpson’s
first appearance in Ypres will be at the wheel of the very same car Loix triumphed in last
year.

The Ypres Rally begins on Thursday evening with the 4.88-kilometre qualifying stage.
This is followed by 20 special stages, consisting of 298.79 kilometres against the clock on
slippery, narrow asphalt roads. This makes the anniversary edition of the Ypres Rally the
longest on this year’s ERC calendar.

Did you know that …

... the Ypres Rally was held for the first time in 1965? Back then it was known as the
“Eerste Interstallen Criterium”. Since then, the iconic event has established itself as one
of the best-known rallies on the continent. This year it forms part of the FIA European
Rally Championship, having previously featured in the Intercontinental Rally
Challenge (IRC).

... the Ypres Rally is celebrating its 50th anniversary? As such, this year’s rally will be
accompanied by an exhibition, which features unique exhibits from the rally’s early years
to the present.

… the Ypres Rally has always been a stomping ground for the very best drivers? In 1976,
for example, Walter Röhrl’s (D) name went down in the list of winners. Over the years,
the big names who have lined up at the rally include World Champions Juha
Kankkunen (FIN), Colin McRae (GB), Didier Auriol (F) and current FIA President Jean
Todt (F).

... the man with the most wins to his name at the Ypres Rally is Freddy Loix? The Belgian
with the nickname “Fast Freddy” triumphed eight times between 1996 and 2013,
including three victories at the wheel of the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.

… the iconic rally is new territory for both ERC championship leader Esapekka Lappi and
ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver Sepp Wiegand? The German was in action in the 2012
IRC, but did not compete in Belgium.

… the longest stage on the Ypres Rally is “Hollebeke”? It is 28.82 kilometres long and will
be tackled twice on Saturday.

... ŠKODA is growing in popularity in Belgium? 1,900 cars were delivered to customers in
April 2014 alone. That is a rise of 28.9 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 17, 2014, 11:18:20 pre podne
APRC: ŠKODA teams out to continue
winning run in Australia

› One-twos at the previous two rallies in New Zealand and New Caledonia
› ŠKODA victories at the last two International Rallies of Queensland
› ŠKODA drivers Gill and Kopecký joint leaders in the overall standings

Mladá Boleslav, 17 June 2014 – After back-to-back one-twos in the opening two
rallies of the season, the works-assisted ŠKODA MRF team now has its sights
set on continuing its winning run at round three of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally
Championship (APRC). When the International Rally of Queensland takes place
in Australia on 21st and 22nd June, it will feature an all-ŠKODA battle for the
lead in the overall standings: defending champion Gaurav Gill (IND) and
European Champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) are tied at the top.

“The beautiful Pacific, average temperatures above 20 degrees, and endless sandy
beaches – unfortunately my co-driver Pavel Dresler and I will have no time to take in any
of this when we travel to Australia’s Sunshine Coach as rally drivers for the first time.
Quite the opposite: we will be made to work very hard, as the demanding gravel routes
away from the tourist attractions will pose the ultimate test to us drivers and the cars. As
well as pure speed, we will also have to be clever if we want to win again. We are ready,”
said Kopecký.

The 32-year-old travels to Australia full of confidence, having finished ahead of Gill to
claim his first APRC victory at the second round of the season in exotic New Caledonia.
The opening rally in New Zealand produced the reverse of that finish for the two Fabia
Super 2000s: Gill was victorious, followed by Kopecký.

“The duel with Gaurav will be exciting again. It is good that we are pushing ourselves this
way within the team,” said the Czech driver. Gill and his co-driver Glenn Macneall (NZ)
once again have greater experience of the International Rally of Queensland. The duo
was in contention for long periods last year, before having to retire on day two. “We
obviously want to do better this time. However, the rally is very technically demanding
and the weather can also play a major role,” said Gill.

The stages in the forest can be particularly slippery should it rain. The route often takes
in very narrow gravel tracks in the outback behind the beautiful Sunshine Coast. The
16 special stages, totalling 236.97 kilometres, around the Service Park are a test of
endurance for man and machine. Victory in Australia would be ŠKODA’s third in a row in
the APRC. Both crews also have the same goal in the Manufacturers’ Championship: to
defend the title. ŠKODA currently holds a healthy lead here, courtesy of its successful
start to the season.


The starts in the APRC are of great strategic importance for the Czech automobile manufacturer. The goal is to further increase awareness of the brand on international markets. ŠKODA has set its sights on increasing worldwide sales to at least 1.5 million units per year in the coming years, with particular emphasis on the growth markets in Asia.

Did you know that …

... the origins of the International Rally of Queensland date back to 1968? It was then that the rally’s predecessor, the Rally Queensland, was held for the first time. The race has also formed part of the Australian Rally Championship since then, making it the longest-standing event in the championship.

... the International Rally of Queensland made its debut in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in 2009?

… the International Rally of Queensland was originally held in the area around Brisbane? In 1997 it moved to the outback behind the beautiful Sunshine Coach, over 150 kilometres north of the city. The motto this year: “Sun, Sea, Speed”.

... ŠKODA has already won the APRC class at the International Rally of Queensland on two occasions? Australian Chris Atkinson won in a Fabia Super 2000 in 2012, while Finland’s Esapekka Lappi repeated the feat in 2013.

... ŠKODA went on to win the title in the APRC after both successes at the iconic rally in Australia? Chris Atkinson triumphed in 2012, with Gaurav Gill crowned rally king of the Asia-Pacific region in 2013.
... Australia is the sixth largest country on earth, with an area of around 7.7 million km²? The coastline itself is 35,876 kilometres long.

... the Australian Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland, is the largest reef in the world? It is 2,300 kilometres long and the largest living structure on the planet.

... the six rounds of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) is held in regions with a total population of over 2.5 million?
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 20, 2014, 09:11:19 posle podne
Kopecký on promotional tour in Australia
6/20/2014

Czech rally expertise on Australian roads. Rally success helps ŠKODA on the Australian market.
Jan Kopecký is in Australia for the first time, but the land down under has already earned itself a place in his heart. “The people here are extremely friendly and the scenery is simply breath-taking,” said the thrilled Czech driver. As European Champion, he is the perfect ambassador for ŠKODA at the other end of the world – and his outing at the “International Rally of Queensland” on Saturday and Sunday is set to give the brand an extra boost on the Australian market. The second top crew in the Fabia Super 2000 are defending champions Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/NZ).

“The two wins for ŠKODA in the APRC class at the rally in Australia in recent years created a lot of positive headlines and really helped the brand,” said Pavel Hortek, Team Principal of ŠKODA MRF.

Obviously keen to make the most of any spare time, Kopecký and his Czech co-driver Pavel Dresler went on a discovery tour in beautiful Queensland – over 14,000 kilometres from Mladá Boleslav. The tour included a trip to an animal park, where the duo saw kangaroos and other exotic animals, such as koalas and wombats. The two top drivers also admired the coast from the water on a sea kayak tour. “They were nice trips in the middle of the stressful rally schedule,” said a delighted Jan Kopecký. “However, we are not here on holiday.”

With their minds focussed on the third round of the season in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), he and his co-driver undertook an tough fitness regime during their first few days in Australia. In comfortable temperatures not exceeding 20 degrees – it is currently winter in Australia – he and Pavel Dresler jogged an eight-kilometre route on the Sunshine Coast every day. “Every other runner greeted us with a friendly ‘G’day’,” said Kopecký, who was visibly impressed by the friendliness of the Australians.

Next up on Wednesday was a photo and TV session, during which the drivers posed for the cameras with their national flags and the boat on Caloundra beach. On Thursday, the European Champion and his co-driver Pavel Dresler switched into rally mode. After a win and a second place in the previous rounds, they have their sights on another good result for ŠKODA come the end of the weekend. That would be another good reason to take Australia to their hearts. 

Did you know that...
...ŠKODA has been active on the Australian market since 2007? The first model for sale Down Under was the Octavia. Nowadays, the Octavia, Octavia Combi, Fabia, Fabia Combi, Superb, Superb Combi, Yeti and Rapid Spaceback are available.

...well-equipped models with powerful engines are most popular Down Under? For example, 40 per cent of the Octavias sold are RS models.

...ŠKODA sold 3,555 cars in Australia last year?

...the origins of the International Rally of Queensland date back to 1968? It was then that the rally’s predecessor, the Rally Queensland, was held for the first time. The race has also formed part of the Australian Rally Championship since then, making it the longest-standing event in the championship.

...ŠKODA went on to win the title in the APRC after both successes at the iconic rally in Australia? Chris Atkinson triumphed in 2012, with Gaurav Gill crowned rally king of the Asia-Pacific region in 2013.

...Australia is the sixth largest country on earth, with an area of around 7.7 million km²? The coastline itself is 35,876 kilometres long.

...the Australian Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland, is the largest reef in the world? It is 2,300 kilometres long and the largest living structure on the planet.

The number for the International Rally of Queensland: 20
At last year’s International Rally of Queensland, the two ŠKODA drivers clocked the fastest time by an APRC river on all 20 special stages. Esapekka Lappi was the quickest man on 13 stages and went on to win the APRC class at the rally. Gaurav Gill, who was to be crowned APRC Champion, notched up seven stage wins.

FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), overall standings manufacturers’ championship after 2 of 6 events:
1. ŠKODA, 75 points; 2. Proton, 36; 3. Mitsubishi, 32; 4. Renault, 25; 5. Subaru, 13

FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), overall standings drivers’ championship after 2 of 6 events:
1. Gaurav Gill, 66 points; 1. Jan Kopecký, 66; 3. Michael Young 36, 4. Mark Pedder, 32; 5. Tom Wilde 25

The 2014 APRC calendar:
11–13 April: Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand
16–18 May: Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie – New Caledonia
20–22 June: Rally of Queensland – Australia
15–17 August: Malaysian Rally – Malaysia
26–28 September: Rally Hokkaido – Japan
7–9 November: China Rally – China
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 21, 2014, 09:25:25 pre podne
Good start for ŠKODA at the 50th Ypres Rally

› Four ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000s in the top ten after day one
› Last year’s winner Loix and ERC leader Lappi on course for podium
› 13 special stages covering 190 kilometres scheduled for Saturday at the iconic asphalt rally in West Flanders

Ypres, 20 June 2014 – Impressive display from the ŠKODA drivers on the opening day of the Ypres Rally: four Fabia Super 2000s are currently placed in the top ten at the sixth round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). Eight-time winner Freddy Loix (B), making his 17th appearance at the demanding asphalt rally in Belgium, is second in his Fabia Super 2000 after the first 104.77 kilometres against the clock. ERC leaders Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) of the ŠKODA Motorsport team are hot on their heels in third place.

“The first day was quite ok. I am happy with that,” said Lappi, who opened the route on the first three stages on Friday. “You have to cut a lot of corners on the narrow asphalt streets in order to be really quick here in Belgium. We did not make any mistakes and our speed was good. I will continue the same way on Saturday and try to reach the finish without any problems.”
Also on course for a points finish after the first seven of 20 special stages are Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D). The ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland duo is fifth going into the final day of the Ypres Rally. “I struggled to find the right rhythm at first,” said Wiegand. “But everything came together in the end, particularly on the final stage. Let’s hope for more of that tomorrow.”

Neil Simpson/Claire Mole (GB/GB), who line up in the very same Fabia Super 2000 with which Loix won the Belgian rally classic last year, are ninth overall, rounding off a fine opening-day result for ŠKODA.
The 50th anniversary of the Ypres Rally continues on Saturday, when the route includes a 9.76-kilometre detour over the French border. At the end of Saturday’s 13 stages and 190.02 kilometres against the clock, the winner of the 50th Ypres Rally will be known at about 22:15.

The number of the day: 4

Four Fabia Super 2000s in the top ten: the ŠKODA drivers impressed on the opening day of the Ypres Rally. Luca Rossetti/Matteo Charcossi (I/I) came close to making it five Fabia Super 2000s in the top ten. However, the Italian duo, who won Friday’s qualifying and were running second overall at times, were forced to change a tyre on the sixth special stage and subsequently dropped back into 14th place.

Ypres Rally – Overall classification after day 1

1. Abbring/Marshall (NL/GB), Peugeot 208T16 R5 56m 30.7s
2. Loix/Gitsels (B/B), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 + 24.8s
3. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 + 39.1s
4. Cherain/Leyh (B/B), Ford Fiesta R5 + 53.8s
5. Wiegand/Christian (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 + 1m 32.0s
6. Kobus/De Wild (NL/NL), Ford Fiesta S2000 + 1m 33.2s
7. Breen/Martin (IRL/GB), Peugeot 208T16 R5 + 1m 58.9s
8. Vanneste/Snaet (B/B), Peugeot 207 S2000 + 2m 40.8s
9. Simpson/Mole (GB/GB), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 + 2m 45.4s
10. Pons/Haro (E/E), Ford Fiesta R5 + 2m 48.1s
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 22, 2014, 05:40:22 posle podne
Kopecký on promotional tour in Australia
6/20/2014

Czech rally expertise on Australian roads. Rally success helps ŠKODA on the Australian market.
Jan Kopecký is in Australia for the first time, but the land down under has already earned itself a place in his heart. “The people here are extremely friendly and the scenery is simply breath-taking,” said the thrilled Czech driver. As European Champion, he is the perfect ambassador for ŠKODA at the other end of the world – and his outing at the “International Rally of Queensland” on Saturday and Sunday is set to give the brand an extra boost on the Australian market. The second top crew in the Fabia Super 2000 are defending champions Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/NZ).

“The two wins for ŠKODA in the APRC class at the rally in Australia in recent years created a lot of positive headlines and really helped the brand,” said Pavel Hortek, Team Principal of ŠKODA MRF.

Obviously keen to make the most of any spare time, Kopecký and his Czech co-driver Pavel Dresler went on a discovery tour in beautiful Queensland – over 14,000 kilometres from Mladá Boleslav. The tour included a trip to an animal park, where the duo saw kangaroos and other exotic animals, such as koalas and wombats. The two top drivers also admired the coast from the water on a sea kayak tour. “They were nice trips in the middle of the stressful rally schedule,” said a delighted Jan Kopecký. “However, we are not here on holiday.”

With their minds focussed on the third round of the season in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), he and his co-driver undertook an tough fitness regime during their first few days in Australia. In comfortable temperatures not exceeding 20 degrees – it is currently winter in Australia – he and Pavel Dresler jogged an eight-kilometre route on the Sunshine Coast every day. “Every other runner greeted us with a friendly ‘G’day’,” said Kopecký, who was visibly impressed by the friendliness of the Australians.

Next up on Wednesday was a photo and TV session, during which the drivers posed for the cameras with their national flags and the boat on Caloundra beach. On Thursday, the European Champion and his co-driver Pavel Dresler switched into rally mode. After a win and a second place in the previous rounds, they have their sights on another good result for ŠKODA come the end of the weekend. That would be another good reason to take Australia to their hearts. 

Did you know that...
...ŠKODA has been active on the Australian market since 2007? The first model for sale Down Under was the Octavia. Nowadays, the Octavia, Octavia Combi, Fabia, Fabia Combi, Superb, Superb Combi, Yeti and Rapid Spaceback are available.

...well-equipped models with powerful engines are most popular Down Under? For example, 40 per cent of the Octavias sold are RS models.

...ŠKODA sold 3,555 cars in Australia last year?

...the origins of the International Rally of Queensland date back to 1968? It was then that the rally’s predecessor, the Rally Queensland, was held for the first time. The race has also formed part of the Australian Rally Championship since then, making it the longest-standing event in the championship.

...ŠKODA went on to win the title in the APRC after both successes at the iconic rally in Australia? Chris Atkinson triumphed in 2012, with Gaurav Gill crowned rally king of the Asia-Pacific region in 2013.

...Australia is the sixth largest country on earth, with an area of around 7.7 million km²? The coastline itself is 35,876 kilometres long.

...the Australian Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland, is the largest reef in the world? It is 2,300 kilometres long and the largest living structure on the planet.

The number for the International Rally of Queensland: 20
At last year’s International Rally of Queensland, the two ŠKODA drivers clocked the fastest time by an APRC river on all 20 special stages. Esapekka Lappi was the quickest man on 13 stages and went on to win the APRC class at the rally. Gaurav Gill, who was to be crowned APRC Champion, notched up seven stage wins.

FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), overall standings manufacturers’ championship after 2 of 6 events:
1. ŠKODA, 75 points; 2. Proton, 36; 3. Mitsubishi, 32; 4. Renault, 25; 5. Subaru, 13

FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), overall standings drivers’ championship after 2 of 6 events:
1. Gaurav Gill, 66 points; 1. Jan Kopecký, 66; 3. Michael Young 36, 4. Mark Pedder, 32; 5. Tom Wilde 25

The 2014 APRC calendar:
11–13 April: Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand
16–18 May: Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie – New Caledonia
20–22 June: Rally of Queensland – Australia
15–17 August: Malaysian Rally – Malaysia
26–28 September: Rally Hokkaido – Japan
7–9 November: China Rally – China
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 22, 2014, 05:41:50 posle podne
Ypres Rally: ŠKODA claims fifth win in a row
6/21/2014

​Record winner Freddy Loix triumphs for ŠKODA at the Belgian asphalt classic.
Record win for ŠKODA on golden anniversary of the Ypres Rally: victory marks the first time in the 50-year history of the asphalt rally around the town of Ypres in West Flanders that one manufacturer has won the event five times in a row. Freddy Loix (B), who is supported by ŠKODA Belgium, won the rally classic for the ninth time in his career – another record. Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) of the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team finished third to pick up their second podium of the season and climb to second place overall in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) – level on points with Craig Breen/Scott Martin (IRL/GB).

“That is incredible, something nobody has done before,” said Freddy Loix. The Belgian rally legend and his co-driver Johan Gitsels (B) ended the sixth round of the ERC with a lead of over a minute. “Nine wins – this record will stand for a while, I hope. A huge compliment goes to the many fans out on the route and in the Service Park in Ypres, as the atmosphere at this rally was once again fantastic. I would also like to thank ŠKODA Belgium and the entire ŠKODA Motorsport family for the great support. The Fabia Super 2000 ran perfectly again.”

Wiegand, who produced a flawless drive on his Ypres debut, was also overjoyed. The 23-year-old kept a cool head, particularly on day two of the rally, which was dominated by numerous crashes. “My second podium in the ERC – I am over the moon,” said Sepp Wiegand, who had previously finished runner-up in Northern Ireland: “I never thought I would end up on the podium at the end of my first attempt at this difficult rally. I would like to thank the whole team and all the folks at home who have had their fingers crossed for me all weekend.”

ERC leader Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm was lucky things didn’t turn out worse. The Finnish duo started the final day of the rally in third place and clocked the fastest time on the eighth special stage on Saturday morning. However, shortly afterwards, on the “Vleteren-Krombeke 1” stage, Lappi skidded off the road in a right-hander and was forced to retire. “A stupid mistake, which cost us a place on the podium and important points in the championship,” said Esapekka Lappi. “It just goes to show that this rally does not forgive even the slightest mishap. Janne and I feel incredibly bad for the team – our guys once again did a perfect job, but we have to apologise to them this time.” Despite the mistake, Lappi continues to lead the Drivers’ Championship.

In total, three ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000s finished in the top five, with Luca Rossetti/Matteo Chiarchossi (I/I) producing a stunning fightback to climb nine places on Saturday. The next round of the European Rally Championship takes place from 17th to 19th July in Estonia.

The number for the Ypres Rally: 5
Five wins in succession for ŠKODA at the Ypres Rally – no other manufacturer had ever achieved a winning run of this length in the history of the Flemish high-speed classic. And all with the same type of car too: the successful ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. As in 2010, 2011 and 2013 it was Belgian rally legend Freddy Loix who took his place on the top step of the podium at this year’s anniversary event. In 2012, Juho Hänninen (FIN) triumphed in the quick and reliable, four-wheel drive powerhouse from Mladá Boleslav.

Ypres Rally – Final result
1. Loix/Gitsels (B/B, ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000) 2h 43m 13.7s
2. Cherain/Leyh (B/B, Ford Fiesta R5) + 1m 09.9s
3. Wiegand/Christian (D/D, ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000) + 2m 14.2s
4. Kobus/De Wild (NL/NL, Ford Fiesta S2000) + 2m 32.5s
5. Rossetti/Chiarchossi (I/I, ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000) + 3m 44.5s
6. Vanneste/Snaet (B/B, Peugeot 207 S2000) + 5m 25.4s
7. Lefevere/Vangheluwe (B/B, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X-R4) + 6m 11.5s
8. Duquesne/Cuvelier (B/B, Ford Fiesta R5) + 6m 53.2s
9. Debackere/Cokelaere (B/B, Peugeot 207 S2000) + 6m 59.7s
10. Hadik/Kertesz (H/H, Subaru Impreza R4) + 9m 01.6s
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 21, 2014, 10:35:56 pre podne
40 years of ŠKODA RS at the Rally Bohemia: Two ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000s line up in 1974 race livery

​› Two ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000s in the 1974 ŠKODA 180 RS/200 RS colours
› ŠKODA drivers Kopecký and Wiegand set sights on victory at ŠKODA’s home race
› ERC leader Lappi tests new turbo engine for new ŠKODA Fabia R 5
› In 1974 the “original” RS models – the ŠKODA 180 RS/200 RS – heralded the successful era for ŠKODA Motorsport in the 1970s and 1980s

Mladá Boleslav, 8 July 2014 – Homage to 40 years of ŠKODA RS speed: ŠKODA lines up at the Rally Bohemia with two current ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000s in the same livery as sported by the historic ŠKODA 180 RS and ŠKODA 200 RS rally cars. The two ŠKODA drivers Jan Kopecký and Sepp Wiegand have their sights set on victory in their retro ŠKODA powerhouses. The Rally Bohemia takes place this coming weekend (11/12 July 2014) in the region around the city of Mladá Boleslav - home of the headquarters of the Czech car manufacturer.
​The occasion that has prompted the historic outfit for the Fabia Super 2000 is the 40th birthday of the ŠKODA 180 RS and ŠKODA 200 RS. The two spectacular rally cars made their first official race outings in June 1974. Their debut came at the Rally ŠKODA, the predecessor of today’s Rally Bohemia. Exactly 40 years later, the current Fabia Super 2000s driven by ŠKODA drivers Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler and Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian will feature the 1974 livery.

The ŠKODA 180 RS and ŠKODA 200 RS are seen as the founders of ŠKODA’s successful RS history, in which the iconic ŠKODA 130 RS was instrumental in shaping the company’s motorsport activities in the 1970s and 1980s. Since 2000, the manufacturer has resurrected this tradition with RS versions for end user models. The short-term highlight is the new ŠKODA Octavia RS – the fastest and most powerful production Octavia of all time. The RS stands for ‘Rally Sport’.

“For 40 years the acronym RS has been synonymous with particularly sporty ŠKODA cars full of spirit, class and verve,” said ŠKODA Dr. Frank Welsch, Board Member for Technical Development. “Our emotional outing at the Rally Bohemia sees us underline the importance of the RS model for our brand and building bridging the gap between the past and the brand’s current motorsport success,” said Dr. Welsch.

Jan Kopecký and Sepp Wiegand are looking to challenge for victory in their retro cars at the Rally Bohemia. “It is awesome to compete in a rally around my home and the headquarters of ŠKODA, and to evoke memories of the brand’s outstanding RS history at the same time. I am particularly looking forward to contesting a rally on tarmac again – I usually find myself on gravel routes in the APRC,” said Jan Kopecký. The reigning European Rally Champion won the Rally Bohemia in 2013. In 2014 the ŠKODA works driver primarily lines up in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). With two wins and a second place to his name, Kopecký currently leads the overall standings in the APRC.

The second ŠKODA driver, Sepp Wiegand, also rates his chances in Bohemia: “Recent podiums in Northern Ireland and Belgium have shown that I am getting into my stride. I obviously want to show that in ŠKODA’s backyard.” As well as Kopecký and Wiegand, Italian driver Umberto Scandola will also line up in a Fabia Super 2000 at the Rally Bohemia, with the support of ŠKODA Italy.

As well as its historic significance, this year’s Rally Bohemia is also important to ŠKODA in terms of the brand’s future motorsport activities. The current European Championship leader and ŠKODA works driver Esapekka Lappi will test the new 1.6-litre turbo engine for the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 under race conditions for the first time. This is the car, with which ŠKODA will compete in the R5 category at international rallies as of 2015. Lappi will complete the test on selected stretches of the Rally Bohemia route in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 fitted with the new engine.

In accordance with FIA regulations, the new R5 rally car is equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine. “The development of the Fabia R 5 is progressing nicely. We are on schedule,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “The first test under competitive conditions is a big step towards achieving homologation by mid-2015,” said Hrabánek.

The Rally Bohemia takes place this weekend (11/12 July 2014). Twelve special stages over an entire distance of exactly 150.66 kilometres await the competitors. Saturday’s finish is on Václav-Klement street in Mladá Boleslav, just in front of the ŠKODA Museum. The Rally Bohemia forms part of the International Czech Championship. As it was last year, ŠKODA is the main sponsor of the event in 2014.



Did you know that…

... the Rally Bohemia was called the Rally ŠKODA from the first time it was staged until 1985? The Czech car manufacturer founded the rally in order to test the quality and resilience of its models under extreme conditions. The first rally, 40 years ago, was a proud 1,800 kilometres long, with the special stages spread out across the whole of Czechoslovakia. 152 teams took part, 72 of them from abroad.

… the 200 RS, with which the success story of the RS models began back in 1974, had a 163-hp two-litre engine? It reached a top speed of 210 km/h and had a Porsche gearbox.

… the positive experiences with the 200 RS  resulted in the 130 RS being built shortly after? The racing car also known as the “Porsche of the East” presented ŠKODA with spectacular success in rallying and on the circuit racing scene, including a class victory at the Rally Monte Carlo in 1977 and victory in the 1981 European Touring Car Championship.

… ŠKODA won the Rally Bohemia with the 130 RS five times in a row between 1976 and 1980? Norway’s John Haugland was responsible for three of these victories.

…. the Rally Bohemia formed part of the European Rally Championship and the European Rally Cup for many years? Jan Kopecký, now a ŠKODA works driver, was victories on three occasions – 2004, 2005 and 2013.

… ŠKODA has won the last four Rally Bohemias in a row? Finland’s Juho Hänninen won in a Fabia Super 2000 in 2009 and 2010, while Belgian Freddy Loix triumphed in 2011. Jan Kopecký won last year, after there had been no official final result in 2012.

… the turn of the millennium heralded the renaissance of RS models? The Octavia RS, which was launched in 2000, was immediately a resounding success due to its powerful engine, outstanding handling and sporty charisma. In 2001, the 100th anniversary of ŠKODA Motorsport was marked with the exclusive ŠKODA Octavia RS WRC Edition, of which only 100 models were made.

… the third generation of the Octavia RS is the fastest production ŠKODA Octavia of all time, achieving a top speed of 248 km/h?


The number for the Rally Bohemia: 12

This year’s Rally Bohemia has been compressed significantly compared to last year, and now features twelve special stages. The 150.66 kilometres include a stretch in the foothills of the Iser Mountains. The first and final stages are attractive city stages in Mladá Boleslav, with the grand finale taking place around the rally headquarters at the ŠKODA Museum.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 21, 2014, 10:37:33 pre podne
ŠKODA on course for podium at home rally

​› European Champion Kopecký second after day one
› 40 years of RS: Fabia Super 2000 thrills fans with retro livery
› ERC leader Lappi tests new turbo engine for the ŠKODA Fabia R 5

​Mladá Boleslav, 11 July 2014 – European Rally Champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) is on course for a podium finish for ŠKODA after the opening day of the Rally Bohemia. The local favourite is embroiled in a battle with Czech champion Václav Pech (CZ) for victory at the Czech automobile manufacturer’s home event around the company’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. As well as this enthralling duel, fans on day one were also taken by the ŠKODA works team’s Fabia Super 2000s, which are sporting a retro look. To mark the 40th anniversary of the launch of the first RS model, the two rally cars took to the route in a historic livery similar to that adorning the cars back in 1974.

​“It is not easy, the roads are slippery. I would obviously like to be first, but there is still a long way to go. It is going to be an exciting duel at the top,” said Kopecký. The current leader of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) and his co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) are 18.0 seconds behind their compatriots Václav Pech and Petr Uhel after the first five special stages. In third place at the rally, which forms part of the International Czech Championship, is the Italian pair of Umberto Scandola/Guido d’Amore, whose performance in a Fabia Super 2000 has given the ŠKODA family even more reason for optimism.

Another ŠKODA duo still with their sights set on the podium is that of Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian (D/D), who are currently fifth for the ŠKODA Motorsport works team. “The conditions were changing constantly. In some places we had a lot of grip, in others very little. We still have room for improvement, and are working hard to do precisely that. We can go faster,” said 23-year-old Wiegand. Like Kopecký, he too tackled the three stages in the daylight and two at night behind the wheel of a Fabia Super 2000 in the colours of the first RS models from back in 1974. That was when the ŠKODA 180 RS and 200 RS models made their first official appearances in a race. The spectacular models made their rally debuts at what was then the Rally ŠKODA, the predecessor to today’s Rally Bohemia.

And there was another first this year, which has also created a bit of a stir in Mladá Boleslav. The current ERC leaders Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) took to selected parts of the route for the first time with the 1.6-litre turbo engine, which has been developed for the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5. From 2015, ŠKODA will line up with the new rally car in the R5 category at international rallies. “It is a great honour for us to be able to test the engine for the R 5 for the first time at a rally, and at ŠKODA’s home rally. We are thrilled,” explained Lappi.

Saturday features seven special stages, with 89.37 kilometres against the clock. Saturday’s finish is on Václav-Klement Street in Mladá Boleslav, right in front of the ŠKODA Museum. As in previous years, ŠKODA is the main sponsor of the event.


Number of the day: 4

Four Fabia Super 2000s in the top ten: the ŠKODA drivers put on an impressive display on day one of the Rally Bohemia. As well as works drivers Jan Kopecký in second place and Sepp Wiegand in fifth, a further two drivers made it into the top ten in the high-tech four-wheel drive car from Mladá Boleslav: Umberto Scandola (I) is third, while Martin Vlček (CZ) currently lies eighth.


Rally Bohemia – Overall classification after day 1

1. Pech/Uhel (CZ/CZ), Mini John Cooper Work S2000            35m 8.1s
2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000        + 18.0s
3. Scandola/D’Amore, ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000            + 45.2s
4. Odložilík/Tureček (CZ/CZ), Ford Fiesta R5                + 53.6s
5. Wiegand/Christian (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000            + 1m 1.2s
6. Jakeš/Novák (CZ/CZ), Citroen DS3 R5                + 1m 7.2s
7. Sýkora/Škardová (CZ/CZ), Ford Fiesta R5                + 1m 15.9s
8. Vlček/Lasevič (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000            + 2m 41.2s
9. Vágner/Kučera (CZ/CZ), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX            + 2m 56.5s
10. Votava/Synáč  (CZ/CZ), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX            + 3m 11.4s
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 21, 2014, 10:40:48 pre podne
Kopecký wins to crown triple success at ŠKODA’s home race
12.7.2014 | category: Motorsport

​› European Champion repeats last year’s success at the Rally Bohemia
› Fabia Super 2000 monopolises the podium: Scandola second, ahead of Wiegand
› Fans celebrate 40th anniversary of the ŠKODA RS
› Historic rally cars, two Fabia Super 2000s in retro design and a test version of the Fabia R 5 bridge the gap between the past and the present

​Mladá Boleslav, 12 July 2014 – European Rally Champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) ahead of Umberto Scandola (I) and Sepp Wiegand (D): the ŠKODA family tasted triple success at its home rally. Thousands of fans packed the finish area in front of the ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav to celebrate the local manufacturer’s victory at the Rally Bohemia, which this year also marked the 40th anniversary of the iconic ŠKODA RS. Vintage rally cars from back then, the two works Fabia Super 2000s in retro livery, and the first test of the 1.6-litre turbo engine for the new Fabia R 5 under competitive conditions bridged the gap between the past and the future.

​“Congratulations to Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler on repeating last year’s success. And I am obviously delighted with the great result for ŠKODA,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. He was full of praise for the “compact format” of the Rally Bohemia, which he saw as a “model for the future”. Since the Fabia Super 2000 made its first outing at the iconic event in 2009, the Czech automobile manufacturer has been unbeaten at the asphalt rally around the company headquarters.

Successful defending champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler came home 43.9 seconds ahead of Umberto Scandola/Guido d’Amore (I/I), who were supported by ŠKODA Italia. In winning, Kopecký completed a hat-trick of victories, having previously won the last two rounds of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in New Caledonia and Australia. Third place went to Germans Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian in the works team’s second Fabia Super 2000, which also sported a stunning retro design. After two top-three results in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), this recent success also marked the German duo’s third podium in a row.

“I am proud to have lived up to the huge expectations here in front of the ŠKODA headquarters. It is a shame that my rival Václav Pech retired so early on the final day,” said Kopecký. “I would like to thank the entire team for the outstanding job they have done. Like the thousands of fans lining the route, we were also thrilled by the Fabia Super 2000 in its 1974 look.” Sepp Wiegand was also satisfied with his place on the podium, having fought back from fifth place: “I am pleased to have made it onto the podium again after the two recent top-three results in the European Rally Championship. I sensed that the team believes in me, and wanted to pay them back for that trust.”
After more rain on the final morning, the skies cleared later on. Iconic ŠKODA models like the 200 RS, which made its first official appearance at this rally back in 1974, were presented in glorious sunshine in the finish area on Václav-Klement Street. The 200 RS heralded the start of a success story for the RS models, which have also proven to be extremely popular production cars.

The car charged with writing the next chapter in ŠKODA’s 113-year motorsport history in 2015 is the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5. ERC leaders Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) put its 1.6-litre turbo engine through its paces under rally conditions for the first time at this year’s Rally Bohemia. “I’d like to thank the entire team for making it possible to test the new Fabia R 5 under competitive conditions, whilst at the same time completing its standard rally operations. We have reached another milestone in the development of our car,” said Hrabánek.

The victorious team will have no time for a breather after the successful outing at their home event: ŠKODA heads to Estonia for the next round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) as soon as Monday. Lappi and Wiegand will be in action for the Czech automobile manufacturer from Thursday to Saturday. After six of the season’s eleven races, Lappi holds a 33-point lead over both Wiegand and Craig Breen (IRL) at the top of the overall standings. Kopecký returns to the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), which he leads at the halfway point of the season. His next appearance will be at the Rally Malaysia from 15 to 17 August.


Number of the day: 9

ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 drivers clocked the fastest time on nine of the twelve special stages at the Rally Bohemia. Winner Jan Kopecký won two of the opening day’s five stages – setting exactly the same time as fellow ŠKODA driver Umberto Scandola on one of the stages. The final day saw Kopecký claim another six stage wins, while Scandola guided the high-tech four-wheel drive car from Mladá Boleslav to victory on SS 10.


Rally Bohemia – Final result

1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000        1h 30m 36.1s
2. Scandola/D’Amore, ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000            + 43.9s
3. Wiegand/Christian (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000            + 1m 10.8s
4. Odložilík/Tureček (CZ/CZ), Ford Fiesta R5                + 1m 26.9s
5. Vlček/Lasevič (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000            + 5m 24.0s
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 21, 2014, 10:41:48 pre podne
No time for a breather: ŠKODA out to shine as ERC debuts in Estonia
14.7.2014 | category: Motorsport

​› ERC leader Lappi looking forward to quick gravel roads “like in Finland”
› German rally ace Wiegand sets sights on another podium
› Rally Estonia makes its debut in the European Rally Championship (ERC)

​Mladá Boleslav, 14 July 2014 – Next stop: Estonia. There is no time for ŠKODA to take a breather this week. The Czech car manufacturer follows its successful home race, the Rally Bohemia, with its next outing from 17 to 19 June – this time in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). “Extremely quick gravel routes and massive jumps – it is almost like being at home,” said Esapekka Lappi, describing the Rally Estonia. The high-speed specialist in ŠKODA Motorsport colours leads the biggest continental rally championship as the teams head to the seventh round of the season, which takes place in the region around Estonia’s second largest city, Tartu.

​The Rally Estonia is a new addition to the ERC calendar. As such, it is the greatest unknown factor in this summer of rallying. 231.55 high-speed kilometres, the majority on bumpy gravel roads, await the 63 competitors. As well as Lappi, who lines up alongside co-driver Janne Ferm (FIN) in the Fabia Super 2000, the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland duo will also be in action in the second works-assisted car: Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) arrive in Estonia as one of the closest rivals of their fellow ŠKODA duo from Finland. Wiegand, who finished third at ŠKODA’s home rally last weekend, is 33 points behind Lappi in the ERC standings – level on points with second-placed Craig Breen (IRL).

“I really want to get a good result and pick up plenty of points towards the championship. However, the importance of experience cannot be underestimated at these high-class ERC rallies. We saw that with Freddy Loix’ victory in Belgium recently. In Estonia, all eyes will be on the local heroes, like Ott Tänak,” said Lappi. “At first I will have to get used to the quick gravel roads again, as I was driving on tarmac at the Rally Bohemia last weekend. However, gravel is my absolute favourite surface. That is what I grew up on as a rally driver,” said Lappi.

Lappi’s home may only be separated from Estonia by the Gulf of Finland, but the largest rally event in the Baltics is new territory for him – just as it is for the entire ŠKODA Motorsport team and top German rally driver Sepp Wiegand. “I have heard it is like Finland, but I’ve never driven there either,” said Wiegand. “Estonia will once again be a big challenge for us, but I will do my best – as always. The recent ERC podiums in Northern Ireland and Belgium show that I am getting into my stride.” The 23-year-old impressed at the Circuit of Ireland Rally, where he finished runner-up behind Lappi, and on his first appearance in Belgium, where he came home third.

With three wins from five starts, ŠKODA has enjoyed a successful 2014 ERC season so far. Freddy Loix (B) recently won his home rally in West Flanders at the wheel of a Fabia Super 2000, after Lappi had previously won the rallies in Latvia and Northern Ireland.

When ŠKODA started its home event – the Rally Bohemia – around the Czech automobile manufacturer’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav last weekend, it also celebrated the 40th birthday of its sporty RS models. As a homage to the successful history of the RS, Sepp Wiegand and ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký (CZ), who won the rally, lined up in two Fabia Super 2000s sporting a red and white retro look. Lappi also tested the turbo engine for the new Fabia R 5 outside of the actual competition. The R5 class is the successor to the current Super 2000 class. The new R5 rally car is equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine, in accordance with FIA regulations.


Did you know that …

... the Rally Estonia is being held for only the fifth time? The gravel rally made its debut in 2010. The winner of the inaugural event was local favourite Markko Märtin. Mads Østberg (N), who is currently fourth in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), triumphed in 2011 and 2012.

… the Rally Estonia is the largest rally event in the Baltic states? In total, 169 teams from 19 different countries are registered in the entry list, including 63 cars in the ERC category. The event also forms part of the Estonian national rally championship and the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship.

… the winner of the Rally Estonia traditionally receives a trophy helmet designed by Estonian artists? This year, the helmet is mostly blue with a red number 1.

…  Otepää, which hosts the rally headquarters, is primarily known as a winter sports venue? Races in the cross-country skiing world cup have been held here every year for many years. The next is scheduled for 2015.

… Estonia has been an independent state since 1991? The country joined the Eurozone in 2011, meaning the currency is the Euro.

… ŠKODA is one of the bestsellers in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? In the first half of 2014, sales figures rose by 34.5 per cent.


The number for the Rally Estonia: 6

ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 drivers have already made six appearances on the podium in this season’s FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), three of which were on the very top step. Raimund Baumschlager finished third at the season-opener, his home event in Austria, back in January. Works driver Esapekka Lappi (FIN) was victorious in Latvia and Northern Ireland. ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver Sepp Wiegand (D) came home second in Northern Ireland and third in Belgium, where local favourite Freddy Loix triumphed in the Fabia Super 2000.


FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), overall standings drivers’ championship after 6 of 11 events:

1. Esapekka Lappi, 103 points; 2. Craig Breen, 70; 3. Sepp Wiegand, 70; 3. Vasily Gryazin, 53; 5. Kajetan Kajetanowicz, 48; 6. Robert Kubica, 39; 7. Kevin Abbring, 38; 8. Bernardo Sousa, 37; 9. Freddy Loix, 37; 10. Robert Cosani, 37.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 21, 2014, 10:43:17 pre podne
Long straights, big jumps: ŠKODA on course for points at its debut in Estonia
18.7.2014 | category: Motorsport

​› ERC leader Lappi ends the opening day of the Rally Estonia in fifth place in the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000
› German rally ace Wiegand starts final day in sixth place
› 107.88 kilometres of gravel special stage scheduled for Saturday

​Otepää, 18th July 2014 – ŠKODA is on course to finish in the points after day one of the high-speed Rally Estonia. Finnish duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm currently lie fifth in their Fabia Super 2000 at the seventh round of the FIA European Rally Championship. The championship leaders are just ahead of Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D): the two youngsters in the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team are sixth in the second works car.

​The Rally Estonia is a new addition to the ERC calendar, making it the great unknown of this summer of rallying. Neither the ŠKODA Motorsport works team nor the two pairs of drivers have ever competed in the gravel rally around the winter sport centre of Otepää in the south of Estonia. As such, the ŠKODA  drivers have taken a tactical approach to the first of the two rally days.

“We are dealing with extremely fast roads here in Estonia, on which even the slightest error can result in retirement immediately,” said Lappi. “The stages are even quicker than those in my home of Finland. I could definitely drive faster, but I would then cross the line to a point where I could no longer justify the risks. When it comes down to it, I also have to think about the overall championship standings and to score as many points as possible. Furthermore, the ‘local heroes’, who play no role in the overall ERC standings, have a clear advantage here when it comes to experience – and they took full advantage of that on Friday. One thing is clear though: we want more on Saturday.”

Indeed, the top four at the Rally Estonia consists solely of all-Estonian duos going into the final day. “Compliments to the local guys. We were not quite able to match their pace,” said Wiegand. “I have never driven on such fast special stages. But I’ll tell you one thing: it is incredibly good fun! We can certainly go faster, but the most important thing is not to make any mistakes. I really want to reach the finish on Saturday and head to the next rally in second place overall.”

The second day of the Rally Estonia – the biggest motorsport event in the Baltic states – features a further 107.88 kilometres on gravel, spread over six special stages. The finish lies in Estonia’s second largest city, Tartu, where the presentation ceremony will take place at 20:45 local time (19:45 CET) on Saturday.


Number of the day: 8,250

The maximum engine speed of the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 is 8,250 rpm – then the engine electronics in the 279-hp power unit in the high-tech four-wheel drive vehicle from Mladá Boleslav automatically regulates the engine speed. At no other rally on the ERC calendar does this happen as often as on the extremely quick gravel roads of the Rally Estonia. On Friday, the two ŠKODA duos achieved an average speed of over 126 km/h on some of the stages. For comparison: the top average speed at the traditionally fast gravel rally in Ypres two weeks ago was 115 km/h.


Rally Estonia – Overall classification after day 1

1. Tänak/Mõlder (EST/EST), Ford Fiesta R5                58m 18.1s
2. Kõrge/Pints (EST/EST), Ford Fiesta R5                + 44.2s
3. Lukyanuk/Arnautov (RUS/RUS), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X        + 47.4s
4. Aus/Koskinen (EST/EST), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX            + 1m 07.0s
5. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000            + 1m 25.9s
6. Wiegand/Christian (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000            + 1m 48.7s
7. Kruuda/Järveoja (FIN/FIN), Peugeot 208 T16            + 1m 56.1s
8. Plangi/Sarapuu (EST/EST), Peugeot 208 T16            + 2m 01.7s
9. Murakas/Adler (FIN/FIN), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X            + 2m 05.7s
10. Chardonnet/De La Haye (F/F), Citroën DS3 R5            + 2m 06.7s
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 21, 2014, 10:45:21 pre podne
Rally Estonia: ŠKODA drivers extend their lead in the European Rally Championship
19.7.2014 | category: Motorsport

​› ŠKODA works driver Lappi finished fifth at the high-speed rally in Estonia to extend his lead in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC)
› ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver Wiegand finished seventh in Estonia and is now second in the overall standings
› ŠKODA travels to their ERC home rally in Zlín at the end of August with a one-two lead

​Otepää, 19 July 2014 – The ŠKODA drivers picked up valuable championship points at the high-speed Rally Estonia. Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) finished in fifth place at the seventh race of the season in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), which sees them extend their lead in the overall standings. Their closest rivals are brand mates from the team ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland: Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) finished seventh in the factory Fabia Super 2000 and are in second place in the championship. ŠKODA now travel to their ERC home rally in the city of Zlín (29-31 August 2014) in the east of the Czech Republic with a one-two lead in the drivers' and co-drivers' standings.

​The Rally Estonia was added to the ERC calendar for the first time this year. The two ŠKODA driver duos were excited to see what the gravel tracks around the winter sports resort of Otepää in southern Estonia had in store for them. Obviously it was going to be fast: the fastest special stages of the ERC. Average speeds of more than 127 km/h were achieved regularly across the two rally days, in which the participants had to tackle a total of 231.55 kilometres of special stages. The winners were local heroes Ott Tänak/Raigo Mõlder (EST/EST).

“It really was an incredibly fast rally. We pretty much drove in sixth gear the whole time. I'm not even used to that in my Finnish home town,” said Lappi. “To keep up with the 'local heroes' we had to take even more risks in some difficult conditions. At the end of the tenth special stage, for example, it was raining so much that we could hardly see anything. Looking at the ERC overall standings, it was sensible not to take any unnecessary risks. The positive is that we have extended our lead in the championship ahead of the ŠKODA home rally in Zlín.”

Talking of the ŠKODA home rally: German rally ace Wiegand will take part in the legendary Barum Czech Rally as the new number two in the championship. “We didn't make it onto the podium this time, but it was still the coolest rally I've ever driven in,” said Wiegand. “I can say that I've gained valuable experience in Estonia, since there aren't such quick gravel tracks anywhere else in Europe. I'm also delighted to have picked up important championship points.”

The next ERC race takes place from 29 to 31 August in ŠKODA's home country of the Czech Republic. Two weeks before this, ŠKODA will take part in the Malaysian Rally as the leader in the manufacturers' standings in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). European champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) travels to Malaysia at the top of the APRC standings after two victories in three rallies. Team-mate Gaurav Gill (IND), who won the season opener in New Zealand ahead of Kopecký, is in second place in the championship.


The number of the Rally Estonia: 8,250

The maximum number of revolutions per minute of the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 is 8,250 r/min – after that the engine electronics of the 279 hp unit in the high-tech four-wheel drive from Mladá Boleslav reduce automatically. This doesn't happen as frequently at any other rally on the ERC calendar as it does on the extremely fast gravel tracks of the Rally Estonia. The highest speed measured by the organizers was 230 km/h.


Rally Estonia – Provisional results

1. Tänak/Mõlder (EST/EST), Ford Fiesta R5                1h 49m 36.4s
2. Lukyanuk/Arnautov (RUS/RUS), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X        + 47.1s
3. Kõrge/Pints (EST/EST), Ford Fiesta R5                + 55.4s
4. Aus/Koskinen (EST/EST), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX            + 2m 11.7s
5. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000            + 2m 17.2s
6. Kruuda/Järveoja (FIN/FIN), Peugeot 208 T16            + 2m 56.8s
7. Wiegand/Christian (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000            + 3m 24.1s
8. Murakas/Adler (FIN/FIN), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X            + 3m 41.8s
9. Chardonnet/De La Haye (F/F), Citroën DS3 R5            + 4m 27.7s
10. Sohlberg/Flythström (FIN/FIN), Ford Fiesta R5            + 5m 59.0s
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 11, 2014, 11:08:16 pre podne
Malaysian Rally: ŠKODA drivers ready for Asian leg of the APRC

› ŠKODA tops the overall standings in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
› Championship leader Kopecký goes into tour of Asia on back of hat-trick of wins
› Rally on muddy plantation roads puts man and machine to the ultimate test

Mladá Boleslav, 11 August 2014 – ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) embarks on his Malaysian adventure full of confidence following his home win at the Rally Bohemia. 10,000 kilometres from his last outing, an extremely demanding route awaits championship leader Kopecký and his team-mate Gaurav Gill (IND) at the fourth round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). The works-assisted ŠKODA MRF team holds a commanding lead at the top of the APRC Championship, courtesy of three wins in three rallies, and has set its sights on continuing this run of success at the Malaysian Rally from Friday to Sunday.

“Repeating last year’s victory at the Rally Bohemia, on the doorstep of ŠKODA’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav, was a very special moment for me and my co-driver Pavel Dresler. That obviously also gives us a boost ahead of the second half of the APRC season too,” said Kopecký. The 32-year-old Czech crowned a one-two-three for ŠKODA at the Rally Bohemia on 12 July 2014, as the Czech automobile manufacturer dominated the event, which also marked the 40th anniversary of the ŠKODA RS. Kopecký’s works Fabia Super 2000 was given a special red and white livery as a tribute to the iconic cars of the 1970s.

Kopecký will line up in exactly the same colours when he climbs behind the wheel of the ŠKODA MRF team’s high-tech, four-wheel drive powerhouse at this weekend’s Malaysian Rally. However, that is about the only thing the two rallies in Europe and Asia have in common. “I will have to change my driving style from the fast asphalt roads in the Czech Republic to the muddy tracks through the banana and coconut plantations in Malaysia,” said Kopecký.
“The tropical temperatures in Malaysia represent a real challenge,” Kopecký continued. “We have to prepare specially them. That is why we have been in the sauna – with our racing overalls on – on numerous occasions in recent weeks! That is what the conditions will be like in the cockpit of our Fabia Super 2000 when we are pushing ourselves to the limit on the rally. This way we are doing everything in our power to ensure we are as well prepared as possible for this adventure.”

Kopecký’s ŠKODA team-mates Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/NZ) experienced at first hand just how tricky the Malaysian Rally can be at last year’s event. Heavy rainfall caused the route to soften up, and the duo skidded from the road on the opening day,

thus bidding farewell to any hopes of victory. “We obviously want to do better than in
2013, and preferably to win. However, the top priority at this difficult rally is to reach the
finish and score valuable points in the Manufacturers’ Championship,” said Gill. “One
thing is certain: if I want to successfully defend my title in the APRC Drivers’
Championship, I will have to put my foot down in Malaysia.”

With 66 points to his name, the defending champion finds himself well behind leader
Kopecký (105) at the halfway point of the season. Having finished runner-up behind Gill
at the first rally of his rookie APRC season, the Czech then won the events in New
Caledonia and Australia. Tropical temperatures await the ŠKODA drivers at the Malaysian
Rally, which forms the opening Asian leg of the 2014 APRC, when they take on 217.40
kilometres spread over 14 special stages from Friday to Sunday.

The starts in the APRC are of great importance to the Czech automobile manufacturer.
The goal is to further raise the awareness of the brand in international markets –
particularly ŠKODA’s largest market, China, where the finale of the APRC season takes
place in November. ŠKODA has set its sights on increasing its global sales to at least 1.5
million units per year over the coming years, with particular emphasis on the growth
markets in Asia.

Did you know that …

... the Malaysian Rally was first held in the mid-1970s? In the past, it has also been
known as the Rally Malaysia and Rally of Malaysia. As well as the Asia-Pacific Rally
Championship, the iconic event has also formed part of the Malaysian Rally
Championship for many years.
... the list of winners at the Malaysian Rally features such prominent names as former
World Rally Champion Colin McRae (GB)? His brother Alister McRae (GB) also triumphed
in Malaysia in 2012. Australians Ross Dunkerton (1989 to 1992) and Cody Crocker (2006
to 2009) both won the event four times in a row.
… the Malaysian Rally is held at the south end of Malaysia, to the north of Singapore? The
rally centre, Johor Bahru, is connected to the city state by a causeway.
... the rally takes place in a fantastic holiday area? The sandy beaches, isolated islands,
tropical rainforests and impressive waterfalls are just as popular with tourists as the
fireflies that come out at night. The region also boasts more than 20 golf courses.
… the temperatures in the rally region are usually between at least 27 and 30 degrees
Celsius?
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 17, 2014, 10:57:57 posle podne
APRC in Malaysia: Gaurav Gill celebrates fourth ŠKODA win in four races

› APRC defending champion takes victory for the ŠKODA MRF team
› Kopecký still leads the overall standings with victory in daily classification
› ŠKODA extend their lead in the manufacturers' standings
› China's Jun Xu third in a private Fabia 2000 despite difficult conditions

Johur Bahru, 17 August 2014 – Defending champion Gaurav Gill (IND) has given the works-supported ŠKODA MRF team a fourth victory in the fourth race at the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). European champion Jan Kopecký also defended his lead in the overall standings with victory in the daily classification on Sunday despite difficult course conditions at the Malaysian Rally. ŠKODA also extended their lead in the manufacturer's classification and are right on track for successful championship title defence.

“Malaysia is always the most difficult rally of the year, the conditions are extremely complicated due to the tropical temperatures and rainfall. But we will go away from here happy with a victory and a one-two championship lead,” commented Pavel Hortek, Team Principal of the ŠKODA MRF team. Rally winner Gaurav Gill was particularly pleased after his comfortable victory in the successful ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.

He and co-driver Glenn Macneall (NZ) held a clear lead over Australian Mark Pedder after the 14 Special Stages. Third place went to Jun Xu racing a private ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. “We missed out on victory last year, which is why we are even happier with this result. This was an especially important win in the title race, it will still be a hard slog with Jan but it keeps the championship alive until the last moment,” commented the Indian driver.

As a result Gill claims his second win of the season as the Asian segment of the APRC got under way. His other victory was at the opening race of the season in New Zealand. The two other APRC races in New Caledonia and Australia were won by Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler for ŠKODA. This time the duo were unfortunate during the first day of competition on the muddy tracks through the banana and coconut plantations in the southern part of Malaysia. The rear suspension was damaged on landing after a very long jump whilst the pair were still in the lead. However, the championship leaders came back into the rally on Sunday and secured the points needed for victory in the daily classification with wins in five of the day's six Special Stages.

Consequently ŠKODA enjoy a one-two lead in the overall standings as Kopecký sits narrowly ahead of Gill after four of this season's six rallies. “We were in first on Saturday until we damaged the car. Naturally this is hard to take. But in the end I was able to get the most out of Sunday with first place in the daily classification. By thanks go to the ŠKODA MRF team,” said Kopecký. His special preparation for the arduous conditions in
Malaysia was to practice sitting in the sauna with full racing overalls on.

The Czech carmaker is taking the performances in the APRC very seriously. The objective
is to continue to increase brand presence in international markets – particularly in
ŠKODA's largest market China, where the finale of the APRC season will be held in
November. ŠKODA is aiming to expand its global sales to at least 1.5 million units per
year in the coming years and is particularly keen to increase sales in the Asian growth
markets. The next APRC race takes places from 26 – 28 September in Japan.

The number for the Malaysian Rally: 14
The two ŠKODA MRF pilots recorded the fastest times in all 14 Special Stages at the
Malaysia Rally among the APRC drivers. Jan Kopecký went fastest on eight stages and
defending champion Gaurav Gill topped list of fastest times on six occasions.

The 2014 APRC calendar:
11–13 April: Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand
16–18 May: Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie – New Caledonia
20–22 June: Rally of Queensland – Australia
15–17 August: Malaysian Rally – Malaysia
26–28 September: Rally Hokkaido – Japan
7–9 November: China Rally – China
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 25, 2014, 11:46:51 pre podne
Home race at the Barum Czech Rally Zlín: ŠKODA looking forward to highlight of the season

› Lappi and Wiegand first and second overall in the ERC
› Works ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 back in red and white retro RS livery
› European champion Kopecký to test turbo engine for the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5
› Titles in Portugal and Austria with the successful Fabia Super 2000
› Action and entertainment for fans at the ŠKODA Motorsport Park in Zlín

Mladá Boleslav, 25 August 2014 – The ŠKODA drivers line up in first and second place in the championship, the two works Fabia Super 2000s will once again boast their stylish retro RS look, and action is guaranteed at the ŠKODA Motorsport Park: ŠKODA is looking forward to its home event at the Barum Czech Rally Zlín. Among those in action from Friday to Sunday at the highlight of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season is defending champion Jan Kopecký (CZ), who will test the new turbo engine for the future Fabia R 5 rally car in competitive conditions.
“As at the Rally Bohemia, the ŠKODA works team’s current car will take to the route in a livery based on the look of the 1974 RS. The enthusiastic reactions around our headquarters in Mladá Boleslav convinced us to once again recognise the 40th anniversary of this classy car, which was full of verve, with this special livery,” says ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

The ŠKODA 180 RS and ŠKODA 200 RS are regarded as the fathers of ŠKODA’s successful RS history, which, from a motorsport perspective, was largely shaped by the legendary ŠKODA 130 RS in the 1970s and 1980s. Since 2000, the Czech manufacturer has continued this tradition with RS versions of production models. The highlight so far is the new ŠKODA Octavia RS – the fastest and most powerful production Octavia ever. The acronym RS stands for “Rally Sport”.
A good 40 years after the RS made its first appearance, ŠKODA drivers Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) and Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) now line up with the latest Fabia Super 2000 in the 1974 livery. Lappi comes into the eighth of eleven rounds of the continental rally championship leading the overall standings in the ERC with 118 points, followed by Wiegand (78).

“The Barum Rally is one of the most difficult on the calendar, with fast sections through the forests on narrow roads, and on the unique Czech asphalt. This demands 100 percent concentration every second,” says Lappi. The Finn has already tasted success in the Fabia Super 2000 this year, winning the ERC events in Latvia and Northern Ireland.
His team-mate Sepp Wiegand has made two appearances on the ERC podium in 2014, finishing runner-up in Northern Ireland and third in Belgium. The German also has fond memories of the Barum Czech Rally Zlín, having finished fourth there last year on his first appearance for the works team. “It would be nice to repeat this success. However,
the Barum is an extremely tricky rally, at which the local heroes traditionally play a
major role. That doesn’t scare us though.” As well as Lappi and Wiegand, British driver
Neil Simpson will also line up in a Fabia Super 2000, supported by ŠKODA UK.
The Barum Czech Rally Zlín gets underway on Friday morning with the 4.44-kilometre
qualifying stage. This is followed on Friday evening by the opening stage through the
centre of Zlín, which is traditionally watched by thousands of spectators. In total,
ŠKODA’s home rally consists of 15 special stages between Friday and Sunday, with
237.33 kilometres against the clock.

Away from the rally action, fans at the ŠKODA Motorsport Park in the centre of Zlín are
also in for a treat. Entry is free from Friday to Sunday, and visitors can look forward to
an exciting mix of sporting activities, entertainment, concerts and things to amuse the
kids. The ŠKODA drivers will also be on hand to sign autographs from 16:00 on Friday,
giving fans the opportunity to meet their idols in person.
They include European champion Jan Kopecký, who won ŠKODA’s home rally for the third
time last year in the Fabia Super 2000. This year, Kopecký is focussing on the Asia-
Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). He is sitting pretty at the top of the overall standings
after the fourth of six races, the “Malaysian Rally. He and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ)
will test the turbo engine for the Fabia R 5 in the Fabia Super 2000 chassis at the Barum
Rally. “I will not be competing officially, but the procedures will be the same as at any
normal rally,” says Kopecký.
Michal Hrabánek is looking forward to the next stage in the development of the new
Fabia R 5. “We tested the R 5 engine successfully at the Rally Bohemia, and would like to
thank the ERC and the organisers of the Barum Rally for giving us the opportunity to test
the new engine again in competitive conditions.” The homologation of ŠKODA’s new rally
car is planned for mid-2015 at the latest.

In the meantime, the current model, the Fabia Super 2000, has added another two
chapters to its spectacular success story. Pedro Meireles/Mario Castro, who are supported
by ŠKODA Portugal, have already secured their first title in the Portuguese Rally
Championship with two rounds still to come. The experienced Raimund Baumschlager has
also wrapped up his twelfth rally title in Austria in the Fabia Super 2000. Hrabánek:
“Congratulations to the drivers and colleagues from Portugal and Austria. It is great to
see that the successful Fabia Super 2000 project is continuing to bear fruit with its first
two titles of 2014. We hope we can enjoy even more celebrations this year.”

Did you know …

... the Barum Czech Rally Zlín was first held in 1971? The winner of the inaugural event was Czech driver Jan Halmazňa. His car: obviously a ŠKODA, the 1100 MB model.
… the Barum Czech Rally Zlín has always been an important event for international drivers? The top drivers to have competed there include the likes of World Rally Champion Walter Röhrl (D). The winners’ list features Norway’s John Haugland (N, three times), Enrico Bertone (I, three times), Harald Demuth (D, twice) and Franz Wittmann (A, twice), among others.
… the Barum Czech Rally Zlín was first included in the Czechoslovakian Rally Championship in 1972? It also formed a round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge for many years, and was actually a candidate for the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2005. Since the merger with the IRC, the rally has formed part of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), as it did in 2013.
... on two occasions in the history of this iconic rally, one car has won five times in a row? In both cases it was a ŠKODA. Between 1976 and 1980, the winner was always at the wheel of a ŠKODA 130 RS. From 2009 up to and including 2013, the winning car was the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.
… the Barum Czech Rally Zlín was 1,200 kilometres long in 1974? This remains the longest distance in the history of this rally. For comparison: only 237.33 kilometres of special stage are scheduled this year.
… the longest special stage is Trojak, at 22.82 kilometres? The drivers tackle this stage twice on Saturday. After the 4.44-kilometre qualifying stage, the rally officially begins on Friday with the city stage in the centre of Zlín. The competitors must negotiate a total of 9.51 kilometres over three laps of a course lined with thousands of spectators.
... ŠKODA grew dramatically in the Czech Republic in the first half of 2014? ŠKODA recorded growth of 22.9 per cent in its home market in the first six months of the year, taking the total number of deliveries in that period to 34,800. 5,600 cars were sold in July – 22.5 per cent more than July 2013.

The number for the Barum Czech Rally Zlín: 5

For the last five years in a row, the Barum Czech Rally Zlín has been won by a driver in the successful ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Jan Kopecký was victorious in 2009, 2011 and 2013. In 2010 the rally was dominated by Belgian rally legend Freddy Loix. Juho Hänninen (FIN) won in the fast and reliable four-wheel drive car from Mladá Boleslav in 2012.

FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), Drivers’ Championship standings after seven of eleven rounds:
1. Esapekka Lappi, 118 points; 2. Sepp Wiegand, 78; 3. Craig Breen, 70; 4. Vasily Gryazin, 53; 5. Kajetan Kajetanowicz, 48; 6. Robert Kubica, 39; 7. Ott Tänak, 38; 8. Kevin Abbring, 38; 9. Bernardo Sousa, 37; 10. Freddy Loix, 37; 11. Robert Consani, 37.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 31, 2014, 02:31:53 posle podne

ŠKODA home race: Sepp Wiegand in second place at half time

› On course for a podium finish in the works Fabia Super 2000
› Thousands of fans experience an eventful day
› ERC front runner Lappi unlucky and will restart on Sunday
› Kopecký tests new turbo engine for ŠKODA Fabia R 5

Zlín, 30 August 2014 – Sepp Wiegand will start the final day of ŠKODA’s home race of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) in an outstanding second place. In an eventful rally day at the Barum Czech Rally Zlín, the speedy German ŠKODA driver kept his cool in front of thousands of spectators at the track and is on course to finish on the podium. ERC front runner Esapekka Lappi (FIN) damaged his car on the fourth special stage and didn’t make it to Saturday‘s finish line. However he will be back chasing points in the day’s classification on the remaining 109.42 kilometres on Sunday.

“Last year we finished in fourth place here on our debut in the works team, this year we’re second in the intermediate standings, it’s fantastic! We’ve only been focussing on what we’re doing and have tried not to make any mistakes,” said Sepp Wiegand: “We’re going to do our best to keep this speed on Sunday.” After 127.91 kilometres of special stages, the young German and his co-driver Frank Christian are 54.1 seconds behind the leaders Václav Pech/Petr Uhel (CZ/CZ).
23-year-old Wiegand took controlled risks on the narrow and slippery asphalt tracks. This saw him work his way up from eighth place at the start of the day into second, despite tyre damage on the final special stage of the day. This makes Wiegand the best foreign driver in the field in the Czech Republic, which is dominated by the strong local drivers. On the final day he has the chance to clinch his third ERC podium spot of the season, after second place in Northern Ireland and third place in Belgium.

On a dry day, ŠKODA works driver Esapekka Lappi and his co-driver Janne Ferm, like some of the other favourites, didn‘t make it to the finish for the day. In second place in the overall standings, Lappi came into contact with a kerbstone. After the ŠKODA mechanics repaired his car, the Finn will restart the race for the remaining six special stages on Sunday and will still be able to pick up valuable championship points.

“I skidded sideways into a kerbstone on a long and fast right bend. I’m annoyed with myself for making this mistake and can only apologise to the team,” said Lappi. Despite his slip-up, the 23-year-old will definitely remain at the top of the ERC overall standings after the eighth of eleven races of the season.

As well as the two Fabia Super 2000s sporting a red and white RS retro look, the European Rally Champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ) in the advance car also delighted the crowds of fans. The current leaders in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) were driving a test vehicle with the 1.6-litre turbo engine for the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5.
As of 2015, ŠKODA will use the new rally car in the R5 category to participate in international rallies. “It was great fun to drive in front of so many spectators and to show off our new car a bit. I’m proud that I can be so involved in the development of the new Fabia R 5. I was very involved in the development of the Fabia Super 2000,” said Kopecký. The seasoned ŠKODA driver won the Barum Czech Rally Zlín last year, his successor will be crowned at 4pm local time on Sunday in the centre of Zlín.

The number of the day: 10.11.0 minutes

After 16.05 kilometres on the second special stage Slušovice, three of the top drivers had the exact same time down to the tenth of a second. In addition to the two ŠKODA drivers, Sepp Wiegand (D) and Esapekka Lappi (FIN), Tomáš Kostka (CZ) also mastered the long distance in 10.11.0 minutes. Evidence of just how evenly balanced the competition at the Barum Czech Rally Zlín is.

Barum Czech Rally Zlín – Intermediate results after day 1
1. Pech/Uhel (CZ/CZ), Mini John Cooper Works S2000 1h 16m 35.0s
2. Wiegand/Christian (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 + 54.1s
3. Kostka/Houšť (CZ/CZ), Ford Fiesta R5 + 1m 12.7s
4. Kajetanowicz/Baran (PL/PL), Ford Fiesta R5 + 1m 25.9s
5. Odložilík/Tureček (CZ/CZ), Ford Fiesta R5 + 1m 37.0s
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 31, 2014, 10:59:29 posle podne
Nail-biting finale: Wiegand in second place at ŠKODA home race

› German ŠKODA driver with 0.2 second lead
› ERC leader Lappi picks up valuable championship points
› Hrabánek praises Wiegand: “strong performance at difficult rally”
› “Milestone” in development of turbo engine for the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5

Zlín, 31 August 2014 – Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) finish second on the podium after a nail-biting finale, Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) defend their leading position in the championship: The ŠKODA team thrilled tens of thousands of fans at their home rally in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). As well as the works team's two Fabia Super 2000s sporting a red and white RS retro look, European champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) also delighted fans at the Barum Czech Rally Zlín. In the advance car, he successfully tested the turbo engine for the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 on the 15 special stages of the rally.

“Congratulations to Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian. With their strong performance at this rally, they consolidated their second place in the overall standings. It was a very difficult rally in which many of the favourites failed to make it to the end. That's why Esapekka Lappi was even able to strengthen his lead in the ERC overall standings,” said ŠKODA motorsport director Michal Hrabánek.

Wiegand and his co-driver Frank Christian (D) finished in second place after a dramatic duel with Tomáš Kostka (CZ) on the final special stage. After a total of 237.33 kilometres of special stages, he was just 0.2 seconds ahead of his rival. Behind the winners Václav Pech/Petr Uhel (CZ/CZ), Wiegand was the best foreign driver amid the local top drivers. After second place in Northern Ireland and finishing third in Belgium, this was the third ERC podium spot of the season for 23-year-old Wiegand. The Barum Czech Rally Zlín was once again a good hunting ground for the man from Saxony: Last year he finished in fourth place on his debut in the ŠKODA works team.

“Naturally I'm delighted that we secured second place. The asphalt was slippery and muddy in places, particularly in the sections in the forest. We didn't take any unnecessary risks on Sunday to avoid throwing away the rally. The most important thing here was to pick up valuable championship points,” said Wiegand.


In the overall standings of the ERC, the second-placed German has reduced his deficit to his leading team-mate Lappi to 19 points after eight of eleven races of the season. The two ŠKODA drivers even managed to extend their lead over their rivals in the fight to take over from last year's European champion Kopecký. Lappi has 123 points and is ahead of Wiegand (104).

Lappi, who didn't make it to the end of the day on Saturday after a mistake, and his co-driver Janne Ferm won three of the six special stages on Sunday and finished third in the day's standings. This saw him pick up five points for the ERC overall standings. “We successfully managed to limit the damage on Sunday. Many thanks to the ŠKODA team of mechanics who repaired our Fabia Super 2000 to make it as good as new,” said Lappi.
The next test of the 1.6-litre turbo engine for the future ŠKODA Fabia R 5 also went without a hitch at the Barum rally. The test vehicle was driven by the continental champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ). “This time the priority wasn't to get the best times here, but to test the engine. It was fantastic to drive on the track in front of the tens of thousands of spectators,” said Kopecký.

In the future ŠKODA will use the new rally car in the R5 category to participate in international rallies. ŠKODA motorsport director Michal Hrabánek sees the team is on the right path in the development of the source of hope for future success: “We also completed our second mission at the Barum rally: Testing our new vehicle. This saw us set another milestone.”

The number of the Barum Czech Rally Zlín: 9

A ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 was fastest on nine of a total of 15 special stages at the ERC rally in the Czech Republic. Jaromir Tarabus (CZ) set four best times, Esapekka Lappi (FIN) was the fastest driver three times, Roman Kresta (CZ) and Jaroslav Orsák (CZ) were fastest on one special stage each.

Barum Czech Rally Zlín – Final result

1. Pech/Uhel (CZ/CZ), Mini John Cooper Work S2000 2h 16m 28.7s
2. Wiegand/Christian (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 + 51.5s
3. Kostka/Houšť (CZ/CZ), Ford Fiesta R5 + 51.7s
4. Orsák/ Šmeidler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 + 1m 12.8s
5. Tarabus/Trunkát (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 + 1m 13.6s
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Septembar 22, 2014, 11:17:45 pre podne
Manufacturers’ title in their sights: ŠKODA can seal victory in the APRC in Japan

› Rally Hokkaido forms penultimate round of the Asian-Pacific Rally Championship
› Opportunity for ŠKODA to win the Manufacturers’ Championship with rallies to spare
› European champion Jan Kopecký and defending champion Gaurav Gill battle it out amongst themselves for the Drivers’ title
› After Portugal and Austria: Fabia Super 2000 wins its third national title in Belgium

Mladá Boleslav, 22 September 2014 – ŠKODA continues its relentless pursuit of the title in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) at the Rally Hokkaido. Championship leader Jan Kopecký (CZ) and defending champion Gaurav Gill (IND) head to the penultimate round of the season, in Japan from Friday to Sunday, on the back of four wins from the first four races. This weekend, the works-assisted ŠKODA MRF team can wrap up the Manufacturers’ Championship in the APRC with one rally still to come.

“As a team, our main goal is obviously to successfully defend the title for ŠKODA. That is what we are focussing on,” said Kopecký. ŠKODA currently has a 67-point lead over the second-placed manufacturer. Should that advantage still be at least 40 points at the end of the Rally Hokkaido, the team will be assured of first place. At the same time, however, Kopecký is also battling his team-mate Gill for the Drivers’ title in the APRC.
Both ŠKODA drivers have two wins to their name in the APRC this season: India’s Gill and his co-driver Glenn Macneall (NZ) triumphed most recently in Malaysia and at the opening race in New Zealand. European champion Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ), in their first season in the APRC, were unbeatable at the rallies in New Caledonia and Australia. The 32-year-old ŠKODA works driver goes into the Rally Hokkaido with an eight-point lead over Gill at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.

“It will be another great battle. Gaurav has the advantage of knowing most of the special stages in Japan from last year. But I will obviously fight hard,” said Kopecký. The land of the rising sun is certainly not unknown territory for the Czech automobile manufacturer – neither now nor in the past. ŠKODA’s predecessor Laurin & Klement was selling cars in Japan between 1908 and 1914. One model was even presented to the imperial family, while the mayor of Tokyo drove another. Fast forward a century, and Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall won the only international rally in Japan on the way to winning the continental championship last year.
“It goes without saying that I would like to win here again this year. That would be a big step towards defending my Drivers’ title. However, that will not be easy, as Jan Kopecký is a quick learner at rallies that are new to him,” said Gill, praising his fellow ŠKODA driver. The competitors at the Rally Hokkaido must tackle 18 special stages and 222.28 kilometres against the clock. There is huge spectator interest: 68,000 fans were counted out on the route for ŠKODA’s triumph last year.

The starts in the APRC are of great importance to the Czech automobile manufacturer. The goal is to further raise the awareness of the brand in international markets – particularly ŠKODA’s largest market, China, where the finale of the APRC season takes place in November. ŠKODA has set its sights on increasing its global sales to at least 1.5 million units per year over the coming years, with particular emphasis on the growth markets in Asia.

One important factor in the brand’s image is the successful Fabia Super 2000. Experienced Belgian rally driver “Fast” Freddy Loix, who won his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship in the high-tech, four-wheel drive powerhouse from Mladá Boleslav in June, has won the title in the Belgian Championship. This is the third championship win this year for ŠKODA’s current rally car. Pedro Meireles (P), who is supported by ŠKODA Portugal, had previously won the championship in Portugal, while old hand Raimund Baumschlager (A), at the wheel of the Fabia Super 2000, clinched the twelfth rally title of his career in Austria this year. It is quite possible that more titles could follow in both the APRC and the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), in which ŠKODA works driver Esapekka Lappi (FIN) tops the table.

Did you know that …

... the Rally Hokkaido made its first appearance on the APRC calendar in 2002? The rally is taking place for the 13th time this year.
... the 2003 event was a candidate to be included on the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar in 2003? One year later, the APRC competition was held in conjunction with the first “WRC Rally Japan”. The events were separated again in 2005, and the APRC rally has been run under the name Rally Hokkaido since then.
… the Rally Hokkaido is nowadays the only international FIA rally in Japan?
… the six rounds of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship are held in regions, in which over 2.5 billion people live? China, which hosts the final race in the APRC Season on 8 and 9 November, was also the largest individual ŠKODA market in the world in August, with 21,600 cars sold. In total, ŠKODA delivered 522,500 cars in the first half of 2014, the first time the company had sold more than half a million cars in just half a year. That is a remarkable 19.1 per cent increase on August 2013.
… Hokkaido is the most northern of the main Japanese islands, with a population of 5.6 million? The capital Tokyo has 5,629 persons per square kilometre, whilst this figure is as low as just 67 in Hokkaido.
… Hokkaido lies on roughly the same degree of latitude as northern Italy and France? However, the island has longer and harsher winters than the European regions.
… the island of Hokkaido is also famous for its major sporting events? Its largest city, Sapporo, hosted the Winter Olympics in 1972 and the Nordic World Ski Championship in 2007.
… the service park for the rally is in Obihiro? The city has about 170,000 inhabitants and is regarded as the rally capital of Japan.
... Butadon is the region’s culinary speciality? Big chunks of pork are grilled over charcoal and served with a special sauce. Butadon is to Obihiro what Peking duck is to Beijing.

The number for the Rally Hokkaido: 3

Strange: the competitors at the Rally Hokkaido must tackle two of the special stages three times. The “Satsunai River” super special stage is one kilometre long and, as SS 1, 11 and 18, forms both the start and the finish of the rally. The “Pawse Kamuy” stage is 10.40 kilometres in length and represents stages 2, 6 and 10. This year’s event features only one special stage that was not on the itinerary at last year’s rally: at 28.75 kilometres, the “Kunneywa” special stage is also the second longest.

FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), Manufacturers’ Championship standings after four of six rounds:
1. ŠKODA, 153 points; 2. Mitsubishi, 86; 3. Proton, 59; 4. Subaru, 52; 5. Renault, 45

FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), Drivers’ Championship standings after four of six rounds:
1. Jan Kopecký, 112; 2. Gaurav Gill, 104; 3. Mark Pedder, 90; 4. Michael Young, 67; 5. Jun Xu, 67

2014 APRC calendar:

11–13 April: Rally Whangarei – New Zealand
16–18 May: Rally New Caledonia – New Caledonia
20–22 June: Rally Queensland – Australia
15–17 August: Rally Malaysia – Malaysia
26–28 September: Rally Hokkaido – Japan
7–9 November: Rally China – China
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Septembar 28, 2014, 06:49:03 posle podne
Double title success: ŠKODA makes history at theAPRC

› ŠKODA clinches the manufacturers’ and drivers’ championships early
› Third consecutive APRC title
› Czech factory driver Kopecký claims his second continental title after winning the European Rally Championship in 2013
› Fifth win for ŠKODA in round five of the season
› Fabia Super 2000 continues on its winning streak – three national titles already bagged this year

Obihiro, Japan, 28 September 2014 – ŠKODA has every reason to celebrate: the Czech car maker has made motorsport history by clinching a double title early in the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). It is ŠKODA’s third consecutive triumph in the APRC manufacturers’ and drivers’ championship*.
With the win, works driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) secured another continental championship less than a year after lifting the European Rally Championship trophy. Kopecký and his co-pilot Pavel Dresler (CZ) put in a commanding performance at the Rally Hokkaido in Japan to make their victory perfect.

“I’m absolutely delighted that we were once again able to win the two continental titles in what is a very important region for us. It means we have achieved a major goal. It’s all the better to be able to travel to the APRC season final in our most important market, China, having already notched up these wins,” commented ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. He singled out the new champion Kopecký for particular praise. Following wins by Chris Atkinson (AUS/2012) and Gaurav Gill (IND/2013), the Czech driver completed the car maker’s title hat-trick in the APRC.
“It is Jan’s first year at the APRC, and winning the title in these difficult circumstances is an incredible achievement,” said Hrabánek. Kopecký and Dresler could hardly believe their historic success. “I would like to thank the ŠKODA Motorsport team and the team from ŠKODA MRF for their great support. It’s amazing to be able to celebrate another big success like this after winning the European Rally Championship. All of this season’s rallies were uncharted territory for us, but we rose to the challenge. I’d also like to pay my co-driver Pavel Dresler a huge compliment – I would’ve lost my way in the Asian-Pacific forests without him,” said 32-year-old Kopecký.

He continued to display strong nerves in round five and wowed tens of thousands of spectators who had thronged to line the route. Kopecký/Dresler were the clear winners at the end of the 18 Special Stages with a total length of 222.28 kilometres. Having already taken the top spot on the podium in New Caledonia and Australia, winning round five marked their third victory in this season’s APRC.

The remaining two rallies in New Zealand and Malaysia were won by ŠKODA’s other pairing, Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (NZ). The reigning champions and winners of last year’s Japan rally were at the top of the table, just ahead of their team-mates, until SS 07 of the classic rally on the island of Hokkaido when a crash forced them to retire early. “Of course I would’ve liked to defend the title, but it’s only fair to congratulate Jan on his success. The title is in the right hands. I’m glad that I was able to help ŠKODA win the manufacturers’ championship,” Gill said following the triumph in Japan.

Competing in the APRC is immensely important to the Czech car maker. Its aim is to further enhance international awareness of the brand – especially in China, ŠKODA’s largest market, where the final round of the APRC season will take place in November. ŠKODA hopes to increase its global sales to at least 1.5 million units per annum over the next few years with particularly strong growth in the rapidly expanding Asian markets.

This double title success in the APRC means that the legendary ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 remains on a winning streak. It has already claimed three national titles this year: Freddy Loix won the Belgian championship as well as finishing first in the FIA European Rally Championship leg in his home country in June at the wheel of the high-tech 4WD made in Mladá Boleslav. Prior to this, Pedro Meireles – who is supported by ŠKODA Portugal – won the Portuguese championship. Veteran driver Raimund Baumschlager also sealed his twelfth rally championship in Austria in the Fabia Super 2000. ŠKODA could yet rack up another title in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), where works driver Esapekka Lappi (FIN) is currently top of the table ahead of his team-mate Sepp Wiegand (D).
* Subject to confirmation by the FIA.

The number for the Rally Hokkaido: 15

One of the two drivers from the ŠKODA MRF team put in the fastest time in 15 of the 18 Special Stages at the APRC Rally Hokkaido. Jan Kopecký ranked top in 11 Stages, while Gaurav Gill claimed four best times.

The 2014 APRC calendar:
11–13 April: Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand
16–18 May: Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie – New Caledonia
20–22 June: Rally of Queensland – Australia
15–17 August: Malaysian Rally – Malaysia
26–28 September: Rally Hokkaido – Japan
7–9 November: China Rally – China
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 20, 2014, 06:42:39 posle podne
The title race goes on: ŠKODA out to put the shine on a golden autumn of rallying in Switzerland

› “Rallye International du Valais” the penultimate stop in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC)
› Having secured the title in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with races to go, the ŠKODA works drivers now have their sights set on the ERC title
› ŠKODA has already won three national titles with the Fabia Super 2000 in 2014

Mladá Boleslav, 20 October 2014 – The battle for the Drivers’ crown in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) is coming to a head. When Europe’s rallying elite line up at the penultimate round of the season – the “Rallye International du Valais” – this weekend (23 to 25 October), ŠKODA works duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) will do so as championship leaders. Their closest rivals for the title are also at the wheel of a Fabia Super 2000: Germany’s Sepp Wiegand and his co-driver Frank Christian of the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team start the event 19 points behind the leading ŠKODA pair.

“I have very fond memories of the rally in Switzerland,” said Lappi. “Last year, Janne and I claimed our first major win at an asphalt rally here. That was a very special moment in our careers – particularly as we had won the APRC rally in China for ŠKODA just a few days earlier. I would ideally like to repeat last year’s success in Switzerland, in order to take as large a step forwards as possible in the championship. However, you don’t always get what you want in the ERC: we have a long and extremely demanding rally ahead of us.”
Lappi has already won two events this season, including the prestigious “Circuit of Ireland Rally”, which is also held on asphalt. Fellow ŠKODA driver Wiegand finished second at the same event to claim his first podium in the European Rally Championship. A further two podiums were to follow – third place at the “Ypres Rally” in Belgium and second at the “Barum Rally” in ŠKODA’s backyard in the Czech Republic – putting the 23-year-old in contention for the ERC Drivers’ title with two rounds remaining.

“My best results this year have come at asphalt rallies: I made it onto the podium in Northern Ireland, Belgium and the Czech Republic. That has to be the goal at the ‘Rallye International du Valais’ too if I am to keep the race for the championship alive,” said Wiegand. “This rally is completely new to me. So far, I only know the special stages from video recordings of last year’s race. Some of it reminds me a bit of the Rally Monte Carlo, at which Frank and I won the WRC2 class in 2013. However, the roads are narrower in Switzerland and there is no room for mistakes. There are also a few short gravel sections, which makes it even more exciting.”

The “Rallye International du Valais” is one of the most demanding rounds of the ERC for both man and machine. From Thursday to Saturday, the teams must overcome a total of 260.2 kilometres against the clock, spread over 19 special stages through the Swiss canton of Wallis. The majority of the stages are held on narrow asphalt roads around the cities of Sion and Martigny. However, eight special stages also feature short gravel sections, which the drivers must overcome in cars set-up for asphalt conditions. On top of that come the vast differences in elevation: the lowest point of the route is 400 metres above sea level, while the rally reaches a highest altitude of 1,800 metres. The first car gets proceedings underway at 09:00 local time on Thursday with the 3.3-kilometre qualifying stage in Sion. The competitors reach the finish in Martigny at 17:30 on Saturday.

While the race for the ERC crown is still wide open, the destination of the title in the APRC has already been decided. ŠKODA made motorsport history at the penultimate round of the season in Japan at the end of September: the Czech manufacturer won both the Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ titles in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship for the third time in a row*. ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) won the Drivers’ Championship with one race still to come, ahead of his team-mate Gaurav Gill (IND), who won the championship last year. European champion Kopecký is the first rally driver to win first the ERC then the APRC in successive years.

These victories and titles are intrinsically tied to the successful Fabia Super 2000. The high-tech four-wheel drive powerhouse from Mladá Boleslav has also enjoyed great success in national rally championships. Experienced Belgian rally driver “Fast” Freddy Loix, who won his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship in a Fabia Super 2000 in June of this year, claimed the title in the Belgian championship. Prior to this, Pedro Meireles (P), who is supported by ŠKODA Portugal, had also won the championship in Portugal. And old hand Raimund Baumschlager (A) also won his twelfth title in Austria at the wheel of a Fabia Super 2000.
* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA.

Did you know that …

... the “Rallye International du Valais” is the penultimate round of the 2014 ERC season? The season finale will take place on the French island of Corsica from 6th to 8th November. The ERC presentation ceremony follows on 9th November in the Corsican capital Ajaccio.
... the “Rallye International du Valais” is being staged for the 55th time this year? The first organiser was the rally-mad wine merchant Philippe Simonetta, who managed to combine his two great passions: that the motorsport world should discover the canton of Wallis, which is ideally suited for rallying, and the region’s outstanding wines.
... the “Rallye International du Valais” was initially called the “Rallye du Vin” (Rally of Wine)? From 1981 to 1984 it bore the name “Rallye International du Vin et du Valais”. It then took on its current title in 1985 and has been known as the “Rallye International du Valais” since.
... the rally in Switzerland first formed part of the European Rally Championship in 1980? The event also featured on the calendar of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in 2007 and 2008.
... the name ŠKODA went down in the list of winners of the “Rallye International du Valais” last year? Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm won just six days after their success at the APRC rally in China. The two Finns completed a 40-hour journey between the presentation ceremony in China and the start in Wallis.
... the rally circus will pitch its tents in two places at this year’s “Rallye International du Valais? The start of the rally is in the capital of the canton, Sion, which will also play host to the teams’ service areas until Friday. From Saturday on, the service park will be located about 30 kilometres away in Martigny, where the presentation ceremony will also take place.
... that September 2014 has been the best September in the history of ŠKODA? The Czech automobile manufacturer saw deliveries rise by 10.4 per cent last month to a global figure of 95,600 cars (same month last year: 86,600). In Europe, ŠKODA’s market share rose to 4.4 per cent in the first nine months of this year.

The number for the “Rallye International du Valais”: 30.18

Unusual: although the “Rallye International du Valais” is declared as an all-asphalt rally, the teams must still overcome 30.18 kilometres of gravel road. The “Caserne” special stage, which the drivers tackle twice on Friday, includes a 0.14-kilometre section on loose ground. Saturday will be particularly tricky, as the competitors face a further 29.9 kilometres of gravel on the “Bruson”, “Verbier”, “Les Cols” and “Col des Planches” stages. Here, the drivers must be particularly careful – after all, their cars will be set up entirely for asphalt roads. The teams will also only have access to wide asphalt tyres throughout the rally weekend – not the considerably narrower gravel tyres with their deeper tread.

FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), overall standings drivers’ championship after 9 of 11 events:

1. Esapekka Lappi, 123 points; 2. Sepp Wiegand, 104; 3. Kajetan Kajetanowicz, 94; 4. Craig Breen, 74; 5. Vaclav Pech, 63; 6. Vasily Gryazin, 53; 7. Ott Tänak, 44; 8. Bruno Magalhães, 44; 9. Robert Kubica, 39; 10. Robert Consani, 39.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 24, 2014, 09:56:53 posle podne
Rallye du Valais: One-two lead for ŠKODA
10/23/2014

Two ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000s at the top after the opener of the Rallye International du Valais. Sepp Wiegand leads ahead of brand colleague Esapekka Lappi.
Good opener for ŠKODA at the “Rallye International du Valais”: After the first three of a total of 19 special stages in the penultimate race of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season, Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) from the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team are at the top of the standings. Just 4.4 seconds behind them are their Finnish brand colleagues Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm in second place. The ŠKODA works duo won the rally in the Swiss canton of Valais last year and are currently at the top of the ERC overall standings – ahead of Wiegand and Christian.

“Leading the rally after the first three stages is a great feeling. This is the first time we have led an ERC race at the end of a day,” said Wiegand. “However, it was only the opener – there's still a long way to go in the rally. The slippery tracks were often difficult to gauge. Sometimes it felt like we were aquaplaning, but it was mostly sheet ice. The rally and conditions here are completely new to me, but it can carry on like this.”

Lappi also experienced the surprises that the changeable track conditions in the Swiss mountains had in store. “The conditions changed constantly. As soon as it was wet anywhere, I took my foot off the accelerator,” said Lappi. “It wasn't always pleasant, but as it turned out everything went okay for me.”

The largest – and most difficult – part of the rally still awaits the participants. A total of 16 special stages over 227.82 kilometres need to be mastered on the second and third days of the penultimate ERC race this season. While the drivers and co-drivers battle for every second on the track on Friday afternoon, the mechanic crews will also be racing against the clock. After the lunchtime service on Friday, the teams will head from Sion to Martigny, about 25 kilometres away, to set up their tents at the CERM exhibition centre in a few hours, ready for the final day of the “Rallye International du Valais”.

Number of the day: 1
A first: For the first time, Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian end the day of an ERC race in the lead. The first day of the “Rallye International du Valais” got off to a somewhat unusual start – nixing the tactical plans of both ŠKODA crews. After qualifying, the stewards decided to reduce the second special stage, 11.66-kilometre “Crans-Montana”, to just four kilometres due to bad track conditions. Snow and ice from the middle section of the stage onwards may have resulted in unpredictable – and possibly unfair – conditions for the participants.

Rallye International du Valais – intermediate results after day 1
1. Wiegand/Christian (D/D, ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000) 15.55.1 min.
2. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN, ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000) + 4.4 sec.
3. Abbring/Marshall (NL/GB, Peugeot 208 T16) + 6.3 sec.
4. Burri/Ferrero (CH/F, Ford Fiesta R5) + 13.1 sec.
5. Hirschi/Landais (CH/F, Peugeot 208 T16) + 17.4 sec.
6. Carron/Revaz (CH/CH, Peugeot 207 S2000) + 17.8 sec.
7. Kajetanowicz/Baran (PL/PL, Ford Fiesta R5) + 18.0 sec.
8. Consani/Vilmot (F/F, Peugeot 207 S2000) + 24.2 sec.
9. Tarabus/Trunkát (CZ/CZ, ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000) + 31.0 sec.
10. Althaus/Ioset (CH/CH, ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000) + 37.6 sec.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 24, 2014, 10:00:56 posle podne

ŠKODA defends its lead at the “Rallye International du Valais“

​› After day two of three, it's still a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 at the top at the “Rallye International du Valais“.
› ŠKODA driver Esapekka Lappi takes the lead from team mate Sepp Wiegand.
› The final day‘s programme will cover more than half of the total distance in the Swiss mountains.

​Sion, 24. Oktober 2014 – ŠKODA has defended its lead at the “Rallye International du Valais“. On the second day of the penultimate race of the season of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), the ŠKODA factory duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) took the lead. Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) from the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team, who had first place after the first of three rally days in the Swiss canton of Wallis, were set back due to tyre damage. The duo are now occupying fourth place, 1:16.2 minutes behind their Finnish team mates.

​ERC front runner Lappi, who had already won the “Rallye International du Valais” in the previous year, was able to take a big step towards winning the European championship title with his victory on Saturday. “We are in the lead – and that’s really good. The Fabia Super 2000 has worked like Swiss clockwork yet again”, said the Finn. “It leaves us in a good starting position to build on Saturday. I don’t want to think about anything more than that quite yet, as we still have a long way to go with the final day.”

Less happy was Lappi’s ŠKODA mate Wiegand. The 23 year old German fell back in the rankings on Friday. Damage to his tyre on the tenth special stage was what caused the significant loss of time. “The flat tyre was just unfortunate”, said Wiegand. “I’m focusing on the positive aspects. The opportunity to get on the victory podium is still there. We will give it our all on Saturday.”

Participants will have to contend with numerous challenges during the final day of the “Rallye International du Valais”. More than half of the rally’s total distance is still to go. Eight special stages across 135.62 kilometres are on the programme, among them being the longest section: the 32.13 kilometre WP “Les Cols” on Saturday morning. The winner will be driving over the ramp at 17.30 at the CERM exhibition centre in Martigny.

The number of the day: 29.5

The “Rallye International du Valais” is similar to the legendary Monte Carlo Rally in more ways than just its track characteristics. The Swiss ERC track also shares an organisational feature, which is rather unusual nowadays, with the oldest rally in the world: just like the “Monte”, the teams at this Swiss rally have to change location during the event. While the service point was based at the former barracks of Sion up to Friday afternoon, the teams were pitching their tents at the exhibition centre CERM in Martigny from Friday evening onwards. The distance between the two locations is exactly 29.5 kilometres. The teams only had three hours to dismantle, reconstruct and transport themselves to the next service point.

“Rallye International du Valais” – intermediate results after day 2

1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000            1h 11m 03.5s
2. Kajetanowicz/Baran (PL/PL), Ford Fiesta R5                     + 23.0s
3. Breen/Martin (IRL/GB), Peugeot 208 T16                    + 1m 01.5s
4. Wiegand/Christian (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000     + 1m 16.2s
5. Carron/Revaz (CH/CH), Peugeot 207 S2000                + 1m 24.6s
6. Hirschi/Landais (CH/F), Peugeot 208 T16                     + 1m 29.8s
7. Consani/Vilmot (F/F), Peugeot 207 S2000                    + 1m 35.4s
8. Burri/Ferrero (CH/F), Ford Fiesta R5                            + 1m 47.4s
9. Tarabus/Trunkát (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000    + 2m 21.1s
10. Althaus/Ioset (CH/CH), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000       + 2m 28.0s
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 25, 2014, 10:57:45 posle podne
Lappi‘s victory in Switzerland secures ŠKODA the European championship*

​› ŠKODA works driver Esapekka Lappi repeats last year’s success at the ERC race in Switzerland and looks likely to win the title
› ŠKODA brand colleague Sepp Wiegand also makes it onto the winners’ podium and in third place is the last remaining rival in the ERC title race
› The season finale of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) takes place from 6 to 8 November in Corsica

​Martigny, 25 October 2014 – The European Rally Champion will be a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 driver once again this year. The works drivers Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) extended their lead in the overall standings with their victory at the “Rallye International du Valais”, the penultimate race of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season. Only their brand colleagues Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) can prevent them from winning the ERC title for drivers and co-drivers now. The duo from the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team finished third at the rally in the Swiss canton of Valais.

​“I’d like to congratulate both sets of drivers on this fantastic result,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “Once again our two ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000s ran like Swiss watches. Finishing with both cars on the podium – that’s the result of the professional performance of the whole team this weekend. We’re delighted that the ERC title will now be decided among two ŠKODA driver teams. After successes in the APRC and in three national championships in 2014 already, this result in the ERC is another golden chapter in the successful history of the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.”

The “Rallye International du Valais” went ŠKODA’s way for the second time in a row. Lappi/Ferm won the ERC race in the Swiss Alps last year – and this year ŠKODA was at the top on all three rally days. In the night from Thursday to Friday, Wiegand/Christian went to bed as the front runners of an ERC race for the first time, before Lappi/Ferm took the lead on the second day and kept hold of it right until the finish on Saturday evening.

“The whole weekend went perfectly for us,” said Lappi. “Janne and I are incredibly proud to have won in Switzerland for the second time. I would like to thank the whole team for their fantastic work. We’re in a great position in the championship now and travel to the final race in Corsica with a good feeling.” After success in Latvia and Northern Ireland this year it was the third victory of the year for the Finns.

“It was an incredibly exhausting rally for us,” said Wiegand after his fourth ERC podium spot this season. “We started well but were then unlucky, for example with the tyre damage on Friday. That’s why we’re all the more delighted to have finished in third place here. It means that Frank and I are still even in with a chance of winning the European championship.”

While the battle for the ERC crown is still open, the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) has already been decided. ŠKODA won the manufacturers’ and drivers’ standings of the APRC for the third time in a row*. ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) also secured the drivers title before the end of the season – ahead of his team-mate Gaurav Gill (IND), who won the championship last year. European champion Kopecký is the first rally driver to have won the ERC and then the APRC in two consecutive years. The big season finale of the APRC will take place on 8 and 9 November in ŠKODA’s biggest market, China.

These victories and championship titles are inextricably linked to the successful Fabia Super 2000. The high-tech four-wheel drive from Mladá Boleslav has also been successful in national rally championships. Belgium’s rally old hand “Fast” Freddy Loix, who won the FIA European Rally Championship race in his home country in the Fabia Super 2000 in June, won the Belgian championship title. Before that, Pedro Meireles (P), supported by ŠKODA Portugal, won the championship in Portugal. Old hand Raimund Baumschlager (A) also won his twelfth rally championship title overall in Austria in the Fabia Super 2000.

* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA.

Number of the day: 6

Esapekka Lappi looks likely to win the European Rally Championship going into the ERC season finale. If the Finn picks up at least six championship points in Corsica at the final race of the year, the 23-year-old from Naarajärvi will have won his first international title.

“Rallye International du Valais” – final results

1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000            2h 46m 22.4s
2. Breen/Martin (IRL/GB), Peugeot 208 T16 R5                          + 42.0s
3. Wiegand/Christian (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000               + 3m 04.1s
4. Hirschi/Landais (CH/F), Peugeot 208 T16 R5                          + 4m 10.2s
5. Burri/Ferrero (CH/F), Ford Fiesta R5                                     + 4m 17.8s
6. Consani/Vilmot (F/F), Peugeot 207 S2000                             + 4m 24.8s
7. Althaus/Ioset (CH/CH), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000                 + 5m 56.9s
8. Perroud/Marchand (CH/CH), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000         + 6m 22.5s
9. Gonon/Horgnies (CH/CH), Subaru Impreza R4                    + 7m 08.9s
10. Radoux/Gregoire (CH/CH), Ford Fiesta R5                        + 9m 53.5s
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Novembar 04, 2014, 08:16:18 posle podne
ŠKODA driver Lappi set to win ERC title

ERC season finale: Nothing stands between ŠKODA works driver Esapekka Lappi and the title after Wiegand's retirement.

The stage is set for ŠKODA driver Esapekka Lappi (FIN) at the season finale of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC): The Finn’s path to winning the title is clear after his brand colleague Sepp Wiegand (D) is no longer able to take part in the legendary “Tour de Corse” from Thursday to Saturday after his car caught fire during testing before the event. For the third time in a row, a driver of the successful Fabia Super 2000 model will be added to the list of ERC champions. Juho Hänninen (FIN) started the Czech car manufacturer’s winning streak in 2012. In 2013 victory went to Jan Kopecký (CZ), who won the title in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) for ŠKODA this year.

In addition to the titles in the APRC and four national championships in 2014 alone, the early certain victory in the European continental championship is the icing on the cake of another extremely successful rally season for ŠKODA. Unfortunately the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team won’t be taking part. The German duo Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian came off the track in a left-hand bend during pre-event testing on Monday. Dry grass at the scene of the accident was set alight by their car’s hot exhaust, setting the car on fire. Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian weren’t hurt. However, because there isn’t enough time to repair their Fabia Super 2000, they are unable to start the “Tour de Corse”.

“I feel really bad for Sepp Wiegand and Frank Christian, we were looking forward to the thrilling ŠKODA battle for the title with our fiercest rivals,” said Lappi. “We now need to single-handedly try to round off this successful season for ŠKODA on Corsica. After our third victory this season in Switzerland, naturally we are very confident heading to Corsica.”

Wiegand will be crossing his fingers for his brand colleague Lappi at the rally: “I’m very disappointed. I’m really sorry that the slip-up had such drastic consequences – I’m also sorry for the whole team,” he said visibly dejected. “I’d like to thank everyone who worked so hard to give us the chance to still be fighting for the title here.” Some consolation for the 23-year-old German is that he is still in with a chance of finishing second in the overall standings, which would mean a ŠKODA one-two victory.

The winner of the season finale will be decided on eleven varied special stages covering 251.50 kilometres on Corsica. Porto Vecchio in the south east of the island is the starting point for the first time. There, where the legendary “Tour de France” cycle race started with ŠKODA as a partner in 2013, the wild chase on winding asphalt tracks between the seashore and rugged mountains gets underway as of Thursday. The new starting point means that some legs are completely new to all driver teams – they will set the scene for the thrilling ŠKODA showdown.

As in the ERC, the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) has already been decided. ŠKODA won the manufacturers’ and drivers’ standings in the APRC for the third time in a row*. ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) also secured the drivers’ title before the end of the season – ahead of his team-mate Gaurav Gill (IND), who won the championship last year. European champion Kopecký is the first rally driver to have won the ERC followed by the APRC in two consecutive years. The grand finale of the APRC season will take place from 7 to 9 November in ŠKODA's biggest market, China.

These victories and championship titles are inextricably linked to the successful Fabia Super 2000. The high-tech four-wheel drive from Mladá Boleslav has also been successful in national rally championships. Belgium’s rally old hand “Fast” Freddy Loix, who won the FIA European Rally Championship race in his home country in the Fabia Super 2000 in June, won the Belgian championship title. Before that, Pedro Meireles (P), supported by ŠKODA Portugal, won the championship in Portugal. Old hand Raimund Baumschlager (A) also won his twelfth rally championship title overall in Austria in the Fabia Super 2000. On top of that, Poles Grzegorz Grzyb/Robert Hundla won the championship in Slovakia.

* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA.

Did you know that...
...75 percent of the winners of the “Tour de Corse” are French? In a total of 56 rallies held so far, a rally driver from France has been at the top of the winners’ podium 42 times. Incidentally: The only German driver to have celebrated a victory on Corsica is Herbert Linge. He won alongside co-driver Paul-Ernst Strähle in the Porsche SC90 back in 1960.

...there are two record winners of the “Tour de Corse”? The Frenchmen Bernard Darniche and Didier Auriol won the rally six times each.

...the rally on Corsica is also known as the “rally of 10,000 bends”? The name refers to the fact that the special stages are mainly on asphalt roads winding through the mountains.

...the “Tour de Corse” was part of the FIA World Rally Championship until 2008? Nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb dominated on Corsica this millennium. The record world champion won here four times in a row from 2005 to 2008.

...Ajaccio, the centre of the rally, has a very famous resident? Napoléon Bonaparte was born here in 1769. You can still visit the birthplace of the former emperor of France today, including the trap door that Napoléon used to exit the house when he fled Corsica in 1793.

...spectators at the “Tour de Corse” may come across semi-wild domestic pigs roaming free? Their meat is used in local delicacies such as lonzu (smoked fillet of pork), coppa (smoked pork neck), or figatellu (smoked liver sausage with herbs).

...Corsica is the fourth-largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily, Sardinia and Cyprus? Talking of size: At 2,706 metres, Monte Cinto is the highest mountain on Corsica. However, racers won’t see the summit. The highest elevation on Corsica is about 100 kilometres to the north of Ajaccio.

...France isn’t only an important market for ŠKODA? The new ŠKODA Fabia and Fabia Combi recently celebrated their world premiere at the Paris Motor Show. The Czech car manufacturer has also been a partner of the legendary “Tour de France” for professional cyclists since 2004. ŠKODA founding fathers Laurin and Klement laid the foundations for the brand's success story with the production of bicycles in 1895.

The number of the “Tour de Corse”: 5
The victory at the last ERC rally in Switzerland was the fifth European championship victory in Esapekka Lappi’'s career, which is still in its early stages. In 2013 Lappi was mainly active in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), but was victorious at the end of the ERC season in Switzerland. This year saw victories three to five in Latvia, Northern Ireland and the “Rallye International du Valais”.

FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), overall standings drivers’ championship after 10 of 11 events:
1. Esapekka Lappi, 162 points; 2. Sepp Wiegand, 128; 3. Craig Breen, 104; 4. Kajetan Kajetanowicz, 100; 5. Vaclav Pech, 63; 6. Vasily Gryazin, 53; 7. Robert Consani, 50; 8. Ott Tänak, 44; 9. Bruno Magalhães, 44; 10. Robert Kubica, 39.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Novembar 05, 2014, 02:09:03 posle podne

ŠKODA Champions want to round off outstanding season at highlight in China


​› “China Rally Longyou” from Friday to Sunday final APRC stop
› ŠKODA title win in the manufacturers’ and drivers’ standings* already certain
› Five victories in five rallies of the APRC season so far
› ŠKODA production vehicles are best sellers in China
› Titles in the ERC and four national championships for the Fabia Super 2000

​Mladá Boleslav, 5 November 2014 – The ŠKODA champions want to round off an outstanding season in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) at the highlight of the season in China. With the flawless result of five victories in five rallies so far, the duos Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ) and Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/NZ) head to the Czech car manufacturer’s most important market in the world for the season finale. The works-supported ŠKODA MRF Team has already secured the title in the manufacturers’ standings of the APRC* ahead of the “China Rally Longyou” for the third time in a row.  Also, Jan Kopecký has secured the title before the end of the season, making him the first driver in history to win the driver’s title in the European Rally Championship (ERC) and the APRC* in consecutive years.

​“Naturally we are very proud to have won these titles for ŠKODA in our debut season in the APRC. But there’s no reason to celebrate just yet: After all we want to finish off the season perfectly at the highlight of the season and put on a good show for our fans in China,” said Kopecký. The 32-year-old ŠKODA works driver has won three rallies this season, in New Caledonia, Australia and most recently in Japan. The dethroned defending champion Gill was victorious in the other two APRC rallies in New Zealand and Malaysia. Gill’s aim for China is to at least draw level with Kopecký on number of victories: “After coming second in China last year, I want to finish the season with a win. After all it’s an important race for the whole brand.”

Just how popular ŠKODA is in China was evident the first time that the Czech brand ever participated in a vintage car rally in Beijing and Shanghai in September. At the “Top City Classic Rally China” a convertible ŠKODA Felicia from 1961 and a Laurin & Klement 300 from 1923 – the oldest vehicle to take part – delighted tens of thousands of spectators. At the “China Rally Longyou”, the state of the art rally racer Fabia Super 2000 is set to enthral the fans over 230.92 kilometres and 13 special stages.

ŠKODA wants to increase its worldwide sales in the coming years to at least 1.5 million units per year, focusing on the Asian growth markets in particular. In China alone the number of vehicles sold is planned to rise to more than 500,000 in the future. Last week ŠKODA’s HR Director Bohdan Wojnar was part of a Czech government delegation accompanying President Miloš Zeman on his state visit to China.

In addition to the title hat-trick in the manufacturers’ and drivers’ standings in the APRC, ŠKODA has also secured the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) title going into the final race of the season. The path to the ERC title is clear for ŠKODA works driver Esapekka Lappi (FIN) at the season finale on Corsica from Thursday to Saturday. The high-tech four-wheel drive from Mladá Boleslav has also won the championship title in four national rally championships.

Belgium’s rally old hand “Fast” Freddy Loix, who won the FIA European Rally Championship race in his home country in the Fabia Super 2000 in June, won the Belgian championship title. Before that, Pedro Meireles (P), supported by ŠKODA Portugal, won the championship in Portugal. Old hand Raimund Baumschlager (A) also won his twelfth rally championship title overall in Austria in the Fabia Super 2000. On top of that, Poles Grzegorz Grzyb/Robert Hundla won the championship in Slovakia.

* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA.


Did you know that …

… the six races of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship are held in regions in which more than 2.5 billion people live?

… China is ŠKODA’s largest single market worldwide? In September 2014 alone, 24,900 vehicles were delivered here, which is more than a quarter of the Czech car manufacturer’s total sales around the world. The increase of 16.3 percent compared with the previous year’s result in the same month (September 2013: 21,400) was also the second-best monthly sales result for ŠKODA since entering the Chinese market in 2007. A total of 198,200 vehicles were sold in the first nine months.

… the “China Rally Longyou” has been part of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) since 2006? Before that, the rally in the province of Zhejiang was where the Chinese Rally Championship (CRC) was held.

… Cody Crocker is the record winner of the “China Rally Longyou”? The Australian won the rally four times in a row between 2006 and 2009.

… Alister McRae won the “China Rally Longyou” in 2011 and 2012, continuing the McRae family’s success story in China? His older brother, rally legend Colin McRae, won the “Rally China” in 1997, which was still part of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) back then.

… “Longyou” is a district in the Chinese province of Zhejiang? Zhejiang Province is known as the “land of fish and rice”. The largest fishing area is off the east coast of China and rice is the most important agricultural product on land.
… the longest trans-oceanic bridge in the world is in Zhejiang Province? In May 2008 the Hangzhou bridge was opened in Hangzhou harbour. Construction of the 6-lane bridge started in November 2003 and cost a total of around 1.1 billion euros.

… ŠKODA has fond memories of the “China Rally Longyou”? Last year Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) won the “China Rally Longyou”, beating their team-mates Gaurav Gill/Glen Macneall (IND/NZ) and clinching championship victory for ŠKODA in the manufacturers' standings.


The number of the “China Rally Longyou”: 1, 2, 3

1, 2, 3 – the top three positions in the drivers’ overall standings in the APRC are all taken by ŠKODA drivers. The new champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) leads ahead of the dethroned defending champion Gaurav Gill. Both drivers drive for the works-supported team ŠKODA MRF. Third-placed Jun Xu from China also owes his success to a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.


FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), Manufacturers’ Championship standings after five of six rounds:

1. ŠKODA, 192 points (making them APRC champion*); 2. Mitsubishi, 94; 3. Subaru 82; 4. Proton, 72; 5. Renault, 45


FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), Drivers’ Championship standings after five of six rounds:

1. Jan Kopecký, 151 (making him APRC champion*); 2. Gaurav Gill, 104; 3. Jun Xu 97; 4. Mark Pedder, 90; 5. Michael Young, 88


APRC Calendar 2014:

11–13 April: Rally Whangarei – New Zealand
16–18 May: Rally New Caledonia – New Caledonia
20–22 June: Rally Queensland – Australia
15–17 August: Rally Malaysia – Malaysia
26–28 September: Rally Hokkaido – Japan
7–9 November: China Rally Longyou – China
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Novembar 07, 2014, 04:55:10 posle podne
Champion Kopecký ambassador for ŠKODA in core market China

​› Title hat-trick* for ŠKODA in FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship
› Jan Kopecký: “Delighted by how many people in China drive a ŠKODA”
› Promotional tour in Shanghai after the rally
› Historic achievement by Kopecký: Champion* in the ERC and APRC in consecutive years

​Longyou/China, 7 November 2014 – Champion Jan Kopecký noticed something very special in his first few days in China. “I’m surprised and delighted by how many ŠKODA models there are on the roads here,” said the Czech works driver: “Whether it’s the Fabia or the Octavia – the Chinese like us.” To develop this special relationship in ŠKODA's most important global market further in the future, Kopecký and his co-driver Pavel Dresler are on a promotional tour in China.

​The focus of this tour is the successful duo’s appearance at the “China Rally Longyou” from Friday to Sunday. Going into the season grand finale of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), Kopecký has already become the first driver in history to win the drivers’ title in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) and the APRC* in consecutive years. On top of that, ŠKODA has secured the title in the manufacturers’ standings of the APRC* ahead of the “China Rally Longyou” for the third time in a row. In the five races of the APRC season so far ŠKODA has won five times.

So it's logical that the rally fans in the Chinese province of Zhejiang are watching out for Jan Kopecký and the successful Fabia Super 2000 model in particular. To make sure they were prepared perfectly, Kopecký and Dresler travelled to China a week before the start of the most important rally. “This was the best way for us to adjust to the time difference. Before the recce on Wednesday we mainly went jogging and to the gym – and are also getting to know the country and people on our first trip to China,” reported Kopecký.

As well as the friendliness of the people, the 32-year-old is particularly taken with the varied and delicious food in China. The turbulent traffic in the Longyou district is new territory: “There's so much traffic, everyone sounds their horn.” The trip to the metropolis of Shanghai, supported by ŠKODA China, when the rally is over will be even more exciting. Photo shoots in front of the sights in the megacity and at a ŠKODA dealer are planned for Monday and Tuesday.

The Czech car brand has been in China since 2007 and since then has found its way into customers’ hearts with its attractive models. In the first nine months of 2014, almost 200,000 vehicles were delivered in China. The plans for the future are to deliver up to 500,000 each year in ŠKODA's most important single market in the world.

“Just how fast and reliable our Fabia is, was demonstrated once again in this championship,” said Kopecký: “On top of that, ŠKODA has a perfect team. China is the perfect location to celebrate this properly with everybody.”

* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA.



Did you know that …

… the six races of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship are held in regions in which more than 2.5 billion people live?

… China is ŠKODA’s largest single market worldwide? In September 2014 alone, 24,900 vehicles were delivered here, which is more than a quarter of the Czech car manufacturer’s total sales around the world. The increase of 16.3 percent compared with the previous year’s result in the same month (September 2013: 21,400) was also the second-best monthly sales result for ŠKODA since entering the Chinese market in 2007. A total of 198,200 vehicles were sold in the first nine months.

… the “China Rally Longyou” has been part of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) since 2006? Before that, the rally in the province of Zhejiang was where the Chinese Rally Championship (CRC) was held.

… Cody Crocker is the record winner of the “China Rally Longyou”? The Australian won the rally four times in a row between 2006 and 2009.

... Alister McRae won the “China Rally Longyou” in 2011 and 2012, continuing the McRae family’s success story in China? His older brother, rally legend Colin McRae, won the “Rally China” in 1997, which was still part of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) back then.

… “Longyou” is a district in the Chinese province of Zhejiang? Zhejiang Province is known as the “land of fish and rice”. The largest fishing area is off the east coast of China and rice is the most important agricultural product on land.

… the longest trans-oceanic bridge in the world is in Zhejiang Province? In May 2008 the Hangzhou bridge was opened in Hangzhou harbour. Construction of the 6-lane bridge started in November 2003 and cost a total of around 1.1 billion euros.

… ŠKODA has fond memories of the “China Rally Longyou”? Last year Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) won the “China Rally Longyou”, beating their team-mates Gaurav Gill/Glen Macneall (IND/NZ) and clinching championship victory for ŠKODA in the manufacturers’ standings.

The number of the “China Rally Longyou”: 1, 2, 3

1, 2, 3 – the top three positions in the drivers’ overall standings in the APRC are all taken by ŠKODA drivers. The new champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) leads ahead of the dethroned defending champion Gaurav Gill. Both drivers drive for the works-supported team ŠKODA MRF. Third-placed Jun Xu from China also owes his success to a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.


FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), Manufacturers’ Championship standings after five of six rounds:

1. ŠKODA, 192 points (making them APRC champion*); 2. Mitsubishi, 94; 3. Subaru 82; 4. Proton, 72; 5. Renault, 45


FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), Drivers’ Championship standings after five of six rounds:

1. Jan Kopecký, 151 (making him APRC champion*); 2. Gaurav Gill, 104; 3. Jun Xu 97; 4. Mark Pedder, 90; 5. Michael Young, 88


APRC Calendar 2014:

11–13 April: Rally Whangarei – New Zealand
16–18 May: Rally New Caledonia – New Caledonia
20–22 June: Rally Queensland – Australia
15–17 August: Rally Malaysia – Malaysia
26–28 September: Rally Hokkaido – Japan
7–9 November: China Rally Longyou – China
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Novembar 07, 2014, 11:32:24 posle podne
ŠKODA driver Lappi is European Rally Champion*

​› Lappi new ERC champion* ahead of his brand colleague Sepp Wiegand
› “Biggest success of my career”
› Third ERC title win in a row with the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000
› Four national championship titles already, as well as drivers’, co-drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) for ŠKODA in 2014

Rally Corsica 2014 Rally Corsica 2014 Rally Corsica 2014 Rally Corsica 2014 Rally Corsica 2014
​Porto Vecchio, 7 November 2014 – ŠKODA has secured the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) title* for the third time in a row. Despite Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) being unable to finish the season finale on Corsica, the works drivers are the champions of the drivers’ and co-drivers’ standings. Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) also have reason to celebrate; coming second in the overall standings they clinched ŠKODA’s one-two victory in the continental championship.

​“It’s the biggest success of my career. My thanks go to the entire ŠKODA Motorsport team and my co-driver Janne – they all did a fantastic job,” said Lappi. As European Champion, the 23-year-old follows in the footsteps of his ŠKODA brand colleagues Jan Kopecký (CZ/2013) and Juho Hänninen (FIN/2012), who won the title in the successful Fabia Super 2000 model in the two previous years. Lappi earned the victory with his three wins at the ERC rallies in Latvia, Northern Ireland and Switzerland.

The Finn was unable to complete the tradition-steeped “Tour de Corse” after he came off the track on the final special stage of the first day. The successful duo escaped without injury. At the point at which they retired, Lappi was in a promising third place. “We were doing well at this rally, but then I misjudged a bend. I feel bad for the team,” said Lappi.

The major problem at the classic rally was that the drivers who started first flung mud from the edge of the track onto the asphalt. The drivers who started later – Lappi was fourth to take to the track – had to battle with this. This was made worse by the fact that the track was slippery and wet at times, despite the sun shining. Unpredictable conditions with consequences for Esapekka Lappi. The Finn won’t start the second day of the “Tour de Corse”.

Nevertheless, ŠKODA’s one-two victory in the ERC is certain: With 162 points Lappi won the title ahead of his brand colleague Wiegand (128), who got four podium spots in the course of the season. As well as this victory, ŠKODA has also already secured the title hat-trick in the manufacturers’ and drivers’ standings in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)* ahead of the season finale at the weekend in China, ŠKODA’s most important market. ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký is the new champion, ahead of his team-mate Gaurav Gill (IND), who won the championship last year. Last year’s European Champion Kopecký is the first rally driver to have won the ERC and then the APRC in two consecutive years.

The high-tech four-wheel drive from Mladá Boleslav has also won the championship title in four national rally championships. Belgium's rally old hand “Fast” Freddy Loix, who won the FIA European Rally Championship race in his home country in the Fabia Super 2000 in June, won the Belgian championship title. Before that, Pedro Meireles (P), supported by ŠKODA Portugal, won the championship in Portugal. Old hand Raimund Baumschlager (A) also won his twelfth rally championship title overall in Austria in the Fabia Super 2000. On top of that, Poles Grzegorz Grzyb/Robert Hundla won the championship in Slovakia.

* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA.

Number of the day: 7

There is seven hours time difference between Corsica and the east coast of China. Which is where the season finale of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) will be held on Saturday and Sunday at the “China Rally Longyou”. And there’s another reason to celebrate: going into the rally, ŠKODA is already champion in the manufacturers’ standings for the third time in a row.



“Tour de Corse” – intermediate results after day 1

1. Sarrazin/Renucci (F/F), Ford Fiesta RRC                1h 22m 05.4s
2. Bouffier/Panseri (F/F), Ford Fiesta RRC                + 1.7s
3. Abbring/Marshall (NL/GB), Peugeot 208 T16 R5            + 38.3s
4. Camilli/Veillas (F/F), Peugeot 207 S2000                + 1m 11.0s
5. Maurin/Klinger (F/F), Ford Fiesta R5                    + 2m 14.2s
6. Dumas/Giraudet (F/F), Porsche 997 GT3                + 2m 26.9s
7. B. Magalhães/C. Magalhães (PT/PT), Peugeot 208 T16 R5        + 2m 58.7s
8. Tarabus/Trunkát (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000        + 3m 42.4s
9. Leandri/Gordon (F/F), Ford Fiesta R5                + 4m 20.8s
10. Cronin/Clarke (IRL/GB), Subaru Impreza                + 6m 30.2s
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Novembar 09, 2014, 10:51:02 pre podne
Success for ŠKODA in China: Kopecký puts finishing touch to an outstanding season

› Triumph in the “China Rally Longyou” gives ŠKODA six wins in the six events of the APRC season
› Fabia Super 2000 is the fastest and most reliable car
› Title hat-trick for ŠKODA in the manufacturers’ and drivers’ standings* in the APRC
› Titles also won in the ERC* and four national championships for the Fabia Super 2000

Longyou, China, 9 November 2014 – It’s a day of celebration for ŠKODA: the driving duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) have put the icing on the cake of an outstanding season with a win at the final event in China. By winning the “China Rally Longyou”, the Czech automobile manufacturer concludes the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with a perfect track record of six wins in six races. ŠKODA has therefore completed a title hat-trick in the manufacturers’ and drivers’ standings with its successful Fabia Super 2000. It’s the perfect finishing touch to a successful season: Esapekka Lappi (FIN) secured the drivers’ title for ŠKODA in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) for the third consecutive year and the Czech company has also notched up four national championship wins with the Fabia Super 2000.

“It’s the perfect end to the season for ŠKODA! Once again, we have shown everyone what a highly competitive and successful racing car our engineers have been able to develop with the Fabia Super 2000. We can celebrate title wins in what are the most important championships for us, the ERC and the APRC. And then there are our four national championship wins too. I think the results speak for themselves. I would like to thank all the drivers and the entire ŠKODA racing team for an outstanding year,” commented ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “It’s fantastic that we have been able to attract attention to ŠKODA yet again at the end of the season – especially as it’s in our most important market around the world, China. Our cars delighted thousands of fans here.”

Kopecký comfortably scored his fourth victory of the season in spite of rain and very challenging track conditions on gravel and concrete, to add to his previous wins in New Caledonia, Australia and Japan in his premiere APRC season. His teammates Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/NZ) drove the factory-backed ŠKODA MRF team to victory in the other two APRC rallies in New Zealand and Malaysia.
Kopecký scored the third drivers’ championship win in a row for ŠKODA in the APRC, following on from Chris Atkinson (AUS) in 2012 and Gaurav Gill in 2013. In addition, the 32-year-old is the first ever driver to have won the drivers’ championship title in both the ERC and the APRC in consecutive years. Pavel Dresler picked up the co-drivers’ title.

“This is obviously a huge success for us. We all knew the APRC would be a tough championship, but it was even harder than we had expected. The championship title therefore means all the more to us! I would like to thank the guys in the team and also my co-driver Pavel Dresler, without whom I would have been lost on the new tracks in these far-flung places,” Kopecký commented. His teammate Gaurav Gill, who was unable to finish the rally due to suspension damage, congratulated his successor as the APRC champion: “It was a tough duel, and Jan deserves the title. Obviously, I would have liked to have won in China, but I’m delighted to have been able to play a part in ŠKODA’s success this year.” With the final event of the season all wrapped up, the two ŠKODA duos will now go on an advertising tour in Shanghai, in the brand’s key global market of China.

In addition to its title hat-trick in the APRC’s manufacturer and driver standings, ŠKODA had cause to celebrate on the other side of the world this weekend too, with its driver duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) picking up the drivers’ and co-drivers’ championship titles in the ERC. This therefore means that a ŠKODA driver was crowned the European champion for the third time in a row at the end of the season final in Corsica on Saturday. The high-tech four-wheel drive vehicle from Mladá Boleslav also clinched title wins in four national rally championships.

The experienced Belgian rally driver ‘Fast’ Freddy Loix won the Belgian championship title. Before this, Pedro Meireles (P) won the championship in Portugal with the support of ŠKODA Portugal. Also, the old hand Raimund Baumschlager (A) picked up his twelfth rally championship title in Austria in the Fabia Super 2000. And the two Poles Grzegorz Grzyb/Robert Hundla walked away with the championship title in Slovakia.
* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA.

The number of the “China Rally Longyou”: 11

There were 13 special stages in the final event of the season – and a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 was at the top of the fastest times list on eleven occasions. The new champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler drove the fastest times in nine of the special stages, while their teammates Gill/Macneall were slightly faster in two of the stages.

APRC Calendar 2014:

11–13 April: Rally Whangarei – New Zealand
16–18 May: Rally New Caledonia – New Caledonia
20–22 June: Rally Queensland – Australia
15–17 August: Rally Malaysia – Malaysia
26–28 September: Rally Hokkaido – Japan
7–9 November: China Rally Longyou – China
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Novembar 21, 2014, 06:48:53 posle podne
The new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 thrills users on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter with its zebra look

› Great interest in ŠKODA’s next rally car
› Facebook posts showing camouflaged car achieve record number of clicks
› Concept car at the Essen Motor Show from 29 November
› Making-of video released on Friday

​Mladá Boleslav, 21 November 2014 – ŠKODA’s new rally car has been thrilling the public around the world on social media channels. The posts showing videos and images of the Fabia R 5 in its ‘camouflaged’ zebra look have achieved record figures on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. A concept car of the high-tech model developed in Mladá Boleslav will be presented to the public for the first time at the Essen Motor Show from 29 November to 7 December.
​ŠKODA has been releasing the first images and videos of the new Fabia R 5 in the social media since mid-October.

They have prompted an impressive reaction from users: in the months September to November, three posts regarding the new rally car have made it to the top of the list of articles on the ŠKODA Motorsport Facebook page that have enjoyed the greatest coverage. The posts about the new Fabia R 5 have been up to ten times more popular than other articles. On ŠKODA’s global Facebook account, the latest film about the Fabia R 5 alone has so far reached almost 1.5 million users, with over 50,000 fans having watched the video on YouTube.

“The interest in the ŠKODA Fabia R 5 is huge. The concept of viral marketing via social media channels has been a total success,” said Stefan Büscher, Head of ŠKODA Marketing. “Rally fans are not the only ones discussing ŠKODA’s new rally car – it is also arousing positive emotions towards the ŠKODA brand among the general public.”

A short film with spectacular images taken in an underground garage, which alludes to the launch of the Fabia R 5 Concept Car at the Essen Motor Show, has proven to be particularly popular. The car in the film is driven by Asia-Pacific Rally Champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) who is part of the test team, which also includes European Champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN), experienced rally driver “Fast” Freddy Loix (B) and multiple Austrian champion Raimund Baumschlager.

“We are well on schedule with the challenging R 5 project, which began in January 2014. The goal remains to have the car homologated by mid-2015 at the latest,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. That is when the Fabia R 5 is also expected to make its rally debut. As well as the sporty exterior, the new Fabia R 5 also features a lot of high-tech. In keeping with FIA regulations, the new racing car is powered by a 1.6-litre turbo engine. This is a big change compared to the two-litre induction engine used in the Fabia Super 2000. The new car also features a sequential, five-speed gearbox and McPherson struts. The weight will, in accordance with the regulations, be no lower than 1230 kilograms.

There is enormous interest in ŠKODA’s new rally hope: during the viral marketing campaigns for the new Fabia R 5, the number of ‘likes’ received on the ŠKODA Motorsport Facebook page shot up by 40,000 to 217,000. A similarly positive development has been witnessed on Twitter, where the number of followers has risen to over 6000 on the back of the social media communication regarding the new rally car. As well as the sporty appearance of the new Fabia R 5, the camouflage look with black and white zebra stripes has also gone down particularly well with the public.

ŠKODA released new material on its new hope this Friday. The fourth video of the new Fabia R 5 will provide an exclusive look into the making-of a film made for the car’s first outing at the Essen Motor Show. The captivating footage was filmed in an underground car park in Prague.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Novembar 26, 2014, 01:13:22 posle podne

Pure emotion: ŠKODA at the Essen Motor Show
26.11.2014 | category: Events

​› World premiere: ŠKODA displays concept of its new rally car, the Fabia R 5
› German premiere for the new ŠKODA Fabia Combi
› Punchy: special Monte Carlo edition of the Rapid Spaceback, Yeti and Citigo
› ŠKODA Octavia RS and ŠKODA show cars: Yeti Xtreme, CitiJet and Rapid Spaceback Red & Grey Collection
› ŠKODA in Essen: sporty presence over 2,000 m² in Hall 3.0

​Mladá Boleslav, 26 November 2014 – Czech automobile manufacturer ŠKODA will treat visitors to this year’s Essen Motor Show with a presence packed with emotion. The highlight is an opportunity to see the concept version of the new rally car, the ŠKODA Fabia R 5, for the first time. The new ŠKODA Fabia Combi, will be making its first public appearance in Germany. ŠKODA will also be exhibiting the Octavia RS, the fastest production Octavia ever. As if that were not enough, visitors can also marvel at the sporty Monte Carlo special editions of the ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback, ŠKODA Yeti and ŠKODA Citigo, as well as the meaty show cars – the ŠKODA Yeti Xtreme, ŠKODA CitiJet and ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback Red & Grey Collection.

​The Essen Motor Show is the largest trade fair for tuning, motorsport and sporty production vehicles in Germany. It takes place from 29 November to 7 December 2014.

“ŠKODA plans to continue growing over the coming years with new models, focusing both on functional aspects and emotion,” says Dr. Frank Welsch, ŠKODA Board Member for Technical Development. “Our vehicles in Essen underpin this claim. One particular highlight is the ŠKODA Fabia R 5 Concept Car, which gives a first insight into our new rally car. The concept is based on the new ŠKODA Fabia, which demonstrates more emotion than ever before, in both the hatchback and estate versions,” said Welsch.

“The world premiere of the Fabia R 5 Concept Car gives an insight into the future of rallying at ŠKODA,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “The Fabia R 5 is scheduled to be homologated by mid-2015.” The new Fabia R 5 features a lot of high-tech. In keeping with FIA regulations, the new racing car is powered by a 1.6-litre turbo engine. The new car also features a sequential, five-speed gearbox and McPherson struts. The weight will, in accordance with the regulations, be at least 1230 kilograms. A number of top ŠKODA drivers were also involved in the development of the new Fabia R 5.

Customer racing teams have already shown huge interest in the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5. No wonder: after all, its predecessor, the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, has all but guaranteed its teams and drivers titles. The 2014 rally season, which has just drawn to an end, saw ŠKODA and the Fabia Super 2000 achieve a hat-trick of titles* in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). On top of this, ŠKODA also won the Drivers’ title in the FIA European Rally Championship and a further five national championships. These and the huge amount of success already achieved in previous years make the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 project, which was launched in 2009, the most successful project in the company’s motorsport history, which now spans 113 years.

The new ŠKODA Fabia is also set to catch the eye in Essen. Launched for the first time in Paris just two months ago, the compact car is making its first appearance in Germany in the combi version. “The new Fabia is simply more car in every regard, featuring expressive design, innovative technology and high functionality,” said Dr. Welsch.

As the brand’s first ever production model, the compact car, which was developed from scratch, shows the evolution of the ŠKODA design into a distinctive, punchy design. The far more angular appearance of the hatchback and combi features crystalline forms, sharp lines and balanced, tight proportions. At the same time, the new model also impresses with innovative safety, comfort and infotainment systems, making it more environmentally-friendly than ever before. It also boasts the generous space that is so typical of ŠKODA vehicles – including the largest boot in the compact car class – and high functionality, with up to 19 practical, ‘simply clever’ solutions.

Other sporty ŠKODA models on display in Essen underline the brand’s sporty credentials. With a top speed of 248 km/h, the ŠKODA Octavia RS is the fastest production Octavia of all time. The new Monte Carlo special editions of the Citigo, Yeti and Rapid Spaceback ŠKODA models also boast sporty, individual design and comprehensive standard equipment at excellent value for money.

Three exciting studies complete the Czech manufacturer’s presence at the Essen Motor Show. The ŠKODA Yeti Xtreme show car is a pumped-up compact SUV with rally ambitions and state-of-the-art technology. Design highlights: matt-grey paint, 17-inch alloys, dark discs, big bumper, LED headlights, striking mudguards, powerful rocker panels and rear bumper, and broad tailpipes on the dual exhaust. Furthermore, the interior also draws inspiration from ŠKODA’s rally background.

A dynamic city convertible based on the ŠKODA Citigo, the ŠKODA CitiJet features a striking metallic paintwork in blue/white and racy, blue 16-inch alloy wheels, hand-made rear spoiler and a powerful exhaust with two tailpipes. The interior is based on the interior of the ŠKODA Citigo SPORT special edition. Also on board: a special 300-watt sound system and blue LED interior lighting that reacts to the music. Finally, the ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback Red & Grey is a sporty edition of the manufacturer’s first compact hatchback model.

* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Decembar 06, 2014, 08:16:54 posle podne
FIA honours ŠKODA rally champions for their victories in the ERC and APRC

› Hat-trick of Drivers’ titles in both the APRC and the ERC: Asia-Pacific champions Kopecký/Dresler and European champions Lappi/Ferm receive their trophies
› ŠKODA also recognised for third Manufacturers’ title in a row in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship
› Development of the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 in full swing

​Doha, 6 December 2014 – A big day for the ŠKODA Motorsport team: the Czech automobile manufacturer’s drivers have been crowned Asia-Pacific and European rally champions for the third time in a row by the International Automobile Federation (FIA). As well as the trophies, ŠKODA also received plenty of recognition from the elite of the motorsport world, who had gathered in the Qatari capital Doha for the official award ceremony for the 2014 season.

The Fabia Super 2000 also became the most successful model in ŠKODA’s 113-year motorsport history.
​“We can be proud of the success we achieved with our Fabia Super 2000 last year. And the entire ŠKODA Motorsport team once again did a great job,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “A big thank you obviously goes to our crews, for whom the trophies are just reward for an outstanding season,” Hrabánek continued.

In the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), ŠKODA was honoured for completing a hat-trick of back-to-back titles in the Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ Championships following a perfect season, with six wins from six races. New champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) also achieved a feat worthy of champions: they became the first duo ever to win the Drivers’ titles in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) and then the APRC in consecutive years. Chris Atkinson (AUS) had previously won the APRC Drivers’ title in 2012, while Gaurav Gill (IND), who finished third this year, was crowned champion in 2013.

A team in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 also won the title in the ERC for the third year in a row, this time courtesy of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN). Fellow ŠKODA duo Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) of the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team finished runner-up in the continental championship to complete a one-two for ŠKODA. Lappi followed in the footsteps of his compatriot Juho Hänninen (2012) and Kopecký (2013), who also won the European title in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.

FIA President Jean Todt presented this year’s title winners Kopecký/Dresler and Lappi/Ferm with their trophies at an award ceremony in Doha. Also among those receiving trophies were Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia. The French pair won the World Rally Championship for Volkswagen for a second year running in 2014. “Congratulations to Volkswagen on their successful title defence. That was a very strong team performance,” said Hrabánek.

The high-tech, four-wheel drive Fabia Super 2000 from Mladá Boleslav once again yielded a good crop of titles. The title went to a crew in a Fabia Super 2000 in no fewer than five national rally championships. The experienced “Fast” Freddy Loix secured the Belgian title, while Pedro Meireles (P), who is supported by ŠKODA Portugal, won the Portuguese championship. Old hand Raimund Baumschlager (A), at the wheel of a Fabia Super 2000, also won his twelfth national rally title in Austria. In Slovakia, it was Poland’s Grzegorz Grzyb/Robert Hundla who ended the season at the top of the standings, while Marouf Abu Samra successfully defended his title in Jordan.

This shower of titles was a fitting end to the incredible success story of the Fabia Super 2000 at ŠKODA Motorsport. From 2015, the ŠKODA Fabia R 5 will follow in the footsteps of the most successful rally car in the company’s 113-year motorsport history. The international public is currently enjoying a preview of ŠKODA’s new rally car at the Essen Motor Show, in the form of an R 5 concept car. “The Fabia R 5 is the future of rallying for us,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “The Fabia R 5 is expected to be homologated by mid-2015.”
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Februar 16, 2015, 02:40:03 posle podne
ŠKODA Fabia R 5: Development of the new rally car on schedule

​› Asia-Pacific champion Kopecký and European champion Lappi test in Italy and the Czech Republic
› Kopecký: “We are definitely on the right track”
› Fabia R 5 charged with continuing the company’s 114-year motorsport history

​Mladá Boleslav, 16 February 2014 – The development of ŠKODA’s eagerly awaited new rally car is going to plan. Asia-Pacific champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) and European champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) put the Fabia R 5 through its paces on a wide range of surfaces and weather conditions during a series of comprehensive tests last week. As the successor to the successful Fabia Super 2000, the R 5 is charged with writing the next chapter in the company’s 114-year motorsport success story.

​“We tested the new Fabia R 5 on asphalt and recently on gravel. The new car feels very good on all the surfaces. We are definitely on the right track,” said a happy Kopecký. The experienced 33-year-old took turns with Esapekka Lappi in Italy at the end of January. Finland’s European champion was also impressed with his outings in ŠKODA’s new rally car, which was still sporting its camouflaged ‘zebra’ look: “I think the Fabia R 5 will continue the success story of ŠKODA in motorsport.”

The tests with the Fabia R 5 will continue throughout Europe in the next weeks. Veteran rally driver Freddy Loix (B) and Austria’s multiple champion Raimund Baumschlager are also among the team of drivers giving important input throughout the development of the new car. Customer rally teams are not the only ones showing huge interest in the Fabia R 5, which is being developed based on the new production model of the Fabia. The world premiere of the concept car also caused quite a stir among the public at the Essen Motor Show at the end of November.

The Fabia R 5 features the very latest technology. The new racing car will be equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine, in accordance with FIA regulations. This is a big change compared to the two-litre, petrol induction engine in the Fabia Super 2000. The new car is also fitted with a five-speed sequential gearbox and McPherson struts. The weight will be at least 1,230 kilograms, as stipulated in the regulations. The new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 will make its race debut once it has successfully been homologated by the International Automobile Federation FIA. ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek: “We want to have the new Fabia R 5 approved by mid-2015 and are right on schedule to achieve this.”
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Februar 25, 2015, 01:53:37 posle podne
The new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 excites experienced rally driver Jan Kopecký

​› ŠKODA presses ahead with the development of the Fabia R 5
› Works driver Kopecký to test the car throughout Europe in coming weeks
› Kopecký: “We will produce another top-class rally car”

​Mladá Boleslav, 25 February 2015 – Even experienced rally driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) is excited about the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5. After his historic double in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) and the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), assisting with the development of the new rally car is a new challenge for the 33-year-old from the Czech Republic. SKODA works driver Kopecký and his co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) are important members of ŠKODA Motorsport’s test team.

​“At ŠKODA, a lot of engineers from a wide range of different countries are working perfectly together in a very good team. I am confident that our guys will produce another top-class rally car. My experience of the new Fabia R 5 is definitely very positive so far,” said Kopecký. The Czech driver spent the period around his 33rd birthday on 28th January testing ŠKODA’s latest rally hopeful on various different surfaces. More tests at the wheel of the new Fabia R 5 are planned throughout Europe for the coming days and weeks.

In compliance with FIA regulations, the new racing car is equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine. Kopecký is impressed by the four-wheel drive car’s powerful acceleration: “It is great fun to drive this completely new car, with its powerful turbo engine. You obviously have to adapt your driving style, because it is quite a switch from the two-litre induction engine in the Fabia Super 2000.” The Fabia Super 2000 is the most successful rally car in ŠKODA’s 114-year motorsport history and has helped Kopecký to his historic triumphs.

Kopecký backed up his European title in 2013 by winning the continental championship in the Asia-Pacific region the following year. “Those were two fantastic years. The highlight was undoubtedly 2014, when we were able to gain valuable experience on gravel between Australia and China.” Competing in the key ŠKODA market of China, Kopecký/Dresler improved the Czech car manufacturer’s flawless record to six wins from six rallies and completed a hat-trick of titles for ŠKODA in the process.

Jan Kopecký’s plans for the first half of this year focus on developing the new Fabia R 5. The rally car, which is based on the new production model of the Fabia, is already generating a huge amount of interest from customers. The homologation of the ŠKODA Fabia R 5 by the International Automobile Federation FIA is planned for mid-2015. Kopecký, who made his debut for the ŠKODA Motorsport team over a decade ago, is already looking forward to the new, homologated car: “The new Fabia R 5 has everything it needs to continue the success story of ŠKODA in motorsport.”
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Mart 27, 2015, 12:06:30 pre podne
Spectacular coup: exceptional talent Tidemand bolsters the ŠKODA Motorsport team

​› Pontus Tidemand (S) to line up for the ŠKODA Motorsport team in the future
› He and co-driver Emil Axelsson (S) to compete in the APRC
› New duo to make its works debut for ŠKODA at the Rally New Zealand

​Mladá Boleslav, 26 March 2015 – ŠKODA Motorsport has pulled off a spectacular coup: the exceptionally talented rally driver Pontus Tidemand (S) has signed a contract with the Czech car manufacturer. The former Junior World Rally Champion will drive a ŠKODA in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). Tidemand and co-driver Emil Axelsson (S) will make their debut for the ŠKODA works team at the opening round of the APRC in New Zealand from 17th to 19th April.

​“Our team already boasts the Asia-Pacific champion Jan Kopecký and European champion Esapekka Lappi, who have performed impressively in recent years. To ensure we are even better positioned to succeed in the future, we have now added another very talented duo, in the form of Pontus Tidemand and Emil Axelsson,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

24-year-old Tidemand has already emphatically demonstrated his ability over the course of his still fledgling career. After success on the karting scene, he was crowned the youngest ever Swedish Rally Champion in 2011. In 2013 he claimed the title of Junior World Rally Champion, before catching the eye with a number of spectacular outings in the FIA World Rallycross Championship and WRC 2 last year. Tidemand and navigator Emil Axelsson tasted success on numerous occasions, including a class victory at the ADAC Rally Germany.

In signing for ŠKODA Motorsport, Tidemand is now taking the next step on the career ladder. “I am looking forward to the new challenge. I am proud that my name is now on the list of ŠKODA drivers – at one of the most successful manufacturers in rallying,” said Tidemand.

“We will do our utmost to be in contention for podiums and victories as soon as possible,” said experienced co-driver Axelsson (31). The duo already has experience with ŠKODA rally cars: in 2014, they won the Rally Finnskog in Norway in a Fabia Super 2000. They now line up at the opening round of the APRC in New Zealand in the very same model of car.

“We firmly believe in the extraordinary qualities of Pontus Tidemand and Emil Axelsson,” said Hrabánek: “We plan to have our team running the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 in the APRC by the end of the year – after all, the season finale takes place in our most important market, China.”
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 08, 2015, 02:57:19 posle podne
Milestone for ŠKODA: International Automobile Federation FIA gives green light to new Fabia R 5

​› International Automobile Federation FIA homologates ŠKODA’s new rally car
› Welsch: “Now we can prove just how good our new rally car is”
› Successful Fabia production model forms basis for new rally car

​Mladá Boleslav, 8 April 2015 – Milestone for ŠKODA: the highest authority in motorsport, the International Automobile Federation FIA, has given the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 the green light. Following its successful homologation, the new rally car can now continue the Czech automobile manufacturer’s 114-year motorsport success story on the rally routes of this world. The Fabia R 5 is based on ŠKODA’s new production Fabia and is the successor to the Fabia Super 2000, which went down in history as the most successful rally car in the history of ŠKODA Motorsport.

​“We are delighted that the International Automobile Federation FIA has given us the green light. Now we can prove just how good our new rally car is in the race series,” said ŠKODA Board Member for Development Dr. Frank Welsch. “When working on the third generation production Fabia, which enjoyed an extremely successful start, we incorporated some of the genes from our rally cars and developed the most emotional Fabia ever. Conversely, the production model now formed the basis for the new Fabia R 5.”

ŠKODA’s new rally car is pure high-tech. In compliance with FIA regulations, the ŠKODA Fabia R 5 is equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine. That is a considerable change from the two-litre induction engine in the Fabia Super 2000. Furthermore, the new four-wheel drive car also features a five-speed sequential gearbox and McPherson struts. The weight of the car is at least 1,230 kilograms, as stipulated in the regulations. Since the start of the project, ŠKODA Motorsport has invested 15 months of intense development work to fine-tune the car and ensure that the ultra-modern components interact perfectly.

The homologation process is a long and complex procedure, which requires close cooperation with the International Automobile Federation FIA and is made up of several parts. In recent months, the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 has been subjected to a comprehensive approval process, which has now ended successfully with the approval from the FIA. “We are happy that we now have the homologation from the International Automobile Federation FIA under our belt,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “The development of our new rally hope was a tiring process and a major challenge for the entire team at ŠKODA Motorsport, to whom I would like to say a big thank you.”

Top drivers such as Asia-Pacific champion Jan Kopecký (CZ), European champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN), rally legend “Fast” Freddy Loix (B) and multiple Austrian champion Raimund Baumschlager (AT) provided valuable input during the development of the new rally car. In the run up to the homologation, about 10,000 kilometres of testing were completed on a wide range of roads and conditions, including in the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Greece, Spain and Finland. Whether in icy cold or bright sunshine, on asphalt, gravel or snow – the ŠKODA Fabia R 5 successfully passed every test.

There is already great interest in the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 from customer teams. After all, the successor – the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 – was a guarantee of titles. In the 2014 rally season, ŠKODA completed a hat-trick of titles in the Drivers’ and Manufacturer championships in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), while the champion in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) was a ŠKODA works driver for the third time in a row. The list of success achieved last year also includes five national titles. With a total of almost 50 international and national titles in six years, the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, which made its first appearance in 2009, is the most successful project in the company’s 114-year motorsport history.

ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek: “With the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5, we want to follow on from the success we have enjoyed in recent years with speed and reliability on the rally routes of this world. Following the successful homologation, we can now initiate the next phase of the Fabia R 5 project.”
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 15, 2015, 03:30:12 posle podne

The new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 – Press Kit

​› Appearance in WRC 2 and the Czech championship for new rally car – scheduled to contest the APRC during the season
› New to the ŠKODA works team: super talent Pontus Tidemand and Emil Axelsson
› Asia-Pacific Champion Jan Kopecký and European Champion Esapekka Lappi to drive for the Czech car manufacturer once again

​Mladá Boleslav, 15 April 2015 – Green light: the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 celebrates its debut on the world's rally tracks. ŠKODA Motorsport will contest three elite rally championships this year. Fans can see the new high-tech four-wheel drive Fabia R 5 in action in the WRC 2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and the Czech Rally Championship (MČR). The new car hoping for victories will also contest the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) during the course of the season. New recruited Swedish super talent Pontus Tidemand will represent ŠKODA in the prestigious championship, with the final being held in the core market of China. Asia-Pacific Champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) and European Champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) will also take the wheel for the ŠKODA Motorsport works team – now in the new Fabia R 5.


​"We are delighted that the International Automobile Federation, the FIA, homologated our new ŠKODA Fabia R 5. Now we want to see how competitive our new rally car is," said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. He is hoping that the new Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) team will be a breath of fresh air: "We already have the Asia-Pacific champion and the European champion driving for us, who have both delivered strong performances over the past few years. In Pontus Tidemand and Emil Axelsson we have added another very talented duo to ensure we have an even better standing for the future."

Former Junior World Rally Champion Tidemand and his co-driver will contest the APRC for ŠKODA. His season gets underway with the rally in New Zealand from 17 to 19 April - initially in the Fabia Super 2000. Jan Kopecký's victory in ŠKODA's core market of China clinched the title hat trick in the APRC in the Fabia Super 2000 for the Czech car manufacturer last year. "I am really looking forward to the new challenge. I am proud that my name has been added to the list of drivers for a brand as successful as ŠKODA," said 24-year-old Tidemand, regarded as one of the most talented rally drivers in Europe.

Esapekka Lappi, who is the same age, achieved something sensational when he won the European title in 2014. Alongside his co-driver Janne Ferm, this year he will compete with the world's elite in selected races in the WRC 2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship. ŠKODA Motorsport makes its return to the WRC at the Rally Portugal from 21 to 24 May in the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5, after a break of almost two years.

"We can't wait for our first race in the new Fabia R 5. We are excited about the new car, it's something really special," said Lappi. "We are delighted to return to the WRC top tier." Also in the new rally car, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler will primarily compete in the Czech Rally Championship, which gets underway with the Rally Šumava Klatovy on 24/25 April.

"I am delighted that we are able to show off the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 and what it's capable of to the fans in our home country," said Kopecký. Like Pontus Tidemand, he will also make selected appearances in the WRC 2 during the course of the season. The rally old hand believes that the Fabia R 5 will be an instant success: "We have tested the new car extensively. I am convinced that our team of many international engineers has done a great job."

After an extensive inspection, the highest authority in motorsport, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) gave the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 the green light on 1 April. The Fabia R 5 is based on ŠKODA's spectacular new production Fabia and is the successor of the Fabia Super 2000, which went down as the most successful rally car in the 114 years of ŠKODA Motorsport's history. The Fabia Super 2000 has picked up almost 50 national and international titles in total since 2009, in part due to the successful customer programme.

The new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 is to continue the success story. The new high-tech construction is fitted with a 1.6 litre turbo engine, as stipulated by the FIA regulations. That is a significant difference to the two-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine of the Fabia Super 2000. The new car with four-wheel drive also makes use of a sequential five-speed transmission and McPherson struts. As stipulated by the regulations, the car weighs at least 1,230 kilogrammes. To ensure that everything fits together perfectly, the ŠKODA Motorsport team has invested 15 months in intensive development since the start of the project. The aim is the reward on the rally tracks around the world.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 22, 2015, 11:00:58 pre podne

Stage set: New ŠKODA Fabia R5 to celebrate world rally debut in the Czech Republic


​› Debut: Jan Kopecký to drive the new rally car at the opening round of the Czech Rally Championship
› Hrabánek: “Pleased to be able to test the Fabia R5 at a rally”
› New racing car to see action in the WRC 2, APRC and Czech Rally Championship this season

​Mladá Boleslav, 22 April 2015 – The brand new ŠKODA Fabia R5 will make its debut on the international rally stage at the home of the manufacturer in the Czech Republic. Reigning Asia-Pacific champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) will be at the wheel of the new racing car at the 50th anniversary of the Rally Šumava Klatovy. The works team’s green, white and black powerhouse is charged with continuing ŠKODA’s successful 114-year history on the motorsport scene.

​“We are delighted to now be able to test our new ŠKODA Fabia R5 at an actual rally, following the successful homologation by the International Automobile Federation FIA. It is obviously particularly symbolic that our first outing will be in the brand’s back yard in the Czech Republic,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. The plan for this year is to test the competitiveness of the new rally car around the world, starting with the opening race of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR).

ŠKODA Motorsport will field the high-tech four-wheel drive car in the WRC 2 category at selected rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), as well as in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). However, the focus is first on the car’s debut in ŠKODA’s native Czech Republic.

Appropriately, the cockpit will also be occupied by a Czech duo when the car makes its debut: experienced rally driver and reigning APRC champion Jan Kopecký and his co-driver Pavel Dresler will take control of the car, which is powered by the new 1.6-litre turbo engine, at the Rally Šumava Klatovy. “We are obviously very proud to be the ones to herald the next chapter in ŠKODA’s rallying success story,” said Kopecký, who won the rally back in 2012. The 50th anniversary of the event features twelve demanding special stages, consisting of 150.71 kilometres against the clock. Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler will start all six rounds of the Czech Rally Championship in ŠKODA’s new rally car.


Czech Rally Championship (MČR)

Event                                    Date
Rally Šumava Klatovy            24.04.–25.04.2015
Rally Český Krumlov              22.05.–23.05.2015
Rally Hustopeče                    19.06.–20.06.2015
Rally Bohemia                       10.07.–12.07.2015
Barum Czech Rally Zlín          28.08.–30.08.2015
Rally Příbram                         02.10.–04.10.2015


Did you know …

… the ŠKODA Fabia R5 was officially presented for the first time on 15th April? Around 50 international journalists slipped into the passenger seat at the test track in Bělá pod Bezdězem, about 20 km from the ŠKODA headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. The media experts were put through their paces as Jan Kopecký and Esapekka Lappi took them on a series of wild rides.

… the engine for the ŠKODA Fabia R5 was developed from scratch? The 1.6-litre turbo engine is a big change compared to the two-litre naturally-aspirated engine used in the Fabia Super 2000. The development process took advantage of synergies within the Volkswagen group – after all, Volkswagen has won the World Rally Championship for the last two years and once again holds a commanding lead in the series this year.

… the software in the new cars comes from Magneti Marelli? However, it was adapted by ŠKODA to meet its own requirements.

… there is huge interest in the new rally car among customer teams? Over 100 enquiries have already been received in Mladá Boleslav, with at least 15 ŠKODA Fabia R5 scheduled to be delivered this year.


The number for the “Rally Šumava Klatovy”: 2012

ŠKODA’s last win at the Rally Šumava Klatovy came back in 2012. Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler finished at the head of a ŠKODA Motorsport one-two-three in the Fabia Super 2000. Roman Kresta (CZ) and Jaromir Tarabus (CZ) finished second and third.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 26, 2015, 12:46:15 pre podne

Perfect start: New ŠKODA Fabia R5 wins on its rally debut

​› Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler triumph with the new rally car at the opening round of the Czech Rally Championship
› Hrabánek: “Delighted to have made such a successful start”
› Faster and more reliable: ŠKODA Fabia R5 impresses thousands of fans on its debut on home soil

​Klatovy, 25th April 2015 – First race, first commanding victory, and the fastest time on eleven of twelve special stages: the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 enjoyed a dazzling rally debut in its native Czech Republic. Asia-Pacific champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) guided the rally car to a dominant victory at the 50th anniversary of the Rally Šumava Klatovy. Thousands of fans cheered on the new car, which proved to be both fast and reliable on its debut.

​“The rally debut of our new ŠKODA Fabia R5 symbolically launched a new chapter of our motorsport tradition in the home of the brand. As such, we are particularly delighted to have made such a successful start. We were very excited, and the debut showed that we are on the right track with the new rally car,” said Michal Hrabánek. However, the ŠKODA Motorsport Director warned against getting carried away: “We do not want to read too much into the first result. The car and the team will have to come through some very different tests at the coming rallies.”

That said, the opening round of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) went like clockwork. The ŠKODA Fabia R5 became one of very few rally cars ever to have won its first official special stage. And there was more success to come: by the end of an impressive display over 150.71 kilometres, Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, in the green, white and black ŠKODA Fabia R5, had opened up a lead of 1:34.6 minutes over Bryan Bouffier. The Frenchman is no slouch, having finished runner-up in the 2013 European Championship – again behind Kopecký in a ŠKODA.

“The first start with our new ŠKODA Fabia R5 could not have gone better. We were obviously a bit tense as, after all the many tests, only an actual race would truly reveal how well the car was running. And it worked perfectly: we are very happy about the win and hope we were able to impress a lot of people with our new Fabia R5,” said debut driver Kopecký, who was even able to try out some different set-ups on his first outing with the new rally car. “We are already really looking forward to the next rallies, as it seems to be a great car.”

The experienced 33-year-old will be back in action at the Rally Český Krumlov, the second round of the Czech Rally Championship, on 22nd and 23rd May. At almost exactly the same time, ŠKODA Motorsport will make its comeback in the WRC 2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) from 21st to 24th May. European champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) and new signing Pontus Tidemand (S) will be at the wheel of the new ŠKODA Fabia R5. Hrabánek: “Running two cars will be another challenge with our new rally car. Before then, we will continue testing. The win puts us in a good position going forward, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us.”


The number for the Rally Šumava Klatovy: 11

Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler won eleven of the twelve special stages as the ŠKODA Fabia R5 made its race debut. Not only did the new car triumph on its very first special stage, but it won the longest stage on the rally by an impressive margin. Kopecký finished over 17 seconds ahead of Bryan Bouffier on both runs of the 25.59-kilometre stage.


Rally Šumava Klatovy – Result

1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5: 1:20:20.9 hrs
2. Bouffier/Moreau (F/F), Citroën DS3 R5: + 1:34.6 min
3. Valoušek/Havelková (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000: + 2:48.9 min
4. Odložilík/Tureček (CZ/CZ), Subaru Impreza WRC: + 2:55.1 min
5. Sýkora/Palivec (CZ/CZ), Ford Fiesta R5: + 2:59.5 min


Czech Rally Championship (MČR)

Event / Date
Rally Šumava Klatovy: 24.04.–25.04.2015
Rally Český Krumlov: 22.05.–23.05.2015
Rally Hustopeče: 19.06.–20.06.2015
Rally Bohemia: 10.07.–12.07.2015
Barum Czech Rally Zlín: 28.08.–30.08.2015
Rally Příbram: 02.10.–04.10.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 18, 2015, 01:41:22 posle podne
Rally Portugal: New ŠKODA Fabia R5 set for its FIA WRC debut

​​› ŠKODA returns to the FIA World Rally Championship at the Rally Portugal
› Two Fabia R5s to line up – at the wheel: European Champion Esapekka Lappi and ŠKODA newcomer Pontus Tidemand
› Hrabánek: “World Rally Championship is a special challenge”

​Mladá Boleslav, 18 May 2015 – The new ŠKODA Fabia R5 enters the international rally stage. Two Fabia R5s will make their debut in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) at the Rally Portugal (21th to 24th May). This marks ŠKODA’s return to the FIA World Rally Championship after a two-year absence. Over the course of the season, the Czech manufacturer will line up at selected WRC 2 races with the Fabia R5.

​The two ŠKODA racing cars will be driven in Portugal by European Rally Champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) and ŠKODA newcomer Pontus Tidemand (S). ŠKODA’s comeback in the pinnacle of rallying will be a tough test for man and machine: 16 special stages must be negotiated, with a total 352.09 kilometres against the clock. Furthermore, the ŠKODA teams will face stiff opposition at the fifth round of the WRC.

“The debut in the FIA World Rally Championship is the next highlight for the new Fabia R5. The entire team is really looking forward to the first outing in WRC 2. The World Championship will be a special challenge for us. Our priority in Portugal is to test the Fabia R5 under the demanding WRC conditions. The rally will really put the car and the team through their paces,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

The new ŠKODA Fabia R5 completed its first official race in April with flying colours. Jan Kopecký (CZ) and Pavel Dresler (CZ) won the opening round of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) – the Rally Šumava Klatovy – on the last weekend in April. However, the car only had to survive half as many kilometres of special stage in the Czech Republic as it now faces in Portugal.

For European Rally Champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN), adrenalin levels are rising every day: “After months of preparation the waiting is finally over. We are hungry for our first race with the Fabia R5. For that to come in the World Championship is fantastic. The start will be a particularly emotional moment for all involved.”

The appearance in WRC 2 sees the works driver, who is set to represent ŠKODA as their regular driver at all the WRC races in Europe, come full circle. Lappi was also involved the last time ŠKODA raced in the FIA World Rally Championship – and in Portugal too. In April 2013, the Finn and his co-driver Janne Ferm (FIN) claimed a superb victory in the WRC 2 category in a Fabia Super 2000. “It would obviously be great if we could immediately follow on where we left off. However, we must first test the new car at the limit. Furthermore, the route is completely new,” said Lappi.

The second Fabia R5 will be driven in Portugal by the FIA Junior World Rally Champion, Pontus Tidemand (S), assisted by co-driver Emil Axelsson (S). “It is fantastic to be able to take the next big step in my career with such a successful manufacturer as ŠKODA. To be able to race in the FIA World Rally Championship with the new Fabia R5 is obviously the icing on the cake,” said Tidemand. Tidemann/Axelsson made their ŠKODA debut in this year’s Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), winning the Rally New Zealand in the Fabia Super 2000. Last weekend the duo reached a second place at the Rally of New Caledonia and defended their lead in the overall ranking of the APRC. Over the course of the season, the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 will also be used in the APRC.

The Fabia R5 will also line up at its next home race this weekend: reigning Asia-Pacific champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) and his co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) will take their place in the cockpit of the new racing car at the second round of this year’s Czech Rally Championship – the Rally Český Krumlov.


FIA World Rally Championship 2 (WRC 2)

Event / Date               
Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany: 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia: 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France: 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain: 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain: 12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 20, 2015, 11:10:03 pre podne

Home race number two for the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 at the Rally Český Krumlov

​› Fabia R5 lines up at the second round of the Czech Rally Championship
› Hrabánek: “Victory at opening round shows we are on the right track”
› New high-tech powerhouse to make its debut in the FIA WRC this weekend

​Mladá Boleslav, 20 May 2015 – Following its superb debut win at the opening round of this year’s Czech Rally Championship (MČR), the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 now lines up at its next home race. Reigning Asia-Pacific champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) and his co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) will once again take their place in the cockpit of the new racing car at the Rally Český Krumlov. The 43rd Rally Český Krumlov will take place on 22nd/23rd May and forms the second round of the MČR.

​The new ŠKODA Fabia R5 enjoyed a stunning start with a commanding victory on its debut at the Rally Šumava Klatovy at the end of April. Thousands of fans cheered on the newly-developed racing car on its impressive first rally outing. The next challenge now awaits the ŠKODA team. ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek: “The debut of the new Fabia R5 could hardly have gone better. We are on the right track.”

Asia-Pacific champion Kopecký cannot wait for the Rally Český Krumlov after the dream debut with the new Fabia R5: “The first race was superb. The Fabia R5 was fast and totally reliable. We are confident that we can be among the front-runners at the Rally Český Krumlov too. We will use the rally to continue to perfect the set-up of the Fabia R5.”

The Asia-Pacific champion has fond memories of the Rally Český Krumlov: Kopecký won here with co-driver Pavel Dresler in 2012. The iconic event starts on Friday in České Budějovice and ends 14 special stages and 161.92 kilometres of asphalt later on Saturday in the historic city of Český Krumlov.

One particular challenge for the ŠKODA works team is that the rally in South Bohemia coincides with the debut of the Fabia R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC2 category. European champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) and the talented Pontus Tidemand (S), who signed for ŠKODA recently, will be at the wheel of the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 in Portugal.

Czech Rally Championship (MČR)

Event/Date
Rally Šumava Klatovy: 24.04.–25.04.2015
Rally Český Krumlov: 22.05.–23.05.2015
Rally Hustopeče: 19.06.–20.06.2015
Rally Bohemia: 10.07.–12.07.2015
Barum Czech Rally Zlín: 28.08.–30.08.2015
Rally Příbram: 02.10.–04.10.2015

Did you know …

… the Rally Český Krumlov is being staged for the 43rd time this weekend? At the inaugural event in 1971, a certain Mr Janouch (CZ) claimed the first of many victories for ŠKODA in the legendary 1100 MB.

… the Rally Český Krumlov is the only Czech rally in the FIA European Rally Trophy? This series comprises 14 races throughout Europe.
 
… sections of the route at the Rally Český Krumlov are run on roads, which are used for skiing in the winter? The “Lipno” stage, which the competitors tackle twice on Saturday, is both the highest and the final stage of the rally.

… the side programme for the Rally Český Krumlov features many different events? Fans can also look forward to rally competitions with vintage cars and cars with alternative power units, a rally legend show, and races with radio-controlled cars.

… the rally service park is located in the České Budějovice exhibition centre? The largest city in South Bohemia, with a population of 93,000, is known around the world as the home of Budweiser beer.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 23, 2015, 08:32:22 posle podne
Home win: Kopecký victorious after thriller in the ŠKODA Fabia R5

​› Twist on the final stage: ŠKODA works driver wins dramatic duel with Václav Pech at the Rally Český Krumlov
› New rally car fast and reliable once again at the second event in the Czech Rally Championship
› Kopecký: "Fantastic battle with a fantastic car"

​Český Krumlov, 23 May 2015 – After a real thriller, Jan Kopecký (CZ) in the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 celebrated his second win at the second event in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR). On the final of 14 special stages at the 43rd edition of the Rally Český Krumlov, the works driver sailed past Václav Pech (CZ) after a dramatic duel at the home event. This saw Kopecký extend his lead at the top of the table. The new ŠKODA Fabia R5 proved to be reliable and fast once again at the rally steeped in tradition in South Bohemia.

​"Congratulations on getting the win at the last minute! The most important thing is that our new ŠKODA Fabia R5 finished a whole rally without any problems once again. With competing in both the Czech Republic and our comeback in the World Rally Championship, this weekend is a real challenge for the whole team," said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

In changeable weather conditions, the fans at the track experienced a thrilling duel on the narrow asphalt tracks of the 169.10 kilometres of special stages. Kopecký and his co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) initially took the lead in the overall standings on day one, before they were slowed down by damage to the rear left tyre on the sixth special stage. The ŠKODA duo lost 22.8 seconds to Václav Pech, who went into the final special stage with an advantage of 10.6 seconds. However, Pech made a mistake on the stage and Kopecký ended up winning with an advantage of 4.7 seconds over his rival.

"It's fantastic to get the win again in the second race with the Fabia R5. It was a fantastic battle with a fantastic car, which thrilled the spectators. We drove fast, but without taking any excessive risks," said Kopecký. The 33-year-old extended his lead in the overall standings, after he was victorious when the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 made its international rallying debut at the Rally Šumava Klatovy. "My new tool worked perfectly once again this time," said Kopecký full of praise. The old hand was at the top of the results sheet on eight special stages at the Rally Český Krumlov.

After the successful home event, next up for Kopecký is a start in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). The Czech will take the wheel of a ŠKODA Fabia R5 at the Rally Italy on Sardinia from 11 to 14 June. European Champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) will also be in action. Kopecký, who last raced for ŠKODA in the WRC in 2007: "I'm really looking forward to this fascinating challenge on the world stage of rallying with the ŠKODA Fabia R5." A week after that, Kopecký will continue his fight for the title in the Czech Rally Championship at the Rally Hustopeče.

The number of the Rally Český Krumlov: 6 of 10

With six cars in the top ten of the overall standings, ŠKODA was the dominant brand at the Rally Český Krumlov. Alongside Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler in the new Fabia R5, Pavel Valoušek (CZ), Martin Vlček (CZ), Jan Černý (CZ) and Jan Jelínek (CZ) in the Fabia Super 2000 also made it into the top ten. Also, Karel Trněný (CZ) in the ŠKODA Fabia WRC finished in tenth.

Rally Český Krumlov – Final results

1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5, 1:36:00.8 hrs. 
2. Pech/Uhel (CZ/CZ), Mini John Cooper Works S2000, + 0:04.7 min.
3. Valoušek/Havelková (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, + 3:57.1 min.
4. Odložilík/Tureček (CZ/CZ), Ford Fiesta R5, + 4:49.7 min.
5. Vlček/Žáková, ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, + 5:23.6 min.

Czech Rally Championship (MČR)

Event/Date
Rally Šumava Klatovy: 24/04 – 25/04/2015
Rally Český Krumlov: 22/05 – 23/05/2015
Rally Hustopeče: 19/06 – 20/06/2015
Rally Bohemia: 10/07 – 12/07/2015
Barum Czech Rally Zlín: 28/08 – 30/08/2015
Rally Příbram: 02/10 –04/10/2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 24, 2015, 04:42:59 posle podne

Two podium positions: ŠKODA celebrates brilliant WRC debut with the Fabia R5

​› European Champion Lappi second in WRC 2 at the Rally de Portugal ahead of team-mate Tidemand
› First five stage best times in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) for new Fabia R5 – endurance test over 324.18 km mastered
› Hrabánek: "Very successful weekend for ŠKODA"

​Porto, 24th May 2015 – European Champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) second, Pontus Tidemand (S) in third: ŠKODA celebrated a brilliant WRC debut with its new Fabia R5 at the Rally de Portugal. The new ŠKODA rally car not only mastered the endurance test over 324.18 kilometres successfully, but also showed signs of its great potential with its first five stage best times in the WRC 2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship.

​"My thanks go to the whole team that coped so well with the double challenge of starting in the World Rally Championship and the Czech Rally Championship. Our Fabia R5 worked perfectly in both rallies. It was a very successful weekend for ŠKODA!," said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek after the first WRC start for his team in more than two years. On Saturday, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) were victorious at the 43rd edition of the Rally Český Krumlov after a real last-minute thriller. It was the second win for the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 at the second event in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR).

Then on Sunday, 2000 kilometres away, the ŠKODA duos Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN) and Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S) secured the first two WRC podium finishes in the new Fabia R5. There was excitement once again in the battle for the win in WRC 2 on the final day, when Lappi finished 41.0 seconds faster than front-runner Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q) on the penultimate special stage "Vieira do Minho". However, the Dakar winner brought home a 12.0-second advantage over European Champion Lappi in the overall standings.

"We are delighted with second place, after all it was our first ever rally in the ŠKODA Fabia R5. Our new tool was convincing in all conditions here in Portugal – whether on gravel or on the short asphalt sections," said "Flying Finn" Lappi, full of praise, who got the fastest time in the WRC 2 category on five stages. "It's brilliant starting in the WRC again. The atmosphere was fantastic." Hundreds of thousands of spectators lined all 15 of the special stages at the Rally Portugal, with the absolute highlight being the legendary "Fafe" stage with its massive jump on Sunday. Lappi ended the day with another best time here.

"It was great fun. We gained so much fantastic experience on the rally debut in the new Fabia R5," said Tidemand. The new ŠKODA works driver now returns to the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), where he is eager to defend his leading position in the overall standings from 19 to 21 June at the rally in Australia.

At the next FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) event from 11 to 14 June on Sardinia,
alongside European Champion Lappi, reigning Asia-Pacific Champion Jan Kopecký will also take the wheel of a Fabia R5. Michal Hrabánek: "After the successful debut at the Rally Portugal, we are already looking forward to the next challenge. After all, we are only just getting started with the Fabia R5 project and still have plenty of work ahead of us."


The number of the day for the Rally de Portugal: 5

In Portugal, Esapekka Lappi got the first five stage best times in the WRC 2 standings of the WRC for the ŠKODA Fabia R5. After he topped the results list for special stages eight to ten on Saturday, he was the fastest on special stage 15 "Vieira do Minho" on Sunday. This saw him finish an impressive 41.0 seconds faster than WRC 2 winner Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q). The "Flying Finn" was also number 1 on the legendary "Fafe" stage.


Rally de Portugal – Final result WRC 2

1. Al-Attiyah/Baumel (Q/F), Ford Fiesta S2000: 3:41:35.3 hrs.
2. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5: + 0:12.0 min.
3. Tidemand/Axelsson (S/S), ŠKODA Fabia R5: + 0:37.8 min.
4. Maurin/Klinger (F/F), Ford Fiesta S2000: + 2:51.2 min.
5. Lefebvre/Prévot (F/F), Citroën DS3 R5: + 2:59.6 min.


FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event / Date               
Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany: 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia: 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France: 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain: 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain: 12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 08, 2015, 12:57:35 posle podne
Rally Italy: Second big test for the ŠKODA Fabia R5 in FIA WRC

​›    ŠKODA out to make a mark again on second WRC outing with the Fabia R5
›    Two Fabia R5s line up on Sardinia; European Champion Esapekka Lappi gunning for second top result, World Championship return for Jan Kopecký
›    Awesome rally: 24 stages, 403 kilometres, and the iconic Micky’s Jump
›    Michal Hrabánek: “Ultimate test of man and machine”

​Mladá Boleslav, 8 June 2015 – After a dazzling WRC debut in Portugal, the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 is now set for its second outing in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) this weekend (11th to 14th June). Two Fabia R5s from ŠKODA Motorsport will once again line up at the Rally Italy on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. At the wheel of ŠKODA’s new rally car will be European champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) and reigning Asia-Pacific champion Jan Kopecký (CZ).

​The Rally Italy is the sixth round of the current WRC 2 season. The three days on Sardinia will be a particularly tough test for the Fabia R5. The rally is notorious for its hard, dry gravel roads and a particularly challenging route. The drivers must tackle a total 402.88 kilometres, spread over 24 special stages. For comparison: the rally in Portugal consisted of “only” 15 stages.

Two weeks ago, the new Fabia R5 made an impressive debut in the FIA World Rally Championship, claiming two podium positions. Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN) finished runner-up at the Rally Portugal, followed by ŠKODA newcomer Pontus Tidemand (S) and his co-driver Emil Axelsson (S) in third place. “We are very happy with the successful WRC debut of the Fabia R5. Both cars ended the rally with a good result,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “Results from the last few weeks show that we are on the right track with the ŠKODA Fabia R5. We want to play a major role again on Sardinia. However, this rally is a completely different beast to Portugal. The demands placed on man and machine are far greater,” said Hrabánek.

Esapekka Lappi is brimming with confidence: “The successful first outing in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 has made me hungry for more. We want to back up the good performances we have had so far, and to keep pace with the top times again. Utmost concentration is paramount, as any mistake is ruthlessly punished at this rally,” said the European Rally Champion from Finland.

The race on the Italian island in the Mediterranean is regarded as one of the most challenging rallies out there. It takes place on dusty gravel roads and narrow streets in the Sardinian capital Cagliari, as well as on a special circuit on the ‘Ippodromo di Chilivani’ racecourse. And there is one more, very special, highlight: the highest jump of the entire WRC season – the legendary Micky’s Jump.
Taking on this unique challenge at the wheel of the second Fabia R5 will be experienced rally driver Jan Kopecký (CZ). The 33-year-old will make his first WRC outing for ŠKODA since 2007 on Sardinia. “I am hugely looking forward to racing in WRC 2 with the new R5 – eight years after my last start in the World Rally Championship. So far, everything has gone entirely to plan with the new car in the Czech Rally Championship. We travel to Italy full of confidence, but aware that the rally will be a far greater challenge,” said Kopecký, who heads to Sardinia with the wind in his sails following two wins from two starts in this year’s Czech Rally Championship (MČR).

ŠKODA lines up with the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 at selected races in this season’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2 class). As well as Esapekka Lappi and Jan Kopecký, Sweden’s Pontus Tidemand will also be in action. One week after the Rally Italy, Tidemand will start for ŠKODA at the third round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). Tidemand will be aiming to successfully defend his lead in the APRC at the Rally Queensland in Australia.


FIA World Rally Championship 2 (WRC 2)

Event                    Date               
Rally Monte Carlo       22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden             12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico               05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina           23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal             21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy                  11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland                02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland               30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany            20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia             10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France                01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain                  22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain       12.11.–15.11.2015


Did you know …

… reigning World Rally Champion and current WRC leader Sébastien Ogier (F) made rallying history in a ŠKODA on Sardinia in 2012? Driving a Fabia Super 2000 back then, he finished fifth overall. At the time, this was the best result ever by a driver in a car from the S2000 class. Even more impressive was his achievement on the “Tergu-Osilo 1” stage, where the Frenchman made history: Ogier won the stage, leaving the massed elite in their World Rally Cars trailing in his wake. In 2012, Volkswagen used the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 to prepare for entering the FIA World Rally Championship. Since joining the series, Volkswagen has been the car to beat: the team won the Drivers’, Co-Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles in the WRC in both 2013 and 2014. This year, Volkswagen once again leads all three competitions in the WRC class.

… ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) gained experience of the Italian round of the WRC on Sardinia nine years ago? Back in 2006, he finished 17th in the ŠKODA Fabia WRC.

… the Rally Italy has only been held on Sardinia since 2004? Before then, Sanremo had provided the venue of the Italian round of the World Championship since the WRC was launched in 1973. Incidentally, the iconic Rally Sanremo has been a happy stomping ground for Esapekka Lappi: in 2013, he finished runner-up at the rally, which forms part of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC).

… Pontus Tidemand is currently the best-placed ŠKODA works driver in the overall WRC 2 standings with 25 points to his name? After just one start, Esapekka Lappi currently lies tenth with 18 points. Five rounds into the season, Finland’s Jari Ketomaa leads the class with 55 points.

… ŠKODA already has one victory at the “Rally Italia Sardegna” to its name? Back in 2010, Juho Hänninen of Finland triumphed in the Fabia Super 2000. That year, the rally was making a one-off appearance in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC). Come the end of the season, Hänninen won the title ahead of fellow ŠKODA driver Jan Kopecký. Incidentally, Kopecký finished third that year, in his only start on Sardinia to date.

… Michèle Mouton (F) made history at the WRC round in Italy? It was here that she became the first and only woman to win a round of the World Rally Championship.

… the service park will reside in Alghero on the west coast of Sardinia for only the second time? The teams were previously housed in Olbia on the other side of the island. The rally gets underway on Thursday in Cagliari, in the south of the island.

… fewer than a third of the kilometres against the clock are the same as last year’s route? A large part of the stages around Oristano on Friday are new to the itinerary. 212.58 kilometres of special stage are scheduled for Saturday, making it the longest WRC leg since 2012. The competitors must also conquer the legendary Micky’s Jump on this day.

… Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily? Almost 1.7 million people live in an area of 24,000 km². The north of Sardinia is 202 kilometres from the Italian mainland – however, the south of the island is just 184 kilometres from Tunisia. The capital is Cagliari.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 13, 2015, 12:23:56 pre podne
Hard Rally Italy: Kopecký in fifth place in WRC 2

​› Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler win their first special stage in WRC 2 at the Rally Italy in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 – but are awarded a time penalty
› European Champion Esapekka Lappi crashes into a stone while in the lead

› Many top teams fail to survive Friday unscathed
› Record Saturday has an abundant 212 km and the legendary 'Micky’s Jump' in store
​Alghero, 12 June 2015 – The hard Rally Italy also took its toll on ŠKODA works drivers Jan Kopecký (CZ) and Esapekka Lappi (FIN). Eight years after his last appearance in the FIA World Rally Championship for the Czech car manufacturer, Kopecký won his first special stage in WRC 2, but ended the second day of rallying in just fifth place in the WRC 2 overall standings after receiving a time penalty. European Champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) was even in the lead on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, but lost a lot of time after colliding with a stone.

​Nothing is decided yet: Only about a third of the approximate 400 kilometres of special stages have been mastered at the most difficult WRC event of the year, which many top teams failed to survive unscathed on Friday. The most difficult stages await the best drivers in the world on Saturday and Sunday.

"We will go on the attack again over the remaining two days. It's simply awesome to be on the great world championship stage once again. The Rally Sardinia has proved to be the difficult test we expected," said Jan Kopecký. The reigning Asia-Pacific Champion and current front-runner in the Czech Rally Championship got his first best time in WRC 2, alongside co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) on Special Stage 4 "Montiferru 1". Despite this, a time penalty sees him start the final weekend with a deficit of 2:58.9 minutes to front-runner Paolo Andreucci (I) in the overall standings.

The conditions were unexpected as 33-year-old Kopecký made his return. The overnight rain meant that the tracks on Sardinia weren't as dusty as feared - and the mostly cloudy sky kept the feared oppressive heat at bay. However, it was incredibly slippery on sections of the narrow gravel tracks on the 133.50 kilometres of special stages on Friday, which put paid to Esapekka Lappi's chance of winning. "The boulders at the edge of the track really are massive - and unfortunately one of them was my downfall. I'm really annoyed about making that mistake. After all, the Fabia R5 was in perfect form once again and has great potential," said Lappi.

Almost 212 kilometres are scheduled for Saturday - this is the longest WRC leg since 2012. On this day, on the 42.22 kilometres of the longest special stage "Monto Lerno", the legendary "Micky's Jump" must also be mastered. It's the highest jump in the WRC circus - the drivers also jump distances of up to 40 metres.

Three weeks ago, the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 celebrated an impressive WRC debut with two podium positions at the Rally Portugal. Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN) finished second ahead of ŠKODA newcomer Pontus Tidemand (S). A ŠKODA Fabia R5 is also on track to finish on the podium at the Rally Italy: Armin Kremer (D) is second in the interim standings of WRC 2.


Number of the day for the Rally Italy: 3

To date, a ŠKODA Fabia R5 has topped the timesheet three times in WRC 2 at the Rally Italy. Esapekka Lappi was the fastest on the first special stage on Thursday evening and was also number 1 on the fifth stage. WRC home comer Jan Kopecký got his first best time in WRC 2 on Special Stage 4 "Montiferru 1". When the new Fabia R5 made its world championship debut at the Rally Portugal, Esapekka Lappi won five special stages in WRC 2.


Rally Italy  – Intermediate standings WRC 2

1. Andreucci/Andreussi (I/I), Peugeot 208 T16              1:39:16.3 hrs.
2. Kremer/Winklhofer (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia R5              + 1:26.3 min.
3. Al Rajhi/Orr (SA/GB), Ford Fiesta RRC                  + 1.33,4 min.
4. Protasov/Cherepin (UKR/UKR), Ford Fiesta     RRC            + 2:05.6 min.
5. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5              + 2:58.9 min.
... Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5                  + 31:15.5 min.


FIA World Rally Championship 2 (WRC 2)

Event                    Date               
Rally Monte Carlo            22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden                12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico                05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina                23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal                21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy                11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland                02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland                30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany                20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia                10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France                01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain                22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain            12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 13, 2015, 11:49:59 posle podne
ŠKODA drivers flying at the front at the Rally Italy

​› Jan Kopecký (CZ) fights his way into third place in the WRC 2 overall standings on Sardinia and is fighting for a podium finish on his WRC return
› European Champion Esapekka Lappi wins three special stages in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 on Saturday – victory on the legendary "Micky's Jump"
› After the record Saturday, a further 45.80 km are in store on the final day

​Alghero, 13 June 2015 – ŠKODA works drivers Jan Kopecký (CZ) and Esapekka Lappi (FIN) flew forward on the "flight day" at the Rally Italy. Asia-Pacific Champion Kopecký worked his way up into third in the overall standings of WRC 2 and is fighting for a podium finish on his comeback to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). European Champion Esapekka Lappi won three special stages in the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 on the longest leg of the WRC season, which covered more than 212 kilometres of stages - including the two stages with the legendary "Micky's Jump".

​"Loads of spectators, great tracks, spectacular leaps - it was a great Saturday at the Rally Italy. We showed the potential of this ŠKODA Fabia R5," said Lappi. On the first pass of the 42.22 kilometres of the longest special stage "Monte Lerno", the 24-year-old and co-driver Janne Ferm (FIN) distanced themselves from second-placed Ukrainian Yurii Protasov by 25.7 seconds. Lappi was also by far the fastest driver in WRC 2 on the second pass. As he hurtled around the stage, the "Flying Finn" also mastered "Micky's Jump" successfully, where the drivers in their rally cars fly distances of up to 40 metres.

Lappi, who missed out on any chance of winning after colliding with a stone on Friday, flew up the field from position 26 in the WRC 2 overall standings at the start of the day into tenth place. Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) were also quick in temperatures of up to 40 degrees. "We tried to drive fast without taking any major risks. It wasn't easy since there were lots of big stones on the track," said the 33-year-old old hand. "My aim is to go home with a good position after my appearance in Sardinia."

The final four special stages on Sunday see just 45.80 kilometres left to go on the feared gravel tracks of the Mediterranean island of Sardinia.

Number of the day for the Rally Italy: 16

Esapekka Lappi moved up 16 positions in the overall standings of WRC 2 on Saturday. After the Finn lost almost half an hour on Friday, he was one of the fastest drivers on Saturday. Lappi got the best time on special stages 13 (Coiluna – Loelle 1), 14 and 19 (Monte Lerno 1 and 2). This makes it ten special stages that the Finn has won in WRC 2 this year.


Rally Italy  – Intermediate standings WRC 2

1. Protasov/Cherepin (UA/UA), Ford Fiesta RRC            4:08:16.3 hrs.
2. Andreucci/Andreussi (I/I), Peugeot 208 T16              + 0:07.0 min.
3. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5              + 1:58.4 min.
4. Al Rajhi/Orr (SA/GB), Ford Fiesta RRC                  + 2:56.4 min
5. Fuchs/Misano (CH/RA), Ford Fiesta R5                  + 6:06.5 min.
10. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5                  + 31:15.5 min.


FIA World Rally Championship 2 (WRC 2)

Event/Date               
Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany: 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia: 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France: 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain: 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great BritaiN: 12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 15, 2015, 10:26:48 pre podne
Rally Italy: Third place for Jan Kopecký in the ŠKODA Fabia R5

​› Third podium in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) for ŠKODA’s new rally car
› Esapekka Lappi wins seven special stages on Sardinia and finishes ninth to pick up more World Championship points
› Michal Hrabánek: “Team put up a great fight at a tough rally”

​Alghero, 14 June 2015 – Second rally, third podium: Jan Kopecký (CZ) continued the new ŠKODA Fabia R5’s successful run in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). The works driver overcame a time penalty to finish third at the demanding Rally Italy. European champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) won seven special stages on the gravel roads of the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, demonstrating the huge potential of ŠKODA’s new, high-tech four-wheel drive car.

​“The team put up a great fight at what was perhaps the toughest rally of the year on the WRC calendar. The podium is just reward for the effort. However, I am equally pleased that we successfully came through this tough test with both ŠKODA Fabia R5s,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. He reserved special praise for the pairing of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN): “We really appreciate that they were able to repair the damage to their car by themselves on Friday, and then to continue the fight. That allowed us to demonstrate how competitive our ŠKODA Fabia R5 is.”

Just short of 400 kilometres against the clock on stony gravel roads, in scorching heat and with massive jumps – unlike a number of rival cars, ŠKODA’s new rally car was up to this huge challenge. Jan Kopecký (CZ) and his co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) shrugged off a 1:40-minute penalty on Friday to fight their way back into third place. That made 33-year-old Kopecký the third ŠKODA works driver to earn a place on the WRC 2 podium with the new Fabia R5. Lappi and Puntus Tidemand (S) had previously finished second and third on the new car’s WRC debut at the Rally Portugal three weeks ago.

“A lot of stones on the road, dust, high temperatures – that really was an extremely demanding rally. That makes me even more pleased to have claimed a spot on the podium here on Sardinia. However, it could have been an even better week for us – the time penalty was our mistake,” said Kopecký. He claimed his first stage win in WRC 2.

“Flying Finn” Esapekka Lappi topped the times list on Sardinia on no less than seven occasions – including twice on the “Monte Lerno” stage, which, at 42.22 kilometres, was the longest stage of the rally and featured the legendary “Micky’s Jump”. The drivers fly up to 40 metres through the air after this crest, and Lappi left many of the higher-spec WRC cars in his wake on the second run of “Monte Lerno”, finishing fifth overall. “The ŠKODA Fabia R5 is very quick and we are still yet to tap into its full potential. That makes it all the more bitter that a collision with a stone cost us any chance of a top position in the overall standings,” said the 24-year-old.

Lappi and his co-driver Janne Ferm lost almost half an hour as a result of necessary repairs. However, they then launched a captivating fightback from 26th place to finish an impressive ninth in the WRC 2 standings at the Rally Italy. That was sufficient to earn ŠKODA’s regular driver in the World Championship another two points towards the overall WRC 2 standings.

The next challenge on the grand WRC 2 stage comes in the form of the Rally Poland on 2nd to 5th July. Before then, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler will be back in business on Friday and Saturday: the Czech duo lines up on home soil at the Rally Hustopeče. Having previously claimed two wins from two races in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR), they have their sights set on adding the next chapter to the new ŠKODA Fabia R5’s success story.


The number for the Rally Italy: 3

Three ŠKODA Fabia R5s were in action at the Rally Italy, and all three finished in the top nine of the WRC 2 standings. Works driver Jan Kopecký finished third to claim a spot on the podium despite a time penalty. Armin Kremer (D) ended the rally in sixth place in a customer racing car. Esapekka Lappi recovered from a huge loss of time to fight his way back into ninth place.


Rally Italy  – WRC 2 Results

1. Protasov/Cherepin (UA/UA), Ford Fiesta     RRC            4:40:52.0 hrs
2. Andreucci/Andreussi (I/I), Peugeot 208 T16              + 0:05.6 min
3. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5              + 2:44.0 min
4. Al Kuwari/Clark (Q/GB), Ford Fiesta RRC                  + 6:34.7 min
5. Al-Attiyah/Baumel (Q/F), Ford Fiesta RRC                 + 6:42.6 min
9. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5                  + 26:30.3 min



FIA World Rally Championship 2 (WRC 2)

Event, Date               
Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany: 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia: 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France: 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain: 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain: 12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 16, 2015, 02:33:32 posle podne
Rally Hustopeče: Jan Kopecký after home win number three in the ŠKODA Fabia R5

​› Two wins from two starts so far in the Czech Rally Championship
› Michal Hrabánek: “Our aim is to follow on from good results so far”
› New ŠKODA Fabia R5 proves to be both fast and reliable

​Mladá Boleslav, 16 June 2015 – Third outing for the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 on home soil: ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) is aiming to continue his winning streak at the Rally Hustopeče (19/20 June). On the back of taking third place at the FIA World Championship races in Sardinia, the 33-year old is heading to the third round of this year’s Czech Rally Championship (MČR). The first two MČR races in Klatovy and Český Krumlov were both won by Kopecký and his co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) in the Fabia R5.

​Although the 2015 rally season is still in its early stages, the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 has already proven to be both fast and reliable, with two wins in the MČR and three podiums in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2 class) currently to its name. ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek: “Our aim in Hustopeče is to follow on from the good results we have achieved so far. The rally will obviously also help us to find out more about how the Fabia R5 behaves in demanding race conditions.”

Jan Kopecký and the Fabia R5 were both in excellent form on their victorious outing at the Rally Český Krumlov. A breath-taking finale saw Jan Kopecký pull ahead of his rival Václav Pech (CZ) shortly before the end of the race. The Rally Hustopeče could see a repeat of the thrilling duel between the two Czech rally legends. “I hope we are able to put on another good show for the fans with a real battle and, of course, our ŠKODA Fabia R5,” said Jan Kopecký. “Pavel and I want to show what we are capable of again. The Rally Hustopeče has been a happy stomping ground for us.”

Kopecký/Dresler won the rally three times in a row between 2011 and 2013, making them the record winners of the event in the wine-growing district in southern Moravia. This year, the competitors face 150.02 kilometres on narrow and often slippery roads. They must negotiate ten special stages in total, two of which are held in the dark. The winner will be crowned early on Saturday afternoon.


Czech Rally Championship (MČR)

Event / Date
Rally Šumava Klatovy   24.04.–25.04.2015
Rally Český Krumlov   22.05.–23.05.2015
Rally Hustopeče   19.06.–20.06.2015
Rally Bohemia    10.07.–12.07.2015
Barum Czech Rally Zlín   28.08.–30.08.2015
Rally Příbram    02.10.–04.10.2015


Did you know …

… The Rally Hustopeče will be held for the eleventh time on Friday and Saturday? The first victory for ŠKODA came courtesy of Leoš Flidr/Bohumil Ehl (CZ/CZ) who won at the wheel of a ŠKODA Octavia WRC, ahead of a certain Jan Kopecký.

… Jan Kopecký holds a commanding lead in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) with 153 points to his name? His closest rival is Pavel Valoušek (CZ), with 98 points, in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Kopecký’s big rival Václav Pech (CZ) is currently fourth with 67 points.

… the Horní Bojanovice/Diváky stage is the longest on the Rally Hustopeče at 17.43 kilometres? The competitors must tackle it twice on Friday – once after nightfall.
 
… the service park is located in the town of Hustopeče, which gives the rally its name? The coat of arms of the town in southern Moravia, which has a population of about 6,000, features bunches of grapes. A reference to its location in the heart of a well-known wine-growing district.

… vintage rally cars will also be in action at the Rally Hustopeče? The rally also forms part of the Czech Historic Rally Championship (MČRHA).
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 21, 2015, 09:47:01 pre podne
Third win: Jan Kopecký victorious after pursuit in the ŠKODA Fabia R5

​› ŠKODA works driver remains unbeaten in the Czech Rally Championship
› Table leader Kopecký reduces large deficit after tyre damage and wins seven special stages in a row
› Michal Hrabánek: "Potential of the Fabia R5 proven"

​Hustopeče, 20 June 2015 – After a spectacular pursuit in the new ŠKODA Fabia R5, works driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) celebrated his third win in the third event of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR). The old hand made up the large deficit to his arch-rival Václav Pech (CZ) at the Rally Hustopeče and won seven special stages in a row. This sees Kopecký and his co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) well on their way to winning the title at the halfway stage of the national championship.

​"Jan delivered a fantastic battle and proved the potential of our new Fabia R5. Naturally we are delighted with the reliability and the perfect results of our new rally car in the first half of the season of the Czech Rally Championship. But we still have a lot of work to do," said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

Jan Kopecký finished in third at the Rally Italy on demanding gravel tracks last weekend, but quickly got used to the asphalt tracks in his home country. However, the 33-year-old lost a lot of time on the second stage of the Rally Hustopeče when he suffered tyre damage and at one point trailed his fiercest rival Pech by 49 seconds.

Just like at the Rally Český Krumlov, in which the ŠKODA works driver overtook Pech on the final special stage, Kopecký proved to be a great fighter. He won all of the special stages in the wine-growing region of Southern Moravia with a big lead on Saturday. This saw him take the lead in the overall standings at midday and then get his commanding fourth win at the Rally Hustopeče.

After 150.02 kilometres of special stages and wins on seven of the ten stages, Kopecký finished with a lead of 45.1 seconds over Pech and remains unbeaten at home in the ŠKODA Fabia R5. "The first day didn't go according to plan. But we chose the perfect tyres on Saturday. This allowed us to show just how fast our new ŠKODA Fabia R5 is, even in the most difficult of conditions," said Kopecký.

As well as three season wins in the MČR, the ŠKODA Fabia R5 also has three podium finishes in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) to its name. The next challenge in store for Kopecký is the Rally Bohemia from 10 to 12 July. ŠKODA's home race just outside the headquarters in Mladá Boleslav is the highlight of the season of the Czech Rally Championship.


The number of the Rally Hustopeče: 4

The Rally Hustopeče is good ground for Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler. After a hat-trick of wins from 2011 to 2013, they won the event on Saturday for the fourth time. This makes the ŠKODA duo record winners of the rally, which was held for the eleventh time this year.


Rally Hustopeče – Final result

1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5: 1:26:03.8 hrs. 
2. Pech/Uhel (CZ/CZ), Mini John Cooper Works S2000: + 0:45.1 min.
3. Odložilík/Tureček (CZ/CZ), Ford Fiesta R5: + 1:04.0 min.
4. Valoušek/Havelková (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000: + 1:19.9 min.
5. Jelínek/Machů (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000: + 3:00.8 min.


Czech Rally Championship (MČR)

Event/Date
Rally Šumava Klatovy; 24.04.–25.04.2015
Rally Český Krumlov; 22.05.–23.05.2015
Rally Hustopeče; 19.06.–20.06.2015
Rally Bohemia; 10.07.–12.07.2015
Barum Czech Rally Zlín; 28.08.–30.08.2015
Rally Příbram; 02.10.–04.10.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 30, 2015, 01:26:03 posle podne
Rally Poland: ŠKODA sets sights on another top result with the new Fabia R5

​› Two ŠKODA Fabia R5s line up in Poland, with Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand at the wheel
› Michal Hrabánek: “Real challenge for the new Fabia R5”
› ŠKODA Fabia R5 impresses with three WRC podiums to date

​Mladá Boleslav, 30 June 2015 – Two starts in the World Championship, three podiums: ŠKODA has made quite a mark so far on the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) with the new Fabia R5. ŠKODA is now hungry for another top result on the new rally car’s third appearance in the WRC. Two ŠKODA Fabia R5s will start at the Rally Poland, driven by European champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) and Sweden’s Pontus Tidemand. Round seven of this year’s WRC 2 season takes place from 2nd to 5th July.

​“Very demanding, extremely fast sections are what the Rally Poland is known for. That will be a real challenge for the new Fabia R5. We want to show that our new car is also capable of following on from the good results we have enjoyed so far in high-speed conditions,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. 19 tough special stages and 313.53 kilometres against the clock await the drivers in Poland.

With three podiums from two starts in the World Rally Championship, the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 boasts an excellent record so far. ŠKODA duo Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) finished third at the Rally Italy. Prior to that, reigning European champions Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN) and Swedes Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson had guided the Fabia R5 to second and third place on its WRC debut in Portugal.

Lappi/Ferm and Tidemand/Axelsson line up in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 again at the Rally Poland. Esapekka Lappi has fond memories of the rally, which he won in 2012. “The Rally Poland ought to suit me, as the gravel roads are not that different to the routes at home in Finland,” said the Finnish ŠKODA driver. “We want to drive courageously but without taking too many risks. We are looking forward to exhausting the potential of the ŠKODA Fabia R5 again, and want to finish without making any mistakes this time.”

ŠKODA newcomer Pontus Tidemand is also looking forward to his second race with the new Fabia R5: “Our first outing with the Fabia R5 in Portugal went really well, and we finished third. We want to follow on from that in Poland and, if possible, do even better. The rally will be extremely fast, so we will have to put our foot down whilst at the same time keeping a cool head,” said Tidemand, who recently claimed his second win of the season in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) at the Rally Queensland in Australia, thus extending his lead in the APRC.

ŠKODA will line up with the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 at selected races in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2 class) this season. As well as Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand, Czech driver Jan Kopecký will also be in action as a ŠKODA works driver. Kopecký also drives the new high-tech powerhouse in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR), in which he has a flawless record so far: three wins from three starts.


FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexiko: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italia: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Deutschland: 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia: 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France: 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain: 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain: 12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 04, 2015, 12:15:09 pre podne
Dream start for ŠKODA at festival of top speed in Poland

​› Works drivers Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand lead the WRC 2 standings of the Rally Poland
› Lappi shines with five stage best times: "Great feeling in the ŠKODA Fabia R5"
› 158.49 kilometres remain at the weekend

​Mikolajki, 3 July 2015 – ŠKODA got off to a dream start in the new Fabia R5 at the Rally Poland. European Champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) in the clear lead and Pontus Tidemand (S) head into the decisive weekend with a one-two lead in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) event. Lappi and his co-driver Janne Ferm (FIN) shone at the festival of top speed with five best times on the nine stages so far in glorious sunshine.

​"There were no dramas, no problems, everything went superbly. It feels great in the ŠKODA Fabia R5," enthused Esapekka Lappi. "The tracks in Poland are incredibly fast, it reminds me of my home country of Finland." Around two thirds of the gravel tracks with short sections of asphalt in the Masurian Lake District really are driven at top speed.

Perfect for Lappi: The 24-year-old seized the lead with the best time on the first special stage on Friday and consistently extended this lead. At the end of the day, Lappi/Ferm had built up an advantage of 50.1 seconds over their team-mates Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S). The front-runners of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) got their first two WRC 2 best times for ŠKODA Motorsport on special stages eight and nine.

"Naturally that rounds off a successful day. The roads are so fast, Emil's pace notes are perfect. It's just so much fun," said Tidemand. The reliable Fabia R5 was also fun on a day on which the cars had to survive more than 150 kilometres of special stages without a single service.

158.49 timed kilometres across ten special stages are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Then it will be confirmed whether after three podium finishes in two WRC starts to date, ŠKODA can celebrate their first win with the Fabia R5 in the WRC 2 category. Lappi/Ferm won the Rally Poland once before back in 2012.

The new turbo four-wheel drive Fabia R5 enjoys success around the world: ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký already has three wins to his name after just three events in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR). The ŠKODA Fabia R5 has also long been known as a winning car in customer sport competitions. "Fast" Freddy Loix was victorious on his debut in the new car in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) in his home country of Belgium. Raimund Baumschlager is unbeaten in the Austrian championship after two starts. In the German Rally Championship (DRM), Fabian Kreim (D) and Mark Wallenwein (D) recently celebrated a one-two win in the R5.


Number of the day for the Rally Poland: 4 in the top 5

No less than four ŠKODA are in the top 5 of the WRC 2 interim standings in the Rally Poland. Alongside the two front-runners Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand of the ŠKODA works team, former European Champion Armin Kremer (D) in the third Fabia R5 was ranked fourth. Finland's Teemu Suninen in a Fabia Super 2000 is in fifth place.
 

Rally Poland – Intermediate standings WRC 2

1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5, 1:20:06.0 hrs.
2. Tidemand/Axelsson (S/S), ŠKODA Fabia R5, + 0:50.1 min.
3. Kruuda/Jarveoja (EST/EST), Citroën DS3 R5, + 1:47.1 min.
4. Kremer/Winklhofer (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia R5, + 3:05.4 min.
5. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN) ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, + 3:05.7 min.


FIA World Rally Championship 2 (WRC 2)

Event / Date               
Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexiko: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italia: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Deutschland: 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia: 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France: 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain: 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain: 12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 05, 2015, 12:36:14 posle podne

One-two lead defended: ŠKODA drivers keep a cool head in the heat

› Works drivers Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand head into the final day of the Rally Poland as front-runners in the WRC 2
› Lappi: "We managed to control the race"
› 29.20 kilometres until the first WRC win in the Fabia R5

Mikolajki, 4 July 2015 – ŠKODA heads into the final day of the Rally Poland with a one-two lead. The works teams Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) and Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) kept their nerve in the heated battle and defended their leading positions in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) event on Saturday. Only the final 29.20 timed kilometres stand between the Czech car manufacturer and their first WRC win in the new Fabia R5.

​"With the advantage on our side we don't need to push. We managed to control the race. It worked well, in particular, our Fabia R5 was perfect once again," said European Champion Esapekka Lappi. With five best times on eight stages on Friday, the Finn was the outstanding driver of the day. On Saturday, ŠKODA team-mate Pontus Tidemand took on the role of main protagonist in the Masurian Lake District, getting five best times in the WRC 2.

The front-runner of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) won each of the stages eleven to 13 ahead of Lappi, on fast gravel tracks running past beautiful lakes. Then stage 14 "Mazury 2" was cancelled by the organisers for safety reasons because too many fans were obstructing the track. After the enforced break, the ŠKODA duel continued with one best time each for Lappi and Tidemand. Then, on the closing stadium stage, Tidemand was just a miniscule tenth of a second faster than his team-mate Lappi.

"We made a few more changes to the set-up and the car felt fantastic," said Tidemand. "This meant we were able to make up a few seconds on Esapekka here and there. But the advantage he built up on Friday is just too big." Lappi heads to the special stage "Baranowo", which will be driven twice on Sunday, with a buffer of 37.7 seconds. "We just need to continue to keep a cool head in this heat," said Lappi.

Then it will be confirmed whether after three podium finishes in two WRC starts to date, ŠKODA can celebrate their first win with the Fabia R5 in the WRC 2 category. Lappi/Ferm won the Rally Poland once before back in 2012.

Meanwhile, the new Fabia R5 continues to enjoy success elsewhere. At the Rally Niedersachsen, the seventh event of the German Rally Championship (DRM) season, ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver Fabian Kreim (D) and Mark Wallenwein (D) celebrated the second one-two win in a row with ŠKODA's turbo four-wheel drive.


Number of the day of the Rally Poland:

13The ŠKODA Motorsport team has won 13 of the 16 special stages of the Rally Poland so far with the Fabia R5 in the WRC 2 classification. Pontus Tidemand was the fastest driver seven times, overall front-runner Esapekka Lappi was in first place six times.


Rally Poland –  Intermediate standings WRC 2

1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5,      2:17:16.6 hrs.
2. Tidemand/Axelsson (S/S), ŠKODA Fabia R5,     + 0:37.7 min.
3. Kruuda/Jarveoja (EST/EST), Citroën DS3 R5,   + 2:04.2 min.
4. Ketomaa/Lindstrom (FIN/FIN), Ford Fiesta R5,   + 4:35.3 min.
5. Kremer/Winklhofer (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia R5,     + 4:52.8 min.


FIA World Rally Championship 2 (WRC 2)

Event / Date               
Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexiko: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italia: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Deutschland: 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia: 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France: 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain: 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain: 12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 05, 2015, 09:14:20 posle podne
Special day for ŠKODA: Lappi claims maiden WRC 2 victory in new Fabia R5

​› Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm win the WRC 2 class at the Rally Poland
› Second works duo Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson complete one-two
› Michal Hrabánek: “Reward for the hard work put in by the ŠKODA Motorsport team”

​Mikolajki, 5 July 2015 – Special day for ŠKODA: Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) claimed a historic first win for the new Fabia R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). The European champions produced a commanding display to triumph at the Rally Poland. The second works crew of Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) finished runner-up to complete a one-two at the flat-out festival in the Masurian lake district. The dominant ŠKODA drivers won 14 of 18 special stages in the Fabia R5. The maiden win came at the perfect location: ŠKODA has been the top-selling car brand in Poland for the last six years in a row.

​“What a day for ŠKODA! We claimed our first win in only the third WRC 2 start with the new Fabia R5. Compliments to both teams – Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm, and Pontus Tidemand and Emil Axelsson. They were flawless for four days, even in that heat,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek, beaming with joy. “We had seen indications of the potential of our new rally car with three podiums from the first two WRC 2 starts. The first victory is a great reward for the hard work put in by everyone at ŠKODA Motorsport. It also gives us extra incentive to continue doing everything we can to achieve success.”

The two ŠKODA drivers, Lappi and Tidemand, dominated the race on fast gravel roads with short asphalt sections, seemingly at will. About two thirds of the almost 300 kilometres against the clock were taken flat-out. The “Flying Finn” Esapekka Lappi moved into the lead on stage two, “Gorklo”, courtesy of the stage win and a spectacular average speed of 126.45 km/h, and never looked back. This was win number two at the Rally Poland for Lappi/Ferm. Back in 2012, when the event still belonged to the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), the duo had triumphed on their debut for ŠKODA Motorsport.

“What an amazing win! Thank you to the ŠKODA team for doing a perfect job. The Fabia R5 was just brilliant,” said Lappi. “The win is also reward for a learning process. On Saturday and Sunday I managed to keep a cool head and control the race.” At the end of the 18 special stages, the 24-year-old had a 56.1-second lead over team-mate Tidemand. The speedy Swede won seven special stages at the Rally Poland, as did his team-mate Lappi. “Congratulations to Esapekka! He was in a class of his own at this rally. We did as well as we possibly could, claiming our second podium on our second outing with the new Fabia R5,” said Tidemand.

Lappi and Tidemand had previously guided the four-wheel drive turbo powered car to second and third place when the Fabia R5 made its WRC debut in Portugal. ŠKODA duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) finished third in the WRC 2 class at the Rally Italy. Although ŠKODA has only competed at three of the season’s seven rounds so in the FIA World Rally Championship, the top two drivers are already within striking distance of WRC 2 leader Jari Ketomaa (FIN/67 points) who had to settle for fourth place in Poland. Lappi is currently fifth on 45 points, ahead of Tidemand on 43. Former European champion Armin Kremer, who finished fifth at the wheel of a ŠKODA Fabia R5 at the Rally Poland, has 34 points to his name already.

Lappi/Ferm have little time to celebrate their win in Poland. The successful pair are set to make a guest appearance in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) next weekend. The Rally Bohemia is ŠKODA’s home event in the region around the company headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. After three wins from three starts in the national championship, ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) have their sights set on continuing the Fabia R5’s winning run.

The new car tasted more success this weekend in the German Rally Championship (DRM): ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver Fabian Kreim (D) triumphed ahead of fellow ŠKODA driver Mark Wallenwein (D). This was the second one-two in a row for the new ŠKODA Fabia R5.


Number of the day at the Rally Poland: 1

Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm presented ŠKODA with win number 1 for the Fabia R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). The first success came at express speed: the new rally car was presented to the public for the first time on 15th April 2015. It has now taken its place on the very top step of the podium on only its third appearance in the WRC.


Rally Poland  –WRC 2 result

1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5      2:32:02.6 hrs.
2. Tidemand/Axelsson (S/S), ŠKODA Fabia R5     + 0:56.1 min.
3. Kruuda/Jarveoja (EST/EST), Citroën DS3 R5   + 2:05.3 min.
4. Ketomaa/Lindstrom (FIN/FIN), Ford Fiesta R5   + 4:54.1 min.
5. Kremer/Winklhofer (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia R5     + 5:11.9 min.

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
Event     Date   
Rally Monte Carlo   22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden    12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico    05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina    23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal    21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy    11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland    02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland    30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany    20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia    10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France    01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain    22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain   12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 08, 2015, 12:06:29 posle podne
Home outing at the Rally Bohemia: Two ŠKODA works teams start in the new Fabia R5

​› Jan Kopecký sets sights on fourth win; guest appearance from European champion Esapekka Lappi after the historic first win for the new Fabia R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
› Michal Hrabánek: “We are pleased to present the new Fabia R5 live on our doorstep”
› Rally Bohemia forms a highlight of the Czech Rally Championship for ŠKODA

​Mladá Boleslav, 8 July 2015 – Emotional home event for the new ŠKODA Fabia R5: Two ŠKODA works teams will line up in the new rally car at the Rally Bohemia, in the region around the ŠKODA headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. After three wins from three starts in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR), ŠKODA driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) are looking to continue their winning run. European champions Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) will make a guest appearance in Bohemia after her maiden win for the ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). The 42nd Rally Bohemia takes place from 10th to 12th July.

​“We are delighted the ŠKODA employees and fans at home, in the heartland of our company, can finally watch our new Fabia R5 in rally action,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “The Rally Bohemia is a special rally for ŠKODA. This is reason enough to line up with two works teams. We want to back up the success the Fabia R5 has enjoyed so far, and to squeeze a bit more potential out of the car,” Hrabánek continued.
ŠKODA is unbeaten since 2009 at the Rally Bohemia. This year, the teams face 151.65 kilometres, the majority of which are on narrow asphalt roads. Its biggest threat ought once again to be arch rival Václav Pech (CZ), as he was at the first MČR races.
Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) arrive in Bohemia at the top of the MČR table, undefeated after an impressive hat-trick of wins. “We are hugely looking forward to the Rally Bohemia. It will be a hard-fought battle with Václav Pech, but I am sure Esapekka Lappi will also have a say in who wins,” said Kopecký. “There will be a lot of ŠKODA employees watching the race, so we obviously want to put on a really good display.” The 33-year-old and co-driver Pavel Dresler could complete a hat-trick of wins at the Rally Bohemia.
European champion Esapekka Lappi can hardly wait to get started in Bohemia. “We want to put on a good show for the many ŠKODA fans. After a lengthy spell away from asphalt, these will be an exciting couple of days for us and a welcome change from our WRC starts so far, which have been on gravel,” said Lappi. Last year, Lappi tested the new 1.6-litre turbo engine for the new Fabia R5 under race conditions for the first time at the Rally Bohemia.
As well as top-class rallying, the Rally Bohemia also offers an extensive side programme for fans. As in previous years, ŠKODA is main sponsor of the event.
This season, the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 has proven to be both fast and reliable. The car currently has three wins in the MČR and five podiums from three starts in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2 class) to its name. The works crews Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN) and Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) claimed a one-two for ŠKODA at Rally Poland last weekend.


Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
Event / Date
Rally Šumava Klatovy : 24.04.–25.04.2015
Rally Český Krumlov: 22.05.–23.05.2015
Rally Hustopeče: 19.06.–20.06.2015
Rally Bohemia: 10.07.–12.07.2015
Barum Czech Rally Zlín: 28.08.–30.08.2015
Rally Příbram: 02.10.–04.10.2015


Did you know ...

... ŠKODA has enjoyed five wins in a row at the Rally Bohemia recently? Finland’s Juho Hänninen triumphed in a Fabia Super 2009 and 2010, while Belgian Freddy Loix won in 2011. There was no official final result in 2012, before Jan Kopecký was victorious in 2013 and 2014.
 
... ŠKODA actually finished one-two-three last year? Kopecký finished first, ahead of Italy’s Umberto Scandola and Sepp Wiegand (D).
 
... the Rally Bohemia was initially called the Rally ŠKODA, from 1974 to 1985? The Czech automobile manufacturer launched the rally in order to test the quality and stamina of its models under extreme conditions. The first rally, 40 years ago, was 1,800 kilometres long. The special stages were spread throughout the whole of Czechoslovakia. 152 teams took part, 72 of which were from abroad.
 
... the Rally Bohemia formed part of the European Rally
Championship and the European Rally Cup for many years? Jan Kopecký, now a ŠKODA works driver, won the event in 2004, 2005 and 2013.
 
... the Rally Bohemia also features a competition for vintage rally cars? The race is making its first appearance in the FIA European Championship for Historic Cars.
 
... former ŠKODA works driver Juho Hänninen (FIN) is making a special comeback in Mladá Boleslav? He will appear in the Rally Bohemia Legend event, which is hugely popular with spectators. Among Hänninen’s successes for ŠKODA were titles in the 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), 2011 Super 2000 World Rally Championship (SWRC), and the 2012 FIA European Rally Championship (ERC).
 
... rally fans can find fascinating information online at www.skoda-motorsport.com ? ŠKODA’s innovative offering combines interesting facts and background stories with great photos and social media content.
 
... Mladá Boleslav is not only the home of the headquarters of ŠKODA, but also has a tower that leans like the one in Pisa nearby? The emblem of the castle ruins in Michalovice was once knocked off balance by treasure seekers.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 12, 2015, 09:52:29 posle podne
Rally Bohemia: ŠKODA continues winning streak with the Fabia R5 at home event

​› Jan Kopecký wins at the Rally Bohemia for the third time in a row
› Kopecký unbeaten in the Fabia R5 in four races in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
› Esapekka Lappi wins five stages on guest appearance in the national championship
› Michal Hrabánek: “It's great that we were able to make our fans happy”

​Mladá Boleslav, 12 July 2015 – Home advantage exploited, thousands of fans delighted: ŠKODA continued its winning streak with the new Fabia R5. Jan Kopecký (CZ) and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) celebrated an acclaimed victory at the 42nd Rally Bohemia in the region of ŠKODA's headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. This sees the duo remain unbeaten in the fourth race of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) and extend their lead at the top of the table even further. The second ŠKODA works team Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) was convincing with five stage wins just one week after the historic victory for the Fabia R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2).

​“It's great that we were able to make so many fans happy with the Fabia R5 right on our doorstep! The Rally Bohemia is always a special race for ŠKODA – which makes the win even more special,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. This makes ŠKODA unbeaten at its home race since 2009. Hrabánek: “Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler have proved once again that they are real experts at this rally.

The experienced duo won at the Rally Bohemia for the third time in a row, Kopecký has now won ŠKODA's home race a total of five times. But the victory didn't come easy to him at the start; until the fifth special stage he was embroiled in a dramatic duel for tenths of a second with his team-mate Lappi. However, on the sixth stage, the Finn suffered tyre damage and lost over two minutes while he changed the tyre

“Esapekka really didn't make it easy for me. It's a shame that we couldn't continue our duel,” said Kopecký, who had his arch-rival Václav Pech (CZ) firmly under control this time. 33-year-old Kopecký was delighted that he was able to give something special to the thousands of fans with his third win in a row at the highlight of the Czech Rally Championship: “It's so great to feel the enthusiasm of the fans at ŠKODA's home event. It's even better that we won again with our new Fabia R5.

ŠKODA's new turbo four-wheel drive was the fastest car on all twelve special stages. Kopecký got seven best times and Lappi got four. On the final stage, both ŠKODA works drivers shared the best time. Despite his tyre damage, European Champion Lappi worked his way up into fourth place in the overall standings by the end of the rally. “It's a shame, without the problems, we would have been able to do better. But it was so much fun driving on asphalt in our Fabia R5 in front of these fans once again,” said Lappi.

After ŠKODA's home rally comes his personal home event: The Rally Finland will be held from 30 July to 2 August in the FIA WRC. Another chance to continue the run of success for the new Fabia R5. To date, the works team has already amassed four wins in the MČR and five podium positions, including one win, in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2 classification).


The number of the Rally Bohemia: 6

ŠKODA has now won the Rally Bohemia six times in a row. In 2009 and 2010, Finland's Juho Hänninen won in the Fabia Super 2000, Belgium's Freddy Loix was victorious in 2011. Since there was no official final result in 2012, Jan Kopecký's wins followed at the events in 2013, 2014 and this weekend.


Rally Bohemia – Final result

1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5; 1:20:33.0 hrs 
2. Pech/Uhel (CZ/CZ), Mini John Cooper Works S2000; + 0:51.0 min.
3. Vojtěch/Michal (CZ/CZ), Peugeot 206 WRC; + 2:15.0 min.
4. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5;  + 2:20.3 min.
5. Valoušek/Havelková (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000; + 2:24.5 min.


Czech Rally Championship (MČR)

Event / Date
Rally Šumava Klatovy: 24.04.–25.04.2015
Rally Český Krumlov: 22.05.–23.05.2015
Rally Hustopeče: 19.06.–20.06.2015
Rally Bohemia: 10.07.–12.07.2015
Barum Czech Rally Zlín: 28.08.–30.08.2015
Rally Příbram: 02.10.–04.10.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 20, 2015, 02:36:25 posle podne
Real rarities: Nine outstanding ŠKODA classics at the 'Schloss Bensberg Classics'

​› Exhibition: ŠKODA presented nine unique gems of the vintage car scene
› Iconic design: faithfully restored streamlined prototype ŠKODA 935 on show 80 years after its spectacular world premiere in Bensberg
› Special ŠKODA exhibition to mark company’s 120-year anniversary

​Mladá Boleslav, 20 July 2015 – ŠKODA AUTO presented nine outstanding classic cars from the company’s 120-year history at the seventh 'Schloss Bensberg Classics'. One highlight of ŠKODA’s appearance was the special exhibition to commemorate 120 years of ŠKODA, where six of the brand’s pre-war vehicles never before seen were put on show.  The unique, streamlined prototype ŠKODA 935 – a design icon of the 1930s – also made an appearance. The 'Schloss Bensberg Classics', supported by the Volkswagen Group, took place from 17 to 19 July in Bergisch Gladbach near Cologne, Germany.
​ŠKODA has participated in the ‘Schloss Bensberg Classics’ since the first year of the event. The baroque castle Schloss Bensberg and the picturesque countryside surrounding Cologne form the magnificent setting for one of the most prestigious events for classic cars. Exclusivity and the highest quality are the focus of the event, held under the motto ‘Very Important Cars Only’.

And the vehicles ŠKODA presented certainly lived up to this claim. Six classics from the brand’s pre-war era served as a special exhibition to mark 120 years of ŠKODA. Three vehicles started in the one-day 'Rallye Historique' on Saturday. “In keeping with the event's motto, we selected nine 'Very Important Cars'. Fantastic cars that we had never before shown to the public,” said Andrea Frydlová, Director of the ŠKODA Museum.

One true highlight of ŠKODA’s special exhibition was the streamlined prototype ŠKODA 935 dating back to 1935. The concept vehicle, which was faithfully restored by ŠKODA, is the world’s only surviving example, and had not been seen by the public since October 1935. The now road-worthy ŠKODA 935 is representative of pioneering vehicle design in the 1930s, and in its time, served ŠKODA as an innovator in terms of aerodynamics, weight and drive technology.

The streamlined concept vehicle was first introduced in October 1935 at the Motor Show in Prague. At that time, ŠKODA was one of the pioneers in optimizing aerodynamics in car construction. With its low drag coefficient (Cd value) and bionic shape, the ŠKODA 935 proved the brand’s expertise in aerodynamics in a special way. The innovative mid-engine concept and the vehicle body made from an aluminium/steel composite also drew lots of attention at its premiere. With its sophisticated overall concept, the ŠKODA 935 Dynamic demonstrated ŠKODA brand’s innovative power and engineering expertise in the design of groundbreaking one-off models.

The ŠKODA 935 Dynamic represents the progressive vehicle design of the 1930s. The teardrop or streamlined shape with the rapidly declining tail and the distinctive tail fin would improve stability at high speeds of up to 140 km/h, and the empty weight of the vehicle stands at only 1.170 kg. The ŠKODA 935 Dynamic is 4.86 meters long, 1.68 meters wide and 1.54 meters high. The long wheelbase of 3.20 meters and 1.25 (front) and 1.30 meters (rear) wide track emphasize its elegant appearance, and also allow space for up to five passengers. The spare wheel positioned horizontally in the boot serves as an additional bumper.

The brand’s innovative power in the 1930s is also demonstrated in the engine concept of the ŠKODA 935 Dynamic. The water-cooled, 40 kW (54 hp) four-cylinder boxer engine with a displacement of 1995 cm3 and two Zenith carburettors is located in the rear in front of the rear axle. The developers promised better dynamic response for uphill driving and fewer vibrations in the rear outer section. The passengers were also to be better protected from unpleasant odours and heat from the engine compartment. The drive force of the ŠKODA 935 Dynamic is transferred to the rear wheels via an electromagnetic, semi-automatic four-speed transmission from the French supplier 'Cotal'. Another innovation came in the placement of the fuel tank, which is located in the support tube of the central tube frame with a capacity of 40 litres.

The vehicles presented as part of ŠKODA’s special exhibition in addition to the unique ŠKODA 935 created an arc from the automotive beginnings of the company up to ŠKODA’s luxury cars of the 1930s. The legendary Voiturette type A from 1905 was the first car built by ŠKODA’s founding fathers Laurin and Klement (L & K). A milestone in the early days of L & K automobile production was the open-top touring car Laurin & Klement type S, built in 1911. In the year 1925, L&K merged with the Plzen-based engineering company ŠKODA. It was also in that year that production began on the Laurin & Klement 110. The model featured the logo of both L&K and ŠKODA, and 3000 of them were built. In the 1930s, ŠKODA made a name for themselves producing prestigious luxury class vehicles. These were best represented at Schloss Bensberg by the ŠKODA Rapid Cabrio De Luxe built in 1937 and the ŠKODA Superb OHV saloon, dating back to 1939.

In addition to their special exhibition, ŠKODA also raised the flag high during the 'Rallye Historique' at the 'Schloss Bensberg Classics', with three ŠKODA vintage cars takin part in the event on. The impressive ŠKODA 645 built in 1930 is among the outstanding representatives of ŠKODA’s prestigious touring saloons of the 1930s. Only 758 of the ŠKODA 645 were built between 1929 and 1934. The number 645 refers to the engine performance: The first digit '6' indicates the number of cylinders, '45' stands for the horsepower.

ŠKODA’s trio in the Rallye Historique was rounded off by two iconic ŠKODAs built in the 1960s. The beautifully shaped convertible ŠKODA Felicia was a real crowd pleaser with its distinctive tail fins and balanced proportions. Almost 15,000 ŠKODA Felicias were produced between 1959 and 1964. The convertible is highly sought after among collectors. The same is true of the ŠKODA 1100 MBX – an elegant two-door model based on the ŠKODA 1000 MB. Only 2,517 of the 1100 MBX were produced between 1966 and 1969.

ŠKODA AUTO will be celebrating the company’s 120th anniversary this year, making the brand one of the longest established vehicle producers in the world. The roots of the company lie in 1895. 120 years ago, bicycle mechanic Václav Laurin and bookkeeper Václav Klement founded a bicycle-production company together (L&K) in Mladá Boleslav, Bohemia.  Automobile manufacturing began in 1905: L&K’s first car was the ‘Voiturette A’. What Laurin and Klement began in 1895 has since grown into an internationally successful volume manufacturer with 7 model series and 35 model versions.  Producing more than 17 million vehicles since 1905 proves the strength of the ŠKODA brand.

The 'Schloss Bensberg Classics' is one of the most exclusive events for historic cars. The main programme includes the star-studded Rallye Historique and a FIVA-A Concours d'Elegance with some of the most beautiful and rare classic automobiles in the world. The ‘Schloss Bensberg Classics’ is one of the events under the ‘Louis Vuitton Classic Concours Award’, and is thus on par with renowned competitions, such as Pebble Beach, California and Villa d’Este, Italy.
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Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 28, 2015, 11:24:28 pre podne

“Formula 1 in the forest”: ŠKODA Fabia R5 to contest the fastest rally of the year

​› Rally Finland: Average speed well above 100 km/h
› After the first WRC 2 victory for the Fabia R5, Esapekka Lappi is looking forward to his home rally – Pontus Tidemand at the wheel of the second ŠKODA rally car
› Michal Hrabánek: “Rally Finland enthrals fans and drivers”

​Mladá Boleslav, 28th July 2015 – Next stop, Rally Finland: ŠKODA is hoping to add another chapter to the success story of the new Fabia R5 at the “Formula 1 in the forest”. Three and a half weeks after the historic first WRC 2 victory for the new high-tech rally car, the ŠKODA works duos Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) and Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) take on the fastest rally in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). In addition to a perfectly tuned car, the 319.38 kilometres of this rally demand courage and driving precision.

​“The Rally Finland is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the year. It enthrals fans and drivers alike, because it has everything that rallying is about,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. Its high average speed of well over 100 kilometres per hour and large sections driven at full throttle mean that the Rally Finland is also dubbed “Formula 1 in the forest”. Ideal terrain for the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 and the two works drivers Lappi and Tidemand, who brought home an acclaimed one-two victory at the Rally Poland, which is also extremely fast.

“This victory confirmed that we are on the right track with our new ŠKODA Fabia R5. But the success is no reason for us to rest on our laurels. Naturally we want to be up there fighting for podium spots again at the Rally Finland,” said Hrabánek. European Champions Lappi/Ferm are particularly motivated, after all the Rally Finland is an emotional home event for them. Many Finnish rally drivers became national heroes on legendary stages such as 'Mökkiperä' and 'Myhinpää'.

After a year off, the legendary 'Ouninpohja' stage is back on the rally schedule this year; some of the drivers jump further than 50 metres in their cars on this stage. “Plenty of full throttle and long jumps: I love this rally in my home country,” said Lappi. “You need a lot of courage at the Rally Finland and can't afford to make even a minor error. We are really looking forward to our home rally and want to delight the fans,” he said, with his sights set on another win: “Naturally we will try to bring home the next victory. The last rally in Poland demonstrated that the Fabia R5 has all the important qualities of a winning car.”

Pontus Tidemand is also a fan of the fast gravel tracks through the Finnish forests and past the proverbial 1000 lakes. “I drove onto the podium here as a junior, the high-speed passages and jumps are just magnificent. There probably won't be much of a gap between the drivers. That means you need to find just the right mix of calculated risk and clever driving,” said ŠKODA's second Scandinavian driver.

Both Lappi and Tidemand could continue to make up ground in the WRC overall standings with another top result at the Rally Finland. Although the two ŠKODA drivers have only contested three of the seven events of the season so far, they are already in fifth and sixth place. The new Fabia R5's success rate is also impressive: In the WRC 2 classification of the FIA WRC, ŠKODA has already bagged five podium positions, including one win, in three starts.

In the Czech Rally Championship (MČR), Jan Kopecký (CZ) and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) have celebrated four wins in four races with the new car so far. The most recent chapter in the success story: An acclaimed home victory at the 42nd Rally Bohemia in the region around ŠKODA headquarters in Mladá Boleslav.

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event / Date

Rally Monte Carlo; 22.01.–25.01.2015
​Rally Sweden; ​12.02.–15.02.2015   
​Rally Mexiko; ​05.03.–08.03.2015 
​Rally Argentina; ​23.04.–26.04.2015   
​Rally Portugal; ​21.05.–24.05.2015   
​Rally Italia​; 11.06.–14.06.2015
​Rally Poland; 02.07.–05.07.2015  ​
​Rally Finland; ​30.07.–02.08.2015 
​Rally Deutschland​; ​20.08.–23.08.2015   
​Rally Australia; 10.09.–13.09.2015
​Rally France​; ​01.10.–04.10.2015
​Rally Spain; ​22.10.–25.10.2015
​Rally Great Britain; ​12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 01, 2015, 09:59:24 posle podne
ŠKODA teams extend their lead at the Rally Finland

​› One-two: Esapekka Lappi continues to hold a commanding lead over Pontus Tidemand
› ŠKODA Fabia R5 proves to be the best WRC 2 rally car at the fastest rally of the year
› Only 28.26 kilometres stand between the team and their second WRC 2 win

​Jyväskylä, 1st August 2015 – ŠKODA put on a strong showing with the Fabia R5 on the penultimate day of the Rally Finland, winning all eight special stages and consolidating their position at the top of the overall standings.

Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) go into the final day of their home event in a strong position, having built up a commanding lead over their team-mates Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) at the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). Only 28.26 kilometres stand between the ŠKODA works team and their second successive World Championship victory.
​“We were able to stay in control. There was no need to take any risks but we kept up the fast pace. I really like our Fabia R5 and everything about it worked perfectly,” noted Lappi. He was involved in a fascinating duel with his team-mate Tidemand, as the two drivers competed for the best times for each stage. The Swedish driver recorded the fastest time on four occasions, just bettering the achievement of reigning European champion Lappi. In special stage 12, both drivers clocked a time of 10:30.0 to share first place.

“This duel with Esapekka was a lot of fun and the results were often really tight. We also didn’t give it 100 per cent but it’s all about keeping a cool head,” said Tidemand. Despite their composed driving styles, the two ŠKODA works duos in their Fabias were able to increase their lead over the competition. The most surprising event of the day was not the rain showers falling from the grey skies above Jyväskylä, but the appearance of a bear with her two cubs. She was in the vicinity of the Horkka special stage and had to be led away to safety by a helicopter.
 
Sunday’s stages on the gravel are expected to be even more exciting, as the fastest rally of the year comes to a conclusion with two attempts at the Myhinpää special stage. ŠKODA is in the perfect position to repeat the historic achievements at the Rally Poland four weeks ago, by celebrating another one-two victory.  

Number of the day for the Rally Finland: 15

18 special stages have taken place so far at the Rally Finland, and ŠKODA has emerged victorious on 15 of these. This rally is providing clear proof that the Fabia R5 is the fastest car taking part in WRC 2. Esapekka Lappi posted the best time on ten stages, and Pontus Tidemand did so on four occasions. The ŠKODA works drivers also shared one  first place, finishing with identical times.

Rally Finland  – WRC 2 standings

1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5                  2:26.53.2 hrs
2. Tidemand/Axelsson (S/S), ŠKODA Fabia R5              + 1.23.3 min
3. Lefebvre/Prevot (F/B), Citroën DS3 RRC                + 3.03.3 min
4. Protasov/Cherepin (UA/UA), Ford Fiesta S2000              + 4.31.3 min
5. Pedder/Moscatt (AUS/AUS), Ford Fiesta R5                + 6.12.9 min

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event                    Date               
Rally Monte Carlo            22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden                 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico                   05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina               23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal                 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy                      11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland                   02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland                30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany               20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia                10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France                   01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain                     22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain          12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 02, 2015, 10:58:49 posle podne
Success for ŠKODA: Lappi wins in Finland to take WRC 2 lead

​› Esapekka Lappi claims dominant home win, ahead of ŠKODA team-mate Pontus Tidemand
› Second one-two in a row for the ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
› ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek: “Confirmation that the team’s hard work is paying off”

​Jyväskylä, 2nd August 2015 – Another historic milestone for the new ŠKODA Fabia R5: Esapekka Lappi (FIN) moved to the top of the overall standings in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2), courtesy of a dominant win on home soil at the Rally Finland. After a dazzling display at “Formula One in the Forest”, the “Flying Finn” and co-driver Janne Ferm (FIN) triumphed ahead of the second ŠKODA works team of Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S). This was the second one-two in a row for the ŠKODA works team – just four weeks after the historic first WRC victory at the Rally Poland.

​“A great day for ŠKODA! This is another confirmation that the team’s hard work is paying off. Our new Fabia R5 once again ran perfectly for the full 320 kilometres of special stage at the fastest rally of the year,” said Michal Hrabánek. The ŠKODA Motorsport Director saved particular praise for the two driver/co-driver pairings: “At the Rally Finland, you need to drive skilfully and show courage and nerves of steel. Esappekka Lappi/Janne Ferm and Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson once again showed their class. Top spot in the WRC 2 table gives us another boost of motivation ahead of the coming rallies.”

The 25 points for their success in Finland have catapulted Esapekka Lappi to first place in the Drivers’ Championship – although ŠKODA has only contested half of the eight rounds of the WRC season so far. Lappi now leads with 70 points, followed by his compatriot Jari Ketomaa (67). In third place is the second ŠKODA driver, Pontus Tidemand (61). “It is obviously awesome to lead the WRC 2 standings. Above all, however, I am delighted to win my home rally. It is really special to win this WRC classic in front of so many fans. We drove perfectly, had perfect pace notes and a perfect car. I would like to thank the entire ŠKODA team,” said an overjoyed Lappi.

The 24-year-old was the outstanding driver in a dominant Fabia R5. On his way to victory he twice won the iconic Ouninpohja stage, which, with more than 70 jumps, is seen as the ultimate test of courage in the world of rallying. Clocking an average speed of 127.13 kilometres per hour, Lappi emphatically proved why the Rally Finland is also known as “Formula One in the Forest”. The ŠKODA Fabia R5 won 17 of the 20 special stages, making it the clear number one in the WRC 2 competition.

“Top speed all the way, lots of jumps, thousands of fans at every stage – the Rally Finland is a real highlight in the rallying calendar. Luckily for us, the Fabia R5 is the perfect car,” said Tidemand. “Second place was the best result we could have hoped for here. Congratulations to Esapekka and Janne.” Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm will be chasing more victories and FIA World Rally Championship titles in two and a half weeks. The Rally Germany from 21st to 23rd August is the next challenge, and the second ŠKODA works team will be represented by Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ).

Pontus Tidemand and Emil Axelsson are returning to the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), and will be competing in Malaysia in two weeks’ time. With two victories and one second-place finish already, the ŠKODA works drivers have a commanding lead in the overall APRC standings.


Number of the day for the Rally Finland: 7

Seven podiums from just four starts in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) – that is the impressive record achieved by ŠKODA with the new Fabia R5. The car’s debut at the Rally Portugal ended with second and third place for Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand. The third works driver, Jan Kopecký (CZ) then finished third to claim his spot on the podium at the Rally Italy. This was followed by a one-two for Lappi and Tidemand in Poland, and now a repeat of that result in Finland.


Rally Finland – WRC 2 Result

1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5                  2:40:15.0 hrs
2. Tidemand/Axelsson (S/S), ŠKODA Fabia R5                + 1:41.0 min
3. Lefebvre/Prevot (F/B), Citroën DS3 RRC                     + 3:31.5 min
4. Protasov/Cherepin (UA/UA), Ford Fiesta S2000           + 4:58.3 min
5. Pedder/Moscatt (AUS/AUS), Ford Fiesta R5                 + 6:45.6 min
 

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event / Date               
Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany: 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia: 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France: 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain: 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain: 12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 18, 2015, 03:28:26 posle podne
Rally Germany: ŠKODA power with five Fabia R5s

​› Lappi/Ferm travel to Germany as new WRC 2 leaders
› Kopecký/Dresler dominate the Czech Rally Championship
› Three customer racing duos line up with the new Fabia R5 at the Rally Germany
› ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek: “We want to stay on the road to success with the Fabia R5”

​Mladá Boleslav, 18 August 2015 – After two one-twos in a row at the last two races in the WRC 2, ŠKODA now turns its attention to the Rally Germany with the new ŠKODA Fabia R5. A large contingent of five ŠKODA Fabia R5s will take to the asphalt route at the ninth round of this year’s World Championship. Finnish ŠKODA duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm line up as WRC 2 leaders. The second ŠKODA works team in action is that of Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ). They are joined by three high-quality customer teams with the Fabia R5. ŠKODA’s five high-tech, four-wheel drive powerhouses will face around 375 kilometres against the clock, spread over 21 demanding special stages.

​“Five Fabia R5s at the Rally Germany – this strong presence is evidence of the fine job we did when developing our new rally car. The Rally Germany represents an enormous test for our teams. After two back-to-back one-twos, we would obviously like to challenge for the win again and remain on the road to success,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

The new Fabia R5 must prove itself on an official asphalt rally in the WRC 2 for the first time at the Rally Germany. The new rally car’s first four starts in the World Championship were all predominantly on gravel. The formidable ‘Hinkelstein’ boulders that line the route are not the only thing that make the varied roads around the city of Trier the most challenging asphalt race in the FIA World Rally Championship. 

 “It is going to be an extremely exciting Rally Germany. I am really looking forward to the challenge from Jan Kopecký and the three customer teams. Our goal is to claim a third win in a row in WRC 2. But it will be damned hard,” said Esapekka Lappi. The Finn recently won both the Rally Poland and the Rally Finland and now leads the WRC 2 standings.

Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler have also impressed so far this season. The Czech duo arrive at the Rally Germany undefeated at the top of the standings in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR). As such, Kopecký is brimming with confidence ahead of his second WRC 2 outing with the new Fabia R5: “Pavel and I are absolutely delighted to have another opportunity to prove ourselves in the World Rally Championship. We finished third on our WRC 2 debut on Sardinia this year. We will do everything in our power to finish on the podium again in Germany,” said the 33-year-old. The terrain ought to suit asphalt specialist Kopecký, who is also very familiar with the Rally Germany: he finished fifth here in 2007 to claim his best result in the top division of rallying, WRC.

As well as the two ŠKODA works teams, Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q), Armin Kremer (D) and Fabian Kreim (D) will also be at the wheel of a Fabia R5. Reigning WRC 2 champion Nasser Al-Attiyah, two-time winner of the iconic Rally Dakar, will test the new Fabia R5 for the first time as a customer. Kreim is making a one-off guest appearance in the FIA World Rally Championship for the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team. Former European champion Kremer is currently ninth in the WRC 2 standings with 34 points.


FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event/Date               
Rally Monte Carlo; 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden; 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico; 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina; 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal; 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy; 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland; 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland; 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany; 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia; 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France; 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain; 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain; 12.11.–15.11.2015


Did you know …

… Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm are the only duo to have won two WRC 2 rallies in a row this year? The Finns were victorious at the last two rounds in Poland and Finland.

… Esapekka Lappi tops the Drivers’ Championship in WRC 2, although he has only contested four of the season’s eight races so far? The Finn leads with 70 points, followed by compatriot Jari Ketomaa (67 points). Pontus Tidemand (61 points) is the second ŠKODA works driver in fourth place. Jan Kopecký already has 15 points to his name after just one WRC 2 outing this year.

… the ŠKODA works pairing of Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson do not line up at this rally, as they recently turned their attention to their mission to win the title in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)? The duo was in action last weekend at the fourth round of the season in Malaysia. The successful duo holds a commanding lead in the APRC after three wins and a second place.

… the Rally Germany made its debut in 1982? It was originally part of the European Championship. In 2000, the service park moved to Trier. Two years later, the Rally Germany was included in the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time.

… the infamous Panzerplatte will provide the backdrop for the shortest and longest special stage at the Rally Germany on Saturday? The drivers must tackle the 45.61-kilometre “Panzerplatte Lang” twice on the former military training ground, whilst the 2.87-kilometre “Arena” stage is run three times.

… the diversified characteristics of the special stages make the Rally Germany extremely demanding? Various different surfaces must be mastered on the sections at the Baumholder military training ground, narrow and bumpy roads wind through the Mosel vineyards, a plethora of corners and crests await in the Eifel Mountains, while the roads through Saarland demand a flat-out mentality.

… the rally will both start and finish in front of the famous Roman gate in Trier, the Porta Nigra? Translated, this means “Black Gate”. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and was built around 180 AD.

… the city of Trier was founded over 2000 years ago under the name Augusta Treverorum? As such, Trier can claim to be the oldest city in Germany.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 23, 2015, 05:26:07 posle podne
Kopecký clinches hat-trick of wins for the ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the WRC 2

​› After Poland and Finland, ŠKODA is victorious with its new rally car at the Rally Germany in WRC 2
› ŠKODA Fabia R5 shines with best times on 19 stages
› Michal Hrabánek: “The first WRC 2 win on asphalt is particularly special”

​Trier, 23 August 2015 – With his win at the Rally Germany, asphalt king Jan Kopecký (CZ) clinched the hat-trick of wins for the ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). There was also a first: 33-year-old Kopecký and his co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) celebrated the debut WRC 2 win on asphalt for ŠKODA's new rally car. And with a large lead of more than four minutes after 374.43 timed kilometres.

​“Jan Kopecký, Pavel Dresler and the entire ŠKODA Motorsport team have done a superb job. The first WRC 2 win on asphalt is particularly special. Firstly, because after the two wins on gravel in Poland and Finland, we have now proven that our new ŠKODA Fabia R5 is a winning car on any surface. Secondly, because Germany is the most important market for ŠKODA in Europe. However, this win is simply the motivation for us to continue to work hard for future successes,” summed up Michal Hrabánek, Motorsport Director at ŠKODA. ŠKODA development board member Dr. Frank Welsch was also delighted by the team's performance, after experiencing it first hand on the stages and at the service park in Trier.

In Kopecký/Dresler he witnessed a ŠKODA works team that drove in a league of its own in the WRC 2 at the Rally Germany. The successful duo took the lead on the first stage and continued to extend it on the narrow asphalt roads through picturesque vineyards. The reigning Asia-Pacific champion was in control at all times and fascinated tens of thousands of fans in glorious sunshine on the dreaded stages. “We are delighted with this win! That was a rally to enjoy in a fantastic car. Once again our ŠKODA Fabia R5 proved what an outstanding rally car it is,” said the old hand.

After four wins in four races, Kopecký is on track to win the title in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR). Kopecký will be back in action in the national championship at the Barum Czech Rally Zlin this coming weekend. Kopecký: “We are already really looking forward to the Barum Rally with thousands of enthusiastic rally fans in our home country.”

The second ŠKODA works team of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) shone at the ninth event of the FIA World Rally Championship season with seven best times in WRC 2. A mistake on the second special stage at the Rally Germany put paid to any hopes of a top result. “After this mistake we were able to gain valuable experience here. We will be back on the attack in the next races and hope to do better,” said Lappi.
 
The new front-runner in the WRC 2 championship standings is reigning champion and Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q). On his debut in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the area of customer racing, the top driver worked his way up into fourth place in the classification after an impressive chase. The 22-year-old ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver Fabian Kreim (D) also hinted at his talent with top times in the Fabia R5.

Number of the day for the Rally Germany: 19

The ŠKODA Fabia R5 was the fastest car in the WRC 2 field on 19 of 21 special stages at the Rally Germany. Winner Jan Kopecký got the best time on eleven of the stages, the second works driver Esapekka Lappi was number 1 seven times. The other best time went to the reigning WRC 2 champion and Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q), who was in action in ŠKODA's new rally as a customer for the first time.

Rally Germany – final standings WRC 2

1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5: 3:47:18.8 hrs.
2. Camilli/Veillas (F/F), Ford Fiesta R5: + 4:13.8 min.
3. Giordano/Sarreaud (F/F), Citroën DS3 S2000: + 6:14.7 min.
4. Al-Attiyah/Baumel (Q/F), ŠKODA Fabia R5: + 6:36.5 min.
5. Breen/Scott (IRL/GB), Peugeot 208 T16 R5: + 6:54.0 min.

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event / Date               
Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany: 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia: 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France: 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain: 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain: 12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 25, 2015, 11:37:03 pre podne
Rally Zlín: Kopecký out to wrap up first title for the ŠKODA works team with the Fabia R5

​› Four races, four wins: comfortable overall lead for ŠKODA works duo Kopecký/Dresler in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
› Three successive wins for the ŠKODA Fabia R5 also in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
› Rally Zlín: round five of the MČR also forms part of the FIA European Rally Championship
› Michal Hrabánek: “Zlín is one of the highlights of the season”

​Mladá Boleslav, 25 August 2015 – The new ŠKODA Fabia R5 possesses genuine power: ŠKODA duo Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) have won all four rounds of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) so far in ŠKODA’s new rally car. Kopecký/Dresler also got the third win in a row for the ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) at the Rally Germany this past weekend. ŠKODA can secure overall victory in the MČR with a race still to come at the 45th Barum Czech Rally Zlín (28th to 30th August). This would be the first title for the works team with the Fabia R5.

​The fifth and penultimate race of the MČR season also forms a round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). As such, ŠKODA will face some big names from all over Europe at its home rally in Moravia. The result of the Barum Rally is classified with a coefficient of 1.5, meaning any points scored in the Czech Republic will be multiplied by 1.5. Before then, however, the drivers must complete 229.21 kilometres against the clock, spread over 15 special stages.

“With its spectacular asphalt routes, thousands of fans and unpredictable weather, the Barum Czech Rally Zlín is one of the highlights of the Czech Rally Championship,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “We have a chance of winning the Czech Rally Championship, and want to produce another top performance with our Fabia R5. We are also looking forward to some thrilling battles with many top European drivers.”

With four wins from four starts in the MČR, the Fabia R5 has proven to be a fast, reliable and winning car this season. ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký tops the overall standings in the MČR and holds a big lead over his closest rival Václav Pech (CZ). “We love the Barum. We want to win and convert this ‘match point’ to claim our first title with the Fabia R5,” said Kopecký.

Crowd favourite Kopecký already has three victories at the Barum Czech Rally Zlín to his name. His wins have come in a biennial rhythm: 2009, 2011 and 2013. Were this run to continue, the 33-year-old would be set to secure victory number four.



Czech Rally Championship (MČR)

Event /Date
Rally Šumava Klatovy; 24.04.–25.04.2015
Rally Český Krumlov; 22.05.–23.05.2015
Rally Hustopeče; 19.06.–20.06.2015
Rally Bohemia; 10.07.–12.07.2015
Barum Czech Rally Zlín; 28.08.–30.08.2015
Rally Příbram; 02.10.–04.10.2015


Did you know …

… the iconic Trojak special stage is the longest stage of the rally, at a length of 23.01 kilometres? The drivers tackle this stage twice on Sunday. After the 4.71-kilometre qualifying stage, the Rally officially gets underway on Friday with the traditional city stage through the centre of Zlín. The 9.51-kilometre stage will be lined by thousands of spectators.

... throughout the history of this iconic rally, there have been two incidences of one car winning the rally five times in a row? It goes without saying that both cars were ŠKODAs. Between 1976 and 1980, the winner was always at the wheel of a ŠKODA 130 RS. From 2009 to 2013, the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 was the victorious car. Last year, Sepp Wiegand (D) finished runner-up in the Fabia Super 2000.

... the Barum Czech Rally Zlín will be held for the 45th time this year? The rally made its debut in 1971. The first winner was Czech driver Jan Halmazňa – at the wheel of a ŠKODA (the 1100 MB) of course.

… the Barum Czech Rally Zlín was included in the Czechoslovakian Rally Championship for the first time in 1972? It also formed part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) for many years, and was even spoken of as a potential round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2005. Following the merger with the IRC, this year’s rally forms part of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), as it did in 2013.

… the Barum Czech Rally Zlín was a massive 1200 kilometres long in 1974? This remains the longest distance in the history of the rally. For comparison: ‘only’ 229.21 kilometres of special stage are scheduled this year.

… the industrial city of Zlín has a population of over 75,000 and is almost 700 years old? The oldest written record of Zlín is from 1322. In socialist times, between 1949 and 1990, the city was called Gottwaldov.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 30, 2015, 07:16:49 posle podne
Jan Kopecký wins Czech championship title in the ŠKODA Fabia R5

​› Fifth win in fifth race gives Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler victory in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) before the end of the season
› Victory over Europe's elite at the 45th Barum Czech Rally Zlín and first title for the works team with the ŠKODA Fabia R5
› Special title hat-trick for Kopecký/Dresler: First European champions (2013), then Asia-Pacific champions (2014), now national champions (2015)
› Michal Hrabánek: “Reward for the work of the entire team”

​Zlín, 30 August 2015 – ŠKODA driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) was crowned Czech national champion, thereby giving the works team its first title with the new Fabia R5. Together with his co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ), Kopecký was victorious on home soil at the 45th Barum Czech Rally Zlín, beating the gathered European elite and delighting thousands of fans. After the fifth win in five races this season, Kopecký/Dresler have clinched the title in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) before the end of the season. After victory in the European Championship (2013) and in the Asia-Pacific Championship (2014), this completed a very special hat-trick of titles.

​“Congratulations to our Czech national champions Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler! The first title with the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 for our works team is the reward for the work of the entire team of ŠKODA Motorsport. And also confirmation that we got something right when developing our new rally rocket,” praised ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

The ŠKODA Fabia R5, which was first presented to the international public in April, proved to be a reliable and pacy winning car in the Czech national championship. Veteran driver Kopecký was unbeatable in the turbo four-wheel drive once again in the fifth race of the season and didn't let the European elite get a look in. The penultimate race of the MČR season was also part of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC).

“We are delighted to have won the championship title! Václav Pech really didn't make things easy for us in the course of the season. But our ŠKODA Fabia R5 really is very very strong. I would also like to thank the team at ŠKODA Motorsport, who made it easy for us to win. First our victory at the Rally Germany in the WRC 2, then a week later victory in the ERC here at home – we really have had a brilliant time. Now it's time to celebrate,” said Kopecký. The 33-year-old Czech won the coveted Czech national championship title for the third time, after victory in 2004 (in the ŠKODA Fabia WRC) and 2012 (in the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000).

It was made possible by a convincing performance on the demanding asphalt tracks in Moravia with numerous changes of direction. With wins on all eight of Saturday's special stages, Kopecký/Dresler built up a lead over arch-rival Václav Pech (CZ), which they managed to defend well on the six tricky special stages on Sunday, despite turning their car. This saw them continue their streak of winning every two years: After 2009, 2011 and 2013, they celebrated their fourth victory at the highlight of the season on the Czech rally scene.

And after the historic first title win with the Fabia R5, the ŠKODA works team is on the hunt for further titles this year. In the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), the works team of Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) is on track to win the title. Works duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) are also in with a good chance in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). “The first title win is our motivation to work even harder to get further success,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

The number for the Barum Czech Rally Zlín: 9

The ŠKODA Fabia R5 was once again the outstanding car in the ERC rally in Moravia. Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler won nine of the 15 special stages. In doing so, the new Czech national champions achieved the feat of winning all eight of Saturday's stages.

Barum Czech Rally Zlín – final result overall standings

1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5; 2:12:17.7 hrs. 
2. Pech/Uhel (CZ/CZ), Mini John Cooper Works S2000; + 0:27.3 min.
3. Kajetanowicz/Baran (PL/PL), Ford Fiesta R5; + 0:39.9 min.
4. Lukyanuk/Arnautov (BY/RUS), Ford Fiesta R5; + 1:10.8 min.
5. Valoušek/Havelková (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000; + 2:30.0 min.

Czech Rally Championship (MČR)

Event / Date
Rally Šumava Klatovy: 24.04.–25.04.2015
Rally Český Krumlov: 22.05.–23.05.2015
Rally Hustopeče: 19.06.–20.06.2015
Rally Bohemia: 10.07.–12.07.2015
Barum Czech Rally Zlín: 28.08.–30.08.2015
Rally Příbram: 02.10.–04.10.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Septembar 29, 2015, 05:28:35 posle podne
Rally Corsica: ŠKODA and the Fabia R5 out to continue winning run in WRC 2

​› ŠKODA leads WRC 2 Team standings on the back of three WRC 2 wins in a row
› Two ŠKODA works teams in action on Corsica: Lappi/Ferm and newly-crowned APRC champions Tidemand/Axelsson
› ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek: “The next big challenge for our new Fabia R5”
› “Rally of 10,000 Corners” on Corsica from 1st to 4th October

​Mladá Boleslav, 29 September 2015 – ŠKODA heads to the Rally Corsica (1 to 4 October) with the new Fabia R5 on the back of three WRC 2 victories in succession. Armed with its new rally car, the Czech manufacturer will be pushing for more success at the eleventh round of the 13-round season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). Lining up for ŠKODA are the two works crews of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) and Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S). Tidemand/Axelsson travel to the Mediterranean island as the newly-crowned champions of this year’s Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.

​“So far this season, the new Fabia R5 has consistently shown what it is capable of. We are out to continue our winning run on Corsica. The Rally Corsica will be a big challenge for our car and, above all, for our teams, who unfortunately have almost no experience of the special stages this time. Any mistakes are punished mercilessly,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

The ‘Tour de Corse’ is taking place for the 58th time this year, and is regarded as one of the most demanding rallies of all. A precision job is required on the narrow, winding mountain roads, some of which are flanked by steep rock faces on the one side and sea cliffs on the other side. Between Friday and Sunday, a total of nine special stages and over 330 kilometres against the clock must be completed against this breath-taking backdrop. As well as the two ŠKODA works duos, former European champion Armin Kremer (D) will also be in action in a ŠKODA Fabia R5.

“The rally on Corsica is a real challenge. We are in it to win. We are very motivated and know that we cannot afford to make any mistakes,” said Esapekka Lappi. The Finn, currently fourth in the overall WRC 2 standings, already has two victories with the Fabia R5 to his name (Rally Poland and Rally Finland) in the current WRC 2 season. As the three crews ahead of him in the championship are not in action this weekend, a good result could see Lappi significantly close the gap to the leaders.

The ŠKODA works duo of Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson are also well-placed in the WRC 2 championship. Tidemand travels to Corsica as the newly-crowned champion of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). The Swede wrapped up the APRC title with races still to come, courtesy of victory at the Rally Japan on the second weekend in September. This is the fourth APRC title in a row for a ŠKODA works driver – following in the footsteps of Chris Atkinson (AUS/2012), Gaurav Gill (IND/2013) and Jan Kopecký (CZ/2014).

ŠKODA Motorsport Director Hrabánek: “The entire ŠKODA team would like to congratulate Pontus Tidemand and Emil Axelsson on their title in the APRC. Despite being in their first season with ŠKODA Motorsport, they are both doing a superb job.” Pontus Tidemand added: “Winning the APRC is a dream come true. I am now really looking forward to my next start in the World Rally Championship. The rally on Corsica will be like riding on the edge of a razor blade. Our goal is to finish on the podium. To achieve that, we must keep a cool head.”

In its first season, the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 is proving to be a natural born winner. As well as the successful outings in the WRC 2, the new rally car already has three national championships to its name. Fabia R5 driver Jan Kopecký wasted no time in claiming the title in the Czech championship with five wins from five rallies. In Austria, the experienced Raimund Baumschlager won the national championship in his Fabia R5. In Hungary, Norberg Herczig (H) was crowned national rally champion in a Fabia R5.


Did you know …

… ŠKODA Motorsport is the only team in this year’s WRC 2 to win three races in a row? Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm triumphed in Poland and Finland, making them the only crew with two back-to-back WRC 2 wins to their name. Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler won the Rally Germany in dominant fashion at the wheel of the ŠKODA Fabia R5.

… ŠKODA Motorsport holds a commanding lead in the WRC 2 Team competition? The team has scored the maximum 125 points from five starts and currently lies 24 points ahead of the Youth and Sports Qatar Rally Team.

… ŠKODA works driver Esapekka Lappi is well-placed in fourth place in the WRC 2 Drivers’ Championship, despite only having raced at half of the season’s ten rallies so far? With 70 points, he trails leader Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q), who has contested one rally more than the Finn, by 27 points. 25 points are available for a win. A further ŠKODA works driver is currently sixth, in the form of Pontus Tidemand (61 points). He is followed in seventh place overall by a third driver for the successful Czech team – Jan Kopecký (40 points), who won in Germany.

… the French round of the World Rally Championship returns to the Mediterranean island of Corsica after a seven-year absence? In recent years, Alsace has hosted the home rally of three-time world champion Sébastien Ogier (F/Volkswagen). This year’s event is officially called the “Tour de Corse Rallye de France”.

… the “Tour de Corse” formed part of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) from 1973 to 2008? A such, this year’s rally on Corsica is a first for the WRC 2. The championship was held for the first time in 2010.

… the Rally Corsica was held for the first time in 1956 and this year takes place for the 58th time? Some years, competitors had to complete over 1,000 kilometres against the clock. This year, that figure is just over 330 kilometres, spread over nine special stages.

… the iconic event on Corsica is also known as the “Rally of 10,000 Corners”? The majority of the route is on narrow, winding mountain roads, with rock faces on one side and steep cliffs on the other.

… the rally is notorious for its many punctures? The majority is held on rough, coarse asphalt, with the drivers often cutting the corners. This puts extreme strain on the tyres.

… the “Tour de Corse” has been a happy stomping ground for ŠKODA Motorsport? In 2013, Jan Kopecký finished runner-up en route to winning the title in the FIA European Rally Championship. Esapekka Lappi secured victory in the European Championship here in 2014.

… the rally runs through all the regions of Corsica? The start and finish of the rally are located in Ajaccio, on the west coast. The overnight stop on Friday is in Bastia, in the north of the island. The crews then spend Saturday night in the southern town of Porto Vecchio. The service park is located in Corte, in the centre of the island.

… Corsica is the fourth-largest Mediterranean island and has a population of over 300,000? The highest mountain, Monte Cinto, is 2706 metres high.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 03, 2015, 08:12:50 posle podne

WRC 2: Lappi in second place ahead of the final day of the Rally Corsica

​› Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm shine with a best time in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 on Saturday, move up a place and keep their hopes of winning alive
› Despite sunshine on the Mediterranean island, one of the special stages had to be cancelled
› Lappi:  “We drove taking controlled risks”

​Corte/France, 3 October 2015 – Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 head into the final day of the Rally Corsica in second place. The ŠKODA works duo shone in the two stages on Saturday with a best time in the sunshine, moved up a place in the WRC 2 classification and head into the final three special stages on Sunday with victory still possible. Just like at the start of the eleventh event of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) season, one of the three planned sections on day two had to be cancelled in the wake of a storm.

“We drove taking controlled risks again today. It is incredibly difficult to get used to the changing grip levels on the tracks. The aim now is to make it to the end of this challenging rally safely,” said Lappi. At least the sun was back in the sky on Saturday, after a storm on Friday resulted in road damage and landslides throughout the Mediterranean island. Despite the improved weather conditions, the “rally of 10,000 turns” was still a real challenge on day two due to alternating dry and wet sections on the rough asphalt.

However, Esapekka Lappi proved equal to all of these difficulties at the wheel of his ŠKODA Fabia R5. The 24-year-old got the best time on the morning's 36.43-kilometre special stage, which saw him move up a place to take P2 in the WRC 2 classification. On the 48.46-kilometre special stage, the longest of the Rally Corsica, the fast Finn defended this position in the afternoon. The 2014 European Champion heads into the final day trailing Frenchman Julien Maurin by just 19.0 seconds.

The second ŠKODA works team of Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) also returned to the race on Saturday after the ŠKODA mechanics repaired the suspension damage late on Friday evening. The two Swedes were awarded a time penalty of ten minutes for not reaching the finish line on day one and are currently in twelfth place. “First and foremost, massive thanks to the magnificent ŠKODA crew, who fixed our rally car. We will use the remaining stages to try and make it into the top ten,” said Tidemand.

Three stages covering 94.91 kilometres are scheduled for Sunday. It will then be seen whether ŠKODA can continue its run of success in WRC 2. In all five of the WRC starts so far this year, at least one ŠKODA Fabia R5 has finished on the podium.

Number of the day for the Rally Corsica: 3

Former European Champion Armin Kremer (D) delivered another fantastic performance in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 from the customer racing area. The 46-year-old veteran and his co-driver Pirmin Winklhofer are in third place in the WRC 2 standings, directly behind ŠKODA works driver Esapekka Lappi, going into the final day. This means Kremer is in with a great chance of finishing on the podium.
 

Rally Corsica – WRC 2 Result

1. Maurin/Klinger (F/F), Ford Fiesta S2000: 1:46:30.1 hrs.
2. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5: + 0:19.0 min.
3. Kremer/Winklhofer (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia R5: + 1:28.3 min.
4. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN), Ford Fiesta R5: + 3:05.0 min.
5. Camilli/Veillas (F/F), Ford Fiesta R5: + 3:32.7 min.
12. Tidemand/Axelsson (S/S), ŠKODA Fabia R5:+ 13:46.6 min.

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event/Date   
Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany: 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia: 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally Corsica: 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain: 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain: 12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 05, 2015, 11:01:33 pre podne

Second place on Corsica: Lappi continues ŠKODA's run of success in the WRC 2

​› New ŠKODA Fabia R5 on the podium once again on its sixth start in WRC 2
› Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm move up into second place in the WRC 2 overall standings
› Michal Hrabánek: “The ŠKODA team and the Fabia R5 have also mastered this difficult challenge”

​Ajaccio/France, 4 October 2015 – The works duo Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) finished second at the Rally Corsica to continue ŠKODA's run of success in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). This means that the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 has made it onto the podium in all six of its WRC 2 starts this year. Lappi moved up two places in the overall standings of WRC 2 to take second place, keeping his hopes of the title alive. ŠKODA Motorsport also defended their top position in the team standings for WRC 2.

​“A storm and complicated track conditions: The Rally Corsica, which is demanding anyway, really was an even bigger challenge than usual this year. However, the ŠKODA team and the Fabia R5 also mastered this difficult challenge. Special praise goes to Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm, who kept a cool head in these conditions and truly deserved their spot on the podium,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

After seven special stages and well over 245 kilometres, Lappi trailed Frenchman Julien Maurin by just 20.9 seconds at the “rally of 10,000 turns”. After a thrilling duel lasting for the duration of the rally, it was not until the last stage of the final day that the winner was decided. “Of course we would have loved to win, but we are very pleased with second place. It was one of the most difficult rallies of my career, with the completely unpredictable conditions on the asphalt on day one in particular. Water, stones, mud – fortunately our ŠKODA Fabia R5 delivered another perfect performance,” said Lappi.

As it has at all six WRC 2 appearances this year since the official unveiling of the new rally car in mid April. After the top three positions in Portugal (Esapekka Lappi 2nd, Pontus Tidemand/S 3rd), Sardinia (Jan Kopecký/CZ 3rd), Poland (Lappi 1st, Tidemand 2nd), Finland (Lappi 1st, Tidemand 2nd) and Germany (Kopecký 1st), Lappi claimed the works team's ninth WRC 2 podium position in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 on Corsica. The “Flying Finn” is in second place in the WRC 2 overall standings going into the remaining two events of the season and trails front-runner Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q) by just nine points.

However, the great fighting spirit of the second ŠKODA works team of Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) went unrewarded at the Rally Corsica. After a best time on the first special stage on Friday, the Swedish duo had a spate of bad luck and were forced to finish the “rally of 10,000 turns” early. “First suspension damage, followed by tyre damage and then coming off the track on Sunday – it really was a rally best forgotten for us. But we will learn from our mistakes,” said Tidemand.

The 24-year-old Swede recently clinched ŠKODA's fourth successive FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) title. The new ŠKODA Fabia R5 also proved to be a sure-fire title winner in its first season. As well as its run of success in WRC 2, the car has already won three national championships. In the Czech championship, Jan Kopecký bagged the title before the end of the season after winning five events in a row. In Austria, veteran Raimund Baumschlager won the national championship in the Fabia R5. In Hungary, Norbert Herczig (H) was crowned national rally champion in the Fabia R5.


Number of the day for the Rally Corsica: 7

The Rally Corsica was won in just seven special stages this year. This is by far the fewest number of stages in the 13 events of the World Rally Championship this year. Nine special stages were originally planned for the Mediterranean island, however two of these had to be cancelled after a storm damaged the roads. In comparison: 23 special stages were on the itinerary for the WRC rally on Sardinia.


Rally Corsica – Final Result WRC 2

1. Maurin/Klinger (F/F), Ford Fiesta S2000: 2:46:11.3 hrs.
2. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5: + 0:20.9 min.
3. Camilli/Veillas (F/F), Ford Fiesta R5: + 3:42.9 min.
4. Breen/Scott (IRL/GB), Peugeot 208 T16 R5: + 3:49.7 min.
5. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN), Ford Fiesta R5: + 4:26.9 min.


FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event/Date   
Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany: 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia: 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally Corsica: 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain: 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain: 12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 24, 2015, 03:58:01 posle podne

Perfect start: One-two-three lead for ŠKODA at the Rally Spain

​› ŠKODA Motorsport dominates the WRC 2 standings with its three Fabia R5 works cars on the first leg
› Tidemand/Axelsson lead, followed by Kopecký/Dresler and Lappi/Ferm
› A total of five ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the top eight› 197.45 classified kilometres on asphalt are on the itinerary for Saturday

​Salou/Spain, 23 October 2015 – ŠKODA Motorsport got off to a perfect start at the Rally Spain and heads into the final two days with a one-two-three lead. After the first nine of a total of 23 special stages around the seaside resort of Salou on the Costa Daurada, Asia-Pacific Champions Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) lead the WRC 2 standings. Directly behind the Swedish duo are Czech Rally Champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) in second place (+ 33.7 seconds). The Finns Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (+ 39.4) are in third place. The penultimate event of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) sees ŠKODA line up with three Fabia R5 works cars for the first time.

​The 51st edition of the Rally Spain has extra challenges in store for the competitors. After a spectator stage at the opening of the rally at the foot of Montjuïc, where the 1992 Summer Olympic Games were held, on Thursday evening, Friday saw the drivers take on 128.6 kilometres of special stages mainly on gravel. On top of that, there was no midday service break for the teams, during which a set of completely fresh tyres could have been put on. However, the 14 remaining special stages on Saturday and Sunday will be held on asphalt surfaces – a unique mix in the WRC calendar.

“Naturally we are very pleased with this interim result. At first I didn’t know how fast we would be, but our times were good,” said front-runner Pontus Tidemand. “I definitely want to make it to the finish in this rally and pick up points for ŠKODA Motorsport. But you have to really watch out on the rough gravel tracks since large stones that are best avoided lie in wait at every turn. But our pace notes are very good and the Fabia R5 is working perfectly. Long may it continue.”

Jan Kopecký was also happy with his day. “To be in second place after the first leg is more than I had expected going into the rally,” said the asphalt specialist, who is competing for ŠKODA Motorsport II in Spain. “There was a lot of dust in the air on the gravel stages, I couldn’t see much at all in places. But I don’t want to complain because it’s the same for everyone here. It’s part of rallying. However, I’m looking forward to the asphalt stages now.”

Esapekka Lappi rounded off ŠKODA's one-two-three lead on Friday evening. “Today wasn’t that easy for us,” said the current runner-up in the championship. “We made a few mistakes on the short stages in the morning, which meant we lost a bit of time. But the afternoon was much better since we looked after our tyres well. There is still a long way to go in the rally.”

Championship leader Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q), who, like Armin Kremer (D), is competing in Spain in a Fabia R5 from ŠKODA’s customer racing programme, ended Friday’s action in fourth place (+ 1:43.8 minutes). In seventh place (+ 3:34.1 minutes), Kremer ensured that all five of the high-tech four-wheel drivers from Mladá Boleslav in action are in the top ten.


Number of the day: 75

15, 30, 45 and 10: These numbers usually set the pace for the team of mechanics in the WRC service park. At WRC events, the teams have 15 minutes at the start of a day of rallying to prepare their cars for the special stages that follow. Then during the midday service they have 30 minutes, and in the evening this is extended to 45 minutes for repairs and changing the tyres. However, after the final stage, the teams only have ten minutes, which they usually use to make their cars as clean and shiny as possible before sending them over the finish ramp. But this rhythm goes out the window at the Rally Spain. There was no midday service on Friday, instead, as an exception, the crews were allowed to work on their cars for up to 75 minutes in the evening, before they had to be taken to the Parc fermé. The reason being that the change from gravel to asphalt stages requires the cars to be converted from a rally car to a racing car as it were.


Rally Spain –WRC 2 Standings

1. Tidemand/Axelsson (S/S), ŠKODA Fabia R5; 1h 28m 09.0s
2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5; + 33.7s
3. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5; + 39.4s
4. Al-Attiyah/Baumel (Q/F), ŠKODA Fabia R5; + 1m 43.8s
5. Camilli/Veillas (F/F), Ford Fiesta R5; + 2m 10.1s

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event/Date
Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany: 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia: 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally Corsica: 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain: 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain: 12.11.–15.11.2015
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 25, 2015, 10:07:28 posle podne
Rally Spain: ŠKODA claims one-two with Tidemand and Kopecký

​› Tidemand/Axelsson triumph in the penultimate WRC race of the year
› Second place for Kopecký/Dresler emphasises outstanding performance of ŠKODA Fabia R5 on gravel and asphalt
› Four ŠKODA Fabia R5s take the first four places in the WRC 2 standings

​Salou/Spain, 25 October 2015 – ŠKODA Motorsport celebrated a resounding one-two at the Rally Spain. ŠKODA works duo Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) won the penultimate race in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) in their Fabia R5, claiming their first WRC 2 race victory for the Czech car-maker. Their team-mates Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) finished runner-up to complete the one-two for ŠKODA.

​“Congratulations to Pontus and Emil on their first WRC 2 victory in the ŠKODA Fabia R5,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “We are also delighted with the second place for Jan and Pavel. We are happy that this debut season for the new Fabia R5 has proven it to be a worthy replacement for the extremely successful Fabia Super 2000. The ŠKODA Fabia R5 won 17 of the 22 special stages here in Spain, which clearly goes to show how good our car is on gravel as well as on asphalt.”

“What a rally! It's my first WRC 2 win for ŠKODA and I could not be happier,” said Tidemand, who also won the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) for ŠKODA this season*. “When this rally started, my aim was simply to finish. I did not expect to be on top of the podium at all. However, our speed through the gravel stages on Friday was the key to our success. We tried to avoid taking unnecessary risks on the asphalt stages on Saturday and Sunday. This tactic paid off, even though Jan and Pavel made up some time on us. Thanks to everyone in the whole ŠKODA Motorsport team! I’m now looking forward to the APRC finale in China!”

Kopecký was also more than happy with the situation. “Before the rally, I was not sure whether we would be challenging for a podium finish,” said the Czech rally champion. “The ŠKODA Fabia R5 performed superbly on gravel as well as on asphalt, and the conversion to a race car set-up on Friday went very smoothly. The ŠKODA team can take the credit for that as their work was perfect. I am delighted to have played my part in a one-two for ŠKODA.”

The 51st Rally Spain was an enthralling spectacle, as all eight winners from the current WRC 2 season were battling it out. It featured 23 special stages and a total of 331.25 kilometres on asphalt and gravel – a first for the World Rally Championship – around the rally centre at Salou on the Costa Daurada. However, the final special stage in the WRC 2 class was not completed, due to an accident involving the VW duo Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F).

Tidemand was able to open up a commanding lead during Friday’s gravel stages. Second and third places were occupied at the end of day one by Kopecký, racing for the ŠKODA Motorsport II team in Spain, and the third ŠKODA works duo of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN). However, an accident on the eleventh special stage meant that Lappi, European champion in 2014, took no further part in the race and had to abandon his hopes of victory in the WRC 2 Drivers' Championship.

The WRC 2 drivers’ title was therefore clinched in Spain by Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q)*, who finished just ahead of Armin Kremer (D) in a fascinating battle for third place at the Rally Spain. The time difference between these two experienced drivers, who were both at the wheel of a Fabia R5 from the ŠKODA customer racing programme, was just 0.1 seconds.

Tidemand and Axelsson do not have much time to celebrate their victory. Directly after the Rally Spain, the Swedes are making the 10,000-kilometre journey to China for the finale of the APRC season on Friday. Even before the final race takes place, ŠKODA has been confirmed as champion in the overall APRC standings for the fourth consecutive year. The climax to the season in China will feature a special highlight: Tidemand/Axelsson will present the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 for the first time in the Middle Kingdom.

In its first season, the SKODA Fabia R5 has been a guarantee of success. Seven starts in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) have produced eleven podium finishes and four victories. In addition to this, the ŠKODA Fabia R5 has won four national titles. Jan Kopecký recorded five straight wins to claim the Czech championship. In Austria, the experience of Raimund Baumschlager (A) combined with the Fabia R5 to secure the national title. Norbert Herczig (H) became national rally champion in Hungary at the wheel of a Fabia R5. “Fast” Freddy Loix (B) also triumphed in his home championship in Belgium.

* subject to confirmation by FIA.


Number for the Rally Spain: 17

The Rally Spain is the only World Rally Championship race to take place on a mixture of asphalt and gravel stages. The first part on Friday started on gravel, with a small section of asphalt. On Friday evening, the cars were modified to prepare for two days of rallying on asphalt. The ŠKODA Fabia R5 once again proved its WRC 2 championship credentials under these challenging conditions. All eight gravel stages were won by ŠKODA works drivers, and the ŠKODA drivers also recorded nine further fastest times on asphalt. This resulted in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 winning 17 of the 22 special stages in Spain (Tidemand seven, Kopecký six, Lappi two, Al-Attiyah two).


Rally Spain –WRC 2 Final Standings

1. Tidemand/Axelsson (S/S), ŠKODA Fabia R5: 3h 21m 45.6s
2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5: + 10.7s
3. Al-Attiyah/Baumel (Q/F), ŠKODA Fabia R5: + 4m 5.3s
4. Kremer/Winklhofer (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia R5: + 4m 5.4s
5. Protasov/Cherepin (UA/UA), Ford Fiesta RRC: + 7m 41.4s
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 26, 2015, 03:43:53 posle podne

ŠKODA celebrates title treble in core market of China

​› Grand finale to the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) from Friday to Sunday at the China Rally Longyou
› Champions Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson line up in the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 after their victory at Rally Spain
› ŠKODA already champions* in the Manufacturer, Driver and Co-Driver competitions
› Five wins from five races so far this season for the ŠKODA MRF Team

​Mladá Boleslav, 26 October 2015 – ŠKODA will celebrate a title treble in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) when it lines up in the core market of China. The grand finale at the China Rally Longyou from Friday to Sunday will be something of a triumphal procession for the Czech automobile manufacturer. Ahead of the final round of the season, ŠKODA has already secured its fourth successive Manufacturer title in the APRC*. Works driver Pontus Tidemand (S) and his navigator Emil Axelsson (S) are also guaranteed a title* in the Driver and Co-Driver championships. They were victorious at last weekend’s Rally Spain in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). The highlight of the season will also feature a first in China: Tidemand/Axelsson will present the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 for the first time in the Middle Kingdom.

​“China is the most important market in the world for ŠKODA. As such, we are particularly delighted to be able to show the tens of thousands of fans our new ŠKODA Fabia R5 live in action,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek, who went on to praise the performance of the ŠKODA MRF Team over the course of the APRC season so far. “It is an outstanding effort to have already wrapped up three titles before the final rally – and for the fourth time in a row. I would particularly like to congratulate Pontus Tidemand and Emil Axelsson, who have proven to be the real deal in their first year with ŠKODA.”

In the five rounds of the APRC season so far, the ŠKODA works duo of Tidemand/Axelsson have claimed four victories in New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and Japan. They also finished runner-up at the Rally New Caledonia – but even here the ŠKODA MRF Team had cause for celebration, as victory went to the second crew of Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/AUS). “We are happy to have won such an important title in our first year with ŠKODA – and at difficult rallies, which were completely new to us. That is definitely cause for celebration, but not until after the season finale: before then, we want to thrill our fans in China with the fantastic ŠKODA Fabia R5. We know this is a particularly important rally for the ŠKODA brand,” said Tidemand.

The 24-year-old Swede headed straight from the penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) in Spain to China – almost 10,000 miles away. As well as the huge distance, Tidemand/Axelsson must also overcome a time difference of seven hours. The two ŠKODA duos of Tidemand/Axelsson and Gill/Macneall will face about 230 kilometres against the clock, spread over 13 special stages at the China Rally Longyou. Tens of thousands of spectators are expected for the first outing of the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 in China.

The four-wheel drive, turbo powerhouse has proven to be a natural born winner in its first season. In seven appearances in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2), the Fabia R5 has claimed eleven podiums, including four wins. Furthermore, four national championships have already been won by drivers in the ŠKODA Fabia R5. In the Czech championship, Jan Kopecký (CZ) won five races in a row to wrap up the title with rallies to spare. In Austria, the experienced Raimund Baumschlager (A) won his national championship with the Fabia R5. Norbert Herczig (H) was crowned national rally champion in Hungary. “Fast” Freddy Loix (B) also triumphed in his home championship in Belgium.

*Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA.


Did you know …

… Pontus Tidemand’s (S) latest success was ŠKODA’s fourth Drivers’ Championship title in a row in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)? The winning run began in 2012 with victory for Australian Chris Atkinson. In 2013, the title went to India’s Gaurav Gill, before Jan Kopecký (CZ) last year became the first driver ever to be crowned European champion and Asia-Pacific champion in successive seasons.

… China is the most important market in the world for ŠKODA? Despite the difficult market environment, 23,800 cars were delivered in September 2015. That is over a quarter of the Czech automobile manufacturer’s total worldwide sales.

… China has a population of about 1.38 billion? This makes it the most highly populated country on the planet, with about 18.8 per cent of the global population.

… China has been part of the APRC since 1997? The China Rally Longyou, in the Zhejiang province, has hosted the race since 2006. The Longyou district dates back over 2000 years and is located about 400 kilometres from the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai.

… some sections of the “China Rally Longyou” head through bamboo forests? The route is a mixture of concrete and gravel sections, making it a real challenge for the set-up of the rally cars. The majority of the special stages are the same as in 2014. The only unfamiliar terrain comes on the 25.20-kilometre Dajie stage, which is the longest on the rally.

… ŠKODA has won the China Rally Longyou for the last two years? Esapekka Lappi (FIN) triumphed in 2013, while Jan Kopecký (CZ) was victorious en route to winning the title last year. The record winner is Australian Cody Crocker, with four wins in a row between 2006 and 2009.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Decembar 04, 2015, 10:18:49 pre podne
New co-driver for ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand

› Jonas Andersson is the new navigator at the side of the APRC champion
› Andersson most recently racked up successes in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with Mads Østberg
› Michal Hrabánek: “A great addition to the ŠKODA Motorsport racing family”

Mladá Boleslav, 4 December 2015 – Asia-Pacific champion Pontus Tidemand (S) will tackle the next rally season for ŠKODA with a new co-driver by his side. The works driver Tidemand will be joined by Jonas Andersson of Sweden as his well-known navigator. Andersson is considered to be one of the most experienced co-drivers in the world and scored many successes with Mads Østberg (N) in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in recent years.

“Jonas Andersson is a great addition to the ŠKODA Motorsport racing family. A man with his level of experience can only have a positive influence on the development of Pontus Tidemand, who had such a successful first year with us,” says ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. Tidemand, who will turn 25 next week, made it onto the podium in ten of his eleven starts in two international championships in his debut season for ŠKODA. He made it into the top three of the WRC 2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship on four occasions. The climax was his victory at Rally Spain.

In the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), Tidemand took the top spot five times and came second once, thereby comfortably clinching the fourth title in succession for ŠKODA. Tidemand and his former co-driver Emil Axelsson (S) will be officially crowned champions at the FIA gala in Paris on Friday. Axelsson plans to now rise to new challenges. “Emil and I had a great year together. His skills and his character were important factors in our shared success. I’m therefore sad to see our partnership come to an end and I wish Emil all the best for the future! On the other hand, I am thrilled that Jonas will be taking his place, as he has such a wealth of experience. I’m really looking forward to working with him,” says Tidemand.

Jonas Andersson is a familiar face in the world of rallying. He began his career as co-driver to Per-Gunnar ‘P-G’ Andersson (S) in 2002. That same year, the duo won the Norwegian Championship, then followed this up with a win in the Swedish Championship a year later. Other highlights include two title wins in the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC). At the end of this partnership in 2009, Andersson became Mads Østberg’s co-driver, and has racked up some spectacular successes since then. In the ultimate discipline of the WRC, Andersson played his part in no less than 14 podium finishes, including victory at Rally Portugal in 2012.

“I was looking for some new challenges. So when a position alongside Pontus became available, it was obviously the perfect opportunity for me. I can hardly wait to get into the ŠKODA Fabia R5 and get down to work with Pontus. I’ve known him for many years, and that’s a major advantage when it comes to making things work as a team quickly. We are definitely aiming for the top,” says Andersson.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Decembar 05, 2015, 12:15:11 posle podne
International Automobile Federation FIA Honours ŠKODA’s APRC Champions

​› Pontus Tidemand and Emil Axelsson honoured at the FIA gala in Paris
› ŠKODA claims fourth consecutive title triple in the renowned continental championship

​Paris, 5 December 2015 – During the International Automobile Federation’s motorsport gala, Pontus Tidemand (S) and Emil Axelsson (S) were crowned official champions of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). ŠKODA received the awards for the driver and manufacturer championship in the prestigious continental championship for the fourth consecutive year at the official FIA prize-giving ceremony for the 2015 motorsport season in Paris. Works driver Tidemand had led the championship with five victories and a second-place finish while wrapping up the season with an acclaimed victory with the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the key market of China.

​“Taking the fourth title in a row in the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, four wins in the World Rally Championship WRC 2 and five national titles are terrific results for the first year with the ŠKODA Fabia R5. This is also a great honour for each and every employee in the ŠKODA Motorsport racing family who again did a great job during this year’s rally season,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Januar 08, 2016, 01:20:54 posle podne
ŠKODA kicks off the 2016 motorsport year with the WRC 2 event in Sweden

​› Works drivers Pontus Tidemand (S), Jan Kopecký (CZ) and Esapekka Lappi (FIN) line up for ŠKODA again in 2016
› Co-driver Jonas Andersson (S) strengthens the ŠKODA Motorsport family
› Hrabánek: “We want to exceed last year’s success”

​Mladá Boleslav, 8 January 2016 – ŠKODA kicks off the 2016 motorsport year with the WRC 2 rally in Sweden (11th to 14th February). Like last season, the three works drivers Pontus Tidemand (S), Jan Kopecký (CZ) and Esapekka Lappi (FIN) will set their sights on winning titles for ŠKODA in the Fabia R5 rally car. New to the ŠKODA team is experienced co-driver Jonas Andersson (S), who is charged with guiding Asia-Pacific champion Tidemand to more success. The ŠKODA Motorsport team is particularly focussed on its appearance in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). The experienced Kopecký also lines up in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR), where he will be hungry to repeat last year’s triumph.

​“We had an extremely successful first year with our new ŠKODA Fabia R5 in 2015. The fourth title in a row in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, four wins in the WRC 2 class of the World Rally Championship and five national titles exceeded our expectations,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “It goes without saying that we continued to work hard through the winter break with the ŠKODA team, and are looking forward to an eventful year of rallying with our fast and reliable Fabia R5 in 2016. Our goal is to exceed last year’s success in the WRC 2 with our three impressive drivers, Pontus Tidemand, Jan Kopecký and Esapekka Lappi. We would like to welcome Jonas Andersson to our ŠKODA racing family.”

Andersson is one of the most experienced co-drivers in the world and has enjoyed great success in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in recent years. He will make his competitive debut alongside Swedish ŠKODA driver Tidemand at their home rally in Sweden. “We have already done a lot of testing together and can hardly wait to finally get started,” said Tidemand. Andersson has a clear goal for his first start in the ŠKODA works team: “We really want to be among the front-runners!”

Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) line up as the second ŠKODA works duo at the second round of the WRC 2 season in the Swedish snow. Last year, the 2014 European champion contributed two WRC 2 victories to the ŠKODA Motorsport team’s impressive record, ending the season third overall in WRC 2. This year, the goal is to surpass last season’s excellent effort. Lappi: “We still have room for improvement. We obviously want to challenge for the WRC 2 title.”

Jan Kopecký und Pavel Dresler also have title ambitions. The all-Czech duo won the title in the Czech Rally Championship with a flawless record of five wins from five starts in 2015 and would love to repeat this remarkable success in 2016. Like the other ŠKODA Motorsport pairings, Kopecký and Dresler will also be in action at a number of rounds of the WRC 2 championship, in which he won one rally last year. “We are looking forward to the challenges we will face in WRC 2 and the MČR this year,” said Kopecký. “We have the perfect tool at our disposal, in the form of the ŠKODA Fabia R5. The goal is to tease even more out of the car in 2016.”

As in 2015, the high-tech, four-wheel drive powerhouse will this year sport the imposing green, black and white ŠKODA Motorsport livery, which thrilled fans around the world last year. “We promise our fans that we will do everything in our power to continue ŠKODA Motorsport’s successful run in 2016,” said ŠKODA Motorsport director Hrabánek.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Februar 10, 2016, 12:22:38 pre podne

ŠKODA Motorsport returns to Sweden in the World Rally Championship after 11-year absence

​› ŠKODA works drivers Pontus Tidemand (S) and Esapekka Lappi (FIN) start at the only real winter rally in the World Championship
› Thawing in Värmland causes rally route to be shortened
› ŠKODA debut for co-driver Jonas Andersson (S) at his home rally
› Michal Hrabánek: “We have set ourselves ambitious targets for the new season”

​Mladá Boleslav, 9 February 2016 – ŠKODA Motorsport is celebrating a return to the Rally Sweden after an 11-year absence. The successful team, led by works drivers Pontus Tidemand (S) and Esapekka Lappi (FIN), will launch its assault on the title in the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) on ice and snow from 12 to 14 February. Jonas Andersson (S) also makes his debut for ŠKODA at this iconic event in the far north. The experienced co-driver will be navigating for Asia-Pacific champion Pontus Tidemand for the first time, at their home rally.

​“The whole team at ŠKODA Motorsport is really looking forward to our first rally of 2016,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “We have set ourselves ambitious targets for the new motorsport season and are hoping for a successful start,” he added. “We must gain race experience on ice and snow with our new ŠKODA Fabia R5. Don’t forget that this is the first time since 2005 that we are competing in Sweden.”

Back then, Jani Paasonen (FIN) and DTM champion Mattias Ekström (S) drove the ŠKODA Fabia WRC to ninth and tenth place respectively in the WRC category. The current ŠKODA works drivers are aiming for a podium finish in WRC 2. To achieve that goal, they will need nerves of steel. Despite the use of sharp studs on the tyres, the only real winter rally is a slippery affair, taking place on icy surfaces and roads lined with walls of snow. However, it is questionable just how wintery and icy the roads in the west of Sweden and east of Norway will actually be: warm temperatures caused thawing last weekend, forcing the organisers to make a decision on Monday to reduce the rally from 21 to 13 special stages. Among the stages to be cancelled is the spectator stage in Karlstad, which was set to open the rally on Thursday evening. For this reason, the rally will start on Friday morning with the Torsby special stage. The highlight of the Rally Sweden is the Vargåsen stage, with the legendary Colin’s Crest jump

“Rally Sweden is my home rally and is therefore a real highlight for me,” said Pontus Tidemand. “I’m looking forward to the first rally with my new co-driver Jonas Andersson and hope to benefit from his experience, so that we can give a good account of ourselves at our home event.” This is already the fifth time that the 25-year-old has lined up at his home rally in the World Championship. His best finish so far came last year, with fifth place in WRC 2. Tideland’s new co-driver Jonas Andersson has already celebrated two WRC podium finishes at his home event. “That is what we are aiming for this time too. We want to get on the podium in WRC 2,” said Andersson.

Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) start with similar ambitions. After finishing third overall in WRC 2 in 2015, the goal is to surpass that performance in the new season. Lappi gained valuable experience of driving on snow and ice in a privately entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 at the iconic Rally Monte Carlo in January of this year. “I hope that we can benefit from that. Our primary goal is to finish the rally and gain as many points as possible in the overall WRC 2 standings,” said Lappi. The ŠKODA works drivers will be up against strong opposition, including Elfyn Evans. The British driver heads the WRC 2 standings after his victory at the Rally Monte Carlo.

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
Event/Date   
Rally Monte Carlo; 21.01.–24.01.2016
Rally Sweden; 12.02.–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; 01.07.–03.07.2016
Rally Finland; 28.07.–31.07.2016
Rally Germany; 18.08.–21.08.2016
Rally China; 08.09.–11.09.2016
Rally Corsica; 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 that …

… a total of eight ŠKODA cars are on the list of starters at the Rally Sweden? In addition to works drivers Esapekka Lappi (FIN) and Pontus Tidemand (S), Hubert Ptaszek (PL), Ole Christian Veiby (N) and Teemu Suninen (FIN) are also scheduled to start in the new ŠKODA Fabia R5. Swedes Johan Kristoffersen and Glenn Ström are competing in the older ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Norwegian Henrik Elvestad is driving a ŠKODA Fabia R2.
… Rally Sweden was originally a summer event? When first held in 1950, it was called the “Rally to the Midnight Sun”. The rally has only been taking place regularly in winter since 1965. Since the introduction of the World Championship in 1973, the rally has almost always featured on the calendar. The only exceptions: in 1994 the race was part of the FIA 2-Litre World Rally Cup, and it did not take place at all in 1974 and 2009.
… spiked snow tyres are used on the icy tracks in Sweden? Every tyre is fitted with 380 steel nails, which are 20 millimetres long and weigh four grams each.
… snow shovels must be carried in every rally car? They are on board just in case a car leaves the road and needs to be dug out of the snow.
… the service park is located centrally this time, on the harbour at Karlstad? In previous years, the heart of the rally was located further north in Hagfors.
… the highlight of the rally on Saturday will come during the Vargåsen stage? The famous Colin’s Crest jump is named after rally legend Colin McRae (GB). The record for the longest jump was set in 2015, when Thierry Neuville (B) managed 44 metres.
… the rally centre of Karlstad derives its name from King Charles IX? The monarch granted the city charter in 1584. Today, Karlstad has more than 60,000 inhabitants and is a university town.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Februar 15, 2016, 01:30:06 posle podne
ŠKODA celebrates podium positions at the Rally Sweden

​› ŠKODA works duo Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) celebrate second place at home rally
› Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) make it onto the winner’s podium in third place after splendid catch-up
› Michal Hrabánek: “The ŠKODA Fabia R5 is one of the most competitive cars in the WRC 2 category, even on ice and snow”

​Karlstad, 14th February 2016 – ŠKODA Motorsport started their 2016 season with podium positions at the Rally Sweden. At the second event of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2), works driver Pontus Tidemand (S), whose home rally was the first ever rally he contested with his new co-driver Jonas Andersson (S), finished in second place in the WRC 2 classification. Their team-mates Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN), who temporarily dropped down into eleventh place after making a driving error on Friday, also made it onto the podium in third place after a flawless performance on Saturday and Sunday.

​“On the drastically reduced route, our drivers showed that the ŠKODA Fabia R5 is one of the most competitive rally cars in the WRC 2 category, even on ice and snow,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “Unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough to get the win overall, but the seven stage best times proved that our team is always capable of driving for wins. That gives us all the more motivation to push even harder at our upcoming appearances in the WRC.”

Since only the power stage was held on Sunday, local hero Tidemand only had 15.87 kilometres to reduce his deficit of 17.9 seconds to leader Elfyn Evans (GB). “We tried everything, but unfortunately there was no way of closing the gap on just one stage,” said Tidemand, who trailed by 14.7 seconds at the end of the rally. “Nevertheless, I am happy with second place – that is my best result at my home rally to date. It was also my debut rally with my new co-driver Jonas Andersson. We worked in fantastic harmony right from the word go, and I am really looking forward to the coming rallies with him. Congratulations to Elfyn Evans, he earned the win with a fantastic performance.”

Team-mate Lappi delivered an impressive performance on the closing power stage on Sunday, on which he not only got the best time in the WRC 2 category, but in the final metres also overtook Anders Grøndal (N), who was in third place in the overall standings until that point. “The best time on this very short final day gave me some satisfaction,” said Lappi, who trailed Grøndal by 8.7 seconds going into the final stage. “Finishing third after all is a fantastic feeling. Congratulations to the entire ŠKODA Motorsport team, who once again provided us with a very fast and reliable car.”

The Rally Sweden has been held on ice and snow in winter regularly since 1965, before then it was held as a summer event, known as the “Rally to the Midnight Sun”. It wasn’t quite as warm in the rally base of Karlstad this year as it was when the rally first started, but mild, almost spring like weather at the start of the week meant that the organisers were forced to cancel a total of nine of the 21 special stages scheduled. Instead of icy and snow-covered tracks, the organisers found partially sodden gravel roads on which it would have been too dangerous to drive with the studded tyres delivered specially for the Rally Sweden. The rally route ended up being reduced from 331.21 to 226.48 classified kilometres, which meant that the 2016 Rally Sweden was the shortest WRC event ever.

Final classifications Rally Sweden (WRC 2):1. Evans/Parry (GB/GB)  ​​Ford Fiesta R5   ​2h 5m 4.4s2. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S) ​ŠKODA Fabia R5   ​+ 14.7s3. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN)  ​
ŠKODA Fabia R5 ​+ 1m 50.9s4. Grøndal/Walfridsson (N/S)  ​​Ford Fiesta R5   ​+ 1m 53.0s5. Brynildsen/Fredriksson (N/S)  ​​Ford Fiesta R5 
+ 2m 30.5s
             
The number of the Rally Sweden: 7

At the Rally Sweden, reduced from its original number of 21 special stages to just twelve, the ŠKODA Motorsport drivers won a total of seven stages. Pontus Tidemand was fastest on the special stages Torsby 2, Vargåsen 1 and Karlstad 2. Esapekka Lappi won the sections Svullrya 2, Rämmen 2, Vargåsen 2, as well as the closing power stage Värmullsåsen 2. This saw the most stage best times in the WRC 2 category at the winter rally through Sweden and Norway go to the ŠKODA Fabia R5.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Mart 31, 2016, 10:14:44 pre podne

ŠKODA to defend APRC title with talented youngster Fabian Kreim

​› German duo Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian lines up in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 at the six rounds of the 2016 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
› ŠKODA goes into prestigious continental championship on the back of four titles in a row
› Michal Hrabánek: “We want to continue our winning run in the APRC”

​Mladá Boleslav, 31 March 2016 – ŠKODA Motorsport goes in search of its next title in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with talented young German driver Fabian Kreim. The 23-year-old will start the six rounds of the prestigious continental championship alongside his experienced co-driver Frank Christian in the ŠKODA Fabia R5. ŠKODA has won the APRC title for the last four years running.

​“We want to continue our winning run in the APRC and are delighted to have a talented young driver at the wheel of the Fabia R5, in the form of Fabian Kreim,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “We are giving him a great chance to continue his development and gain valuable experience on gravel. The APRC is ideal for this. The rallies in the populous Asia-Pacific region, with our core market of China, are particularly important to ŠKODA. For this reason, we want to be at our best again with the experienced and successful ŠKODA MRF team.”

Recent years have been nothing short of impressive. In 2015, ŠKODA followed works driver Pontus Tidemand’s (S) victory at the Rally China with the manufacturer’s fourth title treble in a row in the APRC. The Czech car maker has been unstoppable since 2012 in the Driver, Co-Driver and Manufacturer competitions. Indian rally hero Gaurav Gill also lines up for the ŠKODA MRF team again. The 2013 APRC champion is at the wheel of the team’s second car, and will be on hand to offer valuable advice to his new team-mate Fabian Kreim.

“I am absolutely delighted to be able to take on the challenge of the APRC with ŠKODA,” said Kreim. “All the rallies are obviously completely new to me, and I will have a lot to learn. However, I hope I can establish myself among the front-runners and challenge for race wins as quickly as possible at these international events.”

The 23-year-old only switched to rallying in 2013, since when he has developed rapidly. Since 2015 he has driven for the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team in the German Rally Championship (DRM), where he promptly won five races and finished second in the championship. Kreim finished eighth in the WRC 2 class on his World Rally Championship debut at last year’s Rally Germany.

Kreim’s 31-year-old co-driver, Frank Christian, already boasts an impressive record on the international stage. In 2014, alongside Sepp Wiegand, he finished runner-up in the European Championship for ŠKODA. Christian won the WRC 2 class on his debut for the Czech car maker at the iconic Rally Monte Carlo in 2013. As well as their first season in the APRC, Kreim and Christian will also compete at selected rounds of the German Rally Championship, as well as the Rally Germany in the WRC.

As is tradition, the 2016 APRC season kicks off with the Rally Whangarei in New Zealand on 30th April. New to the calendar is the Rally India, which forms the final round of the season on 10th and 11th December.


FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)*

Event/Date
Rally Whangarei – New Zealand: 30.04.–01.05.2016
Rally Queensland – Australia: 17.06.–19.06.2016
Rally China – China: 06.08.–07.08.2016
Rally Hokkaido – Japan: 24.09.–25.09.2015
Rally Malaysia – Malaysia: 29.10.–30.10.2016
Rally India – India: 10.12.–11.12.2016

* subject to confirmation by motorsport’s governing body, the FIA.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 26, 2016, 11:43:50 pre podne

ŠKODA Motorsport launches its campaign in the national championship at the Rally Šumava Klatovy

​› Last year’s winners Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler out to repeat their success with the ŠKODA Fabia R5
› Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson line up as the second ŠKODA works duo in West Bohemia
› Michal Hrabánek: “Looking forward to appearing in front of the Czech fans”

​Mladá Boleslav/Klatovy, 25 April 2016 – ŠKODA Motorsport begins its title defence in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) at the 51st Rally Šumava Klatovy. Last year’s champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), in the ŠKODA Fabia R5, are out to repeat last year’s success on the demanding routes in and around the Bohemian Forest. The second ŠKODA works duo of Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) will also make a guest appearance in the national championship on Friday and Saturday.

​“A year ago we celebrated a successful rally debut for our ŠKODA Fabia R5 with victory at the Rally Šumava Klatovy,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “The success we have enjoyed around the world with our new rally car since then is confirmation of the great development work done by our team.” However, Hrabánek is aware that this is no reason to rest on their laurels. “We are working hard to continue improving. Only that way will be have any chance of defending the title in our company’s homeland. We are looking forward to the first appearance of 2016 in front of our home crowd.”

The Rally Šumava Klatovy is the first of six races in the Czech Rally Championship. Like last year, when the ŠKODA Fabia R5 made its debut, thousands of rally fans are expected to line the 12 special stages, which feature roughly 150 kilometres against the clock. After victories here in 2012 and 2015, Jan Kopecký would love to win the iconic rally, which was first held in 1964, for the third time. “We obviously have fond memories of last year, when we drove the Fabia R5 here for the first time,” said the experienced Kopecký. “However, it will not be easy to repeat this success: the opposition is even stronger than in 2015,” said the 34-year-old.

Asia-Pacific champion Pontus Tidemand enjoyed a successful first outing with new co-driver Jonas Andersson in February, finishing second at the Rally Sweden. After his home race in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2), 25-year-old Tidemand now lines up in the homeland of the ŠKODA brand. “Jonas and I are particularly looking forward to racing in front of the Czech fans,” said Tidemand. “This spectacular rally is a real challenge, and also a great test for the next outings in the World Championship.” From 19 to 22 May, Tidemand/Andersson, Kopecký/Dresler and the third ŠKODA works duo of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) will be in action at the WRC round in Portugal.

In the Czech championship, Kopecký can look forward to a new instalment of last year’s duel with rival Václav Pech (CZ). He will also receive tough competition from ŠKODA customer teams, such as Vojtěch Štajf/František Rajnoha (CZ/CZ). They also line up with the high-tech, four-wheel drive car that has enjoyed so much success around the world. Štajf races for the Klokočka ŠKODA Czech National Team.



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

Did you know …

... the ŠKODA works team of Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler won eleven of the 12 special stages at last year’s Rally Šumava Klatovy? In the end, the dominant duo marked the first rally outing of the Fabia R5 with a dominant victory, finishing 1:34.6 minutes ahead of second-placed Frenchman Bryan Bouffier.

... the ŠKODA Fabia R5 has already won five national titles and one continental championship within just one year of its launch? Pontus Tidemand triumphed at the Rally Longyou in China last October to be crowned champion of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). ŠKODA has been the manufacturer to beat in this prestigious championship for the last four years.

... Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler won the title in last year’s Czech Rally Championship without suffering a single defeat? They were victorious at five out of five rallies with the ŠKODA Fabia R5.

...the schedule in the Czech Rally Championship is identical to last year’s? The Rally Šumava Klatovy once again forms the first of six rounds. Other highlights of the national championship in 2016 include the Rally Bohemia, which represents ŠKODA’s home rally around the company’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav, and the Barum Czech Rally Zlín, which also forms part of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC).
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 01, 2016, 12:03:05 posle podne
One-two: ŠKODA Motorsport enjoys perfect start to the season in the Czech Rally Championship

​› Defending champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler repeat last year’s victory at the Rally Šumava Klatovy – second place for Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson
› Thousands of fans thrilled by triumphant success of ŠKODA drivers and ŠKODA Park
› Michal Hrabánek: “A great start to the season in the home of our brand”

​Klatovy, 30 April 2016 – ŠKODA Motorsport enjoyed a perfect start to this season’s Czech Rally Championship (MČR) with a highly-acclaimed one-two. Thousands of fans at the 51st Rally Šumava Klatovy celebrated the win for defending champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), who repeated last year’s success. The second ŠKODA works duo of Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S), who were making a guest appearance in the national championship, finished runners-up, just 26.1 seconds behind the winners. The first round of the 2016 MČR season was a triumphant success for the ŠKODA brand: the Czech car maker occupied all three spots on the podium, one year after the successful Fabia R5 made its debut.

​“That is a great start to the season in the home of our brand. It was at the Rally Šumava Klatovy one year ago that Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler claimed the first win with our ŠKODA Fabia R5 on the car’s debut. The fact that our new rally car was successful across the board this time is confirmation of the great work put in by everyone in the ŠKODA team,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. Pavel Valoušek/Veronika Havelková (CZ/CZ), also at the wheel of a ŠKODA Fabia R5, came home third behind the two works duos.

In glorious sunshine, the rally in and around the Bohemian Forest opened with a stage with for ŠKODA’s biggest rival Václav Pech (CZ). However, the green, white and black cars of the ŠKODA Motorsport works team dominated the remaining eleven special stages. Experienced 34-year-old Kopecký won stage two with a stunning time to take the lead, and never looked back. After about 150 kilometres against the clock on the narrow asphalt routes, the enthusiastic rally fans celebrated Kopecký’s third victory at the iconic rally, having previously won in 2012 and 2015.

“A superb win in great weather, and the fans were thrilled – you cannot ask for more. Our Fabia R5 was once again a wonderfully quick and reliable tool. However, Pontus made us work pretty hard for the win,” said Jan Kopecký. He won seven special stages, his Swedish team-mate four. “It was a great battle with Jan, with a worthy winner. This rally in the Czech Republic was huge fun, and the perfect preparation for the coming challenges in the World Rally Championship,” commented Asia-Pacific champion Tidemand. From 19 to 22 May, Tidemand/Andersson and Kopecký/Dresler will line up in the WRC 2 class at the Portuguese round of the World Rally Championship.

The opening race of the MČR around Klatovy was also a great success for ŠKODA Czech Republic. In bright sunshine, thousands of fans poured into the ŠKODA Park in the service park in Janovice, where visitors were treated to an attractive support programme. “ŠKODA made a perfect start to the season in the MČR – both on and off the stages. I would like to thank the many visitors who flocked to the ŠKODA Park and showed such a huge interest in our successful models,” said Luboš Vlček, head of Importer ŠKODA Czech Republic.

The number for the Rally Šumava Klatovy: 8


One year ago, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) were at the wheel of the ŠKODA Fabia R5 when the car made its competitive debut at the Rally Šumava Klatovy. Just one year later, the field featured eight (!) of the new rally cars. As well as the works team’s two high-tech, four-wheel drive powerhouses, a further six drivers from customer teams also put their faith in the Fabia R5. At the end of the rally, the top ten in the overall standings included six ŠKODAs. As well as the four Fabia R5s, one driver was underway in each of the predecessor models, the Fabia Super 2000 and the Fabia WRC.

Rally Šumava Klatovy – Final Overall Classification

1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5; 1:19:05.9 hrs 
2. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S), ŠKODA Fabia R5; + 0:26.1 min
3. Valoušek/Havelková (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5; + 1:05.8 min
4. Černý/ Černohorský (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000; + 1:36.4 min
5. Pech/Uhel (CZ/CZ), Porsche 997 GT3; + 1:47.3 min

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 02, 2016, 01:11:24 pre podne

APRC: ŠKODA also unbeatable in New Zealand

​› One-two win for ŠKODA MRF at the opener of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC): Experienced duo Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall wins ahead of newcomers Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian
› Rally Whangarei and Rally Šumava Klatovy: Two wins for ŠKODA just under 18,000 kilometres apart
› Michal Hrabánek: "Fantastic weekend of rallying for ŠKODA"

​Whangarei, 1 May 2016 – ŠKODA crowned a fantastic rally weekend with a one-two win at the season opener of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). The experienced duo Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/AUS) of ŠKODA MRF triumphed after a dramatic duel at the Rally Whangarei in New Zealand ahead of strong newcomers Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian (D/D). Just under 18,000 kilometres away, the ŠKODA Motorsport works team also celebrated a one-two win at the first event in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) with the Fabia R5 a few hours earlier.

​"What a fantastic weekend of rallying for ŠKODA! Just like at the Rally Šumava Klatovy in the Czech Republic, our brand's home country, the two driver duos on the other side of the world in New Zealand did a fantastic job. Special praise goes to Fabian Kreim and Frank Christian, who delivered a great performance at their first international rally on gravel together," summed up ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

And 23-year-old youngster Kreim, who has only been contesting rallies since 2013, really did make an impressive debut in the prestigious continental championship. The German battled hard against the rally veteran 11 years his senior over 275 kilometres at his first ever gravel rally. Kreim even started the final day with a buffer of 4.6 seconds after Gill suffered tyre damage. However, after 16 special stages, the 2013 APRC champion had a lead of 30.4 seconds over his young challenger Kreim

"The first gravel rally of my career was an incredible experience for me. These were the most beautiful tracks I have ever driven on. Incredible that we were able to stage such a good battle with our team-mates, and even take the lead temporarily," said Kreim. He also thanked his colleagues at ŠKODA MRF: "Gaurav Gill and Glenn Macneall gave us valuable tips. I hope that with more experience on gravel in the course of the season, we will be more competitive."

Gaurav Gill was full of praise for his young rival: "Fabian Kreim delivered a strong performance on his debut. I'm pleased that we got a one-two win for our team ŠKODA MRF at the season opener. It will be a hard-fought battle for the title this year." ŠKODA has won the title in the APRC the last four years.

A total of 51 teams lined up at the Rally Whangarei. Including New Zealand's local rally hero, Hayden Paddon, who won the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) event in Argentina a week ago. The next stop in the APRC is the Rally Queensland in Australia from 17 to 19 June. However, the German Championship runners-up Fabian Kreim and Frank Christian are in action again in Germany this week: They will do battle for points at the Rally Sulingen in the German Rally Championship (DRM) on 6 and 7 May.


The number for the Rally Whangarei: 13

With 13 best times on 16 special stages, ŠKODA MRF with its two Fabia R5 was the measure of all things in the APRC standings of the Rally Whangarei. Gaurav Gill got nine top times, while Fabian Kreim made it onto the list of winners on four stages on his debut.


FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)

Event/ Date
Rally Whangarei – New Zealand; 29.04.–01.05.2016
Rally Queensland – Australia; 17.06.–19.06.2016
Rally China – China; 06.08.–07.08.2016
Rally Hokkaido – Japan; 24.09.–25.09.2016
Rally Malaysia – Malaysia; 29.10.–30.10.2016
Rally India – India; 10.12.–11.12.2016
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 21, 2016, 11:11:17 pre podne

ŠKODA Motorsport enters hot phase of World Rally Championship in Portugal

​› ŠKODA works teams Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson and Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler aim to secure top results
› Second World Championship start of 2016 for ŠKODA Motorsport Team in WRC 2
› Rally Portugal is round five of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

​Mladá Boleslav, 16 May 2016 – ŠKODA Motorsport is entering the hot phase of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) at the Rally Portugal. Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) and Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) will be battling for top results at the second World Championship start for the works team this year. With 368 kilometres spread across 19 stages from Thursday to Sunday, including the legendary Fafe special stage, the rally will be a huge test of man and machine.

​“One year ago, we celebrated the debut of our ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the World Rally Championship with second and third place at the Rally Portugal,” recalls ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “We would like to build on that result. We feel ready to face the extreme challenges of this difficult rally as a team, and we want to prove ourselves against top competition,” Hrabánek adds.

A total of 25 driver/co-driver duos have registered for the WRC 2 category at the Rally Portugal. In addition to ŠKODA works drivers Tidemand and Kopecký, eight more drivers will be competing in a ŠKODA Fabia R5. “Our customers love this vehicle, proving just what a reliable and fast rally car our Fabia R5 is,” says Hrabánek. It is a successful car too: at the 51st Rally Šumava Klatovy, Jan Kopecký and Pontus Tidemand crowned the dress rehearsal for the World Championship rally in Portugal with an excellent one-two.

Asia-Pacific champion Tidemand knows the gravel stages in Portugal well, after racing there last year. In May 2015, he claimed third place behind his ŠKODA team-mate Esapekka Lappi (FIN). “I would like to finish a bit higher in the overall standings this time,” says Tidemand. “Jonas and I want to be challenging for the win in Portugal, even though this will be really hard work.” The 25-year-old and his navigator Jonas Andersson marked the first appearance for ŠKODA Motorsport in this year’s World Championship by finishing second at their home rally in Sweden.

In Portugal, Jan Kopecký will be competing in WRC 2 for this first time this year. The stages near the Atlantic Ocean, in the northern region of the country, are totally new to the experienced 34-year-old. When he competed at the Rally Portugal nine years ago, the event took place on the Algarve. “We are really looking forward to getting started in the World Championship,” says Kopecký. “Such a long and challenging rally demands that you keep your head and don’t take unnecessary risks. Of course we want to finish with the best result possible, but the season has a long way to go,” Kopecký adds. Portugal is the fifth of 14 locations for the top flight of rallying. Each driver can nominate seven rallies, in which he can score points for the WRC 2 championship standings

The legendary Fafe special stage on Sunday has to be completed twice, and will play a decisive role at the Rally Portugal. Tens of thousands of fans will make the pilgrimage to the 11.19-kilometre stage, which includes a huge jump. Works driver Esapekka Lappi recorded the best time here in WRC 2 last year, in the ŠKODA Fabia R5. That is a good omen for ŠKODA Motorsport at the 2016 Rally Portugal.


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; 01.07.–03.07.2016
Rally Finland; 28.07.–31.07.2016
Rally Germany; 18.08.–21.08.2016
Rally China; 08.09.–11.09.2016
Rally Corsica; 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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 22, 2016, 07:30:36 posle podne

Pontus Tidemand gives ŠKODA Motorsport the first win of the season in the WRC 2

​› Two damaged tyres and still at the top: Works team Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) triumphs at the ultimate endurance test in Portugal
› One-two result for fast, reliable ŠKODA Fabia R5 at the second start of the season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
› Michal Hrabánek: "Great success for the ŠKODA brand"

​Porto, 22 May 2016 – The speedy Swedes Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson passed the ultimate endurance test at the Rally Portugal and gave ŠKODA Motorsport their first win of the season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). Despite two damaged tyres on the 368 classified kilometres, the works duo got an emphatic win. ŠKODA Motorsport's second start of the season in the WRC 2 was a triumph for the ŠKODA Fabia R5: Behind Tidemand/Andersson, the customer team Nicolás Fuchs/Fernando Mussano (PE/PE) clinched a one-two result for the ŠKODA brand.

​“This gravel rally in Portugal really took everything out of man and machine. Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson weren't thrown off course by the minor setbacks and showed a very strong performance in the face of fierce rivals. My congratulations go to the entire ŠKODA Motorsport team, who did a fantastic job. This is a great success for the ŠKODA brand,” said Michal Hrabánek.

Exactly one year after the ŠKODA Fabia R5 made its WRC debut at the Rally Portugal, the ŠKODA Motorsport Director was able to enjoy another spectacular success for the new rally car: “Of the top ten drivers in the WRC 2, seven were in a ŠKODA Fabia R5. The Rally Portugal proved that we have developed a fast and reliable car. And our customers also benefit from this. These successes are what motivate us to keep working hard.”

This was exactly the attitude that Pontus Tidemand displayed at the Rally Portugal on the gravel tracks riddled with sharp stones. A best time on the first stage on Thursday saw the Asia-Pacific champion take the lead in the WRC 2. However, the 25-year-old suffered tyre damage on both Friday and Saturday, and despite lightning-fast tyre changes, temporarily lost the lead to fellow ŠKODA driver Nicolás Fuchs, but fought his way back to the top impressively with phenomenal times. Then Tidemand claimed his second win for ŠKODA Motorsport in the WRC 2 in front of tens of thousands of delighted spectators on the legendary Fafe stage on Sunday. The Swede was also victorious at the Rally Spain last year.

“What a crazy rally! We are delighted with this hard-fought win after fantastic duels with our fellow ŠKODA drivers. Thanks go to the entire team, who once ageing gave us a great car to work with,” said Tidemand. After second place at the home rally in Sweden in February, the fair-haired racing driver finished on the winners' podium for the second time on his second start in the WRC 2 this year.

In the overall standings for the season in the WRC 2, with 43 points, Tidemand moved up into third place behind Britain's Elfyn Evans (62), who failed to pick up points in Portugal after a crash, and Nicolás Fuchs (55). The man from Peru won the Rally Argentina, and before that, Finland's Teemu Suninen was victorious at the Rally Mexico – the ŠKODA Motorsport works team did not compete in either of these rallies. Including Tidemand's triumph in Portugal, this means that each of the last three WRC 2 rallies have been won in a ŠKODA Fabia R5.

The second ŠKODA works team of Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) also delivered an aggressive, strong performance in Portugal. After two damaged tyres on Friday, the experienced rally drivers restarted the race at the weekend with the burden of a 14-minute penalty, and after a spectacular pursuit, ended up finishing in tenth place to pick up a point for the overall WRC 2 standings. “We got the best-possible result after our misfortune with the tyres and now need to look to the future,” said Kopecký.

This Friday and Saturday, the Czechs and the winning duo Tidemand/Andersson will contest the Rally Český Krumlov in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR). Then from 9 to 12 June, the Rally Sardinia is the next WRC 2 task. In addition to Kopecký/Dresler, the third works duo of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) will represent ŠKODA Motorsport.

Final standings Rally Portugal (WRC 2):

1. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S);ŠKODA Fabia R5: 4:10:46.2 hrs.
2. Fuchs/Mussano (PE/PE);ŠKODA Fabia R5: + 1:28.8 min.
3. Aasen/Gulbæk (N/N) ;Ford Fiesta R5:  + 3:19.7 min.
4. Pedder/Moscatt (AUS/AUS); ŠKODA Fabia R5:  + 3:19.9 min.
5. Campos/Magalhães (P/P); ŠKODA Fabia R5: + 4:06.8 min.
6. de Mevius/Jalet (B/B); ŠKODA Fabia R5:  + 6:11.6 min.
...
10. Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA Fabia R5: + 15:36.0 min.

The number of the Rally Portugal: 16

The ŠKODA Fabia R5 was the outstanding car of the WRC 2 category at the Rally Portugal. On 19 special stages, 16 best times went to the high-tech four-wheel drive from the Czech Republic. Works driver Tidemand topped the timesheet eight times. On top of this, four customers were added to the list of winners. Finland's Teemu Suninen was number 1 five times, Nicolás Fuchs, Scott Pedder (AUS) and Ghislain de Mevius (B) each got one best time.  
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:  01.07.–03.07.2016
Rally Finland: 28.07.–31.07.2016
Rally Germany:  18.08.–21.08.2016
Rally China: 08.09.–11.09.2016
Rally Corsica: 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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 24, 2016, 11:20:25 pre podne

Jan Kopecký out to extend his lead in the Czech Rally Championship

​› Leaders and defending champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler set sights on second win of the season
› Second guest appearance in the Czech championship for ŠKODA works duo Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson after victory in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) in Portugal

​Mladá Boleslav/Český Krumlov, 24 May 2016 – ŠKODA Motorsport has set itself some lofty goals for the 44th Rally Český Krumlov: to repeat last year’s success, continue the winning run, and extend the lead in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR). Last year’s winners Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) are looking to tighten their grip on top spot at round two of the Czech national championship, preferably with their second win of the season. ŠKODA works duo Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) will be in action in the Czech Republic for the second time this season on Friday and Saturday. The speedy Swedes gave the ŠKODA Motorsport team their first win of the season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) at Rally Portugal last weekend.

​“We made a perfect start to the Czech Rally Championship with the one-two achieved by Jan Kopecký and Pontus Tidemand at the Rally Šumava Klatovy,” says ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “We are pleased to be back racing in front of our home crowd again. Last year’s Rally Český Krumlov was hard to beat, in terms of drama. Jan Kopecký only secured a thrilling victory on the very last stage,” Hrabánek recalls.

Thousands of fans are expected again at the second of six rounds in this season’s MČR. The iconic event begins on Friday in České Budějovice and ends after 14 stages and 167.08 kilometres against the clock in Český Krumlov on Saturday.

Not only could Jan Kopecký claim his second win of the season, but he could also win the iconic rally for the third time, having previously triumphed in 2012 and 2015. “We want to challenge for the win again. That is going to require a top performance. Pontus Tidemand and Václav Pech are among those who will give as good as they get again,” says the 34-year-old. Kopecký has won his last six MČR rallies in the ŠKODA FABIA R5, starting last season.

Pontus Tidemand and his co-driver Jonas Andersson are making their second guest appearance in the Czech championship at the Rally Český Krumlov. “Jonas and I are looking forward to our next rally in the home of the ŠKODA brand, as the fans are really special here,” says 25-year-old Tidemand.

As at the Rally Šumava Klatovy, Kopecký/Dresler and Tidemand/Andersson will face competition from ŠKODA customer teams in South Bohemia. Vojtěch Štajf/František Rajnoha (CZ/CZ) will compete in ŠKODA’s globally successful high-tech four-wheel drive powerhouse, the FABIA R5. Štajf lines up for the Klokočka ŠKODA Czech National Team.

ŠKODA has once again come up with something new for motorsport fans at the Rally Český Krumlov. As well as a diverse and entertaining programme in the ŠKODA Park, the manufacturer is also staging a competition, in which entrants can win a ŠKODA OCTAVIA RS 230 for a year. “ŠKODA has made a perfect start to the season in the MČR – both on and off the rally routes,” says Michal Pres, Head of Marketing at ŠKODA Czech Republic. “We want to continue that at the Rally Český Krumlov, and to offer fans in the ŠKODA Park another attractive programme.”

The ŠKODA FABIA R5 and other rally cars in the Czech Rally Championship are not the only ones who will be competing in South Bohemia. One part of the diverse motorsport weekend will be the 5th New Energies Rally Český Krumlov for automobiles with alternative forms of propulsion. This forms part of the International Automobile Federation’s (FIA) Alternative Energies Cup for the first time this year. The importance of the rally is underlined by the attendance of FIA President Jean Todt.

ŠKODA is also represented in this competition, including with the ŠKODA OCTAVIA Combi 1.4 TSI G-TEC. This sees the Czech car maker confirm its interest in the development of alternative forms of propulsion. The brand also boasts impressive technical expertise in the field of developing and manufacturing environmentally-sound vehicles. CNG technology is among the key pillars of ŠKODA’s sustainability strategy. The OCTAVIA G-TEC, which runs on both fuel and compressed natural gas, is very popular with customers.


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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 29, 2016, 01:32:22 posle podne

One-two for ŠKODA: Jan Kopecký extends lead in the Czech Rally Championship

​› Defending champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler win the Rally Český Krumlov to take their second victory in race two of this year’s national championship
› Successful second guest start: Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson complete ŠKODA one-two
› ŠKODA Fabia R5 wins all twelve timed special stages

​Český Krumlov, 28 May 2016 – Mission accomplished: At the 44th edition of the Rally Český Krumlov, ŠKODA Motorsport celebrated their second one-two result in the second race of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) season. The 2015 winners, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), were victorious again this year and extended their leading position in the national championship. ŠKODA's dominance in South Bohemia was underlined by the second ŠKODA works team of Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S), who finished in second place, just like at the season opener.

​“Kudos to Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, and to Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson, who once again delivered a highly focussed performance at the Rally Český Krumlov. Every member of the ŠKODA Motorsport team contributed to this one-two result,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “The many fans in our brand home of the Czech Republic made the rally very special once again. Our ŠKODA Fabia R5 worked perfectly again. But we won't rest on our laurels: After all, it is less than two weeks until the Rally Italy on Sardinia in the WRC 2.”

The performance at the Rally Český Krumlov was flawless. A ŠKODA works duo won on all six of Friday's special stages. Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler claimed five stages, while Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson got one stage best time. Arch-rival Václav Pech (CZ) was still in third place at this point, but he did not contest the second part of the rally.
 
On Saturday, a hailstorm forced the second and fifth special stages of the day to be cancelled amid concerns for safety. The remaining kilometres had a similar outcome to the previous day's stages: Kopecký/Dresler and Tidemand/Andersson each won three of the six special stages up for grabs. In the end, it was Kopecký/Dresler who celebrated a commanding win, just like at the season opener at the Rally Šumava Klatovy.

Jan Kopecký not only clinched his second win of the season at the Rally Český Krumlov, he also won the legendary rally for the third time after his victories in 2012 and 2015. “It was another step on the way to successfully defending the title. These fantastic fans played a large part in our success,” said the 34-year-old. He has now won the last seven rounds of the MČR in which he has competed in his ŠKODA Fabia R5 spanning this season and last.

Pontus Tidemand, who won the Rally Portugal in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) last weekend, was delighted with second place: “A fantastic result for us. Congrats to Jan on his win. He really feels at home on the asphalt tracks and is very hard to beat here.“

The ŠKODA customer teams also performed well. Vojtěch Štajf/František Rajnoha (CZ/CZ) were in action for the Klokočka ŠKODA Czech National Team, who also compete in the internationally successful high-tech four-wheel drive Fabia R5. Štajf finished in sixth place with a deficit of 4.22.5 minutes to the top.

In addition to the sporting highlights, ŠKODA also entertained the fans in the ŠKODA Park. The brand organised a competition in which all participants were in with a chance of winning a ŠKODA Octavia RS 230 for a year.

The next rally in the Czech Rally Championship is the Rally Hustopeče, which will be held on 17 and 18 June. However, before this is the Rally Italy on Sardinia in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2), which takes place from 9 to 12 June. Where, in addition to the Krumlov winners Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) will also represent ŠKODA Motorsport.

The number for the Rally Český Krumlov: 12

The two ŠKODA works duos Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler and Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson in the Fabia R5 won all twelve timed special stages at the Rally Český Krumlov. There were even nine one-two results for the ŠKODA drivers. A further two special stages were on the schedule; however, the two passes of the "Malonty" stage had to be cancelled on Saturday. This was due to severe storms with heavy hail at times. The roads on the 22.66-kilometre special stage were extremely dirty and safety could not be guaranteed.

Rally Ceský Krumlov - Final Overall Classification

1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA Fabia R5; 1:13:55.4 hrs
2. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S); ŠKODA Fabia R5; + 0:39.8 min
3. Dohnal/Ernst (CZ/CZ); Ford Focus RS WRC; + 2:26.0 min
4. Jakeš/Ehlová (CZ/CZ); Citroën DS3 R5; + 2:51.9 min
5. Odložilík/Tureček (CZ/CZ); Ford Fiesta R5; + 3:25.9 min

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 06, 2016, 01:54:49 posle podne

High jumps, hard tracks: ŠKODA eager to continue run of success on Sardinia

​› ŠKODA duos Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler and Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm in action at the Rally Italy in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
› Three podium positions in two starts by ŠKODA Motorsport with the FABIA R5 in the WRC 2 in 2016 to date
› Michal Hrabánek: "Maximum performance is required from the team"

​Mladá Boleslav, 6 June 2016 – High jumps, hard tracks: ŠKODA Motorsport are eager to continue their run of success at the Rally Italy on Sardinia (9 to 12 June). The works team will be represented by the experienced duos Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) and Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) at the third appearance in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) in 2016. Kopecký has already picked up two wins in two starts in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR). And at the World Championship event in Portugal two weeks ago, the third works team with Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) triumphed with the ŠKODA FABIA R5 in the WRC 2 category.

​"The Rally Italy is one of the most difficult challenges on the World Rally Championship calendar," said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “Maximum performance is required from the team." Almost 325 kilometres over 19 stages are scheduled from Thursday to Sunday. The highlight is the legendary "Micky’s Jump". It isn't the longest, but it is the highest jump that the rally cars have to master in the entire World Championship season. The mostly rock-hard surface also makes the tracks on the Mediterranean island a tough test for the cars.
"Our driver duos also need to be fully focussed every second that they are on the narrow gravel tracks on Sardinia. Every mistake is punished," warned Hrabánek. Jan Kopecký made it onto the WRC 2 podium in third place on Sardinia last year. The 34-year-old is eager to build on this performance at this year's edition. "After my win at the Rally Český Krumlov, I need to adapt from the asphalt tracks in my home country to the gravel surface on Sardinia as quickly as possible. Last year showed that it takes strong nerves and controlled risks here," said Kopecký.
 
Esapekka Lappi lost more than half an hour at the endurance test on Sardinia last year after a coming together with a stone, but won seven special stages to fight his way back up into ninth place. "The motto is: Drive quickly and don't make any mistakes. Our aim is definitely to be battling for the win," said Lappi. The "flying" Finn, like Jan Kopecký, will make his second appearance of the year in the WRC 2. On his first outing at the Rally Sweden, Lappi finished in third place behind his team-mate Pontus Tidemand.
 
Then came three wins in a row in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) for the ŠKODA FABIA R5. In the speedy, reliable four-wheel drive from Mladá Boleslav, the Finn Teemu Suninen was victorious at the Rally Mexico, while Nicolás Fuchs from Peru was unbeatable at the Rally Argentina. The works team didn't contest either of the two rounds overseas, but clinched the hat-trick of wins for the ŠKODA FABIA R5 at the Rally Portugal with Pontus Tidemand. The next chapter of the success story is set to be added on Sardinia.

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; 01.07.–03.07.2016
Rally Finland; 28.07.–31.07.2016
Rally Germany; 18.08.–21.08.2016
Rally China; 08.09.–11.09.2016
Rally Corsica; 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 that …
… there are a total of eight ŠKODA FABIA R5 on the entry list of the WRC 2 category for the Rally Italy on Sardinia? In addition to the two works drivers Jan Kopecký and Esapekka Lappi, the ŠKODA customers Teemu Suninen, Nicolás Fuchs, Armin Kremer (D), Julien Maurin (F), as well as the Italians Umberto Scandola and Luca Hoelbling rely on ŠKODA'S powerful machine.
 
… ŠKODA is also a major player in the overall standings of the WRC 2 after five of the 14 rounds of the season? Behind the leading Brit Elfyn Evans (62 points), Nicolás Fuchs (55), works driver Pontus Tidemand (S/43), Hubert Ptaszek (PL/42), Armin Kremer (28) and Teemu Suninen (25) make it five drivers in the following positions who picked up their points in the FABIA R5. Works driver Esapekka Lappi is in eleventh place with 15 points – but he has only contested one rally so far. Each driver can pick up points for the WRC 2 overall standings in seven selected rallies during the course of the year.
 
… ŠKODA Motorsport is already in second place in the WRC 2 team standings? Even though the team has only contested two WRC rallies to date, they have already picked up 43 points. Only M-Sport with 73 points from four rallies is currently better.
 
… the rally will get underway with a new highlight on Thursday evening this time? The 2.00-kilometre special stage Ittiri Arena Show in Alghero replaces last year's opening stage in Cagliari. Also new: The special stages Tula on Friday and Sassari – Argentiera on Sunday.
 
... the absolute highlight is without a doubt the legendary "Micky’s Jump"? This will have to be mastered on the special stage Monte Lerno - at 44.26 kilometres the longest stage of the rally - which will be completed twice on Saturday. The rally cars fly up to 40 metres through the air on "Micky's Jump".
 
… the reigning World Rally Champion and current WRC front-runner Sébastien Ogier (F) made rally history in a ŠKODA here in 2012? He finished in fifth place overall in the FABIA SUPER 2000 on Sardinia, which no other driver has managed in an S2000-class car to date. However, even more impressive was the stage "Tergu-Osilo 1", on which the Frenchman achieved something historic: He got the best time – leaving all of the World Rally Car elite in his wake. In 2012, Volkswagen used the ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000 to prepare for entering the FIA World Rally Championship. Where Volkswagen have been the measure of all things since entering the competition: The team picked up the titles in the drivers', co-drivers' and manufacturers' standings of the WRC in 2013, 2014 and 2015. And Volkswagen leads all of the WRC standings again this year.
 
… the Rally Italy has only been held on Sardinia since 2004? Before that, Italy's WRC event had been held around Sanremo since the world championship was introduced in 1973. The Rally Italy's service park on Sardinia is located on the west coast of the island, in Alghero, for the third year in a row.
 
… ŠKODA has already won the "Rally Italia Sardegna" once? The Finn Juho Hänninen won in the Fabia Super 2000 in 2010. Back then, the rally was part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) as a one-off. Hänninen won the title at the end of the season, ahead of his fellow ŠKODA driver Jan Kopecký.
  … Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily? Almost 1.7 million people live in an area of 24,000 square kilometres. The north of Sardinia is 202 kilometres away from mainland Italy – while the south of the island is just 184 kilometres away from Tunisia. The capital is Cagliari.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 11, 2016, 11:25:50 posle podne

WRC 2: ŠKODA dominates the start of the Rally Italy

​› Five ŠKODA FABIA R5 at the top of the standings at the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) event
› ŠKODA works team Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm in second place behind Italian ŠKODA drivers Umberto Scandola/Guido d’Amore
› Just under 220 kilometres await the drivers on Saturday and Sunday – Highlight "Micky’s Jump" is still to go

​Alghero, 10 June 2016 – ŠKODA got off to a bright start in glorious sunshine at the Rally Italy on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. The ŠKODA drivers put on a top show on the first two days with their dramatic fight for the lead; five turbo four-wheel drives lead the interim standings at the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) event. Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) in second place have a good chance to win; the second ŠKODA works duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) fought their way up into fifth place after tyre damage. Italian ŠKODA drivers Umberto Scandola/Guido d’Amore are the front-runners as they head into the almost 220 kilometres scheduled for Saturday and Sunday that will decide who will win one of the most challenging rallies of the year.

"The strategy for the first part of the rally was to make as few mistakes as possible. Which we managed," summed up Esapekka Lappi. "The overall result shows just what a fantastic rally car our ŠKODA FABIA R5 is." The turbo four-wheel drive topped the timesheet on each of the nine stages on the first two days of the Rally Italy; on the "Tula 1" section, six ŠKODA FABIA R5 were at the top of the WRC 2 table. Going into the final two days, just 27.5 seconds separate the top four drivers in ŠKODA's high-tech fast car - so it should be a hotly contested battle for the win in temperatures of just below 30 degrees.
Lappi: "This day showed just what is possible at this difficult and unpredictable rally. And we haven't even covered a third of the stage kilometres yet." At the start of the rally, the 22-year-old youngster Teemu Suninen initially took the lead in his ŠKODA FABIA R5, which he lost to Italian fan favourite Umberto Scandola on the seventh special stage "Tula 2" after suffering tyre damage. The ŠKODA driver defended the lead, but only has a lead of 10.1 seconds over works driver Lappi going into the final two days.

The second ŠKODA works team Kopecký/Dresler were unlucky on Friday, losing almost a minute due to tyre damage. "We'll try to move up the field with a cool head on Saturday and Sunday. Nothing is decided yet here, minor details will decide who wins," said Kopecký. The drivers still have the biggest challenges ahead of them on Saturday, in the form of the three longest special stages of the Rally Italy. The 44.26-kilometre stage "Monte Lerno", which must be mastered twice, is a particular challenge. This is where "Micky's Jump" is found, also the proverbial peak of the rally - the cars not only fly up to 40 metres here, they also reach heights above the ground like on no other jump in the WRC calendar.

Interim standings Rally Italy (WRC 2):
1. Scandola/D’Amore (I/I); ŠKODA Fabia R5; 1:16:32.3 hrs.
2. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN);  ŠKODA Fabia R5; + 0:10.1 min.
3. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA Fabia R5; + 0:19.2 min.
4. Fuchs/Mussano (PE/RA); ŠKODA Fabia R5; + 0:27.5 min.
5. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA Fabia R5; + 1:26.6 min
The number of the day at the Rally Italy: 0.2

On the "Tergu – Osilo 1" special stage, Finland’s Teemu Suninen was 0.2 seconds faster in the ŠKODA FABIA R5 than three-time world rally champion Sébastien Ogier (F) in the Volkswagen Polo WRC. Although this result was partly due to the stage becoming faster with each driver, and was also affected by the choice of tyre, Suninen’s performance was still remarkable. Ogier pulled off a historic performance on exactly the same "Tergu – Osilo 1" stage in 2012. He posted the best time in a ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000 – ahead of all the elite drivers in their World Rally Cars. The current world championship leader Ogier used his time in the ŠKODA to prepare for Volkswagen’s appearance in the World Rally Championship, which he has dominated since 2013.

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; 01.07.–03.07.2016
Rally Finland; 28.07.–31.07.2016
Rally Germany; 18.08.–21.08.2016
Rally China; 08.09.–11.09.2016
Rally Corsica; 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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Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 12, 2016, 07:41:14 posle podne

One-two at the Rally Italy: ŠKODA passes the ultimate test of durability

​› ŠKODA works duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler finish runner-up behind fellow ŠKODA pair Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula
› Fourth win in a row for the ŠKODA FABIA R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) – Fastest time on all 19 stages
› Michal Hrabánek: “ŠKODA cars successfully mastered one of the most difficult challenges of the year”

​Alghero, 12 June 2016 – One-two: ŠKODA passed the ultimate test of durability at the Rally Italy with flying colours. Czech works duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler finished an excellent second at what is probably the toughest rally on the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) calendar. After a dramatic 322.82 kilometres of racing, fellow ŠKODA pair Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula from Finland took their place on the top step of the podium. They claimed the fourth WRC 2 win in a row for the ŠKODA FABIA R5, which was the fastest car in its class on all 19 special stages on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia.

“Heat, big jumps, loose sand akin to that on the Rally Dakar, and big stones on the roads – the Rally Italy really put the drivers through their paces. The ŠKODA cars successfully mastered one of the most difficult challenges of the year,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek: “Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler kept a cool head and completed a great success for our works team. Special congratulations go to the winners, Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula. The whole result on Sardinia is yet more proof of the class of our FABIA R5, and motivation to keep working hard.”

The Rally Italy was the most eventful rally of the 2016 World Rally Championship so far – both on and off the route. The event reached its dramatic highlight in the WRC 2 category on Saturday, on the 44.26-kilometre “Monte Lerno 1” stage – the longest stage of the rally, which also features the iconic “Micky’s Jump”. Leading going into the stage, the ŠKODA works duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) failed to finish – as did fellow ŠKODA pair Umberto Scandola/Guido d’Amore from Italy, who went into the penultimate day as the WRC 2 leaders.
The other top ŠKODA drivers Kopecký, Suninen and Nicolás Fuchs (PE) were stopped temporarily by race stewards following a crash involving Italian WRC driver Lorenzo Bertelli. “A steward showed us an SOS board, so we did not complete the entire stage at top speed,” Kopecký explained. The dominant ŠKODA drivers consequently lost the lead in WRC 2, but were then deservedly given it back thanks to the decision of a jury late on Saturday evening.

They were given a time in accordance with their performance on the second running of the “Monte Lerno” stage.
ŠKODA driver Nicolás Fuchs then dropped out of the battle for second place with Jan Kopecký on Sunday’s opening stage. “I feel sorry for Nico, as we were having a really great duel! This Rally Italy was an emotional rollercoaster for us. First we dropped almost a minute and fell back down the standings due to a puncture, then we fought our way back to second place,” said Kopecký, who finished third on Sardinia last year. “That is a really happy ending! Especially as a ŠKODA FABIA R5 won again.”

Teemu Suninen claimed the fourth WRC 2 victory in a row for the high-tech, four-wheel drive powerhouse. The 22-year-old Finn kicked off the winning run at the Rally Mexico, while Nicolás Fuchs proved unbeatable in the quick and reliable car from Mladá Boleslav at the Rally Argentina. The works team did not contest the oversea rallies, but triumphed through Pontus Tidemand at the Rally Portugal. The Swede is the best-placed works driver in the overall WRC 2 standings in fourth place (43 points/two starts). Britain’s Elfyn Evans (62 points/ four starts) leads the championship, ahead of ŠKODA customers Fuchs (55 points/four starts) and Suninen (50 points/3 starts). Each driver can score points towards the race for the WRC 2 title at seven races in 2016.

Works driver Esapekka Lappi did manage to finish ninth to pick up two points at the Rally Italy. He re-joined the rally on Sunday and won all four special stages with a series of outstanding times. “Thank you to all the mechanics and the entire ŠKODA team, who got our car up and running again! We landed in a large hole after a jump on Saturday and were unable to continue. We will go on the attack again at the Rally Poland,” Lappi promised. Like Pontus Tidemand, the Finn will contest the next WRC 2 rally from 30 June to 3 July. Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler are back in action this Friday and Saturday at the Rally Hustopeče in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR).

Final result of the Rally Italy (WRC 2):
1. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5; 3:44:23.2 hrs
2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 0:49.6 min
3. Kruuda/Järveoja (EST/EST); Ford Fiesta R5; + 4:31.1 min
4. Kremer/Winklhofer (D/D); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 6:38.0 min
5. Maurin/Ural (F/F); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 7:39.8 min

9. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 25:59.6 min
 
The number for the Rally Italy: 19
The ŠKODA FABIA R5 was the dominant car in the WRC 2 category on Sardinia. The high-tech four-wheel drive car from the Czech Republic topped the time lists all 19 special stages across four days of rallying. Five different ŠKODA drivers won stages: Teemu Suninen (7), Esapekka Lappi (5), Umberto Scandola (4), Nicolás Fuchs (2) and Jan Kopecký (1).

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
Rally Corsica;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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Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 13, 2016, 09:12:43 posle podne

Rally Hustopeče: Kopecký hunting a hat-trick of wins in the ŠKODA FABIA R5

› After two one-two results, ŠKODA Motorsport is favourite to win the third race in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
› ŠKODA works duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler have already won the Rally Hustopeče four times
› Michal Hrabánek: “The whole team must stay as focussed as before”

​Mladá Boleslav, 13 June 2016 – All good things come in threes: ŠKODA Motorsport is aiming to complete a hat-trick of wins in this year’s Czech Rally Championship (MČR) at the Rally Hustopeče. Works duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) are in fine form ahead of the third round of the national championship, having won both the Rally Šumava Klatovy and the Rally Český Krumlov. The Rally Hustopeče takes place in the wine-producing South Moravia region and there are ten special stages to be completed on Friday and Saturday, with a total length of around 150 kilometres. Kopecký/Dresler scored an excellent second place at Rally Italy in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) last weekend.

“At the Rally Hustopeče, we want to continue where we left off at Český Krumlov,” says ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “The whole team must stay as focussed as before – this is the only way for us to have a chance of winning the third race in the national championship, and of defending our title.” The first two rounds of the MČR season saw Pontus Tidemand /Jonas Andersson (S/S) finish second twice to seal one-twos for ŠKODA Motorsport, but this time just Kopecký/Dresler representing ŠKODA as a works duo.

In 2015 and 2016, the national champions have won all seven of the races in the Czech national championship, in which they have competed in the ŠKODA FABIA R5. The Rally Hustopeče has also been a happy hunting ground for the experienced Czech pair: after a hat-trick of victories between 2011 and 2013, the duo also recorded a fine win last year. These four wins for the ŠKODA drivers are a record at the Rally Hustopeče, and they intend to add another chapter to this success story at the weekend.

“We love the stages in South Moravia and we are looking forward to seeing loads of fans there too,” says Kopecký. “Of course we want to put on a good show for them in our ŠKODA FABIA R5, and be up there challenging for the win. That will be easier said than done, as the other drivers will not make it easy for us to win again,” explains Kopecký. Arch rival Václav Pech (CZ) will also be competing in his Porsche, as will Vojtěch Štajf (CZ). The ŠKODA customer from the Klokočka ŠKODA Czech National Team recently produced an impressive performance to claim fifth place at the Rally Český Krumlov.

The drivers will have to hold their nerve on the fast and challenging stages in South Moravia. The ten special stages take place within just 19 hours, and two of them must be completed after dark on Friday evening. The winning driver will celebrate victory early on Saturday afternoon in Hustopeče, which is also the location of the service area.

In addition to the entertainment provided by the rally, the fans will also have plenty to look forward to in the ŠKODA Park. As is usual for the Czech Rally Championship (MČR), there will be a competition to win a ŠKODA OCTAVIA RS 230 for a year. “We have prepared another exciting programme of events to delight the fans in the ŠKODA Park, situated next to the start/finish line,” says Michal Pres, Marketing Manager of ŠKODA AUTO Czech Republic. “And, of course, we are hopeful that ŠKODA can extend its winning sequence at the Rally Hustopeče, in the home of our brand.”

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

Did you know …

… ŠKODA first claimed victory at the third Rally Hustopeče in 2007? The winning driver was Leoš Flídr (CZ) in the ŠKODA OCTAVIA WRC, ahead of Jan Kopecký.
… the Rally Hustopeče will be taking place for the twelfth time this year? The event was held for the first time in 2005.
… the Horní Bojanovice/Diváky stage is the longest of the Rally Hustopeče, at 17.43 kilometres? The drivers must complete it twice on Friday, once after dark at 22:35.
… the South Moravia (Jihomoravský kraj) region is one of 14 regions in the Czech Republic? The regional capital is Brno.
… the service area is based in the town of Hustopeče, which gives the rally its name? The coat of arms of the town features a cloven shield in red and gold. One half of the shield shows a bunch of red grapes beneath a silver vineyard knife with a golden handle. The other half shows a half-eagle with red tongue.
… Hustopeče is around 10 kilometres north-east of the “South Moravian Sea”? The system of man-made lakes was created in the 1980s when the 235-kilometre long River Thaya was dammed.
… the South Moravia region is the most important wine-producing region in the Czech Republic? The area primarily produces white wines, especially the Grüne Veltliner variety that is well-known in neighbouring Lower Austria. You can also find Müller-Thurgau, Welschriesling and Chardonnay wines.
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Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 14, 2016, 07:21:33 posle podne
APRC: ŠKODA out to shine in Australia

​› Rally Queensland marks the second round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
› Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian and Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall fly the flag for the ŠKODA MRF team
› Michal Hrabánek: “Talented young driver Fabien Kreim to gain more valuable experience on gravel”

​Mladá Boleslav, 14 June 2016 – On top down under: ŠKODA is out to shine at round two of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). On Saturday and Sunday, Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian (D/D) and Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/AUS) will contest the Rally Queensland in Australia for the ŠKODA MRF team. Drivers Gill and Kreim claimed a much-heralded one-two for the Czech car maker at the opening round of the 2016 APRC in New Zealand.

“We want to back up our strong start to the season. However, we face another very tough test at the iconic rally in Australia. Our talented young driver Fabian Kreim is developing all the time and will gain more valuable experience on gravel,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. 23-year-old Kreim, who has only been driving rallies since 2013, produced a strong display on his APRC debut in New Zealand. He actually led going into the final day, and ultimately ended the rally in second place.

“I learned an awful lot at my first major gravel rally. I am now looking to build on that in Australia. I want to make it onto the podium again, and give my team-mate Gaurav Gill a good fight,” says Kreim. He has the form to do so: after his successful APRC debut, the youngster claimed a dominant victory at the Rally Saxony in the German Rally Championship (DRM). He is currently second overall in the strong national championship – a position he also occupies in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship. His goal is to win the title in at least one of the two championships. After the opening race of the APRC, ŠKODA leads the Manufacturers’ Championship with 39 points, ahead of Subaru (28).

Kreim has 31 points to his name in the Drivers’ Championship after round one of the APRC, meaning he trails Gill – eleven years his senior – by seven points. The experienced Gill is obviously looking to extend his lead at the Rally Australia, and has the great advantage of knowing the majority of the 16 stages and 240 kilometres against the clock from previous years. Gill won the APRC class of the Rally Queensland, which takes competitors on fast roads through the woodland inland of the Sunshine Coach, in 2010. 42 teams line up at the Rally Queensland, which forms part of both the APRC and the Australian Rally Championship. ŠKODA has won the Manufacturer, Driver and Co-Driver titles in the APRC for the past four years in a row.

“Our goal, as it was at the season-opener, is obviously to win. I know the routes well, but Fabian Kreim learns very quickly. It is sure to be an exciting battle with my new team-mate,” says Gill. “Hopefully we can all celebrate together in the ŠKODA family again come the end of the rally.” At the same time as ŠKODA was winning the season-opener in New Zealand, 18,000 kilometres away it also claimed a one-two at the Rally Šumava Klatovy in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR). A similar feat is also possible this time: the Rally Hustopeče in the MČR takes place in ŠKODA’s home market of the Czech Republic on the same weekend as the Rally Queensland in Australia.

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 China – China; 06.08.–07.08.2016
Rally Hokkaido – Japan; 24.09.–25.09.2016
Rally Malaysia – Malaysia; 29.10.–30.10.2016
Rally India – India; 10.12.–11.12.2016

Did you know …
... ŠKODA has won the APRC category at the Rally Queensland in Australia for the past four years in a row? In 2012, Australian Chris Atkinson won for the first time in a FABIA SUPER 2000. The same car proved to be unbeatable in subsequent years. Finland’s Esapekka Lappi won in 2013, Jan Kopecký (CZ) was victorious in 2014, and Swede Pontus Tidemand took victory last year. As such, each of the three current ŠKODA Motorsport works drivers has tasted victory in Australia.
… ŠKODA has gone on to claim the APRC title each time it has won the iconic rally in Australia? Chris Atkinson was champion in 2012, while Gaurav Gill was crowned rally king of the Asia-Pacific region in 2013. He was succeeded on the throne by Jan Kopecký in 2014, before Pontus Tidemand won the prestigious title in 2015.
... the origins of the Rally Queensland date back to 1968? That was when the rally’s predecessor was held for the first time. The race has belonged to the Australian Rally championship since then, making it the longest-standing round of the championship.
... the Rally Queensland in Australia first formed part of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in 2009?
… the Rally Queensland was originally held near Brisbane? Since 1997, it has taken place inland of the Sunshine Coast, a good 150 kilometres north of the city. The service park is located in Imbil.
… the rally is the only international motorsport event in the Australian state of Queensland? The event has a new promoter this year, in the form of Rallycorp.
... Australia, with an area of roughly 7.7 million square kilometres, is the sixth largest country in the world? The coast alone is 35.876 kilometres long. The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland, is 2,300 kilometres long and the largest structure on the planet created by living creatures.
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Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 18, 2016, 09:05:34 posle podne

Kopecký completes hat-trick of victories for ŠKODA in Czech championship

​› Three MČR races in 2016, three wins: ŠKODA works duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler remain unbeatable at the Rally Hustopečen
› Kopecký extends lead in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
› Two ŠKODA FABIA R5s triumph among the vineyards of South Moravia
› Michal Hrabánek: “Perfect end to the first half of the season

​Hustopeče, 18 June 2016 – Cheered on by thousands of fans, the ŠKODA works duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) completed a hat-trick of victories in this year’s Czech Rally Championship (MČR). The experienced pair won the Rally Hustopeče on Saturday after a dramatic battle with fellow ŠKODA drivers Pavel Valoušek/Veronika Havelková (CZ/CZ). The ŠKODA FABIA R5 was the best rally car in the field throughout the 150 special stage kilometres among the vineyards of South Moravia.

​“That was the perfect end to the first half of the season in the Czech Rally Championship. First of all, we got second place in the WRC 2 at the world championship race in Italy last Sunday, and now we have won at the Rally Hustopeče”. ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek was full of praise for Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, who “produced outstanding results after a challenging few days. The atmosphere in the ŠKODA Park and at the circuit was fantastic once again at the Rally Hustopeče. All ŠKODA Teams put on a great show for the numerous fans in South Moravia.”

The drivers did indeed deliver top-quality rally entertainment on the tight, bumpy and dusty asphalt of the twelve special stages. ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký took the lead right from the start, and was able to reclaim this position after dropping to second place behind Pavel Valoušek after a minor error in the Bořetice 2 stage. A fascinating duel developed between the two ŠKODA FABIA R5 drivers during the three stages after dark on Friday evening. The battle continued on Saturday, before Jan Kopecký claimed victory, 28.0 seconds ahead of Valoušek.

This was his third win of the season in the national championship, having already tasted victory at the Rally Šumava Klatovy and the Rally Český Krumlov. The reigning Czech champion has now won each of the eight national championship races in which he has competed in 2015 and 2016, spanning this season and the last. “The Rally Hustopeče is always a special rally for us, thanks to the particular track conditions. I was lucky that my error at the start of the rally did not lose me more time. It was a great battle with Pavel Valoušek, which makes this win even more valuable,” commented Kopecký.

This was the fifth time that the 34-year-old has celebrated victory at the Rally Hustopeče, having already won in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015, and he holds the record number of wins for this event. Kopecký extended his lead in the overall MČR standings and is the clear leader at the halfway point, after three of six races. Vojtěch Štajf (CZ) also produced a strong performance. The ŠKODA customer from the Klokočka ŠKODA Czech National Team finished in fourth place at the Rally Hustopeče, recording his best result of the year. “The ŠKODA FABIA R5 worked wonderfully. We can still have a lot of fun this season,” commented Štajf.

It is only two weeks until the next race in the Czech Rally Championship, the Rally Bohemia (2/3 July). Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler will start with home advantage around the ŠKODA brand headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. The Rally Poland will take place in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) on the same weekend, featuring the works duos Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) and Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) for the ŠKODA Motorsport team.

The number for the Rally Hustopeče: 9
The ŠKODA FABIA R5 was the fastest car at the Rally Hustopeče, recording best times on nine out of twelve special stages. Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler claimed eight stage best times, while Pavel Valoušek/Veronika Havelková also finished first once in the high-tech four-wheel drive ŠKODA car.

Rally Hustopeče – Final Overall Classification

1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA FABIA R5: 1:25:43.8 hrs 
2. Valoušek/Havelková (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA FABIA R5: + 0:28.0 min
3. Dohnal/Ernst (CZ/CZ), Ford Focus WRC: + 1:29.5 min
4. Štajf/Rajnoha (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA FABIA R5: + 1:46.6 min
5. Grzyb/Hundla (PL/PL), Ford Fiesta: + 2:30.2 min

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
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Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 19, 2016, 08:26:19 posle podne
Wonderful rally weekend: ŠKODA celebrates in Australia as well

​› Second one-two result for ŠKODA in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC): Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall victorious ahead of Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian, in extremely difficult conditions
› The Rally Queensland and the Rally Hustopeče: two ŠKODA triumphs, 15,500 kilometres apart
› Michal Hrabánek: “Proud of this rally weekend”

​Imbil/Australia, 19th June 2016 – It was a wonderful rally weekend for ŠKODA: triumph at the Rally Hustopeče at home in the Czech Republic was followed by a one-two result at the Rally Queensland in Australia. Despite extremely difficult driving conditions, Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/AUS) and Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian (D/D) repeated their achievements from the season-opener in New Zealand, securing the top two positions for the brand at the second race on the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) calendar. The previous day, 15,500 kilometres away, the ŠKODA works duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler completed a hat-trick of wins in this year’s Czech Rally Championship (MČR).

“I am proud of this rally weekend. In Australia, we were victorious on muddy gravel tracks and we also won on asphalt at our brand home in the Czech Republic. This shows that ŠKODA drivers, ŠKODA teams and the ŠKODA FABIA R5 can beat all sorts of challenges,” concluded Michal Hrabánek. The ŠKODA Motorsport Director praised the concentrated performance of the drivers from the ŠKODA MRF team in Australia: “Our youngster Fabian Kreim continued to progress at his second gravel rally and kept his nerve despite the wet and slippery conditions. Congratulations to Gaurav Gill, who claimed his second win of the season.”

At the rally near the Sunshine Coast, the drivers had to contend with very muddy stages after heavy rainfall. Conditions became so bad that four stages had to be cancelled on Sunday. “They call it the Sunshine Coast? The rain and mud made my second gravel rally even harder, especially as we were not familiar with the stages. So I am more than pleased with my second place in the APRC,” commented Kreim. The 23-year-old has only been competing in rallies since 2013, but he was able to hold off more experienced drivers on these stages, such as New Zealand’s Michael Young.
Experienced ŠKODA driver Gaurav Gill remained unchallenged in his FABIA R5. The 34-year-old took the lead in the first special stage and gradually extended his lead. Having repeated his performance from the season-opener in New Zealand, the Indian driver celebrated a dominant victory. This was the fifth win in a row for ŠKODA in the APRC championship at the Rally Queensland in Australia. In 2012, Australian Chris Atkinson triumphed for the first time in the FABIA SUPER 2000, which proved unbeatable in the years thereafter. Finland’s Esapekka Lappi won in 2013, Jan Kopecký (CZ) claimed victory in 2014, and Swedish driver Pontus Tidemand finished in first place last year. A sequence of success that has seen all three current ŠKODA Motorsport works drivers top the podium in Australia.

ŠKODA also has a good chance of securing the fifth consecutive APRC title, having extended the lead in the manufacturers’ standings. The top two in the drivers’ championship, Gill and Fabian Kreim, have also built up a lead over the competitions after two of the season’s six races. “My aim is to repeat my title win of 2013. Victory in Australia was an important step in that direction. It was extremely slippery but we found the right rhythm and our ŠKODA FABIA R5 remained fast and reliable to the finish, even in these extreme conditions.”

The next stop for the APRC is China, on 6 th th and 7th August. Fabian Kreim is in action again before this – on Friday and Saturday he will be competing at the Rally Stemweder Berg in the German Rally Championship, and one week later he will be racing at the Rally Bohemia in the Czech Rally Championship. The home race for ŠKODA takes place on 2nd and 3rd July, and will also feature this weekend’s victorious works duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler.

The number for the Rally Queensland: 13

The ŠKODA MRF team was the clear winner in the APRC championship at the Rally Queensland, with the two FABIA R5s recording the best times in all 13 special stages. Gaurav Gill won all eight special stages on Saturday, finishing fastest 11 times overall. Fabian Kreim claimed first place on two occasions in the APRC. Sixteen stages had been scheduled originally, but four had to be cancelled due to heavy rain on Sunday afternoon. Only one stage could take place, and that was shortened to 1.20 kilometres.

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 China – China; 06.08.–07.08.2016
Rally Hokkaido – Japan; 24.09.–25.09.2016
Rally Malaysia – Malaysia; 29.10.–30.10.2016
Rally India – India; 10.12.–11.12.2016
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Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 28, 2016, 10:43:47 pre podne

WRC 2: ŠKODA looks to continue winning ways at full-throttle show in Poland

​› Previous year’s winners Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm and Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson competing for ŠKODA Motorsport works team
› Total of eight ŠKODA FABIA R5s involved in seventh race of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) season – Poland’s Hubert Ptaszek out to thrill fans
› Four wins in a row for ŠKODA in the WRC 2
› Michal Hrabánek: “The Rally Poland is a special event for us”

​Mladá Boleslav, 27 June 2016 – ŠKODA is out to continue its winning run in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) at the full-throttle show in Poland. One year ago, Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm claimed the historic first WRC 2 win for the ŠKODA FABIA R5 at the Rally Poland – and the “flying Finns” would like to repeat that success this year. Sweden’s Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson are the second ŠKODA works duo in one of the fastest rallies of the year, which runs from Thursday to Sunday. Polish driver Hubert Ptaszek, also behind the wheel of a ŠKODA FABIA R5, will be the centre of attention for tens of thousands of fans.

​“The Rally Poland is a special event for us. One year ago, we celebrated the first win here for our new ŠKODA FABIA R5 in the World Rally Championship. Of course we would like to continue that trend this year,” says ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. The Rally Poland marks the start of some high-speed weeks in the WRC 2. The long-standing event among the Masurian Lakes, and the Rally Finland that follows it, rank as the two world championship events with the highest average speed.

“You need to be brave on the ultra-fast tracks, but you have to use your head as well. Last year, Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand got the balance just right to claim a one-two. However, the competition is stronger than in 2015 and we can look forward to an exciting Rally Poland,” continues Hrabánek. The top six in the overall WRC 2 standings – all of whom are driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5, with the exception of leader Elfyn Evans (GB) – will be battling to record the best times over 306.10 kilometres of stages, through thick forests and around beautiful lakes.

The last four WRC 2 rallies have been won by drivers of the high-tech four-wheel-drive FABIA R5. Two weeks ago, at the Rally Italy, victory went to the 22-year-old Finnish driver Teemu Suninen, who had started the sequence of wins at the Rally Mexico. Nicolás Fuchs (PE) won the Rally Argentina in the fast and reliable four-wheel drive powerhouse from Mladá Boleslav. At the Rally Portugal, it was works driver Pontus Tidemand who climbed onto the top step of the podium.

The Swedish driver is looking forwarding to returning to Poland: “I like the fast roads at the Rally Poland, and my second-place finish last year showed that. Jonas and I want to record another top result to improve our chances in the WRC 2 title race. To do that, we need to hold our nerve.” After finishing ninth at the Rally Italy, team-mate Esapekka Lappi wants to go on the attack: “We showed our potential in Sardinia with some stage wins, but we didn’t get the overall result to match. The mega-fast tracks in Poland remind me of Finland and it feels almost like home for me. We definitely want to be challenging for the win.”

It will certainly not be an easy task – in addition to Lappi and Tidemand, there will be six more drivers competing in the ŠKODA FABIA R5. These include Teemu Suninen and Nicolás Fuchs, both of whom have already won in the WRC 2 this year. At his home event, local hero Hubert Ptaszek wants to impress in the fast and reliable turbo car from the Czech Republic. His co-driver Maciej Szczepaniak (PL) has recovered from the injury he sustained at the Rally Portugal and is looking forward to his comeback in the WRC 2. “The Rally Poland is a highlight of the season for me. I am really looking forward to plenty of fans at our home rally and want to put on a good show,” says Ptaszek. He may even be able to give himself an early birthday present: the ŠKODA youngster will turn 23 just two days after the grand finale of the Rally Poland.

The Rally Bohemia will be taking place in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) at the same time as the Rally Poland. The championship leaders Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) will be competing for the works team, having recently finished runner-up in WRC 2 at the Rally Italy.


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
Rally Corsica: 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 ŠKODA works drivers Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm have already won the Rally Poland twice? Exactly one year ago, the “flying Finns” claimed the historic first win for the ŠKODA FABIA R5 in the WRC 2. Lappi had celebrated his first win in October 2012. He had just joined ŠKODA Motorsport and triumphed in the FABIA SUPER 2000 at his first rally in Poland. At that time, the event was part of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC).

… alongside the Rally Monte Carlo, the Rally Poland is the oldest event in the rally world, but has only featured on the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar five times? The Rally Poland took place for the first time in 1921, when Polish driver Tadeusz Heyne claimed victory. In 1973, the event was part of the inaugural World Rally Championship season, after which it was taken out of the WRC calendar and moved to the European Rally Championship. The event appeared once in the WRC, in 2009. The Rally Poland returned to the pinnacle of rallying in 2014, and remains there three years later.

… ŠKODA is represented by five of the top six drivers in the overall WRC 2 standings? After six out of fourteen races, British driver Elfyn Evans (62 points from four starts) is followed by Nicolás Fuchs (55/four starts), Teemu Suninen (50/three starts), works driver Pontus Tidemand (43/two starts), Hubert Ptaszek (42/five starts) and the experienced German driver Armin Kremer (40/three starts), all of whom are behind the wheel of a ŠKODA FABIA R5. The other two ŠKODA works drivers are also in the top ten: Jan Kopecký (19/two starts) is in eighth and Esapekka Lappi (17/two starts) is in tenth place. Each driver can select seven rallies from the season to score points in the WRC 2 overall standings.

… ŠKODA Motorsport is also challenging for the title in the WRC 2 team championship? Although the team from Mladá Boleslav has only started in three world championship rallies so far, it already has 61 points to its name. First place is currently held by M-Sport, with 73 points from four rallies.

… eight ŠKODA FABIA R5s will be starting in the WRC 2 category of the rally, as was also the case at the Rally Italy? In addition to the works drivers Pontus Tidemand and Esapekka Lappi, ŠKODA customers Hubert Ptaszek, Teemu Suninen, Nicolás Fuchs, Armin Kremer, Julien Maurin (F) and Scott Pedder (AUS) will be competing for valuable points in the WRC 2 title race, in the turbo all-wheel drive car from ŠKODA.

… the “flying Finn” Esapekka Lappi was the fastest man in the WRC 2 class on the second stage of last year’s rally “Gorklo” – recording a spectacular average speed of 126.45 km/h on the second special stage “Gorklo”? The Rally Poland, and the Rally Finland that follows it, are the fastest rallies on the world championship calendar. Drivers need to be at full throttle, but must also drive carefully: they can cut a lot of corners but the high grass often conceals dangerous stones.

… only four special stages will be exactly the same as last year: Mikołajki Arena, Gołdap, Świętajno and Wieliczki? All other stages have had at least some modification and 33 percent are new, compared to last year. The changes were made with the goal of making the rally safer and more attractive for drivers and fans. Overall, the drivers have to complete 306.10 kilometres across 21 stages.

… the rally takes place among the Masurian Lakes? There are thousands of lakes in Masuria, and the undisturbed landscape of Poland’s largest lake district has made it one of the top tourist attractions in the whole country. The service area for the Rally Poland is in Mikołajki, which has around 4,000 inhabitants and is the best-known town in the region.
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Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 30, 2016, 02:24:37 posle podne
Kopecký entering ŠKODA home rally in black FABIA R5

​› 43rd Rally Bohemia: ŠKODA Motorsport marks 35th anniversary of a cult Czechoslovakian film with special paintwork
› Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler plan to remain unbeaten in fourth event of current Czech Rally Championship (MČR) season
› German duo Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian also lining up for the race, supported by ŠKODA Motorsport
› Michal Hrabánek: ‘We’re looking forward to the highlight of the Czech Rally Championship’

​Mladá Boleslav, 30 June 2016 – A spectacular show at the 43rd Rally Bohemia: serial winner Jan Kopecký is to compete in ŠKODA’s home race in a black FABIA R5. The vehicle’s special paintwork is to mark the 35th anniversary of the cult Czechoslovakian film Ferat Vampire. The ŠKODA duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) intend to remain unbeaten in this year’s Czech Rally Championship (MČR) when they tackle the fourth event of the season in their black high-tech vehicle on Saturday and Sunday. There will also be a guest appearance in the Czech championship from the German pair Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian, supported by ŠKODA Motorsport.

„We’re looking forward to the highlight of the Czech Rally Championship! Rally Bohemia has always been especially important to the ŠKODA brand because it is held right on its doorstep in Mladá Boleslav. Following a hat-trick of wins in the first three events of the season, we hope to extend our run of success and treat all the ŠKODA staff and the fans to a good show,“ says ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. And the black ŠKODA FABIA R5 driven by the commanding championship front-runner Jan Kopecký will be a real eye-catcher over the eight special stages covering a distance of 153.28 kilometres.

The livery of the turbocharged four-wheel drive vehicle is a nod to the legendary ŠKODA 110 SUPER SPORT (Ferat), which achieved cult status in what was then Czechoslovakia thanks to the film Ferat Vampire. The black supercar prototype was designed by the Czech artist Theodor Pištěk, who went on to win an Oscar for best costume design in the box office hit Amadeus. ŠKODA is marking the 35th anniversary of the release of the horror science fiction film Ferat Vampire with its black FABIA R5. The successful rally vehicle and the ŠKODA 110 SUPER SPORT (Ferat) are both on display at the ŠKODA Museum during Rally Bohemia.

„This is a great move. I think our black ŠKODA FABIA R5 will offer the fans a unique motif for photos. But for us, the focus is on being just as successful in Rally Bohemia as we have been so far and on extending our lead in the Czech championship. A fourth win of the season is what we’re aiming at,“ says Jan Kopecký. If he wins the rally, the experienced 34-year-old would achieve the feat of making it his fourth consecutive win in ŠKODA’s home rally, adding to his hat-trick of wins from 2013 to 2015. ŠKODA remains unbeaten at Rally Bohemia since 2009.

Also being supported by ŠKODA Motorsport, the German youngster Fabian Kreim will make his Czech Rally Championship debut at Rally Bohemia. He will be behind the wheel of a FABIA R5 provided by the team of the Czech rally legend Roman Kresta. On the same weekend as Rally Bohemia, the ŠKODA duos Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) and Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) will be competing in the other FABIA R5 vehicles belonging to ŠKODA Motorsport in Rally Poland, which is part of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2).

‘I’ve had some pretty eventful weeks, starting with the International Rally of Queensland in Australia, then the Stemweder Berg Rally at home, and now Rally Bohemia. But ŠKODA’s home rally will undoubtedly be the highlight, and I look forward to seeing lots of fans in the Czech Republic,’ says Kreim.

The rally fans can look forward to quite a special programme in the ŠKODA park. As is customary at the Czech Rally Championship, there will be the opportunity to win a ŠKODA OCTAVIA RS 230 for a year. There will also be special activities at the ŠKODA Museum to mark the anniversary of the cult film Ferat Vampire.

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

Did you know …

... that Dagmar Veškrnová-Havlová has a leading role in the film Ferat Vampire? She is the widow of the former Czech president Václav Havel, who died in 2011. The cult film was made at the Barrandov film studios in Prague and was directed by Juraj Herz.
… that various special goings-on are planned during Rally Bohemia to mark the film’s 35th anniversary? Among other things the film itself will be shown at 19:00 on Friday, ahead of the start of the rally.
… that a total of five ŠKODA FABIA R5 vehicles are in the list of starters for this year’s Rally Bohemia? The ŠKODA customers Vojtěch Štajf (CZ), Jan Sýkora (CZ) and Karel Trojan (CZ) are lined up to compete in the Czech brand’s very latest rally vehicle, in addition to Jan Kopecký and Fabian Kreim.
... that the longest stage of Rally Bohemia is 32.28 kilometres long? The Radostin stage will be completed twice on the Sunday.
... that ŠKODA has now racked up six consecutive wins in Rally Bohemia? Juho Hänninen of Finland won in the FABIA SUPER 2000 in 2009 and 2010, followed by Freddy Loix of Belgium in 2011. There was no official end result in 2012, but ŠKODA driver Jan Kopecký subsequently won the rally in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
... that Rally Bohemia was originally called Rally ŠKODA from its inaugural year in 1974 until 1985? The Czech automotive brand initiated the rally to test the quality and endurance of its models under extreme conditions. The first rally held 40 years ago was an impressive 1,800 kilometres long, with the special stages taking place all over what was then Czechoslovakia. 152 teams entered the rally, 72 of which came from abroad.
… that Rally Bohemia was part of the European Rally Championship and the European Rally Cup for many years? The current ŠKODA driver Jan Kopecký scored three victories in total, in 2004, 2005 and 2013.
... that, in addition to Mladá Boleslav being where the ŠKODA headquarters are based, there is a tower nearby with a lean similar to that of the tower in Pisa? The iconic tower, which is part of the ruins of Castle Michalovice, is said to lean due to treasure hunters disrupting the foundations.
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Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 01, 2016, 12:45:15 pre podne

Anniversary of Speed: 115 Years of ŠKODA Motorsport

​› First chapter in ŠKODA’s fascinating motorsport history written 115 years ago
› On a single-cylinder Laurin & Klement, motorcyclist Narcis Podsedníček finished first in the Paris-Berlin on 30 June, 1901
› ŠKODA FABIA R5 builds on success of predecessors

​Mladá Boleslav, 30 June 2016 – The cornerstone of ŠKODA’s successful involvement in motor racing was laid 115 years ago. On 30 June Narcis Podsedníček took the number-one position in the demanding race from Paris to Berlin with his Laurin & Klement motorcycle; the brand from Mladá Boleslav claimed success in their very first race.

“ŠKODA is proud of its long motorsport tradition and of the champions at the wheel and handlebars – champions like Narcis Podsedníček,” says ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “Since 1901, the brand from Mladá Boleslav has taken part in many races and rallies that have brought us and our fans much joy. However, there have also been some challenging moments in ŠKODA’s motorsport history that we have had to overcome. We want to effectively build on the legacy of the motorsport pioneers. Our drivers’ winning streak with the ŠKODA FABIA R5 over the last few months makes this anniversary even more special.”

Being the most experienced rider, Narcis Podsedníček (1866-1932) was selected for the Mladá Boleslav brand’s racing debut at the biggest motorsport event of the time: the Paris-Berlin race. On the single-cylinder Laurin & Klement motorcycle, Podsedníček was one of the ten drivers who competed in the category of motorcycles and motorized tricycles. Arriving at the finishing line unexpectedly early on 30 June 1901, a policeman was the only one to witness Podsedníček complete the race at 3 am. As the official time keepers were not present to record his victory, he had to settle for a ‘moral victory’ as four French riders on De Dion-Bouton tricycles took the podium. His performance, however, laid the foundation for the Laurin & Klement brand’s and later the ŠKODA brand’s future involvement in motor racing.

“Narcis Podsedníček was among the most important personalities connected to the first 30 years of Laurin & Klement’s development,” explains Andrea Frydlová, Head of the ŠKODA Museum. “At first he was involved in building a strong brand as a regional representative, later Podsedníček took over the post of production chief. He was among the first to race the Laurin & Klement motorcycles,” says Frydlová.

From 1905, Laurin & Klement automobiles began to build on the motorcycles’ success. In addition to repeat victories in mountain races and endurance competitions, the four-cylinder Laurin & Klement FCS with an output of 95 hp also set a speed record of 118.72 km/h at Brooklands, UK, in 1908.

The then new generation of ŠKODA vehicles with backbone chassis were setting the pace of automotive development in the inter-war period. In January 1936, the ŠKODA POPULAR roadster successfully completed the demanding Monte Carlo Rally; the excellent results were repeated a year later with the ŠKODA RAPID coupé. Following the Second World War, the then basic model – ŠKODA 1101 – prevailed on the circuit in Spa with Czech and foreign drivers. The vehicle even fared well in the Monte Carlo Rally and the Tour d'Europe. This was followed by many more models. In 1959 the first generation ŠKODA OCTAVIA picked up the baton.

The ŠKODA 1000 MB began a new chapter in 1964 with its rear engine and unibody construction. Its successors brought the Norwegian ŠKODA representative John Haugland considerable success. The legendary ŠKODA 130 RS won in its class among others in the Monte Carlo Rally and the Rally Acropolis (1977). In addition, the ŠKODA 130 RS took the overall victory in the manufacturers’ championship in the European Touring Car Championship (1981). Haugland’s greatest success came at the wheel of the ŠKODA 130 LR. In this context, his class victory in the fiercely competitive RAC Rally (1985 and 1986) was particularly impressive.

ŠKODA’s new motorsport era began with the ŠKODA FAVORIT hatchback in the Monte Carlo Rally. Driver team Pavel Sibera/Petr Gross took four consecutive wins with the ŠKODA FAVORIT (1991–1994) in the F2 class. As a brand, ŠKODA won the FIA Cup in the F2 class among others. The successor in the FAVORIT series was the FELICIA Kit-Car; behind the wheel Stig Blomqvist took third place overall in the RAC Rally in 1996.

Around the time the OCTAVIA Kit-Car made its debut, the brand entered vehicles in the highest WRC category in the world championships. 2001 came in third position with the OCTAVIA WRC in the hard Safari Rally. Its successor model, the FABIA WRC also performed well.

The best performance in the international and national championships, however, was from the ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000 – so far, the most successful model in ŠKODA’s 115-year history in motorsport. The duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) achieved a historic success with the four-wheel drive from Mladá Boleslav – as the first driver team in history to win, the championship title in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) and FIA Asia -Pacific rally Championship (APRC) for two consecutive years. Between 2009 and 2014, the ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000 drivers took home a total of 50 national and international titles.

In 2015 ŠKODA Motorsport celebrated four victories in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) with their current rally car, the ŠKODA Fabia R5. The all-wheel drive vehicle, equipped with the latest technology, received approval from the International Automobile Federation FIA on 1 April 2015. In the very first season with the new ŠKODA Fabia R5, driver team Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) secured the fourth APRC championship title in a row for ŠKODA. The model also earned the team five national wins in 2015.

Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler and Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (FIN / FIN) compete ,. This year, the driver teams Tidemand/Jonas Andersson, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler and Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) will be competing in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) with the ŠKODA Fabia R5 for the ŠKODA Motorsport team. The duos build on ŠKODA’s 115-year motorsport tradition.
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Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 03, 2016, 11:59:21 pre podne

Thrilling sizzling battle in Poland: Lappi takes the lead in the ŠKODA duel

​› ŠKODA works duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm head into the final day of the Rally Poland with a 10.8 second lead over colleagues Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula
› Five ŠKODA FABIA R5 in the top eight at one of the fastest events in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
› 59.60 kilometres left to go at the full throttle show
› Last year's winner Lappi: "It's not over yet: Suninen is very fast"

​Mikolajki, 2 July 2016 – Last year's winner Esapekka Lappi kept a cool head at the sizzling battle in Poland and took the leading position in the WRC 2 in the ŠKODA duel. However, the "Flying Finns" Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm head into the final day of the Rally Poland with a minimal lead of 10.8 seconds over their colleagues Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN). The winner will be decided over the final 59.60 classified kilometres on Sunday at the full throttle event on the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) calendar.

"It was a good day for us. We only made one minor error at an intersection. We tried everything and it paid off. But it's not over yet: Suninen is very fast. Sunday will be really difficult," said Lappi. The blond was commanding as he celebrated the historic first win in the new ŠKODA FABIA R5 at the Rally Poland last year. In glorious sunshine and with temperatures over 30 degrees, it is a lot closer this weekend.

ŠKODA works driver Lappi started the race on Saturday trailing Suninen by 4.6 seconds. In a wise tactical move, Lappi held back slightly on the first passes of the special stages "Goldap", "Stanczyki" and "Babki". The current WRC 2 championship leader Elfyn Evans (GB/Ford), who in third place had, at one point, closed to within 14.8 seconds of the leaders, consistently set the best times.

But then in the afternoon Lappi completed the second pass of the three stages at full throttle in his ŠKODA FABIA R5. With a magnificent best time on the 14th special stage overall, " Stanczyki 2", the 25-year-old took the lead for the first time in the ŠKODA duel with his fellow countryman Suninen and, with another two best times, extended his lead to a total of 10.8 seconds. Evans is lurking in third place with a deficit of 26.6 seconds and should not be written off yet going into the final four special stages on Sunday. "It was a magnificent battle at the highest level throughout the day. Sunday will be difficult, but we will try our best to win," promised the ŠKODA FABIA R5 driver Suninen.

The second ŠKODA works team Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S), who were in the lead until the penultimate stage on Friday when a problem ended their day, returned to the rally on Saturday. With strong times the duo worked their way back up into 13th place in the overall standings. "We are no longer able to get involved in the gripping ŠKODA duel for the win. Which is why we are using the rest of the rally to gain experience for the upcoming Rally Finland," said Tidemand.
The ŠKODA FABIA R5 proved to be the "full throttle champion" of the WRC 2 again on Saturday. In the overall standings, five of the Czech rally racers are in the top eight. In addition to front-runner Lappi and second-placed Suninen, Nicolás Fuchs (PE/fifth), Armin Kremer (D/seventh) and Scott Pedder (AUS/eighth) are also on their way to a strong result.

Interim standings - Rally Poland (WRC 2):
1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5; 2:09:36.3 hrs.
2. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 0:10.8 min.
3. Evans/Parry (GB/GB); Ford Fiesta R5; + 0:26.6 min.
4. Gilbert/Jamoul (F/F); Citroën DS3 R5; + 4:30.6 min.
5. Fuchs/Mussano (PE/RA); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 5:04.5 min.
The number of the day for the Rally Poland: 121.48
ŠKODA works driver Esapekka Lappi achieved the fastest average speed in the WRC 2 on the second pass of the special stage "Babki" on Saturday. The 25-year-old took just 10:22.9 minutes to complete the 21.02-kilometre stage. That is an average speed of 121.48 kilometres per hour – a strong performance on the dusty gravel tracks in the lakes region of Masuria. The Rally Poland, along with the following Rally Finland, is the fastest stop on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar.

 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
Rally Corsica; 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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 03, 2016, 09:59:29 posle podne

WRC 2: Suninen gives ŠKODA its fifth consecutive win

​› FABIA R5 drivers Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula win dramatic three-way battle
› Win slips through fingers of works duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm due to flat tyre in penultimate stage, putting them in third place in high-octane show in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
› Michal Hrabánek: „Rally Poland was excellent advertising for WRC 2“

​Mikołajki, 3 July 2016 – Intense heat and dust followed by rain and mud, with plenty of drama throughout: the FABIA R5 duo Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula overcame all these challenges to reap ŠKODA its fifth consecutive win in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). The two Finns benefited from a puncture suffered by ŠKODA works duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN), who were engaged in a three-way battle for victory and were in the lead until the penultimate stage. Last year’s winners ultimately finished in third place in the high-octane show over a distance of 306.10 kilometres. The second ŠKODA Motorsport duo Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) made good a number of positions to finish in seventh place.

​„Changeable weather and track conditions, high speed and a thrilling three-way battle for the win – Rally Poland really was excellent advertising for WRC 2. Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm were on course for victory until they ran into some tyre trouble. Congratulations to Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula, who have extended ŠKODA’s string of successes in WRC 2,“ commented ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. „We scored our historic first win in WRC 2 with our FABIA R5 here in Poland exactly a year ago. This year, no less than eight drivers placed their trust in our four-wheel drive vehicles, four of whom finished among the top eight. This demonstrates that we are on the right track, and we must systematically continue to pursue this course,’ he added

The rally proceedings on gravel tracks in the picturesque Masurian Lake District were hard to beat in terms of excitement. On Friday, the ŠKODA works duo Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson initially took the lead, but were temporarily stopped in their tracks by a problem. A three-way battle for the rally win then developed among the two ŠKODA FABIA R5 drivers Esapekka Lappi and Teemu Suninen and Elfyn Evans (GB/Ford). Suninen was out in front on Friday evening, but Lappi mastered Saturday’s intense temperatures and dusty tracks to go into the lead.

The outdoor conditions had then changed completely on the final day as he tackled the final four special stages with a lead of 10.8 seconds over Suninen. After heavy rainfall, the routes were muddy and the temperature had dropped by almost 15 degrees. Lappi initially defended his lead over Evans and Suninen during the first two stages of the final day. However, like Evans, Lappi then experienced a puncture during the penultimate stage, Baranowo 2, and subsequently lost almost two minutes – clearing the way for Suninen to score his third win of the season.

„I tried to keep going at first, but we did then have to stop and change a tyre. The change went very quickly thanks to our ŠKODA training. It’s still frustrating to be brought to a standstill when you’re so close to potentially winning – but that’s part and parcel of rally driving. Congratulations to Teemu Suninen, who was really fast and who is a worthy winner,“ commented Lappi.

Suninen achieved the fifth consecutive WRC 2 win for a ŠKODA FABIA R5. The talented 22-year-old rally driver initiated the string of successes in Rally Mexico. This was followed by Nicolás Fuchs of Peru being unbeatable in the fast and reliable four-wheel drive vehicle from Mladá Boleslav during Rally Argentina. Works driver Pontus Tidemand won Rally Portugal, before Suninen clinched his second win in Rally Italy.

After seven out of 14 season events, the overall WRC 2 rankings are about as exciting as Rally Poland proved to be. With half of the season completed, Elfyn Evans is in the lead (80 points/five appearances), but there are several ŠKODA FABIA R5 drivers hot on his heels who are still in with a strong chance of clinching the title. Teemu Suninen is in second place (75 points/four appearances), ahead of Nicolás Fuchs (59 points/five appearances). ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand then follows in fourth place (49 points/three appearances). Esapekka Lappi has made three appearances and has picked up 32 points in total. In 2016, each of the drivers can pick up points towards winning the WRC 2 title in seven events, with their top six results then counting.

The two ŠKODA works drivers Lappi and Tidemand will have the opportunity to score some more points at the next WRC event in Finland from 28 to 31 July. And Esapekka Lappi hopes to then repeat his 2015 performance by winning his home rally.

Final result of the Rally Poland (WRC 2):
1. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN);ŠKODA FABIA R5: 2:43:27.7 hrs
2. Evans/Parry (GB/GB);Ford Fiesta R5: + 0:49.6 min
3. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN);ŠKODA FABIA: + 2:32.7 min
4. Kajetanowicz/Baran (PL/PL);Ford Fiesta R5: + 6:32.8 min
5. Koltun/Pleskot (PL/PL);Ford Fiesta R5: + 10:36.4 min


The number for the Rally Poland: 20

A ŠKODA FABIA R5 driver was on the top of the WRC 2 rankings after 20 of the 21 stages in Rally Poland. Karl Kruuda (EST/Ford) was in the lead after the opening stage, but it was subsequently the high-tech four-wheel drive vehicles from the Czech Republic that took control. ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand was the WRC 2 front-runner from stage two to stage eight, but was replaced by Teemu Suninen over stages nine to 13. From stage 14, Stanczyki 2, it was the second ŠKODA works driver Esapekka Lappi who was at the top of the leader board – but he suffered a setback in the penultimate stage due to a flat tyre. This allowed Teemu Suninen to reclaim the top spot during stage 20, Baranowo 2, and to win the rally 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
Rally Corsica: 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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 03, 2016, 10:03:00 posle podne

Record chaser Kopecký scores celebrated ŠKODA home win in black FABIA R5

› Works duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler score fourth consecutive win in Rally Bohemia held in vicinity of ŠKODA headquarters in Mladá Boleslav
› Special black paintwork a hit not only with the fans lining the course – nod to cult Czechoslovakian film a huge success
› Kopecký/Dresler well on course to defend their title in Czech Rally Championship (MČR) after fourth win in fourth event of the season
› Michal Hrabánek: „A successful rally weekend for ŠKODA“

Mladá Boleslav, 3 July 2016 – Record chaser Jan Kopecký (CZ) scored a celebrated victory in his spectacular black FABIA R5 in ŠKODA’s home event. Together with co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) the 34-year-old won Rally Bohemia, which takes place in the vicinity of the ŠKODA headquarters in Mladá Boleslav, for the fourth consecutive time. The confident works duo therefore remained unbeaten again in the fourth event of the current Czech Rally Championship (MČR) season and are well on course to defend their championship title. Approximately an hour earlier, the FABIA R5 drivers Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN) triumphed in Rally Poland taking place around 600 kilometres away, thereby giving ŠKODA its fifth consecutive win in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2).

​„It really has been a successful rally weekend for ŠKODA. Well done to the entire ŠKODA Motorsport team for having masterfully handled the added strain of competing in two such important rallies,“ said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek in summary. „Once again, Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler demonstrated that they are the epitome of reliability. The special one-off black paintwork of our ŠKODA FABIA R5 was also a great success. The thousands of fans who attended our home event were highly impressed.“

The black rally vehicle was indeed a real eye-catcher on the tracks and at the Rally Bohemia service park. The livery of the turbocharged four-wheel drive vehicle was a nod to the legendary ŠKODA 110 SUPER SPORT (Ferat), which achieved cult status in what was then Czechoslovakia thanks to the film Ferat Vampire. ŠKODA marked the 35th anniversary of the release of the horror science fiction film with the black FABIA R5, with a screening of the film, with a major exhibition at the museum and, of course, with Jan Kopecký’s spectacular rally show on the asphalt tracks lined by thousands of fans.

The experienced ŠKODA driver took the lead after the second special stage and continuously extended his lead with excellent fastest times on the asphalt tracks, which were slippery following rain. At the end of a good 150 special stage kilometres, Kopecký had a lead of 1:00.4 minutes over his arch-rival Václav Pech (CZ). It was the sixth Rally Bohemia win for Kopecký after wins in 2004, 2005, 2013, 2014 and 2015, bringing him closer to record holder Roman Kresta (CZ). Kopecký has won all nine races in which he has appeared in the new FABIA R5 in the Czech championship in 2015 and 2016. ŠKODA also remains unbeaten at Rally Bohemia since 2009.

“A win in ŠKODA’s home event has always been especially important to us. The conditions were challenging on the slippery tracks, but we maintained control. It was great to see up close just how impressed the fans were by our black FABIA R5,” commented Kopecký. German youngster Fabian Kreim, who made his Czech Rally Championship debut with the support of ŠKODA Motorsport, likewise put in a strong performance. He was on course for a podium position on the first day, but was then set back by a flat tyre and ultimately came seventh.

The ŠKODA Park was once again a big success, in spite of the poor weather. The special activities marking the anniversary of the cult film Ferat Vampire proved to be especially popular.

Rally Bohemia – final result
1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ);ŠKODA FABIA R5: 1:32:35.3 hrs 
2. Pech/Uhel (CZ/CZ);Porsche 997 GT3: + 1:00.4 min
3. Vlček/Žáková (CZ/CZ); Ford Fiesta R5: + 2:06.7 min
4. Štajf/Rajnoha (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5: + 2:27.9 min
5. Jakeš/Ehlová (CZ/CZ); Citroën DS3 R5: + 3:06.8 min

The number for Rally Bohemia: 8

In its 43rd year, the winner of the traditional Rally Bohemia was decided over the minimum number of special stages, eight – a format criticised by Jan Kopecký among others. The experienced driver nonetheless won five of the eight special stages in his black ŠKODA FABIA R5. Václav Pech of Porsche only held the lead after the first special stage – after which Jan Kopecký dominated his home event.

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 27, 2016, 06:51:44 posle podne

Rally Finland: ŠKODA is ready for “Formula 1 in the forest”

​› Last year’s winners Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm and Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson in action for the ŠKODA Motorsport works team
› A total of seven ŠKODA FABIA R5 will compete in the eighth round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) season – Home event for Lappi and Suninen
› Five recent ŠKODA wins in a row in the WRC 2
› Michal Hrabánek: “Rallying encounters a level of enthusiasm in Finland not found in many other countries”

​Mladá Boleslav, 26 July 2016 – ŠKODA starts the second part of the “high-speed summer” in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) with a tailwind. A good three weeks after Rally Poland, Rally Finland is the next ultra-fast gravel rally on the calendar as of Thursday. After five recent ŠKODA WRC 2 wins in a row, the Finnish ŠKODA works duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm in particular are looking forward to their home rally, which they won in the FABIA R5 last year. The Swedes Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson, winners of the Rally Portugal in May, will also compete for ŠKODA Motorsport in a FABIA R5.

​“Rallying encounters a level of enthusiasm in Finland not found in many other countries,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “Here, rally is the national sport, which is proven by the never-ending flow of talented youngsters aiming to make it in the WRC year after year. In Esapekka Lappi we have one of the best local heroes in our ranks, as has been proven, and Pontus Tidemand as a Swede also always feels right at home in Finland. We have also already proved that the FABIA R5 is among the absolute best in the WRC 2 class on the speedy gravel tracks. This is also shown by the recent win in Poland, or last year’s win in Finland. So we are optimistic that the ŠKODA run of success will continue at the Rally Finland and we will be able to show the knowledgeable Finnish crowd the FABIA R5 from its best side.”

The rally route in Finland covers 333.6 classified kilometres, spread across 24 special stages between Thursday evening and Sunday lunchtime. Long full-throttle passages on mostly fine gravel tracks through the forests around the city of Jyväskylä are typical of this rally. Terrain that works driver Lappi is very familiar with – and enjoys. “Rallying here is more fun than anywhere else,” said the 25-year-old Finn. “Now we want to go on full attack at the Rally Finland and repeat our victory from last year.”

Thanks to two third places in Sweden and Poland and ninth place on Sardinia, Lappi is now ranked seventh overall in the WRC 2 category of the championship. ŠKODA team-mate Tidemand is currently placed slightly higher in the overall rankings. The win in Portugal, second place at his home rally in Sweden and the recent seventh place at the Rally Poland see him in fourth place in the championship. “I would like to reduce the deficit to the leaders of the championship again in Finland, but that will be far from easy,” said Tidemand. “You can’t afford to make any mistakes here, since it is almost impossible to make up significant losses of time on these incredibly fast tracks. And the competition will be strong once again. Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen were on top form last time around and I expect them to be strong again in this rally.”

Each of the last five WRC 2 rallies were won by a driver in the high-tech four-wheel drive FABIA R5. At the Rally Italy in June and the Rally Poland in July, the 23-year-old Finn Teemu Suninen was victorious, who also started the run of success at the Rally Mexico. At the Rally Argentina, Nicolás Fuchs (PE) in the speedy and reliable four-wheel drive from Mladá Boleslav was unbeatable. At the Rally Portugal, works driver Tidemand celebrated at the top of the winner's podium.


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
Rally Corsica; 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 that …

… the ŠKODA works drivers Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand clinched a one-two result in the FABIA R5 at the Rally Finland last year? Exactly one year ago, Lappi and co-driver Janne Ferm were victorious over ŠKODA Motorsport team-mates Tidemand and Emil Axelsson (S).

… Esapekka Lappi will contest his home rally in Finland for the fifth time this year? The Finn made his debut at the age of 20 in 2011, and finished in twelfth place in the R2 class classification alongside his co-driver Janne Ferm.

… ŠKODA celebrated success with the FABIA SUPER 2000 at the Rally Finland? The Finnish duo Juho Hänninen/Mikko Markkula won the SWRC class at the rally around Jyväskylä in 2010 and 2011. Hänninen/Markkula even headed a one-two-three result for ŠKODA in 2010, with the Swedes Per-Gunnar Andersson/Anders Fredriksson and Patrick Sandell/Emil Axelsson in second and third place. Mikko Markkula is now the co-driver of ŠKODA driver Teemu Suninen (FIN).

… the Rally Finland was held for the first time in 1951, to determine which Finnish drivers would compete at the Rally Monte Carlo? Since the World Rally Championship was introduced in 1973, the Rally Finland has been a permanent fixture on the WRC calendar – with one exception: The Rally Finland was part of the FIA 2-Litre World Rally Cup in 1995.

… ŠKODA has six drivers in the top seven of the overall standings in the WRC 2? After seven of 14 rounds of the season, Teemu Suninen (75/four starts), Nicolás Fuchs (59/five starts), works driver Pontus Tidemand (49/three starts), Hubert Ptaszek (42/six starts), experienced German Armin Kremer (40/four starts) and works driver Esapekka Lappi (32/three starts) make it six drivers in the ŠKODA FABIA R5 lying in wait behind the leader, Britain’s Elfyn Evans (80 points from five starts to date). The third ŠKODA work's driver Jan Kopecký (19/two starts) is tenth. Each driver can pick up points for the overall standings of the WRC 2 classification in seven selected rallies during the course of the year, with the six best results used for the classification.

… ŠKODA Motorsport is also fighting for the title in the team standings of the WRC 2? Even though the team from Mladá Boleslav has only competed in four WRC rallies to date, they have already bagged 76 points. With 91 points from five rallies, M-Sport is currently still in first place.

… the Rally Finland will be contested by a total of eight ŠKODA rally cars? In addition to the two works cars of Tidemand and Lappi, WRC 2 shooting star Teemu Suninen will once again compete in a ŠKODA FABIA R5 in the WRC 2 category. ŠKODA customers Hubert Ptaszek (PL) and Scott Pedder (AUS) have also registered. Local hero Joonas Soilu (FIN) will race in a ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000 at his home rally. The Finns Jukka Metsälä and Kari Hytönen will each compete in a FABIA R5, but without being registered for the WRC 2 class.

… the Rally Finland is also jokingly referred to as the “Grand Prix of Finland”? The rallying in the Finnish forests with its many, long, full-throttle passages is very similar to Formula 1. Along with the Rally Poland, the Rally Finland is regarded as the fastest on the WRC calendar; nine of the ten fastest WRC events of all time have taken place in Finland.

… 43 percent of this year‘s rally route is new compared with last year? The special stage Lempäa was last on the route map in 1999. The special stage Oittila was last driven in 1994, but back then it was called Mutanen.

… the rally centre of Jyväskylä with its 137,327 inhabitants is the seventh largest city in Finland? Jyväskylä was founded in 1837, has been a university city since 1966, and is also the capital of the region of Central Finland. Around a quarter of the inhabitants are students.

… Jyväskylä is not only the home of famous rally drivers such as Tommi Mäkinnen (four-time World Rally Champion) and Henri Toivonen? Famous winter sports athletes such as ski jumpers Matti Nykänen (four-time Olympic champion), Jani Soininen (Olympic champion) and Risto Jussilainen (Junior world champion) also come from Jyväskylä. The NHL stars Sami Vatanen and Olli Määttä were also born in Jyväskylä.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 31, 2016, 11:15:13 posle podne

Victory at festival of speed in Finland: Lappi/Ferm extend winning sequence for ŠKODA

​› Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm repeat last year’s victorious performance at their home rally in Finland
› Sixth consecutive ŠKODA win in the WRC 2
› Two ŠKODA FABIA R5s in first two places
› Michal Hrabánek: “A perfect performance from the entire team”

​Jyväskylä, 31 July 2016 – Great success for ŠKODA at the Rally Finland. ŠKODA drivers dominated proceedings in the WRC 2 class at the festival of speed in the forests of central Finland, the fastest rally on the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) calendar. The “flying Finns” Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm repeated last year’s victory in the FABIA R5. In second place: their ŠKODA brand team-mates Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN), who competed in a FABIA R5 from the ŠKODA customer sport programme. The second ŠKODA Motorsport duo of Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) retired from the rally during the final special stage after impressive efforts to catch up.

​“At the Rally Finland, we saw a perfect performance from the entire ŠKODA team once again,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “I am particularly pleased for Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm, who were on a different level in their home rally and more than deserved their first win of the season. Of course I sympathise with Pontus and Jonas, who gave their all trying to chase second place and were punished harshly just before the end. However: two ŠKODA FABIA R5s in the first two places, a total of four ŠKODA teams in the Top 10, and ŠKODA drivers won 20 of 23 special stages. The FABIA R5 has really made its mark on the Rally Finland.”

Lappi laid the foundations for victory on Thursday and Friday. The 25-year-old Finn won the first seven special stages to put some distance between himself and the chasing pack early on. Lappi cemented his lead with five stage best times during the remainder of the rally, including a win on the legendary “Ouninpohja” stage at full speed over countless crests. “I am absolutely delighted,” said Lappi. “It was a perfect weekend for us. It is something special to be able to celebrate our first win of the season at our home rally, especially as we led from start to finish. The FABIA R5 performed perfectly. On these wonderful stages, it was great fun to drive such a well-balanced car on the limit. I feel really sorry for Pontus and Jonas. They pushed and pushed on Sunday to try and claim the one-two for ŠKODA Motorsport. Sadly, they were not rewarded for the risks they took.”

In many respects, team-mate Tidemand was the man of the day at the Rally Finland. The 25-year-old Swedish driver started the final day 11.1 seconds behind second-placed Suninen. Tidemand recorded the best time in the first three special stages on Sunday morning to reduce the gap to 3.8 seconds. However, an accident on the last stage of the rally brought the chase to an abrupt end. “Before the last stage, we said that we would try everything in our power to catch Teemu,” said Tidemand. “But when you take such big risks, there is always a chance that it can go wrong – especially on the fast gravel stages in Finland. I am sorry for the team, who provided us with a perfect car once again this weekend. I was really hoping to claim the one-two result for ŠKODA Motorsport.”

Suninen was the one to profit from Tidemand’s misfortune, finishing safely in second place and reducing the gap to world championship leader Elfyn Evans (GB, Ford, 95 points) to two points in the WRC 2 overall standings. Lappi’s win moved him up to fourth place (57 points) in the world championship standings. Two more ŠKODA customer teams completed the great set of results. Hubert Ptaszek/Maciek Szczepaniak (PL/PL) and Scott Pedder/Dale Moscatt (AUS/AUS) also finished in the Top 10 of the WRC 2 standings in Finland, in seventh and eighth position respectively.

The next world championship rally is scheduled to take place in less than three weeks. The hunt for world championship points will take place in the vineyards around Trier when the Rally Germany takes place from 18th to 21th August.

Rally Finland result (WRC 2):

1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5: 2h 42m 59,6s
2. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN);  ŠKODA FABIA R5: + 41.7s
3. Evans/Parry (GB/GB); Ford Fiesta R5: + 2m 1.8s
4. Solberg/Minor (N/A); Ford Fiesta R5​ + 5m 58.1s
5. Gilbert/Jamoul (F/F); Citroën DS3 R5: + 6m 0.6s
6. Aasen/Engan (N/N ); Ford Fiesta R5:+ 7m 4.3s
7. Ptaszek/Szczepaniak (PL/PL);  ŠKODA FABIA R5: + 7m 23.5s
8. Pedder/Moscatt (AUS/AUS); ŠKODA FABIA R5: + 7m 33.5s
9. Bonato/Giraudet (F/F); Citroën DS3 R5: + 7m 48.4s
10. Shaymiev/Tsvetkov (RUS/RUS);  Ford Fiesta R5: + 14m 42.3s
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 02, 2016, 01:08:54 posle podne

APRC: ŠKODA optimistic ahead of the “desert rally” in the core market of China

​› Third round of this year's FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) from Friday to Sunday at the “China Rally Zhangye”
› ŠKODA duo Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian eager to go on the attack at the first APRC race in a desert region after two second places
› Hat-trick of wins in sight: Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall want to extend their leading position in the overall standings in the ŠKODA FABIA R5
› Michal Hrabánek: “The Chinese market is paramount for the ŠKODA brand”

​Mladá Boleslav, 2 August 2016 – ŠKODA are keen to keep to winning ways in the core market of China in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). Which is why ŠKODA duo Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian (D/D), front-runners in the German Rally Championship (DRM), are not competing in the national championship at the Wartburg Rally and will contest the "China Rally Zhangye" in the Middle Kingdom from Friday to Sunday instead. Also in action for the ŠKODA MRF team at the “desert rally” in the Chinese province of Gansu: This season's unbeaten duo, Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/AUS), who are after a hat-trick of wins in the APRC.

​“The Chinese market is paramount for the ŠKODA brand. So it is no surprise that we want to show our best side there and aim for the win,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek, and added: “The ŠKODA drivers are doing a fantastic job this season and I am sure that they will be up there right at the front again in China. It will be far from easy since the event is completely new territory for us as the location has changed compared with the APRC rallies in previous years in China.” This is the first time that the prestigious continental championship has a rally in a desert region in store for the ŠKODA team.

In previous years, the APRC Rally China was held in Longyou, in the province of Zhejiang around 400 kilometres away from the metropolis of Shanghai, but this season the organizers switched the location to the north of the People's Republic, to Zhangye in the province of Gansu. There will be a total of nine special stages, over which the drivers and co-drivers must complete 235.45 kilometres on the gravel tracks.

A new challenge for the experienced ŠKODA MRF team. But the ŠKODA Fabia R5's season tally to date is positive and speaks for itself: Two races, two one-two results – you can't do better than that.

Together with co-driver Glenn Macneall, Gaurav Gill won both times, so the Indian's interim conclusion is correspondingly positive: “The season couldn't have gotten off to a better start for me. The two wins mean I have given myself a slight buffer in the championship, but I can't rest on that since the competition is strong, particularly in my own ranks.”

He means Fabian Kreim, who in second place in the overall standings of the APRC with 61 points behind Gill (77) is still in with a good chance of the title. The German who is contesting the APRC for the first time this season was convincing in the first two rallies, finishing second both times. And on gravel – a surface on which the 23-year-old had never contested a rally before. “I have already learned a great deal so far this season and am pleased with my development. As a newcomer, to be second in the championship after two rallies is fantastic,” said Kreim. In addition to the APRC, he also contests the DRM – also with the ŠKODA Fabia R5 and also extremely successfully. With his win at the Thuringia rally in mid-July, Kreim extended his lead in the overall classification of the German championship further.

For the ŠKODA junior driver, the event in the Far East is also a trial run for the WRC in Germany (18 to 21 August), where Kreim will compete with the world's elite in rallying. The ŠKODA Motorsport team will contest the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) there. Then the team will also travel to China: The WRC event in ŠKODA's core market of China takes place from 8 to 11 September.


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; 24.09.–25.09.2016
Rally Malaysia – Malaysia; 29.10.–30.10.2016
Rally India – India; 10.12.–11.12.2016


Did you know that …

... the ŠKODA Fabia R5 is unbeaten in this season of the APRC? Two rallies, two wins – that's the new rally car's perfect haul.

... ŠKODA has been victorious in the last three editions in the APRC classification at the continental championship race in China? Esapekka Lappi (FIN) won in 2013, Jan Kopecký (CZ) triumphed in 2014 and Pontus Tidemand (S) clinched victory last year. However, the APRC rally is being held in a new location this year.

... the ŠKODA Fabia R5 made its debut in the APRC in China last season? The former duo of Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson had the honour of presenting the new rally car in the Middle Kingdom for the first time – the baptism of fire could not have been more successful: 13 of 13 special stages went to the Swedish duo and the new winning car from the Czech Republic.

... the current leader of the APRC, Gaurav Gill, has already won the championship once? He secured overall victory with the ŠKODA FABIA Super 2000 in 2013. He was the first Indian to win the APRC.

… Fabian Kreim is not only successful in the APRC, but also in the DRM with the ŠKODA FABIA R5? Alongside his co-driver Frank Christian, he competes for the team ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland, and is currently in first place in the overall standings.

… China has been part of the APRC since 1997? From 2006 to 2015, Longyou in the province of Zhejiang hosted the event. This year, the organizers relocated the venue to the north of the People's Republic, specifically to Zhangye in the province of Gansu.

... Gansu, where the “China Rally Zhangye” will be held, is one of the largest provinces in China? The province is around 390,000 km² in size, making it almost five times larger than the Czech Republic (almost 79,000 km²). Around 70 percent of the area of Gansu consists of mountains or plateaus. The west of the province is where the Qilian Mountains, which reach up to 5500 metres in height, are located, while the world-famous Gobi and Alashan deserts are in the east.

... China is the most important sales market for ŠKODA? The Czech automobile manufacturer defied the difficult market conditions and increased the brand's deliveries by 11,8 percent to 22,400 vehicles in June.

... China will host the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) again this year for the first time since 1999? From 8 - 11 September, the elite class of rallying will stop off around Huairou near Beijing.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 08, 2016, 06:35:32 posle podne

APRC: ŠKODA wins again at the desert rally in the core market of China

​› Conditions overcome: Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall complete a hat-trick of wins in the APRC with victory at the “China Rally Zhangye” and, in doing so, extend their overall lead in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
› Impressive display from Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian: third place
› Michal Hrabánek: “A strong performance in tough conditions”

​Zhangye/China, 7 August 2016 – Extreme conditions overcome and the hat-trick completed: ŠKODA won again in its core market of China and remains on course for the title at the halfway point in this season’s FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/AUS) were unbeatable again in the APRC classification at the “China Rally Zhangye”, meaning they remain undefeated after three races in the prestigious continental championship. The second ŠKODA MRF duo of Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian (D/D) joined them on the podium, finishing third in the APRC competition after an impressive fightback.

“This rally was a huge challenge for man and machine. However, the MRF team and our ŠKODA FABIA R5 produced a really strong performance in difficult conditions in a rally that is new to us. This win for Gaurav Gill and Glenn Macneall is worth its weight in gold! We are leading the APRC at the halfway point of the season,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek, who went on to praise the second driver in the team, Fabian Kreim: “Fabian’s stage wins showed what great potential he has. That was only his third rally on gravel!”

After the two rallies in New Zealand and Australia, a race with a completely new character awaited the drivers at a new venue in China. The route took them through the steppe on the edge of the Gobi Desert, where the road surface was stony in some places and sandy in others. The extreme conditions really put the drivers through their paces all weekend. Temperatures of up to 44 degrees and extreme dryness only added to what was already a very demanding route. However, the ŠKODA MRF team successfully overcame this challenge.

“That was a really tough rally, and I am proud that we won the APRC classification. Three wins from three races – as far as the championship is concerned, things really couldn’t look any better,” said a happy Gill. Fabian Kreim also produced a strong display in the Gansu province, not far from the border with Mongolia. He failed to reach the finish on Saturday, following a technical issue on the fifth special stage. Kreim rejoined the rally on Sunday and was the fastest man in the field, winning stages with outstanding times. In doing so, he fought his way back into third to make it onto the APRC podium for the third time, after two runner-up finishes in New Zealand and Australia.

“That was a really eventful rally – in every regard. Rallies in such extreme conditions really help me in my development. And I am proud of the podium finish! I am looking ahead now. I have the Rally Germany in just a few days, which is the absolute highlight of the season for me. I am already hugely looking forward to it,” said Kreim.
The ŠKODA Motorsport lines up in WRC 2 at the German round of the FIA World Rally Championship (18 to 21 August), as well as the Rally China (8 to 11 September). The latter will provide the next opportunity to showcase the ŠKODA FABIA R5 in what is a core market for the Czech car maker.

The number for the Rally Zhangye: 1500

Up and away: the “China Rally Zhangye” took place at about 1500 metres above sea level. This makes it the highest event on the calendar. As such, it places a far greater strain on man and machine, as the oxygen percentage in the air is lower than at other rallies.

FIA Asia-Pacific 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; 24.09.–25.09.2016
Rally Malaysia – Malaysia; 29.10.–30.10.2016
Rally India – India; 10.12.–11.12.2016
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 15, 2016, 09:12:12 posle podne

ŠKODA at the Rally Germany: Confident ahead of the asphalt classic

​› Esapekka Lappi and Jan Kopecký line up for ŠKODA at the Rally Germany
› 16 ŠKODA teams in action in Trier, including ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand and ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver Fabian Kreim
› ŠKODA on six-race winning streak in the WRC 2
› Michal Hrabánek: “Outstanding opportunity to demonstrate the strength of our ŠKODA FABIA R5 on asphalt”

​Mladá Boleslav, 15 August 2016 – After six victories in a row, including the home win for flying Finns Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm at the prestigious Rally Finland at the end of July, the Czech car maker boasts a strong contingent at the Rally Germany. As well as Lappi/Ferm, last year’s winners Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) will also start for the ŠKODA Motorsport team at round nine of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2), which takes place from 18 to 21 August.

​“After the high-speed rallies in Poland and Finland, we will face completely different conditions at the Rally Germany,” says ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “Instead of gravel forest tracks, the challenges we face in Germany include narrow asphalt roads through the vineyards of the Mosel region and extremely demanding stages on the iconic ‘Panzerplatte’. That means two things for us as a team: utmost concentration and an outstanding opportunity to demonstrate the strength of our ŠKODA FABIA R5 on asphalt. We obviously want to add to our winning run in the WRC 2 in Germany,” Hrabánek adds.

The Rally Germany is unique to the current world championship calendar. After six gravel rallies in a row, it is not only the first WRC event on asphalt and concrete roads, but it also has a totally unique character. While the Friday and Sunday of the rally take place on the winding asphalt roads in the Mosel vineyards around the rally centre of Trier, Saturday is all about the iconic ‘Panzerplatte’. This is the section on the Baumholder military training ground, which features medium-quick routes on a mixture of asphalt roads and concrete slabs. In total, the teams must complete 306.8 kilometres against the clock, spread over 18 stages between Friday morning and Sunday afternoon.

“I am very much looking forward to making my third start in the WRC 2 this year in Germany,” says Jan Kopecký. “I like the Rally Germany and always really like racing there. I showed with my win last year that the ŠKODA FABIA R5 is also one of the top cars in its class on asphalt. My goal for this weekend is to score as many points as possible for ŠKODA Motorsport in the WRC 2 team competition. Obviously, the best way to do this will be to win again,” Kopecký adds.

For Esapekka Lappi, the main goal for the Rally Germany is to add to his points tally in the WRC 2 Drivers’ Championship. The 25-year-old Finn is currently fourth overall (57 points) after his victory in Finland. None of the drivers ahead of him in the overall standings will be able to pick up points in Germany. World championship leader Elfyn Evans (GB, Ford, 95 points) and third-placed Nicolas Fuchs (PE, ŠKODA, 59 points) have opted not to race in Germany. Teemu Suninen (FIN, ŠKODA, 93 points), winner of the rallies in Mexico, Italy and Poland, will line up as usual in the ŠKODA FABIA R5 at the Rally Germany. However, as at the Rally Sweden, he has not registered for the WRC 2 classification, meaning he cannot score world championship points.

“The WRC 2 field at the Rally Germany is still extremely strong,” says Lappi. “Jan is just one of many favourites for the win. You also have the German and French drivers, who are traditionally very quick at asphalt rallies. I want to put on as good a show as possible and score as many world championship points as I can. I know that the ŠKODA FABIA R5 is also one of the best rally cars in the world on asphalt, I am convinced that I will pick up some good points.”

The third ŠKODA works duo of Pontus Tidemand (S) and Jonas Andersson (S) will also be in action in Germany. “I have very fond memories of the Rally Germany, and always enjoy racing there,” says Tidemand. “I won the race there in the Junior WRC in 2013, and then claimed my first WRC 2 victory in Germany one year later. I am now starting there for the first time with the ŠKODA FABIA R5 and my co-driver Jonas Andersson, and am looking to gain as much experience as possible.”

The last six WRC 2 rallies have been won by drivers in the high-tech four-wheel drive ŠKODA FABIA R5. Works driver Lappi won his home rally in Finland, while team-mate Tidemand climbed onto the top step of the podium at the Rally Portugal. 23-year-old Suninen was victorious at the Rally Italy in June and the Rally Poland in July, having started the winning run at the Rally Mexico. At the Rally Argentina, it was Nicolás Fuchs who was unbeatable in the fast and reliable four-wheel drive car from Mladá Boleslav.


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
Rally Corsica; 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 …

… ŠKODA is the manufacturer with the biggest contingent of R5 cars at the Rally Germany? As well as the works cars of Lappi/Ferm, Kopecký/Dresler and Tidemand/Andersson, a further twelve crews will take to the route in a ŠKODA FABIA R5. Furthermore, Yannick Neuville (B), younger brother of WRC star Thierry Neuville (B), will take part in the Rally Germany in a ŠKODA FABIA Super 2000. You can find a list of all the ŠKODA teams below.

… world championship rivals Teemu Suninen and Pontus Tidemand are unable to score points at the Rally Germany, as they have not registered for the WRC 2 class at the Rally Germany? Each driver can score points towards the overall WRC 2 standings at seven selected rallies over the course of the year. The best six of these results count towards the classification. Gravel specialist Suninen, who is currently second in the world championship with 93 points, has been registered in the WRC 2 class for five of the rallies so far this season, winning three and finishing runner-up in another. Tidemand lies fifth (49 points) in the world championship after four WRC 2 outings (one win).

… ŠKODA has six drivers in the top seven of the overall WRC 2 standings? After eight of the season’s 14 races, six drivers at the wheel of the ŠKODA FABIA R5 are lurking behind leader Elfyn Evans (GB, 95 points from six starts), in the form of Teemu Suninen (93/five starts), Nicolás Fuchs (59/five starts), works driver Esapekka Lappi (57/four starts), Pontus Tidemand (49/four starts), Hubert Ptaszek (42/six starts) and experienced German Armin Kremer (40/four starts). The third ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký (19/two starts) is eleventh.

… three current ŠKODA drivers have already tasted victory at the Rally Germany? As well as Jan Kopecký (WRC 2 winner 2015) and Pontus Tidemand (WRC 2 winner 2014), Armin Kremer (D) has also taken his place on the top step of the podium at the Rally Germany: Kremer was the overall winner of the rally in 1999, before the race belonged to the World Rally Championship.

… the Rally Germany was held for the first time in 1982? The venue for the inaugural race was Frankfurt am Main. Victory went to Erwin Weber (D), who won the rally again ten years later.

… the Rally Germany first formed part of the World Rally Championship in 2002? Since then, the rally has only been missing from the WRC calendar in 2009.

… nine-time world rally champion Sébastien Loeb (F) has won the Rally Germany more than any other driver? The Frenchman triumphed nine times between 2002 and 2012.

… this year’s Rally Germany kicks off with the Shakedown on Thursday morning? The first special stage is on Friday morning, the last on Sunday afternoon. The presentation ceremony begins at 15:00 on Sunday.



ŠKODA teams at the 34th Rally Germany

31    Armin Kremer/Primin Winklhofer (D/D); ŠKODA FABIA R5
32    Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5*
33    Max Rendina/Emanuele Inglesi (I/I); ŠKODA FABIA R5
34    Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari/Killian Duffy (Q/IRL); ŠKODA FABIA R5
35    Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5*
41    Julien Maurin/Olivier Ural (F/F); ŠKODA FABIA R5
42    Ghislain de Mevius/Johan Jalet (B/B); ŠKODA FABIA R5
48    Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian (D/D); ŠKODA FABIA R5
51    Bernhard Ten Brinke/Davy Thierie (NL/NL); ŠKODA FABIA R5
52    Kristian Poulsen/Ole Frederiksen (DK/DK); ŠKODA FABIA R5
53    Mark van Eldik/Harmen Scholtalbers (NL/NL); ŠKODA FABIA R5
54    Edwin Schilt/Lisette Bakker (NL/NL); ŠKODA FABIA R5
82    Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5
83    Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S); ŠKODA FABIA R5**
84    Yannick Neuville/Jürgen Heigl (B/A); ŠKODA FABIA Super 2000**
86    Thomas Wallenwein/Benedikt Hofmann (D/D); ŠKODA FABIA R5**

* racing for ŠKODA Motorsport at the Rally Germany.
** not registered in the WRC 2 category at the Rally Germany, and therefore not eligible to score world championship points.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 20, 2016, 12:56:59 posle podne

Rally Germany: Good start for ŠKODA at World Championship rally among the vineyards

​› Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm finish the first day in second place in the WRC 2 standings
› Last year’s winners Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler are having to catch up after tyre problems and are currently in fifth
› Armin Kremer/Pirmin Winklhofer lead their home rally in the ŠKODA FABIA R5

​Trier, 19th August 2016 – A promising start for ŠKODA at the Rally Germany. Three ŠKODA teams have claimed the top three positions after the first day of this classic event on asphalt among the vineyards of the Moselle, near Trier. Five out of 18 stages have been completed and German drivers Armin Kremer/Pirmin Winklhofer are leading their home rally. They are followed by the ŠKODA Motorsport duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN). In third place: the Belgian drivers Ghislain de Mevius and Johan Jalet, who are also competing in a ŠKODA FABIA R5 at the ninth race in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2).

​Armin Kremer set two best times in the first two special stages to catapult himself to the top of the WRC 2 standings – and last year's winner Jan Kopecký was close behind early on. However, tyre problems on the second stage meant that the Czech driver, an asphalt specialist, lost about one and a half minutes. Kopecký recorded two best times on Friday afternoon to claw back the lost time and he ended the first of three rally days around Trier in fifth place (+1:34.8 minutes).

“Of course I am a bit disappointed because of the tyre problems,” said Kopecký. “That was just bad luck as I really don't know how it happened. But this is a long rally and the hardest part is yet to come. We will continue to give our all and then we will see what result is still possible. As we all know: Everything can change on the Panzerplatte.”

And it is true that the nine special stages scheduled to take place over 148.57 kilometres on the second day of the rally could well play a decisive role in determining the winner. The drivers will tackle the legendary “Panzerplatte” at the military base in Baumholder five times, a challenge that will separate the wheat from the chaff at the Rally Germany. The tracks themselves are medium to fast – a mixture of asphalt roads and concrete paving that will be a severe test for the drivers and their cars.

Esapekka Lappi is well placed to enjoy a successful second day of rallying. On Friday, the winner of the Rally Finland took some controlled risks to finish in second place (+28.4 seconds). “I didn't drive right at the limit, as I wanted to start the rally without any major incidents,” said Lappi. “But we still spun round three times on the first two stages. That has never happened to me before! Luckily, nothing serious happened. I am still a bit inexperienced in these conditions. I am intrigued to see how things go tomorrow, and I am really looking forward to the great atmosphere at the Panzerplatte, where we hope that thousands of fans will be cheering us on.”

The ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland duo of Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian (D/D) did not enjoy quite as much luck as Lappi. The leaders of the German Rally Championship (DRM) were in eighth place, but were left standing at the start of the fourth special stage due to a technical problem. On Saturday, they will return thanks to the Rally2 regulations, and will hope to put on a really good show for the many German fans at the track.

On the subject of a good show: on Friday, the ŠKODA works duo of Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) put on a superb performance in the third FABIA R5 in ŠKODA Motorsport colours. Their stage times would have been good enough to land them in third place in the WRC 2 standings. However, the Swedish drivers had not registered for the WRC 2 class at the Rally Germany, which means that they can‘t score any world championship points.



Classifications Rally Germany (WRC 2) after five of 18 stages:

1. Kremer/Winklhofer (D/D); ŠKODA FABIA R5; 1h 2m 45.7s
2. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 28.4s
3. de Mevius/Jalet (B/B); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 1m 8.7s
4. Loubet/Landais (F/F); Citroën DS3 R5; + 1m 29.6s
5. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 1m 34.8s



The number of the day: 200

ŠKODA had something to celebrate on Friday: Jan Kopecký’s best time on the fifth special stage was the 200th stage win for the FABIA R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). The high-tech four-wheel drive car from Mladá Boleslav debuted on the world stage in April 2015. The works duo of Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) claimed the fourth consecutive APRC title for ŠKODA in the very first season with the new ŠKODA FABIA R5. This rally car has also won five national titles.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 21, 2016, 05:02:52 posle podne

Run of success continues: ŠKODA celebrates one-two-three-four result at the Rally Germany

​› The ŠKODA works duos Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm and Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler clinch one-two victory for ŠKODA Motorsport in the WRC 2 class
› Armin Kremer/Pirmin Winklhofer round off the podium in the FABIA R5 in third place at their home rally at Porta Nigra
› Seventh ŠKODA win in a row in the WRC 2
› Michal Hrabánek: “The FABIA R5 is also the fastest rally car in its class on asphalt”

​Trier, 21 August 2016 – ŠKODA celebrated a commanding one-two-three-four result at the Rally Germany and thereby continued their impressive run of success in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). Just as they did three weeks ago at the Rally Finland, the ŠKODA works duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) in the Fabia R5 brought home a commanding win in the WRC 2 category. Their team-mates at ŠKODA Motorsport, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), crossed the finish line in second place, thereby clinching the one-two result for the team from Mladá Boleslav.

​“The team really deserved this win,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “We saw a totally flawless performance from everyone: drivers, co-drivers, engineers, mechanics – every single one of them gave 100 percent once again. The conditions were not easy since the stages at the Rally Germany are some of the most challenging asphalt tracks in the entire WRC. On top of that was the changeable weather. Esapekka and Janne drove a perfect rally. No doubt Jan and Pavel would also have been up there fighting for the win if it weren’t for their unfortunate tyre damage, but made the best out of the situation finishing in second place. Four ŠKODA teams in the top four places, six overall in the top 10 clearly shows that the FABIA R5 is also the fastest rally car in its class on asphalt.”

Victory in the WRC 2 class was decided on Saturday, the longest day at the Rally Germany. While the rally was characterised by twisting asphalt tracks through the Mosel vineyards around the rally centre of Trier on Friday and Sunday, Saturday was all about the legendary “Panzerplatte”. This is a section of track on the military training ground of Baumholder, which is characterised by medium-speed tracks on a mix of asphalt roads and slabs of concrete. On this stage, a clever tyre selection and a controlled offensive in changeable weather conditions saw Lappi quickly take the lead and go on to pull away from his rivals with several best times.

Team-mate Kopecký, initially slowed down by tyre damage on Friday morning, worked his way up from fifth place into second place during this phase. On the three closing special stages on Sunday, the two ŠKODA works drivers controlled the action and thereby clinched ŠKODA’s seventh successive victory in the WRC 2.

“I am over the moon,” said Lappi after his win at the Rally Germany. “To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting to be driving for the win here. But apart from a few slips on Friday morning, we made it through the stages flawlessly and quickly. Saturday in particular was perhaps the best day of my WRC 2 career on dirty asphalt to date. The FABIA R5 worked perfectly and we also made the correct tyre selection. We had a lot of grip. Thanks go to the entire team!”

Victory at the Rally Germany sees Lappi move up into third place in the WRC 2 overall standings (82 points). ŠKODA Motorsport also took the lead in the team standings (125 points). “It was the perfect team result for ŠKODA,” said second-placed Kopecký. “Of course I would have loved to repeat my victory of last year, but considering the tyre issues on Friday, we did the best we could with second place. Congratulations to Esapekka! I know how good at go karting he is, which is why I knew he could definitely win an asphalt rally.”

The ŠKODA works duo Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S), who also contested the Rally Germany in the FABIA R5, but are not registered for the WRC 2 classification, were convincing in an impressive eighth place in the overall standings of the rally. “It was a great experience,” said Tidemand. “I am grateful for the opportunity that ŠKODA Motorsport gave me here. It was great practice for me to compete at a high level at this rally. I learned a great deal in terms of writing the pace notes, assessing the weather conditions and making the correct tyre selection on asphalt.”

In addition to the ŠKODA works drivers, ŠKODA customer teams completed the Czech automobile manufacturer’s very good result at the Rally Germany. Armin Kremer/Pirmin Winklhofer (D/D) in the FABIA R5 took the final spot on the purely ŠKODA podium at the award ceremony at Porta Nigra. The Belgian duo of Ghislain de Mevius/Johan Jalet (B/B) finished in fourth place in their FABIA R5. Bernhard ten Brinke/Davy Thierie (NL/NL), also in a FABIA R5 competing in ŠKODA Motorsport’s customer racing programme, came sixth. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari/Killian Duffy (Q/IRL) finished in tenth place.

Rally Germany result (WRC 2):

1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5; 3h 9m 3,5s
2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 1m 7.4s
3. Kremer/Winklhofer (D/D); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 1m 33.8s
4. de Mevius/Jalet (B/B); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 2m 36.1s
5. Loubet/Landais (F/F); Citroën DS3 R5; + 3m 42.0s

The number for the rally: 16

The ŠKODA FABIA R5 made its mark on the 2016 Rally Germany. Between Friday and Sunday, 16 special stages were held on the demanding asphalt and concrete routes around the rally centre in Trier – and the WRC 2 class was won by a ŠKODA team on all 16 stages. Nine stage wins went to the second-placed ŠKODA works duo of Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler. The winners, their team-mates Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm, clocked the fastest time on six stages. Armin Kremer/Pirmin Winklhofer won two special stages, while the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland duo of Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian also achieved a stage win at their home rally. Remarkably, Kopecký and Lappi shared victory on two special stages, having clocked exactly the same time, right down to a tenth of a second.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 23, 2016, 10:48:23 pre podne
46th Barum Rally Zlín: ŠKODA looking forward to rally classic on home soil

› 46th Barum Rally Zlín: ŠKODA Motorsport faces double challenge of the European Rally Championship (ERC) and the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
› Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler start in the FABIA R5 with a special red/black livery and could win their fifth MČR rally in a row this season
› German duo Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian start with support from ŠKODA Motorsport

Mladá Boleslav, 23 August 2016 – Jan Kopecký (CZ) and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) have their sights set on winning the traditional rally in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) for the fifth time. After four wins at the first four rounds of the season, the Czech ŠKODA duo is the top favourite to triumph at the 46th Barum Czech Rally Zlín. However, the international opposition is strong at the asphalt event in Moravia – the Barum Rally also forms part of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) this year.

“The Barum Czech Rally Zlín is undoubtedly a classic on the rally calendar and excites rally drivers and fans alike. We have the chance here to defend the title we won last year with the ŠKODA FABIA R5. With four wins from four rallies this year, Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler have shown emphatically that the FABIA R5 is a winning car – and in a wide range of different conditions. The fact that we are up against international opposition at the Rally Zlín makes the event all the more attractive.” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

This year’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín consists of 229.94 kilometres against the clock, spread over 15 special stages. The first highlight for the drivers and fans comes as early as Friday evening, when the streets of the 700-year-old industrial city of Zlín host the spectator stage of the same name. Thousands of fans are expected to enjoy the rally action up close and personal – and this year they are in for a special treat: the FABIA R5 of Kopecký/Dresler will feature a special red/black livery for the first time.

“I am really looking forward to the Rally Zlín, as it is one of the true classics when it comes to European asphalt rallies. We have had a fantastic season so far, and it would be phenomenal to claim our fifth win in a row this season at the Barum Rally,” said Jan Kopecký, who finished second in the WRC 2 class at last week’s Rally Germany in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). “The FABIA R5 has been fast and reliable all year. I see no reason why we should not be strong again in Zlín. I would like to repeat last year’s win. Furthermore, Pavel and I obviously want to put on a good show for the fans.” Should Kopecký win, it would be the 34-year-old’s fifth victory at the Barum Rally.

A total of eleven ŠKODA FABIA R5s will start at the rally around Zlín, including the high-tech powerhouse of Fabian Kreim/Frank Christian (D/D), who currently lead the German Rally Championship (DRM). The German duo will line up at the Barum Rally with support from ŠKODA Motorsport. Kreim has already made one guest appearance in this season’s MČR at the recent Rally Bohemia. This month has already seen him in action in both the World Rally Championship (WRC 2) event in Germany and the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), in which Kreim is currently second overall.

“I cannot wait for my outing at the Rally Zlín. The Czech fans are incredibly passionate and it is great to be back driving in the Czech Republic after the race in Bohemia,” said Kreim. The youngster was on course for a podium finish for long stretches of the Rally Bohemia in July. However, a puncture ultimately meant he had to settle for seventh place. “I want to build on that good performance and to continue to improve in Zlín.”

As well as witnessing international rally stars in action, there is also plenty on offer for fans in the ŠKODA Park. As usual in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR), a competition will offer the chance to win a ŠKODA OCTAVIA RS 230 for a year.

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 29, 2016, 08:47:41 posle podne

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Septembar 20, 2016, 10:44:42 pre podne

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Septembar 25, 2016, 10:15:38 posle podne

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 04, 2016, 05:49:51 posle podne
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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 11, 2016, 10:48:11 pre podne

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.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 14, 2016, 10:06:43 posle podne

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 16, 2016, 11:05:39 posle podne

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 24, 2016, 11:07:04 posle podne
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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 30, 2016, 11:52:43 posle podne

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 30, 2016, 11:53:27 posle podne

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Novembar 15, 2016, 12:13:03 posle podne

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 
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Novembar 20, 2016, 06:22:24 posle podne

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Decembar 06, 2016, 01:48:33 posle podne

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.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Decembar 06, 2016, 01:49:21 posle podne

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Decembar 20, 2016, 01:07:33 posle podne

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Januar 04, 2017, 01:17:57 pre podne
High-tech, four-wheel drive powerhouse in great demand: ŠKODA delivers 100th FABIA R5

​› Car number 100 delivered to Erik Wevers’ team
› Successful on virtually every continent: world title, three continental and ten national titles in 2016
› Michal Hrabánek: “Another milestone for the successful ŠKODA FABIA R5”

​Mladá Boleslav, 3 January 2017 – The 100th ŠKODA FABIA R5 has been delivered to a customer from the Netherlands. Erik Wevers’ team travelled to Mladá Boleslav to collect the car. The handover marked another milestone for the successful ŠKODA FABIA R5. In 2016, the high-tech, four-wheel drive powerhouse from the Czech Republic was instrumental in the winning of titles in the FIA World Rally championship (WRC 2), three continental championships and ten national series.

“Delivering the 100th ŠKODA FABIA R5 to one of our many customers in 2016 is another milestone for this successful car,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “This shows just how sought-after our latest rally car is all over the world, and confirms what a good job our Customer Racing department is doing. After all, the ŠKODA FABIA R5 has only been around for about a year and a half.” Hrabánek sees the sale of 100 ŠKODA FABIA R5s as evidence that the success of the works teams, which included the first world championship title in 2016, is the best possible advertising for the turbo-powered speedster: “Our works team and the Customer Racing department can benefit from each other, allowing us to consistently further develop the ŠKODA FABIA R5.”

The ŠKODA FABIA R5 was successfully homologated by motorsport’s governing body, the International Automobile Federation FIA, at the start of April 2015. This gave the car the green light to compete on the rally stages of this world. The top rally car in its class is pure high-tech. In accordance with FIA regulations, the ŠKODA FABIA R5 is powered by a 1.6-litre turbo engine. This is a major difference to the two-litre induction engine in the car’s predecessor, the ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000. The ŠKODA Motorsport team invested roughly 15 months of intense development work in fine-tuning the ultra-modern components and optimising the interplay between the individual parts.

The Customer Racing department at ŠKODA Motorsport not only sells cars, but also offers comprehensive support. Any customer who buys the ŠKODA FABIA R5, the basic version of which retails at 180,000 Euro, can count on technical support from ŠKODA and on the availability and supply of original parts. “Customers all over the world are racing with our ŠKODA FABIA R5 – whether in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe or South America,” said Šárka Králová, Head of ŠKODA Customer Racing. “And the ŠKODA FABIA R5 is enjoying great success everywhere, regardless of whether in searing heat or on snow and ice. Our order books, which are full again for 2017, show how happy our customers are,” Králová added.

The success enjoyed with the ŠKODA FABIA R5 speaks for itself. In the WRC 2 class of the FIA World Rally Championship, the ŠKODA works duo of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) won the title for the first time. Privateers Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN) finished runner-up in the overall standings – also in a ŠKODA FABIA R5.

ŠKODA customer cars were also the dominant force in three prestigious continental and regional championships in 2016. Gustavo Saba (PY), at the wheel of a ŠKODA FABIA R5, won the FIA Codasur South American Rally Championship. Gaurav Gill (IND) completed a clean sweep of six wins from six races to present ŠKODA with its fifth title in a row in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q) was also crowned champion in the Middle East with the ŠKODA FABIA R5.

Second place in the APRC went to Fabian Kreim (D), who also won the German Rally Championship – one of ten 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 six drivers were crowned national champions in the ŠKODA FABIA R5: Norbert Herczig (Hungary), Pavel Valoušek (Slovakia), Esben Hegelund (Denmark), Desi Henry (Ireland/National Forest Championship), Sylvain Michel (France/asphalt), and Gustavo Saba (Paraguay). The goal is to continue this winning run in 2017, when over 100 Fabia R5s will battle for the titles in the world championship, continental championships and national championships
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Januar 18, 2017, 11:47:45 pre podne

ŠKODA marks 40th anniversary of legendary win at the Rally Monte Carlo

​› ŠKODA FABIA R5 to sport livery from winning ŠKODA 130 RS from 1977
› Works team consists of three drivers at start of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2): Andreas Mikkelsen, Pontus Tidemand and Jan Kopecký
› Tidemand drives for the works team in the WRC 2 in 2017, while the second works driver, Jan Kopecký, goes in hunt of a hat-trick of titles in the Czech Rally Championship
› Michal Hrabánek: “The awareness of the brand’s outstanding motor racing history is the driving force behind our current motorsport activities”

​Mladá Boleslav, 16 January 2017 – When ŠKODA Motorsport lines up at this season’s Rally Monte Carlo, it will remember the brand’s legendary triumph at the same race 40 years ago. The works team’s ŠKODA FABIA R5s will feature the same blue and red stripes as sported by the winning car from 1977 when it launches its title campaign at the opening round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). Four decades ago, Václav Blahna (CZ) and his co-driver Lubislav Hlávka (CZ) won the class for cars with up to 1,300 cc with their ŠKODA 130 RS. This shock success is one of the milestones in ŠKODA’s 116-year motorsport history, the crowning moment of which came in the form of the world championship title in 2016.

​“ŠKODA is proud of its magnificent tradition in motorsport, and of such iconic racing cars as the ŠKODA 130 RS,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “For this reason, we are remembering the success of 40 years ago at the Rally Monte Carlo with a special livery for our ŠKODA FABIA R5. The awareness of the brand’s outstanding motor racing history is the driving force behind our current motorsport activities. As well as our works drivers Pontus Tidemand and Jan Kopecký, Andreas Mikkelsen will also drive the ŠKODA FABIA R5 at the Rally Monte Carlo,” Hrabánek continued.

Experienced WRC driver Mikkelsen (N) will make a guest appearance for the ŠKODA works team. In doing so, he returns to his roots. The 27-year-old Norwegian 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. Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jæger (N) familiarised themselves with the ŠKODA FABIA R5 at the first tests on snow last December.

ŠKODA Motorsport will once again put its faith in its two works drivers, Kopecký (CZ) and Tidemand (S), in 2017. As well as at the Rally Monte Carlo, the rapid Swede and his co-driver Jonas Andersson (S) will also go in pursuit of points at the second round of the world championship, which takes place in his native Sweden (9 to 12 February). Tidemand/Andersson have their sights set on succeeding Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN), who, at the wheel of the ŠKODA FABIA R5, won the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ title in the WRC 2 class of the world championship for the manufacturer from Mladá Boleslav for the first time in 2016.

As well as a number of starts in WRC 2, Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler will primarily be competing in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) in 2017. They remain unbeaten in the ŠKODA FABIA R5 in the Czech Republic, having won ten out of ten races in the last two years, and are out to complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017.

With the world championship title, three continental titles, and ten national titles in the FABIA R5, ŠKODA enjoyed one of its best years on the rally routes of this world in 2016. Hopes are high that the Rally Monte Carlo will mark the start of an equally successful 2017.

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Januar 21, 2017, 05:35:59 posle podne

Mikkelsen dominates opening day of an icy Rally Monte Carlo in the ŠKODA FABIA R5

​› Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger impress on guest appearance in the ŠKODA FABIA R5 and take a lead of 2:47.4 minutes over team-mates Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler into the final two days of the rally
› 40 years after historic triumph: spectators enjoy special livery on the works team’s three FABIA R5s
› Mikkelsen: “I am very happy with the ŠKODA FABIA R5!”

​Gap/France, 20 January 2017 – Andreas Mikkelsen (N) dominated the early stages of the 85th Rally Monte Carlo on his guest appearance with the ŠKODA Motorsport works team. A lot of snow and ice are making the opening round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) far from easy, but Mikkelsen and his co-driver Anders Jæger (N) passed every test with flying colours in the ŠKODA FABIA R5. The successful duo lead the WRC 2 class and head into the final two days of the most famous and oldest rally in the world with a lead of 2:47.4 minutes over ŠKODA team-mates Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ).

​“I am very happy with the ŠKODA FABIA R5! It goes without saying that it was a big adjustment at first, but we started cautiously and then gradually upped the tempo. We now feel right at home in the car, although they were really extremely difficult conditions,” said Mikkelsen. The 27-year-old Norwegian was part of the Volkswagen Motorsport team that won the World Rally Championship in each of the past four years. However, Mikkelsen’s route to becoming one of the top rally drivers in the world started with titles in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in 2011 and 2012 with ŠKODA.

Returning to his roots, the fan favourite won his first special stage in the ŠKODA FABIA R5 shortly after the official start in glamorous Monte Carlo on Thursday. On Friday, ŠKODA works driver Kopecký was the fastest man at first, but Mikkelsen then upped the pace on the narrow, winding roads. The Norwegian was a full 46.5 seconds faster than second-placed Frenchman Bryan Bouffier the first time the drivers tackled “Aspres les Corps – Chaillol” – at 38.94 kilometres the longest stage on the Monte. Mikkelsen has won six of the seven special stages so far. Jan Kopecký lost a lot of time due to a puncture on Friday morning, but fought his way back to end the opening day in second place in WRC 2.

“I hope we can defend this position. There is still a long way to go, and we will continue to fight hard,” said Czech champion Kopecký. ŠKODA works duo Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S), who are not eligible to score world championship points at this rally, also impressed. Tidemand showed his potential with a number of top-three times on his first outing at the Monte. His goal is to present ŠKODA Motorsport with another world championship title this year. In 2016, the works team from Mladá Boleslav won the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championship in WRC 2 for the first time, courtesy of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) in the ŠKODA FABIA R5.

The thousands of fans lining the route were treated to a special livery on the works team’s three ŠKODA FABIA R5s. The blue and red stripes on the rally cars are a nod to the manufacturer’s legendary victory at this very event 40 years ago. Four decades ago, Václav Blahna (CZ) and his co-driver Lubislav Hlávka (CZ) triumphed in the 1,300 cc class in their ŠKODA 130 RS. The works team is now well on track to repeat this feat in 2017. However, they have yet to complete half of the kilometres against the clock: another 175 kilometres await Mikkelsen and Co. on Saturday and Sunday.


Standings at the Rally Monte Carlo (WRC 2):

1. Mikkelsen/Jæger (N/N); ŠKODA FABIA R5; 2:11:15.4 hrs
2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 2:47.4 min
3. Bouffier/Giraudet (F/F); Ford Fiesta R5; + 4:55.0 min
4. Camilli/Veillas (F/F); Ford Fiesta R5; + 7:44.6 min
5. Gilbert/Jamoul (F/B); Ford Fiesta R5; + 7:58.5 min


Number of the day: 1574

Friday’s special stages at the Rally Monte Carlo saw the competitors climb to 1574 metres above sea level in the French Alps. The highest point of the day came on the Col de Moissière. However, this is set to be topped by the iconic Col de Turini pass (1607 metres) on Sunday. This year, particularly large quantities of snow and ice on the winding roads are making life difficult for the drivers.


2017 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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Januar 22, 2017, 10:04:42 posle podne

Triumph at the “Monte”: Mikkelsen sets milestone in ŠKODA success story

​› Despite ice and snow: In their first start in the ŠKODA FABIA R5, Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger win the most famous race in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
› A team triumph: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler complete the one-two victory for ŠKODA Motorsport in the WRC 2 at the 85th Rally Monte Carlo - convincing performance with top times from Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson
› Perfect anniversary: 40 years after the ŠKODA 130 RS won in the same location
› Michal Hrabánek: “One of the high points in our 116 years of motorsport history”

​Monte Carlo, 22 January 2017 – A day of celebration in the Principality of Monaco: Andreas Mikkelsen has set a milestone in the ŠKODA Motorsport success story. Starting in the ŠKODA FABIA R5 for the first time, the Norwegian rally star triumphed with navigator Anders Jæger (N) in the WRC 2 standings at the 85th Rally Monte Carlo. Team-mates Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) completed the one-two victory for ŠKODA at the oldest and most prestigious race in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). 40 years previously, Václav Blahna (CZ) and his co-driver Lubislav Hlávka (CZ) had driven the ŠKODA 130 RS to victory in the 1,300cc class at the same location.

“This one-two victory at the Rally Monte Carlo is one of the high points in our 116 years of motorsport history. The ‘Monte’ is the most famous rally in the world and it is really special to win here. Respect to Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger, who showed their class and outstanding speed under the most difficult of conditions,” commented Michal Hrabánek. The ŠKODA Motorsport Director praised the performance of the whole team: “The whole team did an outstanding job, from the mechanics and engineers to our two works duos with Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, as well as Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson. Of course, this is the best possible start to the new rally year 2017.”

And it was the perfect way to celebrate ŠKODA’s triumph at the “Monte” four decades ago. The three FABIA R5s of the works teams commemorated the 1977 success with a special blue and red striped livery. The thousands of fans loved the spectacular new look but were also delighted by the performance of the turbo 4x4 from ŠKODA. As it had been throughout the rally year 2016, the FABIA R5 was the best car in its class. Under extremely difficult conditions - icy stretches were interspersed with soft snow and clean asphalt on the Alpine switchbacks - ŠKODA driver Andreas Mikkelsen moved straight into the lead with the best time on the first timed special stage on Thursday. The 27-year-old Norwegian extended his lead with outstanding best times and was able to celebrate a dominant win on Sunday after 350 kilometres. Mikkelsen/ Jæger claimed victory 3:25.4 minutes ahead of their team-mates Kopecký/Dresler.

“ŠKODA opened the door to the big rally world for me and it is a special feeling for me to return with this triumph. Thanks to the whole team. I am happy to give ŠKODA this success at the legendary ‘Monte’. The ŠKODA FABIA R5 is a good rally car and I am satisfied with our performance,” commented Mikkelsen, who also successfully completed the legendary climb on the Col de Turini on Sunday, in heavy snowfall at over 1600 metres. He secured four team world championship titles with Volkswagen Motorsport, having already won the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in the ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000 in 2011 and 2012. He has now recorded his first class win in the FABIA R5 at the Rally Monte Carlo, celebrating at the awards ceremony on the “Place du Palais Princier”.

Jan Kopecký was almost as delighted: “It is great for ŠKODA to head home with a one-two victory at the Rally Monte Carlo.” The other ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand (S) was not competing for WRC 2 points at his first “Monte” but he and co-driver Jonas Andersson (S) emphasised their ability by finishing eleventh in the overall standings. Tidemand/Andersson will be battling for WRC 2 points at their home World Championship rally in Sweden from 9th to 12th February: “It is no secret that we want to challenge for the WRC 2 title.” Last year, the ŠKODA Motorsport works team of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) won the WRC 2 title in the drivers’ and co-drivers’ competitions for the first time. The rally year 2017 has begun with another historic triumph.

Final standings at the Rally Monte Carlo (WRC 2):
1. Mikkelsen/Jæger (N/N); ŠKODA FABIA R5; 2:11:15,4 hrs
2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 3:25,4 min
3. Bouffier/Giraudet (F/F); Ford Fiesta R5; + 6:36,7 min
4. Camilli/Veillas (F/F); Ford Fiesta R5; + 9:55,8 min
5. Gilbert/Jamoul (F/B); Ford Fiesta R5; + 11:36,8 min

The number of the Rally Monte Carlo: 13

The ŠKODA FABIA R5 was the outstanding car in its class at the Rally Monte Carlo. The turbo 4x4 from the Czech Republic recorded the best time on 13 out of 15 timed special stages in the WRC 2 standings. Ten of these best times were driven by Andreas Mikkelsen, while team-mate Jan Kopecký was fastest on three occasions.

2017 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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Februar 12, 2017, 07:15:28 posle podne
Rally Sweden: Tidemand takes acclaimed home win in the ŠKODA FABIA R5

​› A dream come true for ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson with the dominant victory
› Twelfth win from the last 13 rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) for the ŠKODA FABIA R5
› Michal Hrabánek: “Really impressive display from Pontus and Jonas in front of their home crowd”

​Torsby/Sweden, 12 February 2017 – ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand (S) thrilled thousands of his compatriots in taking an acclaimed home victory in WRC 2 at the Rally Sweden. Having missed out on victory by a whisker last year, the 26-year-old and co-driver Jonas Andersson (S) dominated this time out at the only all-snow and ice rally on the WRC calendar. The ŠKODA FABIA R5’s dominance, which began last season, has now seen the car win 12 of the last 13 races in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2).

“I am proud of the whole team at ŠKODA Motorsport! Having opened the season with a one-two at the iconic Rally Monte Carlo, we have now produced another perfect display in difficult conditions at the Rally Sweden,” said Michal Hrabánek. The ŠKODA Motorsport Director reserved special praise for his driving duo: “This year’s Rally Sweden was one of the fastest rallies on snow and ice in the history of the world championship. However, Pontus and Jonas were equal to all the challenges and produced a really impressive display in front of their home crowd.”

After a cautious start, the Swedish duo took the lead for the first time on stage four. They then gradually extended their lead. Whether on the night stage around the service park in Torsby, or the famous Vargåsen stage with the “Colin’s Crest” jump, Tidemand was in a class of his own in front of the thousands of fans that lined the 300 kilometres of special stage. He also showed great composure, driving on the safe side on Sunday’s final three stages to ensure he completed the win without any major complications.

Pontus Tidemand was the fastest man on ten of the 17 special stages in his ŠKODA FABIA R5 and won the Rally Sweden with a 51.8-second advantage over Finland’s Teemu Suninen. Third place went to Ole Christian Veiby (N) who put in another impressive performance in a private ŠKODA FABIA R5. “Fantastic. That is the highlight of my career so far. My first home win at the Rally Sweden in WRC 2 is a dream come true. Last year we narrowly missed out on victory by just 14.7 seconds, but that has only made this success all the sweeter,” said Tidemand.

For Sweden’s Motorsport Athlete of the Year, this was the third WRC 2 victory in the ŠKODA FABIA R5, following wins in Spain (2015) and Portugal (2016). And there is no sign of it being his last victory this year. “Our goal is to win the WRC 2 title. We have made the perfect start,” said Tidemand. Tidemand now tops the overall WRC 2 standings with 25 points, alongside Andreas Mikkelsen. The Norwegian won the opening round of the WRC in Monte Carlo for the ŠKODA Motorsport works team, finishing ahead of his team-mate Jan Kopecký (CZ).

The successful start to the 2017 rally year has seen the ŠKODA FABIA R5 enhance its reputation as the top car in WRC 2. The high-tech, four-wheel drive car from the Czech Republic has now won 12 of the last 13 races. The next challenge awaits in the form of the Rally Mexico, from 9 to 12 March, when Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson will hope to prove their title credentials in the heat and on gravel, rather than in the cold and on ice.

Final result of the Rally Sweden (WRC 2):

1. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S);   ŠKODA FABIA R5;   2:45:14.7 hrs
2. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN); Ford Fiesta R5; + 0:51.8 min
3. Veiby/Skjærmoen (N/N); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 1:07.4 min
4. Camilli/Veillas (F/F); Ford Fiesta R5; + 3:12.4 min
5. Greensmith/Parry (GB/GB); Ford Fiesta R5; + 5:10.8 min

Number for the Rally Sweden: 13

The ŠKODA FABIA R5 was the outstanding car in its class on the snow and ice at the Rally Sweden. The turbo-powered car from the Czech Republic won 13 of the 17 special stages. Works driver Pontus Tidemand was the fastest man on ten occasions, while talented youngster Ole Christian Veiby won three stages.

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Mart 12, 2017, 11:30:16 posle podne

Tidemand wins dramatic duel in Mexico to continue ŠKODA’s winning run

​› ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson win by 42.7 seconds after 295 kilometres of special stage to take the outright lead in the overall WRC 2 standings
› ŠKODA FABIA R5 proves its credentials at the ultimate test in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
› 13 wins from the last 14 WRC rallies for the ŠKODA FABIA R5
› Michal Hrabánek: “Proud of my drivers and the entire team”

​León/Mexico, 12 March 2017 – Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) emerged triumphant from a dramatic duel to win the Rally Mexico and continue ŠKODA’s winning run in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). At the end of the 295 kilometres of special stage, the new world championship leader finished 42.7 seconds clear of rivals Eric Camilli/Benjamin Veillas (F/F). Starting last season, 13 of the last 14 rounds of the world championship have now been won by drivers in a ŠKODA FABIA R5.

​“I am proud of my drivers and the entire team. This rally was not for the faint-hearted, but Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson kept a cool head to clinch a hugely important win,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. The latest success was more proof of just how fast and reliable the ŠKODA FABIA R5 is: “The Rally Mexico was really the ultimate test of durability. From the asphalt roads in the capital, the route climbed on gravel routes to almost 2750 metres above sea level and the highest point in the World Rally Championship. Our rally car ran perfectly in all conditions.”

26-year-old ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand put on a great show for the Mexican rally fans. Over the course of the four days, he was embroiled in a thrilling battle for the win with Eric Camilli, with the lead changing hands on several occasions. After Tidemand had ended the opening two days at the top of the standings, Camilli briefly took the lead on Saturday. However, Sweden’s Motorsport Athlete of the Year 2016, who had taken his foot off the gas a little on the tough gravel roads, bounced back in style. Three stage wins in a row in the “Autódromo de León” and on the roads around the service park in the city of León were enough to see him regain top spot in WRC 2.

idemand took a slender lead of 2.0 seconds into the final two stages, and pulled out all the stops. The Swede was 22.5 seconds quicker than Camilli on the 32.96-kilometre “La Calera”, clocking an outstanding time to all but wrap up the win. Tidemand followed this up with another fastest time to bring home the win in style on the closing Power Stage, which was broadcast live on TV.

“That was a fantastic battle and a fantastic rally. We gained an incredible amount of experience at our first Rally Mexico. We are delighted with this success and are pleased with the great start we’ve made to the season,” said Sweden’s Motorsport Athlete of the Year. Victory in Mexico sees Tidemand succeed Finland’s Teemu Suninen, who won last year – also at the wheel of a ŠKODA FABIA R5. Local favourite Benito Guerra rounded off an outstanding result for ŠKODA in Mexico with third place in his FABIA R5.

This was Tidemand’s second victory in a row, having previously won his home rally in Sweden. He now stands alone at the top of the WRC 2 standings. With a perfect score of 50 points from two starts, he leads Camilli (42) and Andreas Mikkelsen (25). The Norwegian won the opening race of 2017, the iconic Rally Monte Carlo, in a ŠKODA FABIA R5. As such, reigning WRC 2 champions ŠKODA Motorsport have won the first three world championship rallies of the year.


Final result of the Rally Mexico (WRC 2):

1. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S); ŠKODA FABIA R5; 3:32:56.5 hrs
2. Camilli/Veillas (F/F); Ford Fiesta R5; + 0:42.7 min
3. Guerra/Rozada (MEX/E); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 7:46.1 min

The number for the Rally Mexico: 11:6

The dramatic duel for the lead in the WRC 2 class at the Rally Mexico was reflected in the battle for individual stage wins. Here too, ŠKODA driver Pontus Tidemand in his FABIA R5 came out on top 11:6 in the head-to-head with Eric Camilli. Two special stages originally scheduled for Friday had to be cancelled, as a traffic jam caused the rally cars to be late leaving the capital Mexico City on their way back to the service park in León.

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Mart 27, 2017, 10:52:15 pre podne

Winning streak continues for ŠKODA: Jan Kopecký triumphs at start of Czech Rally Championship

​› Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler win Rally Janča Valašská
› Kopecký/Dresler win with ŠKODA FABIA R5 to record eleventh straight win over two combined seasons in the Czech championship
› Michal Hrabánek: “Respect to Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler for this commanding performance”

​Kopřivnice, 26th March 2017 – The ŠKODA works duo of Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) has won the season-opener in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR). The defending champions claimed victory at the Rally Janča Valašská and remained undefeated in their ŠKODA FABIA R5 for the eleventh race over three combined seasons in the national championship. The experienced drivers put on a commanding performance on both days of the rally and topped the overall standings from the first stage to the last. Jan Černý/Petr Černohorský (CZ/CZ) claimed an impressive third place, also in a ŠKODA FABIA R5, and were just one second behind the second-placed duo of Václav Pech/Petr Uhel (CZ/CZ) at the finish.

​“Respect to Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler for this commanding opening performance. They dominated the rally from the first special stage to the last. Of course, this eleventh straight win for the ŠKODA FABIA R5 confirms just how well we have been working. When I look into the eyes of the team members, all I can say is: they are hungry for success and want more. I would also like to congratulate Jan Černý and Petr Černohorský in third place. They showed just how competitive the ŠKODA FABIA R5 is,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.

The Rally Janča Valašská, a new addition to the MČR calendar this year, consisted of twelve special stages over a total of 150.56 kilometres, and Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler were victorious on eleven of them. Kopecký dominated the rally from the first special stage and crossed the finish line 01:11.1 minutes ahead of his arch rival Václav Pech in second place. The battle for second place was more exciting and Pech/Uhel were only able to emerge triumphant on the final stage, pushing the ŠKODA FABIA R5 drivers Černý/Černohorský into third place.

“A great weekend for the whole team,” said Jan Kopecký. “The FABIA R5 was perfectly prepared and ran well from the first stage to the last, so it’s a big thankyou to all involved. The win confirms that we are on our way. It is also a yardstick for the next challenges. We want to confirm this good impression at the upcoming domestic and international rallies.”

Final standings Rally Janča Valašská (MČR):

01. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; 1:30.57.8 Hrs
02. Pech/Uhel (CZ/CZ); Ford Fiesta R5; + 1:11.1 min.
03. Černý/Černohorský (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 1:12.1 min.

08. Tlusťák/Vybíral (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 4:25.4 min.
09. Tarabus/Machů (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA S2000; + 4:27.6 min.
10. Štajf/Rajnoha (CZ/CZ); ŠKODA FABIA R5; + 4:52.4 min.

The number of the Rally Janča Valašská: 11

With this victory at the Rally Janča Valašská, ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký chalked up his eleventh straight win over two seasons. The ŠKODA FABIA R5 still remains unbeaten since making its Czech championship debut at the Rally Šumava Klatovy in April 2015. At the season-opener, Kopecký also claimed eleven of twelve possible special stage best times, and his winning margin at the finish was also a lucky number: 1:11.1 minutes.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 03, 2017, 03:30:05 posle podne

2018: ŠKODA campaigns KODIAQ in SUV rally championship

​​› ŠKODA Motorsport is entering a new category in the FIA World Rally Championship
​› The successful FABIA R5 will be joined by the KODIAQ WRC destined for the new WRC SUV class
​› The KODIAQ WRC will premiere at the 2018 Rally Monte Carlo

​Mladá Boleslav, 1 April 2017 – ŠKODA is expanding its participation in top-tier world rally sport. The brand of the world champions is entering the newly established WRC SUV category with the ŠKODA KODIAQ WRC.

​The ŠKODA Motorsport works team will be starting in two categories for the first time in the FIA World Rally Championship next year. In addition to the successful ŠKODA FABIA R5 in the WRC 2 category, it also will compete in the new WRC SUV category.

The category was established by the championship promoter to answer the ever-increasing popularity of SUVs. Starting from the next racing season, a new class of racing vehicles – WRC SUV – will compete alongside the current WRC and WRC 2 categories. It is reserved exclusively for vehicles derived from production SUV models.

ŠKODA will enter its own representative in the new category in the form of a modified ŠKODA KODIAQ. The new large SUV is just entering the international market and is enjoying universal acclaim.

The KODIAQ WRC meets all of the necessary technical criteria. FIA regulations dictate the use of a turbocharged engine with a displacement of 2.0 litres and a minimum vehicle weight of 1,650 kilograms.

Two electronic assistance systems are also onboard and carried over from the standard model. Driver Alert can recognise drive fatigue, while Blind Spot Detect warns the driver of vehicles travelling in the blind spot of the driver´s rear-view mirror.

The ŠKODA KODIAQ WRC is built upon the experience of the same team which took the ŠKODA FABIA R5 to the World Championship title in the WRC 2 category. The excellent performance of ŠKODA Motorsport continues. The FABIA R5 won 13 of the past 14 races in the current and previous season. Most recently, in March, Pontus Tidemand won the Rally Guanajuato México.

The ŠKODA Motorsport Team is looking forward to the new challenge and intends to follow the successful track record of the Fabia R5 with the KODIAQ WRC. The team’s management, designers and technicians have plenty of work still ahead of them, but everyone believes that they will cover all bases and that the new vehicle will be in top form and best prepared for competition.

The ŠKODA KODIAQ WRC will debut on a racecourse in January 2018 at the Rally Monte Carlo. The names of the drivers and co-drivers who will crew the two ŠKODA KODIAQ WRC rally cars will be announced by ŠKODA Motorsport in September.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 09, 2017, 11:46:43 posle podne

Tour de Corse: Convincing win for Andreas Mikkelsen ŠKODA claims top two spots in the WRC 2 table

​› Andreas Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jæger-Synnevaag celebrate a start-to-finish victory in WRC 2 with their ŠKODA FABIA R5 at the Tour de Corse
› Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler fight back to secure important WRC 2 points 
› ŠKODA holds the top two spots in the WRC 2 table, thanks to Pontus Tidemand and Andreas Mikkelsen
› Norwegian juniors Veiby/Skjaermœn take fifth place in their private ŠKODA FABIA R5

​Bastia/Corsica, 9 April 2017 – Andreas Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jæger-Synnevaag led the field from start-to-finish in their ŠKODA FABIA R5 to score a convincing victory that never looked at risk in the WRC 2 category at the Tour de Corse. Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler put in an impressive performance in the second works ŠKODA FABIA R5 following steering problems on the first day. The fight back, including two fastest stage times, put them in seventh place in the WRC 2 rankings, scoring important championship points.

​“It’s just amazing! Our second rally in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 and our second win. I controlled my speed on the 54-kilometre special stage on Sunday. I wanted to secure my lead, and there was no way I was going to put this win in danger by taking any big risks. It was really important for me not to lose concentration – which I managed. A big thanks to the team for giving me such a great car,” said a visibly delighted Andreas Mikkelsen, who scored no fewer than seven fastest stage times.

After suffering steering problems on the first day, Jan Kopecký was nevertheless satisfied with the final outcome. “I think that, without the problems, there would definitely have been a podium place for me in there,” stressed the Czech champion. The points for seventh place in the WRC 2 classification now put Kopecký in sixth place in the championship.

The Norwegian junior team Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn ran into bad luck on the final day. Tyre damage on the rally’s longest stage ultimately cost them what seemed like a safe fourth place. However, Veiby turned in a commendable performance on his first tarmac rally, moving into fifth place in the WRC 2 table after the Tour de Corse.

Not only can ŠKODA celebrate its fourth win in a row in this year’s WRC 2, Andreas Mikkelsen and Pontus Tidemand (who didn’t compete at the Tour de Corse) now hold a clear lead at the top of the championship table with 50 points each.

Final Result Tour de Corse (WRC 2)

1. Mikkelsen/Jæger-Synnevaag (NOR/NOR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 3:31.04,1 h
2. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, +1.06,3 min.
3. Rossel/Fulcrand (FRA/FRA), Citroën DS3 R5, +4.46,4 min.
4. Tempestini/Bernacchini (ITA/ITA), Citroën DS3 R5, +8.02,9 min.
5. Veiby/Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +8.27,1 min.
6. Loubet/Landais (FRA/FRA), Ford Fiesta R5, +9.14,0 min.
7. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +9.59,9 min.

Current standings WRC 2 after four rounds

1. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR), 50 points
2. Pontus Tidemand (SWE), 50 points
3. Eric Camilli (FRA), 46 points
4. Teemu Suninen (FIN), 36 points
5. Ole Christian Veiby (NOR), 25 points
6. Jan Kopecký (CZE), 24 points

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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 22, 2017, 11:04:35 posle podne

Rally Šumava Klatovy: Jan Kopecký and ŠKODA continue their impressive winning streak

​› Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA FABIA R5) dominate the second round of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
› ŠKODA’s works teams remain unbeaten in 2017
› Czech champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler drive 9 of 13 best times

​Klatovy, 22 April 2017 – Unperturbed by weather shenanigans, rain on the second leg and a time penalty, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA FABIA R5) have driven to a resounding victory in the Rally Šumava Klatovy. However, ŠKODA Stablemates Jan Černy/Petr Černohorský were unlucky when a time penalty caused them to lose second place to Ford driver Václav Pech.

​Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA FABIA R5) laid the foundation for their resounding victory in the Rally Šumava Klatovy in the first stage on Friday. The Czech champions drove four convincing best times, with the fifth special stage abandoned for safety reasons due to oil on the road left behind by one of the vehicles participating in the historic category. Kopecký and Dresler finished the day with a comfortable lead of around half a minute.

Kopecký and co-driver Dresler (ŠKODA FABIA R5) turned in five more best times on Saturday, despite heavy rain transforming the morning’s fast stages around Klatovy into treacherous slippery roads.

Brand stablemates Jan Černy/Petr Černohorský in their private ŠKODA FABIA R5 had pushed their way into second place and were locked in a thrilling duel with Ford team Vacláv Pech/Petr Uhel. On their way to a refuelling stop between the eighth and ninth stages, Kopecký’s co-driver Dresler and Černy’s navigator Černohorský misinterpreted an unclear instruction in the roadbook and missed a junction. As a consequence, both teams reached the refueling station via a route other than the one specified and each were penalised 15 seconds. While Jan Kopecký continued on his way unaffected at the top of the leader board, the penalty was enough to lose Jan Černy the battle for second place.

Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler drove the remaining stages with their ŠKODA FABIA R5 with a controlled speed, safely bringing home their second win of the season and extending their lead in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR).

Rally Šumava Klatovy (MČR) final standings

1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 1:19.49,5 h.
2. Pech jun./Uhel (CZE/CZE), Ford Fiesta R5, +47,1 s.
3. Černy/Černohorský jun. (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +1.12,5 min.
4. Szeja/Szeja (POL/POL), Ford Fiesta R5, +2.06,7 min.
5. Drohnal/Ernst (CZE/CZE), Ford Focus RS WRC 06, +2.38,0 min.
6. Tarabus/Machu (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA S2000, +3.00,2 min.


The 2017 calendar for the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)

Event/Date
Valašská Rally  25.03.–26.03.2017
Rally Šumava Klatovy  21.04.–22.04.2017
Rally Český Krumlov  19.05.–20.05.2017
Rally Hustopeče  16.06.–17.06.2017
Rally Bohemia  01.07.–02.07.2017
Barum Czech Rally Zlín  25.08.–27.08.2017
Rally Příbram  06.10.–08.10.2017
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 27, 2017, 02:33:49 posle podne

Rally Argentina: ŠKODA seeks to extend championship lead

​› ŠKODA works drivers Pontus Tidemand and Andreas Mikkelsen share the lead in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) with equal points
› Every single win in the WRC 2 category so far has gone to ŠKODA teams
› Double wins for Mikkelsen and Tidemand – the ŠKODA FABIA R5 dominates the WRC 2
› Pontus Tidemand takes to Argentine gravel, aiming for his third victory of the season
› The demanding gravel rally in Argentina climbs to an altitude of 2000 metres

​Mladá Boleslav, 27 April 2017 – The 2017 season couldn’t be going better so far for ŠKODA. Works drivers Andreas Mikkelsen (winner of the Rallye Monte Carlo and Tour de Corse together with co-driver Anders Jæger-Synnevaag) and Pontus Tidemand (winner in Sweden and Mexico with co-driver Jonas Andersson) share top place on the championship table in the WRC 2 classification with the same number of points. Tidemand is the only ŠKODA works driver on the grid in Argentina and is in a position to take over outright leadership of the WRC 2.

​Around 360 kilometres over 18 special stages, ranging from the Argentine prairie to altitudes of more than 2000 metres, sandy tracks across flatlands and rutted mule trails high in the mountains – these are the ingredients of one of the world championship’s toughest gravel rallies. The gradient profile of the tracks in the foothills of the Andes near Cordoba is not dissimilar to that of the Rally Mexico, where some of the cars suffered breathing difficulties and temperature problems in the thin mountain air. Not so the ŠKODA FABIA R5, which carried Pontus Tidemand to victory in Mexico. The Swede is taking this as a good sign for the Rally Argentina. His ŠKODA FABIA R5 was transported directly from Mexico to Cordoba and is, to a certain extent, already “acclimatised”.

As the only works team taking part, Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson are flying the flag for ŠKODA Motorsport in Argentina. But ambitious private teams are well placed to attack in the fight for top place. Poles Hubert Ptaszek/Maciek Szczepaniak and four other teams are putting their faith in a ŠKODA FABIA R5. Gustavo Saba Rodriguez (PRY) and Benito Guerra (MEX) in particular look well set to score a top result.

The Rally Argentina kicks off on the evening of Thursday 27 April with a spectacular show stage in Cordoba. The winner is expected to cross the finish line in Carlos Paz around midday on Sunday 30 April.

Did you know...
... the first Rally Argentina took place in 1980 in the Tucumán Region under the name Rally Codasur, and the winner was a certain Walter Röhrl?

... that, alongside football, Argentines are also passionate about motorsport?

... Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio is an idol of Formula 1 history?

... Argentine Carlos Reutemann not only took second place in the Formula 1 championship in 1981, but also third place in the Rally Argentina in both 1980 and 1985?

... Jorge Recalde drove to a hugely celebrated overall victory in 1988, making him the only Argentine to-date to win a round of the World Rally Championship?

... every year, more than one million fans converge on the rally and enjoy a huge fiesta?


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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 30, 2017, 08:46:34 posle podne

Double victory for Team MRF ŠKODA: Gaurav Gill wins APRC Rally of Whangarei ahead of Ole Christian Veiby

​› MRF ŠKODA Team unbeatable at opener of 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in Whangarei/New Zealand
› Two-time APRC champion Gaurav Gill beats ŠKODA junior Ole Christian Veiby
› ŠKODA FABIA R5 fastest car on each special stage
› Heavy rainfall and treacherous conditions didn’t prevent Veiby and Gill to fight for victory

​Whangarei/New Zealand, 30 April 2017 – ŠKODA MRF Teams Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR) and Gaurav Gill/Stéphane Prévot (IND/BEL) were engaged in a fierce battle right from the start of the Rally of Whangarei. Reigning champion Gaurav Gill, this time paired with co-driver Stéphane Prévot, was fastest on the opening short “Super Stage”. During the first leg the Norwegian rookie team Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn took the lead. On the third but last stage, Veiby had a technical issue, after a roadside repair incurred a time penalty and dropped to second place behind teammate Gill. The two-time champion finally secured victory on the opening round of the APRC 2017.

​The opening round of the 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) took place around the host city of Whangarei on New Zealand’s Northland. Heavy rainfall in the forests in the north of Auckland made the special stages on the first leg of the rally very slippery. “It was raining cats and dogs. The changing conditions of mud and rain made it slippery in places, when others were really grippy. Sometimes it was raining so heavily the wipers couldn’t clear all the water away – it was hard to see at all,” commented Ole Christian Veiby, who took the lead after the first leg of the rally with more than a half minute gap.

Teammate Gaurav Gill meanwhile was struggling with the setup of his ŠKODA FABIA R5. By the end of the first day, he changed the shock absorbers, modified the differential settings and was ready to fight back for the lead. The weather improved on the final day of the rally and a thrilling and close battle for the victory evolved. On Sunday morning Gill was fastest on two stages, Veiby fought back with one scratch time. With three more stages to go, Veiby was still 23 seconds ahead of Gill. In SS 14 Veiby had a brake issue and lost a lot of time in the stage. After a roadside repair, he checked in late on the time control for the next stage, got a time penalty and dropped to second place behind teammate Gill.

At the finish in Whangarei, Ole Christian Veiby was already looking forward to the next rally: “What an experience. I never thought I would be leading most of the rally, can’t wait for the rest of the APRC season!” Gaurav Gill and Stéphane Prévot celebrated their win on the podium in Whangarei after a tense and thrilling battle with their young Norwegian teammates.

ŠKODA Motorsport Boss Michal Hrabanek was delighted: “Congratulations to Gaurav and Ole Christian for their stunning performance. There is no better way to start the APRC season but with a double victory!”
 

Final Results APRC Rally of Whangarei,
1st round of FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)

1. Gill/Prévot (IND/BEL), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 2:35:06.8 h
2. Veiby/ Skjarmœn (NOR/NOR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 2:02.8 min
3. Blomberg/Andersson (SWE/SWE), Mitsubishi Mirage, + 17:45.5 min
4. Takahashi/Nakamura (JPN/JPN), Subaru Impreza WRX STi, + 28:17.3 min
5. Abhilash/Gowda (IND/IND), Subaru Impreza WRX STi, + 37:42.9 min

Calendar of the 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)

Event/ Date
Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand; 28.04–30.04.2017
Rally Canberra – Australia; 26.05–28.05.2017
China Rally; 07.07–09.07.2017
Malaysian Rally; 11.08–13.08.2017
Rally Hokkaido – Japan; 15.09–17.09.2017
Rally of India; 24.11–26.11.2017
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 30, 2017, 11:14:25 posle podne

Winning Rally Argentina Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson take outright lead in WRC 2 with their ŠKODA FABIA R5

​› Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (ŠKODA FABIA R5) scored a dominant WRC 2 win at Rally Argentina with a “Simply Clever” drive
› ŠKODA FABIA R5 proved again unbeatable and rock solid on tough roads
› Swedish pairing marked 12 fastest times in WRC 2 on 18 special stages
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “Pontus did a clever and smart drive and was never in danger.”
› WRC 2 category: ŠKODA achieved eighth victory in a row since Rally of Spain 2016

​Villa Carlos Paz/Argentina, 30 April 2017 – Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson (SWE/SWE) not only celebrated their third WRC 2 win in 2017 with their ŠKODA FABIA R5, they also took over the outright lead in World Rally Championship category WRC 2. On the last two legs of the event nobody was able to follow the speed of the Swedish pairing. At the finish line in Villa Carlos Paz in the west of Cordoba, Tidemand/Andersson celebrated the win with a huge margin of more than ten minutes ahead of private ŠKODA team Juan Carlos Alonso/Matias Alejandro Mercadal. Since Rally of Spain in 2016 the ŠKODA factory teams is now unbeaten for the eighth time in a row.

​On Saturday morning, Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson had a “big moment”. In a huge watersplash a hidden stone bent the protection plate of the rear differential. From there on Tidemand had to finish the stage in a very careful style. He also had to proceed through two more stages before the car could be attended to by mechanics in the service area. The ŠKODA FABIA R5 proved itself rock solid and Tidemand reached the service without notable time loss.

From then on Tidemand drove with a controlled speed, while his competitors struggled with all kind of problems. The Swedish pairing finished with more than nine minutes in front of their closest rivals Alonso/Mercadal (ARG/ARG) after the Saturday leg of the Rally.

On a sunny Sunday morning, three more stages in the south west of Cordoba were waiting for the competitors, including the famous El Condor-Copina stage. One driver characterized this particular stage “like driving on the moon”. Nearly no vegetation, a small and winding gravel path between rocks as big as houses and hundred thousands of enthusiastic spectators along the road make up for an unique background in the world of rallying.

“A smooth morning, no drama or mistakes. We are here and I am so happy about this. Now we must keep focussed to avoid any stupid mistakes”, Tidemand said after the first El Condor run. He followed his plan and brought the car to an outstanding victory back to Villa Carlos Paz. The Argentinian duo Juan Carlos Alonso/Matias Alejandro Mercadal, running a private entered ŠKODA FABIA R5, finished on second place in the WRC 2 category.

“Pontus and Jonas impressed me a lot at Rally Argentina – they made a very strong performance and drove ‘Simply Clever’ to an outstanding victory”, concluded a very delighted ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek on the podium in Villa Carlos Paz.

Final Result Rally Argentina (WRC 2)

1. Tidemand/Andersson (SWE/SWE) ŠKODA FABIA R5, 3:55.42,7 h
2. Alonso/Mercadal (ARG/ARG), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 10.11,3 min.
3. Guerra/Cué (MEX/ESP), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 43.05,5 min.
4. Saba Rodriguez/Mussano (PRY/ARG), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 50:14,6 min.
5. Ptaszek/Szepaniak (POL/POL), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 52.14,6 min.

Current championship standings WRC 2 after five rounds

1. Pontus Tidemand (SWE), ŠKODA, 75
2. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR), ŠKODA, 50
3. Eric Camilli (FRA), Ford, 46
4. Teemu Suninen (FIN), Ford, 36
5. Benito Guerra (MEX), ŠKODA, 30

Number of the day: 15
From the last 16 World Championship rallies ŠKODA won 15. Since Rallye of Spain last year, the factory team is unbeaten and scored eight wins in a row.
 
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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 16, 2017, 02:20:56 posle podne

Rally Portugal: Tidemand and Mikkelsen want to strenghten their lead

› Double lead for ŠKODA in WRC 2: Pontus Tidemand on top ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen
› Two years ago the ŠKODA FABIA R5 started its career in Portugal, since then becoming the most successful car in the World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
› Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson and Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger-Synnevaag for the first time competing together for ŠKODA Motorsport
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “We are facing strong competition in WRC 2.”

Mladá Boleslav, 16 May 2017 – Five rallies, five victories: ŠKODA is dominating the World Rally Championship (WRC 2) in 2017. Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger-Synnevaag (NOR/NOR) won the Monte Carlo Rally and the Tour de Corse/Rally France. Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (SWE/SWE) were unbeatable in Sweden, Mexico and Argentina. Looking ahead to Rally Portugal (18 to 21 May 2017), ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek is expecting a tense battle.

“Five brands and 20 competitors in the fight for victory in WRC 2 – these numbers demonstrate not only the quantity, but as well the quality of this category. Our goal is to strengthen the championship lead for ŠKODA in WRC 2,” says ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek.
The ŠKODA FABIA R5 returns to the event where the success story began two years ago. Esapekka Lappi (FIN) and Pontus Tidemand (SWE) proved right from the debut at Rally Portugal 2015, that the ŠKODA FABIA R5 will be the car to beat in WRC 2 category. Since then, the Czech rally car has been successful around the world and won the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2).

Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) has good memories of Rally Portugal as well: In 2015 he was third, in 2016 second in the overall classification, driving a Polo WRC. His 2017 teammate Pontus Tidemand won the WRC 2 category for ŠKODA last year. Now both are facing the competition of 18 teams and four additional brands. Due to a new regulation in 2017, Rally Portugal is the first of three mandantory events teams have to compete in order to be eligible to score points for the championship. In total, six ŠKODA FABIA R5 are registered to score points in WRC 2. Three more ŠKODA FABIA will compete in R2 class.

“I am happy that ŠKODA is offering me the opportunity to drive the FABIA for the third time this year. Now I am facing my first gravel rally with the ŠKODA FABIA R5. I have a very fast teammate and a lot of other strong competitors”, Andreas Mikkelsen is looking forward to Rally Portugal. Pontus Tidemand, who won on ice and snow in Sweden and the gravel events in Mexico and Argentina, has a clear target: “I want to get as much points as possible in order to increase my lead in WRC 2.”

In 2015 the Portuguese WRC round moved back to the north of the country to the region around Porto. Actually, it is one of the most spectator crowded events in World Rally Championship. The notorious Fafe jump alone attracts ten thousands of spectators every year. The atmosphere on the stages in the north comes close to being in a football stadium. The event starts on Thursday with a show stage on the rally cross circuit of Lousada.

The first full day of rallying on Friday features stages in the far north near the border to Spain. Saturday features the longest leg with a mixture of sandy roads, rocks and deep ruts especially during the second pass of the stages. On the long stages the right tyre choice is key to success, the alternatives being soft compound for more traction or hard compound in order to manage tyre wear. On Sunday the Fafe loop on fast and smooth gravel roads, including the famous jump, is the spectator highlight of the event. In total, the teams will face 19 special stages covering nearly 350 kilometres in total.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 18, 2017, 01:09:39 pre podne

Rally Český Krumlov: Kopecký aiming for hattrick

​ŠKODA FABIA R5 driver Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler targeting victory at the Rally Český Krumlov, third round of the Czech Rally Championship.

​Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler are dominating the Czech Rally Championship since they achieved a maiden win with the ŠKODA FABIA R5 on its debut at Rally Šumava Klatovy 2015. Since then, they won every event. Driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 they collected twelve victories in a row. Upcoming weekend (19/20 May 2017) they are targeting a hattrick win in MČR 2017 and the third victory in a row at the Rally Český Krumlov. For Kopecký/Dresler, being the spearhead of ŠKODA Motorsport in the Czech Rally Championship, the goal for 2017 is crystal clear: winning the MČR title for a third time in a row.

“There is still a long, long way to go in the championship”, Kopecký says. “We have to stay focused and have to avoid any mistakes. My competitors improved a lot, scoring fastest times already at Rally Šumava Klatovy. Ford driver Václav Pech and Jan Černý with his privately run ŠKODA FABIA R5 are ready to fight for the victory,” stresses Kopecký.

Last year, Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) won the Rally Český Krumlov ahead of their teammates Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (SWE/SWE), who are not competing in ŠKODA’s backyard this year. Instead the Swedish pairing on the same weekend is entered into the World Championship Rally de Portugal.

“I am fully confident that Jan and Pavel will be hard to beat at Rally Český Krumlov”, comments ŠKODA Motorsport Boss Michal Hrabánek and adds: “They are as fast and reliable as their ŠKODA FABIA R5.”

Český Krumlov, the host city of the rally, is located in the region of Southern Bohemia and is named a UNESCO world heritage side. České Budějovice is famous for his world class beer. The whole region offers a fantastic landscape and challenging stages, 16 in total.

Rally Český Krumlov starts on Friday (19 May) at 3.27 pm and runs competitive over 171,38 kilometres. The winners are expected at the finish in České Budějovice on Saturday (20 May) at approximately 5:00 pm. Alongside Jan Kopecký’s works ŠKODA FABIA R5, five private ŠKODA R5 plus additional ŠKODA teams in different categories are entered.

The 2017 calendar for the Czech Rally Championship (MČR):
Valašská Rally    25/03–26/03/2017
Rally Šumava Klatovy   21/04–22/04/2017
Rally Český Krumlov   19/05–20/05/2017
Rally Hustopeče    16/06–17/06/2017
Rally Bohemia    01/07–02/07/2017
Barum Czech Rally Zlín   25/08–27/08/2017
Rally Příbram    06/10–08/10/2017
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 21, 2017, 09:47:52 posle podne

Rally Český Krumlov: Hattrick win for Jan Kopecký and ŠKODA

​› Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA FABIA R5) remain undefeated in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
› Czech champions score third consecutive victory in Czech Rally Championship 2017 (MČR), winning Rally Český Krumlov for the third time in a row
› ŠKODA factory team fastest on 15 out of 16 stages

​Český Krumlov, 20 May 2017 – Double hattrick for Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA FABIA R5). The defending Czech champions won Rally Český Krumlov after 2015 and 2016 for the third consecutive time, also racking up the third win in a row in the Czech Rally Championship 2017 (MČR). ŠKODA privateers Jan Černy/Petr Černohorský finished fourth,  trailing Ford pairings Vacláv Pech jun./Petr Uhel (CZE/CZE) and Miroslav Jakeš/Marcela Ehlová (CZE/CZE).

Rally Český Krumlov is one of the most traditional rallies in Czech Republic. In the region of Southern Bohemia, the drivers are competing on challenging special stages in a beautiful landscape. The only surprise came on sunny Friday, when it was not ŠKODA factory driver Jan Kopecký but Ford driver Dohnal who won the first short special stage. But after that, the world of Czech rallying returned to business as usual with a dominating Jan Kopecký.
Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler were fastest on all remaining 15 stages with their ŠKODA FABIA R5 and won Rally Český Krumlov for a third time in a row. After three victories on the first three rounds of Czech Rally Championship (MČR), the ŠKODA works pairing so far seems unstoppable on home ground. “I really enjoy driving here, it is a really pleasure to have a perfect rally car like the ŠKODA FABIA R5”, Jan Kopecký commented at the finish line in České Budějovice. “There are two main factors ŠKODA can really count on in the world of rallying – the speed and reliability of Jan Kopecký, Pavel Dresler and the ŠKODA FABIA R5”, a delighted ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek added.

Jan Černy/Petr Černohorský in a private ŠKODA FABIA R5, just recovered from a huge accident in the recent round of FIA European Rally Championship (ECR) on Gran Canaria, finished fourth behind the Ford pairings Pech jun./Uhel (CZE/CZE) and Jakeš/Ehlová (CZE/CZE).
Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler now have a comfortable lead in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) ahead of Vacláv Pech jun./Petr Uhel and Jan Černy/Petr Černohorský.

Rally Český Krumlov (MČR), final result
1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 1:33:09.3 h.
2. Pech jun./Uhel (CZE/CZE), Ford Fiesta R5, +1:42.2 min.
3. Jakeš/Ehlová (CZE/CZE), Ford Fiesta R5, +2:21.4 min.
4. Černy/Černohorský jun. (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +2:42.6 min.
5. Štajf/Rajnoha(CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +3:14.4 min.
Number of the day: 3
Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE) won Rally Český Krumlov for the third time in a row and all of three rallies of the Czech Rally Championship 2017 (MČR).

2017 calendar of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
Event/ Date
Valašská Rally;   25/03/–26/03/2017
Rally Šumava Klatovy; 21/04/–22/04/2017
Rally Český Krumlov; 19/05/–20/05/2017
Rally Hustopeče; 16/06/–17/06/2017
Rally Bohemia; 01/07/–02/07/2017
Barum Czech Rally Zlín;   25/08/–27/08/2017
Rally Příbram; 06/10/–08/10/2017
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 21, 2017, 09:48:55 posle podne

Rally Portugal: Victory for Pontus Tidemand and ŠKODA – last minute drama for Andreas Mikkelsen

​› Tidemand/Andersson winning Rally Portugal driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5
› Teammates Mikkelsen/Jæger-Synnevaag retiring on last stage while leading rally
› Ninth win in a row for ŠKODA in World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
› Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson extending the lead in the championship
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “We feel sorry for Andreas, but we are happy about the victory of Pontus who did a great rally.”

​Matosinhos/Portugal, 21 May 2017 – Ups and downs for ŠKODA Motorsport at Rally Portugal: Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger-Synnevaag (NOR/NOR) were dominating the event in a ŠKODA FABIA R5 up to the last stage. A few kilometres into the Fafe Power Stage, they hit a stone and had to retire handing over the victory to teammates Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (SWE/SWE). The Swedish ŠKODA pairing won their fourth event in 2017 with a courageous and faultless drive and managed to enlarge their lead in the World Rally Championship (WRC 2).

​The last and sunny day of Rally Portugal saw the continuation of the intense fight for second in WRC 2 right from the re-start. The smooth and fast gravel roads close to the village of Fafe in the northeast of Porto as always attracted thousands of enthusiastic rally fans.

The famous Fafe jump made up the background not only for the fierce battle for second place between ŠKODA factory driver Pontus Tidemand and Teemu Suninen in a private Ford. Fourth placed ŠKODA privateer Quentin Gilbert spectacularly crashed right after the jump. His ŠKODA FABIA R5 landed on its nose, rolled and-over-end and blocked the narrow road causing the interruption of the stage. Due to the safety package of the car, Gilbert and co-driver Renaud Jamoul went away without any injuries.

At the top of the WRC 2 category, Andreas Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jæger-Synnevaag (ŠKODA FABIA R5) started the last day with a comfortable lead of more than three minutes and were facing a dominant victory in WRC 2. But on the last test, the Fafe Power Stage, Mikkelsen made a mistake, the ŠKODA hitting a stone and having to stop. “I feel so disappointed for the whole team who gave me such a perfect car for this rally,” Mikkelsen commented his last minute drama.

On the first three stages of the morning, Pontus Tidemand with a controlled and fast drive managed to maintain the gap between him and Ford driver Teemu Suninen, who was no longer able to challenge for second in WRC 2. After he saw his teammate Mikkelsen stopped in the last stage, Tidemand realised that was in the lead. But he also had to fight in the stage to secure his win. Tidemand hit a rock too, thought he had a puncture and slowed down. Therefore, he lost nearly 15 seconds in the ultimate stage to Suninen. But Tidemand/Andersson kept a margin of eleven seconds over the Ford team finally securing victory. “I am happy to win – but I feel really sorry for Andreas. Sometimes, our sport can be brutal. I am satisfied with my performance in Portugal and I got the maximum points for the championship,” Pontus Tidemand concluded.

ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek had mixed emotions at the finish of Rally Portugal. “It could have been a fantastic weekend for ŠKODA Motorsport, but Andreas and Anders had bad luck. Things like this are a part of the sport – he showed a fantastic pace and deserved to win. Pontus and Jonas impressed me with a very smart and fast strategy. Now, they are clearly in the best position for the title fight. Our ŠKODA FABIA R5 proved again not only to be the fastest but also the most reliable car in the World Rally Championship’s category WRC 2.”

The victory in Portugal was the ninth success in a row for the Czech manufacturer. Out of the last 17 WRC 2 events, ŠKODA won 16.

Final Result Rally Portugal (WRC 2)

1. Tidemand/Andersson (SWE/SWE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 3:54:17.6 h
2. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, +11.2 sec.
3. Tempestini/Bernacchini (ITA/ITA), Citroën DS3 R5, +7.00.6 min.
4. Campos/Costa (PRT/PRT), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 9:19.3 min.
5. Pieniazek/Mazur (POL/POL), Peugeot 208 T16, + 10.59.5 min.

Current standings WRC 2 after six rounds

1. Pontus Tidemand (SWE), ŠKODA, 100 points
2. Teemu Suninen (FIN), Ford, 54 points
3. Eric Camilli (FRA), Ford, 52 points
4. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR), ŠKODA, 50 points

Number of the day: 16

Out of the last 17 World Championship Rallies ŠKODA won 16 times category WRC 2. Since Rally of Spain last year, the factory team is unbeaten and scored nine wins in a row.

The 2017 calendar of 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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 29, 2017, 08:46:11 pre podne

APRC National Capital Rally Canberra: Ole Christian Veiby wins for ŠKODA MRF ahead of teammate Gaurav Gill

› Team ŠKODA MRF with second double victory in 2017 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
› Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn beating two-time APRC champion Gaurav Gill and co-driver Stéphane Prévot
› ŠKODA FABIA R5 drivers leading from start to finish

Canberra/Australia, 28 May 2017 – Second rally in Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), same story: ŠKODA MRF teams Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR) and Gaurav Gill/Stéphane Prévot (IND/BEL) were fighting right from the start for the victory. On the first day of the event, the lead changed several times between the two ŠKODA MRF drivers. On leg two OC Veiby pulled away and secured his maiden APRC victory.

​The second round of the 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) took place around the host city of Canberra, the capital of Australia some 300 kilometres northwest of Sydney. In the past the Australian round of APRC was held around Queensland. After the event’s switch to the Canberra region none of the APRC regulars had the advantage of already knowing the event. Also for Team ŠKODA MRF and their drivers Gaurav Gill and Ole Christian Veiby the rally was completely new.

Two equally well prepared ŠKODA FABIA R5 and unknown stages were the ingredients for an epic fight between both ŠKODA MRF drivers. Reigning APRC champion Gaurav Gill scored the fastest time on the opening stage, but Ole Christian Veiby immediately fought back with the fastest time on the next one. The lead changed several times during day one. Gill scored four stage wins, Veiby three. At the end of leg one Veiby was in the lead with a margin of just eleven seconds. Gill struggled during the day with a small hole in the intercooler, probably causing some power loss and was not satisfied with the set up of his car. Veiby was totally happy: “Today has been really good. I have enjoyed the rally a lot so far, it’s something special. We had our issues as well today with a small puncture at the end of a stage, but all is going well.”

At the evening service Gaurav Gill made some changes to the set up of his ŠKODA FABIA R5, but unfortunately they went into the wrong direction. As a consequence during the second leg Gill and co-driver Stéphane Prévot were no longer able to fight for victory. On the remaining five stages of the rally (stage 13 was cancelled due to weather affected roads) Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn scored three fastest times on the way to their maiden APRC victory.

At the finish in Canberra Ole Christian Veiby was celebrating. “After our bad luck at the opening round of APRC in New Zeeland, I am more than happy to win here in Australia. Thanks to ŠKODA MRF for giving me such a fantastic car. My ŠKODA FABIA R5 was running like clockwork”, Veiby concluded.

After two APRC rounds Ole Christian Veiby is leading the overall classification ahead of teammate Gaurav Gill. Due to logistical reasons, the scheduled next rally in China has been cancelled.

Therefore Malaysia and the city of Johor Bahru will host the third round of the Championship in August.

Final Result APRC National Capital Rally Canberra,
2nd round of FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)

1. Veiby/Skjarmœn (NOR/NOR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 2:15:11.2 h
2. Gill/Prévot (IND/BEL), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 0:49.3 min
3. Ketomaa/Mannisenmäki, (FIN/FIN), Mitsubishi Mirage AP4, + 2:05.6 min
4. Blomberg/Andersson (SWE/SWE), Mitsubishi Mirage AP4, + 14:19.0 min
5. Markovic/Feaver (AUS/AUS), Subaru Impreza WRX STi, + 15:36.6 min
6. Penny/Penny (AUS/AUS), Subaru Impreza WRX STi, + 17:33.7 min

Current standings APRC after two rounds

1. Veiby (NOR), ŠKODA, 70 points
2. Gill (IND), ŠKODA, 68 points
3. Blomberg (SWE), Mitsubishi, 44 points
4. Ketomaa (FIN), Mitsubishi, 30 points

Number of the day: 11

In 2017 the ŠKODA FABIA R5 was the winning car on all rounds of World Rally Championship/WRC 2 (6), Czech Rally Championship MČR (3) and Asia Pacific Rally Championship APRC (2), winning 11 events in total

Calendar of the 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)

Event/ Date
Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand; 28/04–30/04/2017
Rally Canberra – Australia; 26/05–28/05/2017
China Rally (cancelled for APRC); 07/07–09/07/2017
Malaysian Rally; 11/08–13/08/2017
Rally Hokkaido – Japan; 15/09–17/09/2017
Rally of India; 24/11–26/11/2017
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 07, 2017, 11:08:51 posle podne

Rally Italia Sardegna: Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler return to the World Rally Championship

​› Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA FABIA R5) spearhead of ŠKODA Motorsport at the seventh round of the World Rally Championship (WRC 2) in Italy
› In 2017 ŠKODA won every round of the WRC 2 championship, aiming for 10th win in a row since October 2016
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “After the good performance of Jan and Pavel at Monte Carlo Rally and the Tour de Corse I am looking forward to another top result”

​Mladá Boleslav, 7 June 2017 – Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA FABIA R5) are the spearhead of ŠKODA Motorsport at Rally Italia Sardegna coming weekend (8 – 11 June). After dominating all three rounds of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) are returning to World Rally Championship. The Czech pairing currently lies eighth in the WRC 2 category standings.

​Kopecký/Dresler already competed at the WRC Rally Monte Carlo (2nd in WRC 2 and 8th overall) and the Tour de Corse, where bad luck prevented a possible podium position. In 2015 and 2016  they finished second in WRC 2 on Sardegna and are now aiming for the win. “Rally Italia Sardegna is my first event on gravel this year. I had a very good pre-event test and cannot wait to drive the ŠKODA FABIA R5 on this nice gravel stages,” Jan Kopecký said.

“Jan and Pavel in the last two years delivered a strong performance in Sardegna, they are really poised to win this year,” ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek confesses. The factory team is facing strong competition from Norwegian junior team Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn in their privately entered ŠKODA FABIA R5. Veiby proved his talent by winning the second round of FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in Canberra/Australia and is well prepared for the gravel roads of Sardegna.

Rally Italia Sardegna offers 19 special stages totalling 312 kilometres on rugged and sun-baked gravel roads. After the super special stage on Thursday close to the harbour of Alghero the rally heads to an overnight halt in Olbia. Friday features four stages in the north each being run twice. Saturday is the longest day of the rally with six special stages covering 144 kilometres. Sunday will bring the final decision with four stages close to the coast north of the host town of Alghero.

Until today ŠKODA won nine consecutive WRC 2 rallies in a row. This winning sequence started at the Rally RACC Catalunya in October 2016. Out of the last 17 WRC 2 events, the Czech manufacturer won 16. 

Did you know...

... that the Italian round of the World Rally Championship until 2003 was hold on the mainland of Italy and was based in Sanremo before it moved to Sardegna?

…Michèle Mouton became the first – and until today only – woman to win a WRC round when she came first at Rally Sanremo in 1981?

…that Rally Italia Sardegna features a famous jump, comparable to the Fafe jump in Portugal, which is called “Micky’s jump”?

…Rally Italia was part of the World Rally Championship ever since it’s inauguration in 1973?

The 2017 calendar of 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 Sardegna; 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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 11, 2017, 11:36:38 posle podne

Rally Italia Sardegna: Kopecký/Dresler secured their first WRC 2 win of the season for ŠKODA

​› Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA FABIA R5) achieved a dominant first WRC 2 win on Sardinia after three attempts
› Reigning Czech rally champion scored 13 best times on 19 stages and moved up to fifth place in the championship standings
› Second placed Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn (ŠKODA FABIA R5) of Team Printsport secured double win for the ŠKODA brand

​Alghero/Italy, 11 June 2017 – Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA FABIA R5) achieved a dominant win in WRC 2 category at Rally Italia Sardegna. From the second stage onwards, they controlled the competition and faultlessly drove with 13 best times on the 19 stages to their first WRC 2 win on Sardinia at their third attempt. For Kopecký, the victory on the Mediterranean island marked the third WRC 2 win in his career, for the first time winning a WRC event on gravel. Young stablemates Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn, driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 from private Team Printsport, drove three fastest times and came home second in WRC 2.

​With four more stages in the north of Alghero, covering around 42 Kilometres, the final sunny Sunday of the rally was a tough challenge for the teams. “The roads were really beaten up, especially on the second passage of the last stage. Today it was all about cruising to the finish and to secure second place in WRC 2”, emphasized Norwegian Youngster Ole Christian Veiby. He defended second position up to the finish which made him moving up to the sixth position in the World Rally Championship standings (WRC 2) behind Jan Kopecký.

The reigning Czech rally champion had a prestige fight for R2 class victory with Ford driver Eric Camilli (who was not registered for WRC 2 championship points). At the end of leg two, Kopecký was only 0.9 seconds ahead of Camilli. On the final day the ŠKODA driver decided to concentrate on the WRC 2 victory. “It would have been nice to stay ahead of Camilli, but he was pushing to the limit while I had to drive without taking unnecessary risks to secure WRC 2 victory and valuable championship points”, Kopecký said. The second last stage was stopped due to an accident of Hayden Paddon, his car blocking the road. On the remaining short Power Stage, Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler achieved special stage win number 13 in the WRC 2 category and rewarded themselves with a well deserved victory.

ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek was happy with the performance of the Czech pairing. “Jan and Pavel were very fast, smart and clever. Congratulations also to Ole Christian Veiby and Stig Rune Skjaermœn for the second place and their excellent performance. While our competitors in WRC 2 were struggling, we could be more than happy with an absolute trouble free performance of both teams and their ŠKODA FABIA R5”, commented Hrabánek.

On the podium in the harbour of Alghero the ŠKODA Motorsport team celebrated their ongoing winning streak. It was season win number seven and the tenth success in a row in WRC 2 for the ŠKODA FABIA R5. Out of the last 18 WRC 2 rallies, the Czech manufacturer won 17.

Final Result Rally Italia Sardegna (WRC 2)
1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 3:36:36.5 h
2. Veiby/Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +2:16.4 min.
3. Katsuta/Salminen (JPN/FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, +7:01.9 min.
4. Rossel/Fulcrand (FRA/FRA), Citroën DS3 R5, +10:4.9 min.
5. Loubet/Landais (FRA/FRA), Ford Fiesta R5, +23:49.7 min.

Current standings WRC 2 after seven rounds
1. Pontus Tidemand (SWE), ŠKODA, 100 points
2. Teemu Suninen (FIN), Ford, 54 points
3. Eric Camilli (FRA), Ford, 52 points
4. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR), ŠKODA, 50 points
5. Jan Kopecký (CZE), ŠKODA, 49 points
6. Ole Christian Veiby (NOR), 43 points

Number of the day: 7
The lucky seven marked the seventh victory in a row for ŠKODA in the World Rally Championship 2017 (WRC 2).

The 2017 calendar of 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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 16, 2017, 01:46:13 posle podne

Rally Hustopeče: Kopecký/Dresler face WRC 2 leaders Tidemand/Andersson

​› Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler are favourites to win the fourth round of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
› ŠKODA factory team Kopecký/Dresler back on home soil after winning WRC 2 at Rally Italia Sardegna
› WRC 2 world championship leaders Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson are competing in South Moravia as well
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “We want to continue our winning streak in the Czech Rally Championship.”

​Mladá Boleslav, 15 June 2017 – At Rally Hustopeče ŠKODA Motorsport is aiming for the next victory. Factory team Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) is going with a strong tail wind into the fourth round of this year’s Czech Rally Championship (MČR). Both scored a convincing WRC 2 win at last weekend’s world championship Rally Italia Sardegna. Upcoming Friday and Saturday twelve stages totalling 150 kilometres await the competitors. WRC 2 championship leaders Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (SWE/SWE), another ŠKODA factory team, are competing on the roads of South Moravia’s wine region as well.

“At Rally Hustopeče we want to continue where we left at Rally Český Krumlov,” says ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek and adds: “Pontus and Jonas so far have done only events on snow or gravel, except of the season opening Rally Monte Carlo. They will compete at Rally Hustopeče to get more experience on tarmac ahead of the upcoming German round of the World Rally Championship.”
Pontus Tidemand is well aware of the tough competition inside the ŠKODA Motorsport team. “Last year I have been at the rallies Šumava Klatovy and Český Krumlov where I finished both times second behind Jan. I know, it is very difficult to beat him on his home ground, but I will give it a try,” Tidemand looks ahead.

“My focus is crystal clear on winning the Czech Rally Championship,” says last year’s winner Jan Kopecký. Also among the frontrunners are Ford drivers Václav Pech and Pavel Valoušek as well as Martin Koči in a privately run ŠKODA FABIA R5.

The rally fans can expect a thrilling weekend. The first leg of the fourth round of Czech Rally Championship (MČR) will start on Friday at 19h00, half of the six stages of the first day are run in darkness. On Saturday the teams are facing six more stages, before at 16h34 after 150 kilometres on a total of twelve stages the winner is expected at the finish line in Hustopeče.

The 2017 calendar of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
Event/ Date
Valašská Rally;   25/03/–26/03/2017
Rally Šumava Klatovy; 21/04/–22/04/2017
Rally Český Krumlov; 19/05/–20/05/2017
Rally Hustopeče; 16/06/–17/06/2017
Rally Bohemia; 01/07/–02/07/2017
Barum Czech Rally Zlín;   25/08/–27/08/2017
Rally Příbram; 06/10/–08/10/2017
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jun 19, 2017, 11:31:30 posle podne

Rally Hustopeče: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler scored fourth win in a row in the Czech Rally Championship

​› ŠKODA team Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler continued their winning streak, remaining undefeated in the 2017 Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
› Team mates and WRC 2 leaders Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson fought back to fifth position after suffering a puncture on the last stage of the first leg
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “Jan and Pavel delivered a really great drive, while Pontus and Jonas learned a lot for the upcoming tarmac WRC 2 Rally Deutschland.”

​Hustopeče, 17 June 2017 – The fourth round of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR), held in the region of South Moravia, saw a fierce competition for victory. However, the fourth win in a row for ŠKODA Motorsport factory team Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) was no surprise. The Czech champions only briefly lost the lead at the Rally Hustopeče, after the fourth stage when they suffered a puncture. But two stages after they moved into the lead and controlled the rally up to the finish line in Hustopeče where they were cheered by enthusiastic fans. ŠKODA teammates Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson fought back to fifth position after collecting a puncture on the last stage of the first leg.

​Friday afternoon Jan Kopecký scored the fastest time on both of the first two stages before loosing the lead after stage four. A puncture cost him more than 20 seconds. “It happened under braking in a compression. I didn’t hit anything, but unfortunately the tyre got deflated”, Kopecký wondered. Ford driver Václav Pech suffered from the same mishap allowing Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (ŠKODA FABIA R5) to move into the lead. But in the sixth stage, the Swedish pair got a puncture as well. They had to drive more than ten kilometres with a flat tyre and lost nearly one and a half minute. While Tidemand/Andersson consequently dropped down to ninth position, ŠKODA teammates Kopecký/Dresler inherited the number one spot again.

On the final day of the rally, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler controlled their lead in a dominant way and drove to a well-deserved victory. The reigning Czech Rally Champions scored five fastest times in total and are now in a strong position to achieve their target of winning the championship for the third consecutive time.

ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek was delighted: “Soon after their win at the WRC 2 Rally Sardegna Italia, Jan and Pavel proved to be nearly unbeatable on home soil. Pontus and Jonas on the other hand improved their driving on tarmac for the upcoming German round of the World Rally Championship.”

At the finish line, Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler celebrated their victory in style. “It was really a challenging rally, but I have again to thank my team which provided me with such a great car,” emphasized Kopecký. Teammate Pontus Tidemand draw the following conclusion: “I really enjoyed the great special stages and the fantastic atmosphere of the Czech Rally Championship.”

Rally Hustopeče (MČR) final standings

1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 1:27.17.5 h.
2. Pech jun./Uhel (CZE/CZE), Ford Fiesta R5, +41.2 min.
3. Jakeš/Ehlová (CZE/CZE), Ford Fiesta R5, +51.5 min.
4. Valoušek/Havelková (CZE/CZE), Ford Fiesta R5, +54.3 min.
5. Tidemand/Andersson (SWE/SWE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +1:53.0 min.
6. Dohnal/Michal (CZE/CZE), Ford Focus WRC 06, +1.54.6 min.

Number of the day: 13
Since the Rally of Wales 2016 and for more than eight months, ŠKODA Motorsport won in total 13 rallies in a row in both World Rally Championship (WRC 2) and Czech Rally Championship (MČR).

The 2017 calendar of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)

Event/ Date
Valašská Rally; 25/03/–26/03/2017
Rally Šumava Klatovy; 21/04/–22/04/2017
Rally Český Krumlov; 19/05/–20/05/2017
Rally Hustopeče; 16/06/–17/06/2017
Rally Bohemia; 01/07/–02/07/2017
Barum Czech Rally Zlín; 25/08/–27/08/2017
Rally Příbram; 06/10/–08/10/2017
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Jul 02, 2017, 09:40:37 posle podne

Rally Poland: ŠKODA Motorsport’s Tidemand increases WRC 2 lead, debut win for Youngster Ole Christian Veiby

› ŠKODA factory team Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson pulling away at the top of the WRC 2 standings with second place at Rally Poland
› Asia Pacific Rally Championship leaders Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn (ŠKODA FABIA R5) score first win in World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “Now Pontus is in the best position to win the WRC 2 title. Congratulations to Ole Christian Veiby for his first victory.”

​Mikolajki/Poland, 2 July 2017 – For the eighth time in a row in 2017 a ŠKODA FABIA R5 team won a round of the World Rally Championship. At Rally Poland, current Asia Pacific Rally Championship leaders Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR), driving a Printsport entered ŠKODA FABIA R5, achieved their first win on World Rally Championship level. After already winning four WRC 2 events this season ŠKODA Motorsport’s Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson (SWE/SWE) came second. With a WRC 2 championship lead of 50 points they are now in best position to win this year’s title.

​The weather changed on the final day of the rally back to the poor conditions of the opening day.  Heavy rain falls made the gravel tracks of the Masurian Lake District slippery and treacherous again. After Pontus Tidemand’s time consuming puncture on Saturday afternoon, the race for the first place in WRC 2 category was more or less decided. Youngster Ole Christian Veiby secured his very first WRC 2 win with a faultless and very concentrated drive and climbed into the second position in the championship standings.

“Congratulations to both teams. Bringing home the victory Ole Christian and Stig Rune not only proved that they are really fast, but very clever too. For us this result is another confirmation of our decision to employ both to compete for ŠKODA in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship. With a valuable second place Pontus and Jonas are in the best position to win the championship prematurely this year,” commented a delighted ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek at the finish line in Mikolajki.

Pontus Tidemand was fastest in WRC 2 on three of the remaining four stages of the final leg of Rally Poland securing second place and valuable points for the championship home. “It is a pity that a puncture stopped the nice fight with Ole Christian. Congratulations to him for this great performance. However the points for second place put me in a very good position in the championship race, which was in the end my main goal," concluded the WRC 2 leader from Sweden.

The eighth round of World Rally Championship proved again, that the ŠKODA FABIA R5 is by far the fastest and most reliable car in WRC 2 category. At the finish line in Mikolajki ŠKODA teams occupied top four positions in the category. In the WRC 2 championship standings, ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand leads after eight rounds with 118 points ahead of stablemate Ole Christian Veiby (68 points).

Final Result Rally Poland (WRC 2)

1. Veiby/Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 2:53.29,3 h
2. Tidemand/Andersson (SWE/SWE) ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 32.9 sec.
3. Gilbert/Jamoul (FRA/BEL), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 4:20.3 min.
4. Guerra/Cué (MEX/ESP), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 7:04.9 min.
5. Bonato/Boulloud (FRA/FRA), Citroën DS3 R5, +7:22.9 min.
6. Chuchala/Rozwadowski (POL/POL), Ford Fiesta R5, + 8:16.9 min.

Current standings WRC 2 after eight rounds

1. Pontus Tidemand (SWE), ŠKODA, 118 points
2. Ole Christian Veiby (NOR), 68 points
3. Teemu Suninen (FIN), Ford, 54 points
4. Eric Camilli (FRA), Ford, 52 points
5. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR), ŠKODA, 50 points
6. Jan Kopecký (CZE), ŠKODA, 49 points

Number of the day: 8
Since the first round of 2017 World Rally Championship in Monte Carlo, ŠKODA FABIA R5 teams won each of the eight rounds in WRC 2 category

The 2017 calendar of 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 Sardinia; 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
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 13, 2017, 10:20:21 posle podne

APRC in Malaysia: Second win for Ole Christian Veiby ahead of MRF ŠKODA teammate Gaurav Gill

​› At the International Rally of Johor Team MRF ŠKODA scores third double win in a row in the 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
› Both MRF ŠKODA teams dominating the third round of the APRC season in Malaysia up to frantic Gaurav Gills battle for second place
› Norwegian youngster Ole Christian Veiby increases his championship lead over reigning APRC champion Gaurav Gill from India
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “Congratulations to O.C. and Gaurav. I am happy that ŠKODA increases the lead in the APRC manufacturers standings.”

Johor Bahru, 13 August 2017 – The third round of the 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), International Rally of Johor in Malaysia (11–13/08/2017), was more or less decided on the second special stage. Reigning APRC champion Gaurav Gill and co-driver Stéphane Prévot (IND/BEL) of Team MRF ŠKODA hit a tree stump and bent the steering of their ŠKODA FABIA R5, losing considerable time and the chance to win. Despite sliding off twice in unpredictable road conditions as well, teammates Ole Christian Veiby and Stig Rune Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR) achieved the fastest stage time and took the lead from there up to the finish line. With their second win of the year the Norwegian shooting stars increased the lead in the championship standings. With only two APRC rounds to go, it looks like the next champion will be a ŠKODA driver again. Since 2012 every APRC champion was driving a ŠKODA FABIA. The Czech manufacturer is now on the route to defend the manufacturers title as well.

Changing weather, a mix of spontaneous rain showers and sunshine, made the 13 special stages (one stage had to be cancelled due to flooded roads) totally unpredictable. ŠKODA youngster Ole Christian Veiby concluded even before the start: “This is definitively one of the most difficult rallies I ever had to face.”
On the short opening show stage on Friday evening on the race track of Johor, Gaurav Gill brought his MRF ŠKODA FABIA R5 to the finish with the fastest time ahead of teammate O.C. Veiby and stormed into the lead. When the rally started proper on Saturday morning with a 32 kilometres stage on the Tai Tak palm oil plantation, the first split time showed Veiby trailing Gill by 20 seconds. “I touched a tree and later went off again slightly. Luckily we could continue. It is so difficult to judge the grip level. I have never driven under such difficult condition,” commented the Norwegian youngster. Although he lost some time, at the finish line he was fastest and took the overall lead with more than one minute ahead of Mitsubishi driver Jari Ketomaa from Finland.

What happened to the intermediate leader Gaurav Gill? Fastest halfway through the stage, he left the muddy jungle road as well. “I hit a tree stump I didn’t see. It was a pure driving error,” confessed the APRC champion. He bent a steering arm of his ŠKODA FABIA R5 and finished the stage at reduced speed. But that wasn’t the end of the story. After the stage at the refuelling point, the steering arm finally broke. Now Gill proved that he is not only a fast driver, but also a very skilful mechanic. He changed the broken part, got a road penalty for late arrival at the next time control but afterwards started his race to catch up. At the end, with a total of ten fastest times out of 13 stages, he had moved back into second position overall.

His teammate O.C. Veiby showed a stunning performance himself. With a clever and smart drive he showed, that he is not only able to drive fast but also to bring home a victory with a faultless drive. “I am absolutely delighted with the clever performance of O.C. Veiby and the comeback of Gaurav Gill”, emphasizes ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek. “With the third double win in a row ŠKODA could increase the lead in the APRC manufacturers standings. Also our drivers are leading comfortably in the driver standings.”

Final Result APRC International Rally of Johor/Malaysia 3rd round of the 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
1. Veiby/Skjarmœn (NOR/NOR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 3:02:39.1 h
2. Gill/Prévot (IND/BEL), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 4:41.7 min
3. Ketomaa/Mannisenmäki, (FIN/FIN), Mitsubishi Mirage AP4, + 5:00.4 min
4. Blomberg/Andersson (SWE/SWE), Mitsubishi Mirage AP4, + 2:23:10.1 h


Current standings APRC after three rounds (one round cancelled)
1. Veiby (NOR), ŠKODA, 108 points
2. Gill (IND), ŠKODA, 98 points
3. Blomberg (SWE), Mitsubishi, 63 points
4. Ketomaa (FIN), Mitsubishi, 56 points

Number of the day: 3
Third double win in a row for Team MRF ŠKODA in the 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.
Calendar of the 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
Event/ Date
Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand; 28/04–30/04/2017
Rally Canberra - Australia; 26/05–28/05/2017
China Rally (cancelled); 07/07–09/07/2017
Rally of Johor – Malaysia; 11/08–13/08/2017
Rally Hokkaido - Japan; 15/09–17/09/2017
Rally of India; 24/11–26/11/2017
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 20, 2017, 10:05:31 posle podne
ADAC Rallye Deutschland: Tidemand/Andersson and ŠKODA secure WRC 2 titles

› With a faultless drive at ADAC Rallye Deutschland Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson managed to prematurely win the World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
› ŠKODA Motorsport already Team Champion in WRC 2 three rallies before end of season
› Michal Hrabánek, ŠKODA Motorsport boss: “I am proud and happy for the whole team of ŠKODA Motorsport. Pontus and Jonas really deserve the title.”

Bosen/Germany, 20 August 2017 – At ADAC Rallye Deutschland ŠKODA Motorsport crew Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (SWE/SWE) took the first match point to prematurely win the World Rally Championship (WRC 2). Teammates Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE), delayed by a puncture on the second day of the rally, finished a strong second. With this result ŠKODA Motorsport also secured the WRC 2 Team Championship three rallies before the end of the season.

After twisty vineyard stages on rainy Friday followed by sun-baked concrete tracks on the infamous military area of Baumholder, the last day of ADAC Rallye Deutschland offered mixed conditions on four very fast stages in the Saarland area close to Lake Bostal.

With a fast and controlled drive Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) secured their overnight second place in WRC 2 category. A possible win slipped through their fingers on Saturday when they suffered a puncture on the 42 kilometres long “Panzerplatte” stage on Baumholder. “That’s rallying. From there on we concentrated on bringing home the second place and used the rally as a kind of extra training for the Barum Rally next weekend,” said the reigning Czech Rally Champion.

For the Swedish pairing Pontus Tidemand and co-dodriver Jonas Andersson the challenge was different. “After a puncture on Saturday we were literally in the middle of nowhere, with a gap to Jan in front of us and a comfortable margin to the fourth position in the WRC 2 classification. On the last day, it was all about bringing the car to the finish in one piece in order to win the drivers’ title and give the team the reward it deserves,” commented the Swedish ŠKODA driver. After four wins (Sweden, Mexico, Argentina and Portugal) and a second place at Rally Poland, a third place at ADAC Rallye Deutschland was enough for Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson to secure the World Rally Championship (WRC 2) already three rallies before the end of the season.

On the podium at Lake Bostal ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek could celebrate not only the drivers’ title but as well the win of the Team Championship in WRC 2: “I am proud and happy for the whole team. Pontus and Jonas really deserve the title. And our ŠKODA FABIA R5, which so far is sold more than 160 times to customers worldwide, proved as well that it is the best rally car in its category.”

Final result ADAC Rallye Deutschland (WRC 2)
1. Camilli/Veillas (FRA/FRA), Ford Fiesta R5, 3:08:16.0 h.
2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +48.1 sec.
3. Tidemand/Andersson (SWE/SWE) ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 1:50.7 min.
4. Gilbert/Jamoul (FRA/FRA), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 3:03.4 min.
5. Loubet/Landais (FRA/FRA), Ford Fiesta R5, 3:48.9 min.
6. Tempestini/Bernacchini (ITA/ITA), Citroën DS3 R5, 3:50.8 min.

Current standings WRC 2 after ten rounds
1. Pontus Tidemand (SWE), ŠKODA, 133 points
2. Eric Camilli (FRA), Ford, 77 points
3. Ole Christian Veiby (NOR), ŠKODA, 68 points
4. Jan Kopecký (CZE), ŠKODA, 67 points
5. Teemu Suninen (FIN), Ford, 60 points

Number of the day: 3
Already three rallies before the end of the season Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson secured the drivers’ titles and ŠKODA won the Team Championship in WRC 2.

The 2017 calendar for the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
Event Date
Rallye Monte Carlo 19/01/–22/01/2017
Rally Sweden 09/02/–12/02/2017
Rally Guanajuato México 09/03/–12/03/2017
Tour de Corse – Rally France 06/04/–09/04/2017
Rally Argentina 27/04/–30/04/2017
Rally de Portugal 18/05/–21/05/2017
Rally Italia Sardegna 08/06/–11/06/2017
Rally Poland 29/06/–02/07/2017
Rally Finland 27/07/–30/07/2017
ADAC Rallye Deutschland 17/08/–20/08/2017
RallyRACC Catalunya – Rallye de España 05/10/–08/10/2017
Wales Rally GB 26/10/–29/10/2017
Rally Australia 16/11/–19/11/2017
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Avgust 27, 2017, 10:57:42 posle podne

Barum Czech Rally Zlín: Reigning champions Kopecký/Dresler score sixth win in a row for ŠKODA

​› Jan Kopecký, co-driver Pavel Dresler and the ŠKODA FABIA R5 are undefeated in Czech Rally Championship (MČR) since April 2015, victorious on all 16 rallies they participated
› After a thrilling fight Kopecký/Dresler added Barum Czech Rally Zlín to winning streak
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “In the Czech Rally Championship Jan and Pavel remain the benchmark.”

​Zlín, 27 August 2017 – At the Barum Czech Rally Zlín local heroes Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE), driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5, secured their sixth consecutive win of the 2017 season. They not only defeated their regular competitors inside the Czech Rally Championship. Even the top crews competing in the European Rally Championship (ERC), of which Barum Czech Rally Zlín was round six, had no chance to beat the reigning Czech Champions.

​ŠKODA factory driver Jan Kopecký and navigator Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) began their chase for the sixth win in a row during the 2017 season on late Friday with a fastest time at the popular show stage in the streets of Zlín’s city centre. “I would not say I was happy with my driving, it can always be better,” concluded Kopecký although he brought his ŠKODA FABIA R5 an impressive 4.1 seconds faster to the stage finish than his closest rival, Alexey Lukyanuk from Russia. Straight out of the blocks on Saturday morning, Kopecký/Dresler were fully awake and scored another fastest time. The battle between the reigning Czech champions and their rivals from Russia continued throughout the Saturday leg, which was the longest of the rally.

After stage three Lukyanuk took the lead by 0.3 seconds only. But one special stage later Czech Champion Kopecký fought back and conquered the top position again. While the ŠKODA FABIA R5 of Kopecký/Dresler was running reliable like a clockwork, Alexey Lukyanuk got a problem with the power steering of his Ford and lost valuable time. With a fast and faultless drive Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler built up a more or less comfortable lead of 16.6 seconds at the end of the day. But Jan Kopecký emphasized at the overnight halt in Zlín: “Alexey will never give up. I know it from last year. I have to stay focused and concentrated to avoid any mistakes. The stages on Sunday are very tough and rough. Especially the 22 kilometres of Košíky have a lot of gravel and stones on the road. There you can easily get a puncture.”

On the final day of Barum Czech Rally Zlín, Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler achieved fastest times on all of the remaining six stages with their ŠKODA FABIA R5 and reached the finish with a margin of 55.5 seconds over Lukyanuk. “Barum Czech Rally Zlín is clearly the most demanding event of the Czech Rally Championship and one of the best European rallies. I am proud and happy that I managed to win it for the seventh time. Thanks to my co-driver Pavel and the whole ŠKODA team, all the engineers and mechanics for providing me with the quickest and most reliable car. My ŠKODA FABIA R5 was simply perfect”, emphasized Kopecký.

“In the Czech Rally Championship without no doubt Jan and Pavel remain the benchmark,” said ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek. Since Rally Šumava Klatovy 2015 the combination Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE) and ŠKODA FABIA R5 is undefeated and achieved 16 victories in the national series. This year they won each of the up to now six rounds of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR).

Barum Czech Rally Zlín (MČR and ERC) final standings

1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 1:56:15.2 h.
2. Lukyanuk/Arnautov (RUS/RUS), Ford Fiesta R5, +55.5 sec.
3. Kresta/Starý (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +1:22.8 min.
4. Kostka/Kučera (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +1:25.8 min.
5. Kajetanovicz/Baran (POL/POL), Ford Fiesta R5, +2:06.4 min.
6. Griebel/Kopczyk (DEU/DEU), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +2:08.3 min.

Number of the day: 16

Since 2015, when they debuted the brand new ŠKODA FABIA R5 on Rally Šumava Klatovy, Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler have won every Czech Championship Rally they were participating in.

The 2017 calendar of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)

Event/ Date
Valašská Rally; 25/03/–26/03/2017
Rally Šumava Klatovy; 21/04/–22/04/2017
Rally Český Krumlov; 19/05/–20/05/2017
Rally Hustopeče; 16/06/–17/06/2017
Rally Bohemia; 01/07/–02/07/2017
Barum Czech Rally Zlín; 25/08/–27/08/2017
Rally Příbram; 06/10/–08/10/2017
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Septembar 18, 2017, 10:25:53 pre podne

APRC in Japan: ŠKODA driver Gaurav Gill wins – ŠKODA takes FIA APRC Cup for Manufacturers

​› At Rally Hokkaido ŠKODA prematurely secured the Cup for Manufacturers of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) one round before season’s end
› At the same time Team MRF ŠKODA won the APRC Teams Award
› After their victory in Japan Gaurav Gill and co-driver Stéphane Prévot are in the best position to win APRC driver and co-driver titles
› Teammate Ole Christian Veiby, also driving a MRF ŠKODA FABIA R5, had to retire on day one but scored valuable points after restarting and winning the second leg of the rally
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “Congratulations to the MRF ŠKODA Team for securing the Cup for Manufacturers of FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.”

​Obihiro/Japan, 17 September 2017 – At Rally Hokkaido, second but last round of the 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), Team MRF ŠKODA’s Gaurav Gill and co-driver Stéphane Prévot (IND/BEL) achieved a dominant win. They took the lead on the second stage and defended it up to the finish line. Meanwhile their teammates, talented Norwegian shooting stars Ole Christian Veiby and Stig Rune Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR), had bad luck. With a slow puncture they slid into a ditch on the third stage and had to retire for the day. After re-starting on the second leg they were fastest overall on the final day eventually scoring valuable points for the championship. While reigning APRC Champion Gaurav Gill regained the lead in the drivers championship from teammate Veiby, ŠKODA prematurely won the FIA APRC Cup for Manufacturers. Also Team MRF ŠKODA became winner of the APRC Teams Award. The drivers and co-drivers title will be decided only between the two MRF ŠKODA teams at Rally of India (24 to 26 November 2017).

Temporary rainfalls made the gravel tracks on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido even more demanding for the teams competing in the fourth round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). On the shortest stage of the whole championship, the 0.96 kilometres of the opening show stage “Sammy Satsunai” close to the service park, O.C. Veiby was fastest followed by teammate and reigning APRC Champion Gaurav Gill.

On the opening stage next morning, Gill scored the fastest time and everybody expected the thrilling season-long battle between Gill and Veiby to be continued in Japan. But on the 29 kilometres of the third stage, all went wrong for the Norwegian youngster. After a big jump a shock absorber broke followed by a slow puncture. Veiby slightly went off the road, unfortunately got stuck in a ditch and had to retire. From there on Gaurav Gill was clearly in command, scored all the fastest time of the day and built up a comfortable lead. “It has been a great day for us and Team MRF ŠKODA. We made a perfect tyre choice and a good car set-up really paid off. The conditions were really rough with huge rocks and stones on the really fast stages sometimes averaging over 125 kilometres an hour”, concluded the Indian ŠKODA driver.

ŠKODA youngster Ole Christian Veiby could re-start on Sunday, won the second leg and scored valuable championship points. “Although this weekend was a setback to our title hopes, we will never give up and will fight up to the finish line of the last APRC round in India”, he promised. Reigning APRC Champion Gaurav Gill has it now in his hands to win his third title after 2013 and 2016 at the Rally of India (24 to 26 November 2017). “Again many thanks to MRF ŠKODA for providing me with such a fast and reliable car. I am now looking forward to my home round in India to win the drivers title again”, said a delighted Gaurav Gill at the finish line in Obihiro.
“The FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship is of major strategic significance to ŠKODA as the rallies are run in extremely important growing markets like India and China. I am happy to congratulate the MRF ŠKODA Team for prematurely securing the FIA APRC Cup for Manufacturers for ŠKODA. Since 2012 every title holder in this championship has driven a ŠKODA. This year again drivers and co-drivers titles will be decided only between the two MRF ŠKODA teams”, said ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek.

Final Result APRC Rally Hokkaido/Japan
4th round of the 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
1. Gill/Prévot (IND/BEL), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 1:53.21.8 h
2. Blomberg/Andersson (SWE/SWE), Mitsubishi Mirage AP4, + 11:41.4 min.
3. Imai/Farmer (JPN/NZL), Subaru Impreza WRX STi, +14:43.6 min.
4. Takahashi/Nakamura, (JPN/JPN), Subaru Impreza WRX STi, +15:04.2 min.
5. Aoki/Ikeda, (JPN/JPN), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, +16:02.8

Number of the day: 0.96
With 0.96 kilometres only Rally Hokkaido’s special stage “Sammy Satsunai” is the shortest stage of the entire 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.

Calendar of the 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
Event/ Date
Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand; 28/04–30/04/2017
Rally Canberra - Australia; 26/05–28/05/2017
China Rally (cancelled); 07/07–09/07/2017
Rally of Johor – Malaysia; 11/08–13/08/2017
Rally Hokkaido – Japan; 15/09–17/09/2017
Rally of India; 24/11–26/11/2017
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 04, 2017, 12:59:15 pre podne

ŠKODA with Czech Champion Kopecký and Finnish junior Nordgren at RallyRACC Catalunya

​› Driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 Jan Kopecký wants to repeat his last year’s WRC 2 victory at RallyRACC, the Spanish round of the FIA World Rally Championship
› As part of ŠKODA Motorsport 2015 Finnish Junior Champion Juuso Nordgren will be the first to take advantage of the factory team’s new young drivers development program
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “We have already defined a shortlist of young talented drivers to find out who could possibly join ŠKODA Motorsport in 2018”

​Mladá Boleslav, 2 October 2017 – ŠKODA Motorsport will compete at the upcoming RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España (05/10–08/10/2017) with two ŠKODA FABIA R5 driven by reigning Czech Rally Champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler and 20 years old Juuso Nordgren from Finland, joined by co-driver Tapio Suominen. While Kopecký is aiming to repeat his last year’s WRC 2 victory at the Spanish round of the FIA World Rally Championship, 2015 Finnish Junior Champion Nordgren is the first young gun to be tested by ŠKODA Motorsport as a possible candidate for a factory drive in 2018.

​“2017 has been so far the most successful year in the history of ŠKODA Motorsport. Factory drivers Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson prematurely became WRC 2 Champions, ŠKODA Motorsport squad won the FIA WRC 2 Championship for Teams. ŠKODA also conquered the Manufacturers Cup of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship with one round still to go, while the drivers and co-drivers title will be decided between the MRF ŠKODA teams at the upcoming Rally of India. We are now looking for a new talented crew to join us in 2018. And after having prepared two last WRC 2 champions, recently, I am sure we have much to offer,” explains ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek.

At RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España 2015 Finnish Junior Champion Juuso Nordgren and co-driver Tapio Suominen will be part of the ŠKODA factory team alongside regulars Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE). “After we closely monitored young talented drivers and defined our short list, Juuso is the first young gun to be tested by us. At the following WRC round Wales Rally GB we will have Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn from Norway competing alongside of our WRC 2 Champions Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson from Sweden and Juuso Nordgren”, says Michal Hrabánek.

Norwegian junior team Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR) can still win the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with their MRF ŠKODA FABIA R5. They also demonstrated their skills on WRC level by winning WRC 2 in Poland and finishing second at Rally Italia Sardegna.

At RallyRACC Catalunya all eyes are on Juuso Nordgren who will find his teammate Jan Kopecký as a benchmark inside the ŠKODA factory team. In 2015 Kopecký finished this rally second behind his teammate Tidemand. Last year he could beat the 2017 WRC 2 Champion and won the category. The Spanish WRC round offers a special challenge to the drivers, being the championship’s only mixed surface rally. The first leg on Friday is hold on gravel roads with some tarmac sections. On Saturday and Sunday all stages are entirely run on asphalt. In total, the teams have to face 19 special stages totalling 312 kilometres of rallying against the clock. The winner will reach the podium at the rally’s host town Salou in the south of Catalunya’s capital Barcelona at around 14h00 on Sunday.

Did you know...

...that RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España was first run in 1957, became a round of the European Rally Championship (ERC) in 1975 and in 1991 for the first time was part of the World Rally Championship (WRC)?

…that RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España is the only WRC event with a mix of gravel and asphalt stages, so the cars’ suspensions have to be changed after the first leg on Friday evening?

…that at RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España the cars in WRC 2 category are allowed to use a maximum of 10 gravel tyres and 24 asphalt tyres plus an extra of four tyres for shakedown?

…that at RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España the service park is hosted by the PortAventura World Theme Park, featuring the spectacular Dragon Khan Roller Coaster with eight loops and a top speed of more than 110 kph?

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

Event/ Date
Rallye Monte Carlo; 19/01/–22/01/2017
Rally Sweden; 09/02/–12/02/2017
Rally Guanajuato México; 09/03/–12/03/2017
Tour de Corse - Rally France; 06/04/–09/04/2017
Rally Argentina; 27/04/–30/04/2017
Rally de Portugal; 18/05/–21/05/2017
Rally Italia Sardegna; 08/06/–11/06/2017
Rally Poland; 29/06/–02/07/2017
Rally Finland; 27/07/–30/07/2017
ADAC Rallye Deutschland; 17/08/–20/08/2017
RallyRACC Catalunya – Rallye de España; 05/10/–08/10/2017
Wales Rally GB; 26/10/–29/10/2017
Rally Australia; 16/11/–19/11/2017
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 08, 2017, 07:08:10 posle podne
WRC Spain: Kopecký fastest on tarmac, storms to second in WRC 2 – youngster Nordgren fourth

› Czech Champion Jan Kopecký was unbeatable in WRC 2 on the tarmac stages at RallyRACC Catalunya, the Spanish round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
› 2015 Finnish Junior Champion Juuso Nordgren with stunning debut at ŠKODA Motorsport finishing fourth in WRC 2 category in a factory entered ŠKODA FABIA R5
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “While Jan proved again to be one of the fastest drivers on tarmac. Juuso already paid back the trust that has been placed in him.”

Salou, 8 October 2017 – Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) won every single tarmac stage of RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España, the Spanish round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 the reigning Czech Champions achieved 14 stage wins in a row, making up a time loss from the gravel stages and finally storming to second in WRC 2 category. On his debut for the factory team, driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 for the very first time on tarmac stages, Juuso Nordgren/Tapio Suominen (FIN/FIN) defended fourth position in WRC 2.

The final leg of the RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España was held over six special stages totalling 74 kilometres. The first test had to be done in the dark, and ŠKODA Motorsport’s Jan Kopecký drove the fastest time in WRC 2 category, followed by his young Teammate Juuso Nordgren. The 2015 Finnish Junior champion drove the ŠKODA FABIA R5 on tarmac for the very first time adapting himself more and more to the fast roads in Spain. When the sun finally shone from the beautiful Catalan sky Kopecký continued to collect fastest times. In the end he had won every single tarmac stage of the rally, achieving 14 stage wins in a row – including a spectacular second fastest time on the Salou show stage ahead of a dozen more powerful WRC cars.

Without the time loss suffered on Friday, when he caught the car in front of him and had to complete the last part of the stage in his competitor’s dust losing over one minute, the Czech Champion would have fought for victory. In total he won 14 out of 19 special stages. “I am still disappointed by the decision of the stewards not to give me any compensation for the time I lost without my fault. But that’s life, I nevertheless enjoyed the rest of the rally. I think that I and Pavel could prove again, that the ŠKODA FABIA R5 is the fastest car of the WRC 2 category. We made no mistake and are happy with our performance,” concluded the multiple Czech Champion.

Their young teammates Juuso Nordgren/Tapio Suominen defended fourth place during the final leg. Driving the factory team’s ŠKODA FABIA R5 for the first time the two Finns showed an impressive performance especially on the tarmac stages. “I am happy with the rally and the progress I could make throughout the event. I have to thank the whole Team of ŠKODA Motorsport, that they put so much faith in me and gave me such a fantastic rally car,” commented a delighted Nordgren at the finish.

Competing in RC2 class Ole Christian Veiby and Stig Rune Skjaermoen (NOR/NOR) were not registered to score points in WRC 2. Driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 entered by the private Printsport Team they nevertheless delivered a stunning performance, finishing third behind the factory car of Jan Kopecký. “I studied the inboard footage of Jan to learn from his driving style. He was incredibly fast and I know that I still have to learn a lot about tarmac,” confessed the Norwegian rising star after his impressive performance. Veiby, who is still in the title fight in the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with MRF ŠKODA Team, will join the factory team of ŠKODA Motorsport alongside newly crowned WRC 2 Champion Pontus Tidemand and young Finn Juuso Nordgren for the upcoming Wales Rally GB (26 – 29 October).
“Jan proved that he is currently one of the fastest drivers on tarmac. Juuso already paid back the trust that has been placed in him”, concluded ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek at the podium of the RallyRACC Catalunya – Rallye de España in Salou.

Final result RallyRACC Catalunya – Rallye de España (WRC 2)
1. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, 3:09:43.8 h.
2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +31.8 sec.
3. Guerra/Cué (MEX/ESP), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 4:38.9 min.
4. Nordgren/Suominen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +5:15.7 min.
5. Tempestini/Bernacchini (ITA/ITA), Citroën DS3 R5, +5:17.8 min.
6. Pieniazek/Mazur (POL/POL), Peugeot 208 T16, +7:33.8 min.

Current standings WRC 2 after 11 of 13 rounds
1. Pontus Tidemand (SWE), ŠKODA, 133 points
2. Teemu Suninen (FIN), Ford, 85 points
3. Jan Kopecký (CZE), ŠKODA, 85 points
4. Eric Camilli (FRA), Ford, 77 points
5. Ole Christian Veiby (NOR), ŠKODA, 68 points

Number of the day: 14
On Saturday and Sunday ŠKODA Motorsport’s Jan Kopecký was the fastest competitor in WRC 2 on 14 stages in a row. Nobody in WRC 2 could beat the reigning Czech Champion on the tarmac roads of Catalunya.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Oktobar 30, 2017, 09:48:56 pre podne
Wales Rally GB: ŠKODA’s Pontus Tidemand wins WRC 2 – Category victory number ten for ŠKODA

​› New WRC 2 Champions Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson scored a dominant win at Wales Rally GB, British round of the 2017 World Rally Championship
› With a total of eight wins Tidemand is now most successful driver in WRC 2 history
› On their first rally in Wales young Finnish talent Juuso Nordgren and co-driver Tapio Suominen, driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5, achieved a well deserved fifth place in WRC 2
› Recovering from an off during leg 1, Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn gained valuable experience on the challenging gravel roads, eventually reaching the finish
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “Pontus and Jonas were in a class of their own at Wales Rally GB. We are happy about season victory number ten for ŠKODA in WRC 2.”

​Deeside/Wales, 29 October 2017 – Time to celebrate for the team of ŠKODA Motorsport on the podium of Wales Rally GB, the penultimate round of the 2017 World Rally Championship (WRC). Newly crowned WRC 2 Champions Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (SWE/SWE), driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5, scored a dominant fifth season win in WRC 2 category. On their first rally in Wales teammates Juuso Nordgren/Tapio Suominen from Finland finished with a convincing fifth place. Recovering from an off during the first leg, after which their ŠKODA FABIA R5 needed some repairs, Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR) gained valuable experience on the Welsh gravel tracks and reached the finish as well. From twelve rallies during the 2017 WRC 2 season Tidemand´s victory in Wales was the tenth by a crew driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5.

​After an early wake-up on Saturday, the crews had to face a real marathon of 17 hours on the road. The 142 competitive kilometres were divided into nine stages; seven of them had to be driven without any service in between. The last two stages were run in the dark – a real challenge for drivers and co-drivers! On top of that, after the sunny first leg, occasional rainfalls had turned the forest tracks into partially muddy passages.

Newly crowned WRC 2 Champion Tidemand started the Saturday leg with a string of four fastest times, increasing his lead even more comfortably. The ŠKODA FABIA R5 of his young teammate O.C. Veiby had been repaired after a roll during the first leg, giving the Norwegian the chance to re-start. But a puncture on stage 9 delayed him again by more than two minutes. From there on the task for Veiby was reduced to getting as much experience as possible on the demanding gravel stages in Wales.

On his first ever rally in Wales Juuso Nordgren, driving the third official ŠKODA FABIA R5, was fighting to defend seventh position. After the service halt in Deeside, the crews were heading for the last two stages of the Saturday leg, which took place in the dark with a lot of fog causing poor visibility in the Welsh forests. In addition a stormy wind blew the fog around, the conditions changing basically after every car. ŠKODA’s O.C. Veiby confessed: “It was incredible, it was like driving against a white wall. I could hardly see the end of the bonnet of my ŠKODA FABIA R5.”

Even in these challenging conditions WRC 2 Champions Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson were unbeatable. They virtually defeated their competitors by more than half a minute. Reaching the end of the Saturday leg, they had increased their WRC 2 lead to 1.43 minutes. Similar to RallyRACC Catalunya, the past WRC round in Spain, Finnish youngster crew Juuso Nordgren/Tapio Suominen were fast in the dark as well and consequently moved up to sixth position.

During the final leg on a sunny Sunday, Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson again controlled the WRC 2 field, in total won eleven out of the 21 special stages and conquered their fifth season win. A victory, which was never in danger. “It was an incredible rally for me. It was a pleasure to drive the FABIA on this challenging gravel stages. Many thanks to the ŠKODA Motorsport mechanics for providing me with such an excellent car”, emphasized a delighted Pontus Tidemand on the podium at the seaside resort of Llandudno.

In the end Juuso Nordgren brought his ŠKODA FABIA R5 to the finish on a fine fifth place and was happy having finished Wales Rally GB at all. “For me it was by far the most challenging rally I ever did. But I was enjoying a perfect car and the great support of the whole ŠKODA Motorsport team”, the Finn said.

ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek and the ŠKODA Motorsport team could celebrate season victory number ten achieved by a crew driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5. “Pontus and Jonas were in a class of their own at Wales Rally GB. Juuso and Tapio improved steadily on their first rally in Wales, while O.C. and Stig Rune, after their bad luck on the first day, made the best out of it, gained valuable experience and at least finished the rally,” commented Hrabánek.

Final Result Wales Rally GB (WRC 2)

1. Tidemand/Andersson (SWE/SWE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 3:07:12.2 h.
2. Camilli/Veillas (FRA/FRA), Ford Fiesta R5, +1:54.4 min.
3. Cave/Morgan (GBR/GBR), Ford Fiesta R5, +2:03.3 min.
4. Bogie/Rae (GBR/GBR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +2:36.1 min.
5. Nordgren/Suominen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +4:04.0 min.
6. Greensmith/Parry (GBR/GBR), Ford Fiesta R5, +4:32.1 min.

Current standings WRC 2 after 12 of 13 rounds

1. Pontus Tidemand (SWE), ŠKODA, 140 points
2. Eric Camilli (FRA), Ford, 91 points
3. Teemu Suninen (FIN), Ford, 85 points
4. Jan Kopecký (CZE), ŠKODA, 85 points
5. Ole Christian Veiby (NOR), ŠKODA, 68 points

Number of the day: 10
The newly crowned WRC 2 Champions Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson scored the tenth World Rally Championship (WRC 2) season win for a crew driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5.


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

Event/ Date
Rallye Monte Carlo; 19/01/–22/01/2017
Rally Sweden; 09/02/–12/02/2017
Rally Guanajuato México; 09/03/–12/03/2017
Tour de Corse – Rally France; 06/04/–09/04/2017
Rally Argentina; 27/04/–30/04/2017
Rally de Portugal; 18/05/–21/05/2017
Rally Italia Sardegna; 08/06/–11/06/2017
Rally Poland; 29/06/–02/07/2017
Rally Finland; 27/07/–30/07/2017
ADAC Rallye Deutschland; 17/08/–20/08/2017
RallyRACC Catalunya – Rallye de España    ; 05/10/–08/10/2017
Wales Rally GB; 26/10/–29/10/2017
Rally Australia; 16/11/–19/11/2017
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Novembar 27, 2017, 10:23:40 pre podne

APRC Rally of India: Gill wins and defends title Double victory for MRF ŠKODA with Veiby second

› ŠKODA driver Gaurav Gill from India unbeatable at his home round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), clinching his third title after 2013 and 2016
› Teammate Ole Christian Veiby from Norway, also driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5, suffered gearbox issues, with a stunning drive fought back to second overall
› ŠKODA achieving APRC Manufacturers Cup and APRC Team Award, ŠKODA crews winning both drivers and co-drivers title
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “Congratulations to Gaurav for winning his third title, every single one by driving a ŠKODA FABIA.”

​Chikmagalur/India, 26 November 2017 – After a tense season in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) ŠKODA finally managed to win all titles. APRC Manufacturers Cup and APRC Team Award was already achieved on the last but one round. By winning the season’s finale at Rally of India ŠKODA FABIA R5 driver Gaurav Gill (IND) and co-driver Stéphane Prévot (BEL) also won the drivers and co-drivers titles. MRF ŠKODA teammates Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjærmoen (NOR/NOR) suffered gearbox issues on the first leg, but fought back in impressive style to second overall, finishing as championship runner-ups as well. Gill won the APRC for the third time already. In 2013 he was successful with a ŠKODA FABIA S2000, in 2016 and 2017 he competed with a ŠKODA FABIA R5.“Last April I competed at the world championship rally Tour de Corse, nicknamed the ‘Rally of the Ten Thousand Corners’. But Rally of India is even more exhausting, it should be named the ‘Rally of the Million Corners’ at least”, laughed India newbie Ole Christian Veiby after the recce of the final round of the 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). His challenge was clear already before the start: He had to score seven points more than his MRF ŠKODA teammate Gaurav Gill, who came as championship leader to his home rally. “This rally is really difficult. If you brake a little bit too late before any corner, game could be over”, admitted the reigning APRC Champion. In front of more than ten thousand enthusiastic rally fans on the first show stage at the Amber Valley Residential School, the battle for victory and championship honours started. Gill was faster than Veiby by the little margin of 0.2 seconds, all seemed to be set for a tense fight in the Indian forests.


​Unfortunately all hopes for an epic fight between the two MRF ŠKODA teammates were gone as soon as the rally turned to the coffee plantations around Chikmagalur in the Southwest of India. During the second special stage Ole Christian Veiby and co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen were slowed down by a gearbox issue. Coffee tasted bitter for Veiby, who had to complete six more stages with a gearbox finally providing only third gear. “On the second stage, I suddenly heard a strange noise and lost front wheel drive. A little later the gearbox was stuck in third gear, my co-driver Stig had to use the handbrake while I kept the gear lever in position. We spun several times and because we had no reverse gear left, we could only go on with the help of the spectators pushing us back into the right direction,” recalled an exhausted Veiby.

Thanks to the robustness of his ŠKODA FABIA R5, he could make it to the midday service in Chikmagalur. The mechanics of Team MRF ŠKODA demonstrated their class by changing the gearbox and the clutch in around 20 minutes, keeping Veiby in the rally. “What a great teamwork, what fantastic mechanics. Now I am on a mission,” said a motivated Veiby. Keeping his word he set eight fastest times in the remaining nine stages, until the finish moving up to second overall.

After his teammates bad luck Gaurav Gill built up a clear lead already after the Saturday leg. The local hero drove faultlessly on Sunday as well, winning Rally of India and the APRC title for himself and co-driver Stéphane Prévot. “I feel very sorry for Ole Christian, I didn’t want to win like this. But it was a very difficult and long rally, I had to bring the car home in one peace,” concluded Gill on the podium in Chikmagalur, cheered by enthusiastic fans. “I really would have liked to fight for the title right to the finish line. But at least I could set some fastest time on the special stages and learnt a lot during the year,” commented Ole Christian Veiby, who finally finished his first APRC season as championship runner-up.

In the prestigious Asian-Pacific regional championship ŠKODA can look back on unparalleled success. Since 2012 each title winner has competed in a ŠKODA. Winning the first three championships with the normally aspirated ŠKODA FABIA S2000, the Czech brand now achieved the hat trick with the most successful rally car in its category, the turbo-powered ŠKODA FABIA R5.

ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek commented, delighted: “Congratulations to Gaurav for winning all three titles driving a ŠKODA FABIA. His routine and speed makes him a benchmark in this championship. Ole Christian showed his speed and his driving talent throughout the season. Without his bad luck in Japan and India, he could have been the champion as well.”

Final Result APRC Rally of India Round 6 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)

1. Gill/Prévot (IND/BEL), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 3:20:19.8 h.
2. Veiby/ Skjærmoen (NOR/NOR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 17:38.4 min.
3. Sharfaz/Akhry, (SRL/SRL), VW Polo, +49:57.6 min.
4. Sumit/Nitin (USA/IND), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, +1:01:42.8 h.

Number of the day: 20
During Saturday midday service the mechanics of Team MRF ŠKODA changed gearbox and clutch on O.C. Veiby’s FABIA R5 in roughly 20 minutes.

Calendar of the 2017 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)

Event/ Date               
Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand; 28/04–30/04/2017
Rally Canberra - Australia; 26/05–28/05/2017
China Rally (cancelled); 07/07–09/07/2017
Malaysian Rally; 11/08–13/08/2017
Rally Hokkaido - Japan; 15/09–17/09/2017
Rally of India; 24/11–26/11/2017
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Januar 18, 2018, 11:28:08 pre podne

Three ŠKODA Motorsport crews at Rally Monte Carlo - Jan Kopecký aiming for victory in WRC 2
18.1.2018 | category: Motorsport

​› Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler compete in the opening round of the 2018 World Rally Championship (WRC 2) with a ŠKODA FABIA R5 carrying the tricolour of the Czech flag
› ŠKODA juniors Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn and Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen will be focused on gaining experience
› 17 years old ŠKODA junior Kalle Rovanperä is the youngest driver on the entry list
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “A great result from Jan Kopecký at Rally Monte Carlo would continue our success story from last year’s WRC 2 championship”

​Mladá Boleslav, 18 January 2018 – ŠKODA Motorsport will compete at the upcoming Rally Monte Carlo (25/01/–28/01/2018) with three ŠKODA FABIA R5 crews. Czech Champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) fight for the victory in WRC 2 category. Their car is carrying the tricolour of the Czech flag, paying tribute to the 100th birthday of the founding date of Czechoslovakia. Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR) and Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (FIN/FIN) are this time not nominated to score championship points for WRC 2 classification. In order to get more experience on one of the most challenging World Championship rallies, they are competing in the RC2 class.

​“Rally Monte Carlo 2017 for me was a very special moment in my career. Andreas Mikkelsen and Jan Kopecký not only secured a double win in WRC 2 category. They also achieved seventh and eighth position overall amongst much more powerful WRC cars. I am really looking forward to see whether Jan can repeat his fantastic result from last year”, explains ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek.

Paying tribute to the founding date of Czechoslovakia back in 1918, the ŠKODA FABIA R5 of Jan Kopecký will carry the tricolour of the Czech flag. “I feel honoured that I can represent my home country at Rally Monte Carlo already with this very special design. I´m dying to start the season”, admits the reigning Czech Champion. According to Kopecký, due to the changing weather conditions with dry and wet tarmac, icy patches and snow the tyre choice is key to success. The 35-year old veteran is competing for the seventh time at Rally Monte Carlo. In contrast, 17 years old ŠKODA junior Kalle Rovanperä is a newcomer to the WRC’s most prestigious event and is the youngest driver on the enty list. His teammate, the 21 years old O.C. Veiby, makes his third attempt at Rally Monte Carlo, albeit for the first time in a four-wheel driven car.

“Each driver can nominate only seven out of 13 World Championship rounds for his points score. That means six rallies do not have an impact on the final standings. This is what we take advantage of at Rally Monte Carlo. Without any pressure our youngsters Kalle and O.C. can gain experience under the most difficult conditions”, explains ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek.

The start into the new season is a very busy one for ŠKODA Motorsport: While the Rally Monte Carlo is running the brand’s motorsport department is moving into new facilities close to ŠKODA’s Mladá Boleslav factory.

In total, 17 stages will be waiting for the competitors, covering a distance of approximately 395 kilometres. The first leg of the Rally Monte Carlo will start on Thursday (25 January) at 18h00 in front of the principality’s famous Casino. Two demanding stages in the dark will follow, before the teams will arrive around midnight for the rest halt in Gap in the French Alps. On Friday and Saturday, the crews are facing eleven more stages, before on Saturday evening the rally returns to the service park set up in the harbour of Monte Carlo. Sunday (28 January) features four more stages, among them two runs over the famous Col de Turini.

Did you know...

...that Rally Monte Carlo, first run in 1911, is the oldest event of today’s WRC calendar?

…that it was originally designed in order to promote Monte Carlo as a tourist destination

…that until 1997 competitors were starting from different corners of Europe in a so-called “concentration run” before the competitors were reunited and the real action started?

…that in 2018 the famous 37 kilometres long “Sisteron” stage is run in reverse direction in the dark as the first test on the opening Thursday?

…that the tyre choice is extremely difficult and crucial at Rally Monte Carlo? The teams have to tackle between two and three stages with the four tyres mounted on the car plus maximum two spare wheels. Therefore tyre decision is mostly a compromise

…that therefore crews often fit their car for example with a mixture of studded winter tyres and slick tyres in all kind of combinations in order to somehow meet the changing road conditions?

…that on Sunday the price-giving ceremony will be held in front of the Palace in Monaco with His Highness Prince Albert presenting the awards?

 
The 2018 calendar of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event                      Date                
Monte Carlo           25/01/–28/01/2018
Sweden                 15/02/–18/02/2018
Mexico                   08/03/–11/03/2018
France                   05/04/–08/04/2018
Argentina               26/04/–29/04/2018
Portugal                17/05/–20/05/2018
Italy                      07/06/–10/06/2018
Finland                  26/07/–29/07/2018
Germany              16/08/–19/08/2018
Turkey                  13/09/–16/09/2018
Great Britain         04/10/–07/10/2018
Spain                    25/10/–28/10/2018
Australia               15/11/–18/11/2018
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Januar 28, 2018, 11:29:50 posle podne
Rally Monte-Carlo: ŠKODA FABIA R5 driver
Jan Kopecký wins WRC 2 category on his birthday

› ŠKODA factory team Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler achieved a dominant win in WRC 2
category at the opening round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
› 17 years old ŠKODA youngster Kalle Rovanperä claimed second position in RC 2 class
after a remarkable performance with his ŠKODA FABIA R5
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “What a fantastic start to the new season! Jan
scored a dominant win on his birthday, Kalle delivered a perfect debut in Monte-Carlo.”

Monte-Carlo, 28 January 2018 – ŠKODA’s Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler
(CZE/CZE) convincingly won the WRC 2 category at the season opener of the 2018 FIA
World Rally Championship (WRC), the famous Rally Monte-Carlo. They took top spot after
the fourth of 17 special stages and defended their lead up to the finish in Monte-Carlo
despite very challenging road and weather conditions. On his birthday, Kopecký rewarded
himself with the gift of not only winning the WRC 2 category, but also taking victory in RC 2
class and finishing 10th overall. While ŠKODA junior Ole Christian Veiby had to retire on
Saturday due to a driver’s error, teammate Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen
(FIN/FIN) brought home their ŠKODA FABIA R5 on second place in RC 2 class after a fast
and controlled drive under difficult conditions.

Night stages, bright sunshine, rain, dry roads, so-called black ice, slushy snow and fog: The
opening round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), the famous Rally Monte-Carlo,
offered all kinds of road and weather conditions. On the last four stages on Sunday – including two
passages over the legendary Col de Turini – again sheets of black ice and gravel on the asphalt
roads made life difficult for the crews.

But on Sunday afternoon in front of the Royal Palace in Monte-Carlo, all the difficulties and
challenges were forgotten. The sun was smiling from the azure blue sky – and so was Jan Kopecký
(CZE). After four tough and challenging rally days, he received royal gifts on his 36th birthday: the
trophies for winning WRC 2 category and RC 2 class. “During the last stages, it was really a
challenge to stay focussed, find the right speed and to avoid any mistake. I had nothing more to
gain but so much to lose. Now, a dream came true. On my seventh participation I could finally win.
Many thanks to my co-driver Pavel Dresler and as well to the whole ŠKODA team for giving me
such a fantastic car. The special design of my fantastic ŠKODA FABIA R5, which carries the
tricolour of the Czech flag, brought me the luck you need to win this very special event,” beamed a
happy Jan Kopecký.

ŠKODA factory team Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler headed WRC 2 category already after the
fourth stage of Rally Monte-Carlo, defending the lead both in WRC 2 and RC 2 class during four
challenging days up to the finish in Monte-Carlo. They survived a hairy moment in the slushy snow
of the ninth stage when Kopecký lost control of his ŠKODA FABIA R5 for a moment. After a lucky
escape, he continued conservatively to the stage finish and up to the end of the rally. In the end
Kopecký/Dresler won WRC 2 category by nearly 15 minutes, being first in RC 2 class as well with a
margin of more than five minutes.

In the wake of the Czech Champions the youngest driver of the event, 17 years old ŠKODA
youngster Kalle Rovanperä (FIN), and co-driver Jonne Halttunen (FIN) delivered a stunning
performance, cheered by thousands of fans alongside the special stages. They were not entered in
WRC 2 category, thus not fighting for championship points on this occasion. “I was here to learn.
This was a very challenging event, I really enjoyed driving here with my fantastic ŠKODA FABIA
R5. On the last stages, I was really cautious to bring home this result,” said a delighted Rovanperä
at the finish.

ŠKODA juniors Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR) had to retire on Saturday
afternoon. With a spin-caused contact with a barrier their ŠKODA FABIA R5 suffered damages too
extensive to continue.

ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek was totally happy at the finish in Monte Carlo. “After he
was second on last year’s RalIy Monte-Carlo, Jan took a well deserved win this year. With all his
routine and speed, he was simply unbeatable! Kalle’s performance was incredible! This guy has
what it takes to be a future champion. He showed pure speed combined with cleverness under the
most difficult road conditions you can imagine,” commented Hrabánek.

Final result Rally Monte-Carlo (WRC 2)
1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 4:35:38.5 h.
2. De Mevius/Louka (BEL/BEL), Peugeot 208, +14:46.1 min.
3. Sciessere/Zanella (ITA/ITA), Citroën DS3, +22:47.7 min.
4. Sunninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, +33:31.1 min.

Number of the day: 28
January 28th is the birthday of ŠKODA factory driver Jan Kopecký – incidentally also the day he
won WRC 2 category and RC 2 class at Rally Monte-Carlo.
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Februar 14, 2018, 08:31:59 posle podne

Rally Sweden: ŠKODA Motorsport aiming to repeat last year’s success

​› In total 15 ŠKODA FABIA R5 are on the entry list
› ŠKODA factory team fields WRC 2 Champions Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson
› Reigning FIA World Rally Cross Champion Johan Kristoffersson to compete in a privately entered ŠKODA FABIA R5

​Mladá Boleslav, 14 February 2018 – ŠKODA Motorsport is aiming to continue its string of success in Sweden. Therefor the factory team has entered WRC 2 Champions Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (SWE/SWE), who won the WRC 2 category already last year. Their young teammates Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjærmoen (NOR/NOR) are targeting a podium position in WRC 2.  Among the 15 entries in the WRC 2 category, the ŠKODA FABIA R5 was chosen by nine crews. Six more FABIA R5 are entered in RC 2 class. FIA World Rally Cross Champion Johan Kristoffersson as well trusts the rally expertise of ŠKODA.

​“With Jan Kopecký’s victory at Rally Monte-Carlo we experienced a perfect start to the 2018 season,” emphasizes ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek. “I’m expecting an even closer fight in the WRC 2 category than last year. The fact, that in total 15 ŠKODA FABIA R5 are on the entry list, perfectly underlines the convincing reliability of this car even under extreme conditions,” Hrabánek adds. 

Last year Swedish WRC 2 champion Pontus Tidemand laid the foundation of his 2017 WRC 2 title win on his home event. “Rally Sweden is a very special event for me each year. I hope, I can celebrate again, together with our fans,” Tidemand looks ahead. Victory will be all but easy, Tidemand reckons. He is expecting tough opposition. “Competition in WRC 2 category is really tight. To win I have to drive absolutely on the limit. I cannot afford one single mistake,” the 27 years old Swede knows all too well.

Last year already, youngster Ole Christian “O.C.” Veiby proved his talent by finishing third in WRC 2 category with a privately entered ŠKODA FABIA R5. “My main target is to score my first WRC 2 championship points in 2018. I’m fully concentrated to end up on the podium again, as I did in 2017,” Veiby explains his target.

Special interest for the second round of the FIA World Rally Championship 2018 is created by a guest appearance of Johan Kristoffersson. The reigning FIA World Rally Cross Champion will compete together with co-driver Patrick Barth in a privately entered ŠKODA FABIA R5 in RC 2 class. Kristoffersson is not competing for WRC 2 championship points, but nevertheless hopes to score some top three class results on a couple of stages. Rally Sweden is a home game for Kristoffersson as well. In 2016, he finished 11th in WRC 2 with a ŠKODA FABIA S2000. “I am looking forward to competing here again” says Kristoffersson before the event.

Rally Sweden will start on Thursday (15 February) at 20h08 on the trotting course in Karlstad in the southwest of Sweden. After the 1.9 kilometres long spectacular show stage, the real rally will commence on Friday (16 February). The crews leave the service park in Torsby early in the morning to head for additional 18 special stages which are covering in total around 314 kilometres on stages in the remote forests of Sweden and Norway. The rally finishes on Sunday (18 February) with the final power stage close to the service park in Torsby, the winners will be on the podium around 13h00.

Did you know...

...that Rally Sweden was first run in 1950 and was held in summer, before it became a winter event in 1965?

…that the extremely narrow snow tyres are fitted with 384 studs?

…that in 1973 only tyres without studs were allowed and national hero Stig Blomqvist won the event in a Saab despite having lost ten minutes with a fuel pump issue early on?

…that Rally Sweden was dominated by Scandinavian drivers until 2004 when WRC record champion Sébastien Loeb from France broke their dominance?

…that Pavel Sibera/Petr Gross won the A5 class at the 1993 Rally Sweden with a ŠKODA FAVORIT 136L?

…that each rally crew has to carry a snow shovel on board in order to be able to dig the car out of snow in case of an off-road excursion?

The 2018 calendar of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event/ Date               
Monte-Carlo; 25/01/–28/01/2018
Sweden; 15/02/–18/02/2018
Mexico; 08/03/–11/03/2018
France; 05/04/–08/04/2018
Argentina; 26/04/–29/04/2018
Portugal; 17/05/–20/05/2018
Italy; 07/06/–10/06/2018
Finland; 26/07/–29/07/2018
Germany; 16/08/–19/08/2018
Turkey; 13/09/–16/09/2018
Great Britain; 04/10/–07/10/2018
Spain; 25/10/–28/10/2018
Australia; 15/11/–18/11/2018
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Februar 18, 2018, 08:43:01 posle podne

Rally Sweden: ŠKODA Motorsport’s Tidemand and Veiby both on podium after thrilling battle

​› WRC 2 Champions Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson (ŠKODA FABIA R5) took second place in WRC 2 with only 4,5 seconds behind the winner
› Teammates Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjærmoen finished third in WRC 2 after a tense competition on snow and ice at the second round of FIA World Rally Championship
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “After Jan Kopecký drove a ŠKODA FABIA R5 to victory at Rally Monte-Carlo, our good start into the 2018 season continues.”

​Torsby/Sweden, 18 February 2018 – The two ŠKODA Motorsport crews Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (SWE/SWE) and Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjærmoen (NOR/NOR) climbed onto Rally Sweden’s WRC 2 podium with second and third position after a thrilling battle in the category.  After the victory of Jan Kopecký at Rally Monte-Carlo, the good start of ŠKODA Motorsport into the 2018 motorsport season continues at the second round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

​The fight for victory in the highly competitive WRC 2 category at Rally Sweden turned into a threeway battle right from the start. Reigning WRC 2 Champions Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (SWE/SWE), driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5, set the fastest time on the opening stage of the rally. Being the first car of the WRC 2 category, they had to set the tracks in the snow for the R5 cars and lost some time. Nevertheless, at the end of Friday they held second in the WRC 2 category only four seconds behind category leader Takamoto Katsuta (Ford). Tidemand’s young ŠKODA teammate O.C. Veiby followed, a further 3.2 seconds behind the reigning WRC Champions.

On Saturday morning, both ŠKODA crews had a perfect start. Tidemand set the fastest time, followed by Veiby, both passing Katsuta into the category lead. But in the very next stage, the Japanese Ford driver fought back and regained the lead. Hundred thousands of excited rally fans witnessed the tense fight between these three. “We have to set him under pressure, but we need as well avoid unnecessary risks, keeping in mind the WRC 2 overall standings”, said Pontus Tidemand. After 16 stages, at the Saturday rest halt in Torsby, the WRC 2 champion trailed his rival by 12.2 seconds. O.C. Veiby concluded the day for ŠKODA Motorsport as he had begun: He drove the fastest time, finishing Saturday a further 8.6 seconds behind his teammate. Veiby commented: “We should be happy with the day. We were struggling a bit throughout the second loop, but the last stage was okay.”

On Sunday, the final day of the rally, the crews were facing three more stages, totalling around 52 kilometres. The two ŠKODA Motorsport crews Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson and Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjærmoen (NOR/NOR) completed a faultless drive right to the finish in Torsby in the southwest of Sweden. With Tidemand second and Veiby third both gained their first championship points of the 2018 WRC 2 season. The Swedish Champion finished second in WRC 2 with only 4,5 seconds behind the winner!

At the end of Rally Sweden, ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek was satisfied with the result: “On one hand we tried everything to repeat our last year’s victory, but I clearly told the drivers to avoid unnecessary risks. There is a long way to go in the WRC 2 championship, the points we got in Sweden are really valuable, After Jan Kopecký drove a ŠKODA FABIA R5 to victory at Rally Monte-Carlo, our good start into the 2018 motorsport season continues. Congratulations to Takamoto Katsuta, he really deserves this victory.” With 15 entries, the ŠKODA FABIA was the most popular R5 car in Sweden. Among the privateers, reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson, together with co-driver Patrick Barth driving a private entered ŠKODA FABIA R5, proved his rally talent by finishing sixth in RC 2-class.

Final Result Rally Sweden (WRC 2)

1. Katsuta/Salminen (JAP/FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, 3:01.27.5 h
2. Tidemand/Andersson (SWE/SWE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 4.5 sec.
3. Veiby/Skjærmoen (NOR/NOR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 30.5 sec.
4. Adielsson/Johansson (SWE/SWE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +1:49.3 min.
5. Touhino/Hämäläinen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 2:29.9 min.

Current standings WRC 2 (after 2 of 13 rounds)

1. Kopecký (ŠKODA) and Katsuta (Ford), 25 points
3. Tidemand (ŠKODA) and Sciessere (Citroën), 18 points
5 Veiby (ŠKODA) and Suninen (Ford), 15 points

Number of the day: 14
15 ŠKODA FABIA R5 were on the entry list of Rally Sweden, 14 made it to the finish in Torsby!

The calendar of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event/ Date               
Monte-Carlo; 24/01/–28/01/2018
Sweden; 15/02/–18/02/2018
Mexico; 08/03/–11/03/2018
France; 05/04/–08/04/2018
Argentina; 26/04/–29/04/2018
Portugal; 17/05/–20/05/2018
Italy; 07/06/–10/06/2018
Finland; 26/07/–29/07/2018
Germany; 16/08/–19/08/2018
Turkey; 13/09/–16/09/2018
Great Britain; 04/10/–07/10/2018
Spain; 25/10/–28/10/2018
Australia; 15/11/–18/11/2018
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Mart 08, 2018, 10:23:33 pre podne
Najave, rezultati i celokupan sadržaj zvaničnih vesti iz Škoda Motorsport-a na engleskom jeziku mogu pratiti na sajtu:
https://www.skoda-motorsport.com/en/
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 09, 2018, 10:25:37 posle podne
https://www.skoda-storyboard.com/en/press-releases/jan-kopecky-skoda-dominant-wrc-2-win-rally-france-tour-de-corse/
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Peja April 29, 2018, 10:26:04 pre podne
http://www.vrelegume.rs/vesti1/tanak-blizu-pobede-17-godisnji-rovanpera-odusevio-wrc-2018--rally-argentina/
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz April 30, 2018, 08:04:48 pre podne
https://www.skoda-storyboard.com/en/press-releases/rally-argentina-skodas-pontus-tidemand-wins-takes-lead-wrc-2-championship/
Naslov: Odg: ENG: Škoda Official MotorSport news
Poruka od: Karlheinz Maj 23, 2018, 06:36:32 posle podne
https://www.skoda-storyboard.com/en/press-releases/rally-portugal-pontus-tidemand-achieved-hat-trick-win-for-skoda-increasing-championship-lead/ (https://www.skoda-storyboard.com/en/press-releases/rally-portugal-pontus-tidemand-achieved-hat-trick-win-for-skoda-increasing-championship-lead/)