Brave performance by Hänninen & Markkula at Madeira
› Hänninen finished seventh in Madeira after having loads of bad luck
› The crew of ŠKODA Motosport were fastest in nine special stages
The Madeira Rally, the seventh event of this year's European Championship, ended in disappointment for the championship leaders Juho Hänninen & Mikko Markkula. The Finnish drivers of ŠKODA Motorsport fought against bad luck to remain in a podium place for a long time, but an electricity defect in the last special stage sent them down to seventh in the end. Yet Hänninen & Markkula have managed to reinforce their lead at the top of the European Championship.
Hänninen & Markkula were third up until the start of the last special stage, which is why Juho Hänninen did not try to hide his disappointment: “I think we have put in a very good performance here and that we could have fought for the podium if we hadn't had back luck in both Leg 1 and Leg 2. Obviously, we are disappointed now, it's been a lovely event, but we have to look ahead. We have remained top of the European Championship and that's the most important thing for the entire team”.
Hänninen & Markkula lost nearly 50 seconds in Stage 3 due to a double tyre defect. Despite this bad luck, they did not give it up and, committed to moving up the standings, won nine stages in total. The winner of the Madeira Rally is Portugal's Bruno Magalhaes who won this event also last year, Vítor Sá (also of Portugal) came second.
The European Championship continues at the turn of August and September (31 August – 2 September) with the Barum Rally in Zlín (Czech Republic). The event is also part of the IRC Championship and the Czech Championship, and ŠKODA still has a good chance of winning all these three series.