The demanding competition weekend of the ŠKODA Motorsport team is at end. The parallel appearance in the competitions of the Czech and European Championship resulted in clear victory for ŠKODA at home where the crew of Kopecký/Dresler convincingly took the third victory this year. At home it therefore remains unbeaten. Hänninen and Markkula were battling the top home drivers in Italy, and after two competitions they made it to the leadership of the European Championship.
Michal Hrabánek, head of the ŠKODA Motorsport factory team, evaluates the demanding competition weekend: “The logistics of the two parallel competitions was very demanding, I would like to praise the professional work of all team members. In Bohemia our factory team managed to make use of the top conditions and has confirmed its qualities. The Italian competition showed how specific the local conditions are and that the environment is very competitive. We are also very happy about the rostrum victory of the private Fabias Super 2000 in both competitions.”
Jan Kopecký showed excellent driving in Rally Šumava, and with the start-finish system he marks the premiere victory in the Šumava rally. Kopecký won 14 out of 15 measured sections, and from the first to the last kilometre he made it clear who the winner is going to be. In the third competition of this year’s International Championship of the Czech Republic he marks the third victory, and with the highest possible score he dominates the ranks. In Šumava Kopecký was accompanied on the winner’s rostrum by drivers with private Fabias Super 2000 – 2nd Kresta, 3rd Tarabus.
Jan Kopecký was happy with his premiere victory in Šumava: “We have made perfect use of our thorough preparation for the competition, and we are celebrating a premiere victory in Šumava. We can be satisfied with our performance, three rallies and thee victories – what else could we wish for. Racing in front of Czech audience is always an emotional matter for us.”
Juho Hänninen was fearlessly battling the home matadors in the second event of the European Championship – Rally 1000 Miglia. In stage No.11, however, one slip-up cost him more than one minute of time and the winner’s rostrum position. Hänninen was then trying very hard until the finish, but there was no chance for a better than the fourth position. But after two completed competitions he still was at the forefront of the ranking of the European Championship. In spite of that, ŠKODA still appeared at the winner’s rostrum in Italy with Umberto Scandola of the ŠKODA Italia Motorsport team finishing third.
Juho Hänninen evaluates the rally 1000 Miglia: “The home drivers showed their high quality; in Italy it was never easy but I don’t want to make excuses. We had a good test before the competition, and the race itself started off very well. We lost the rostrum due to a mistake in the second leg, and although we were fighting on the loss could not be made up for. We feel very sorry about that.”
Positions of the Czech Championship after three competitions:
1. Kopecký/Dresler 150 points
2. Kresta/Gross 76 points
3. Pech/Uhel 65 points
Positions of the European Championship after two competitions:
1. Hänninen/Markkula 43 points
2. Basso/Dotta 39 points
3. Kopecký/Dresler 35 points