Hänninen & Markkula were fastest in Croatia, Kopecký & Dresler won in Český Krumlov to continue their dominance on Czech tracks this year.
Taking place in the surroundings of Rijeka, the third European Rally Championship event saw an exciting fight between ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 drivers, Juho Hänninen and Hermann Gassner, who set the pace for the others and then fought for victory in each special stage. ŠKODA Motorsport's factory driver Juho Hänninen and his co-driver Mikko Markkula scored more wins in the end to celebrate their first triumph in this year's European Championship and remain top of the championship standings.
Commenting on his triumph in Croatia, Juho Hänninen said: “We are pleased to have made no mistake and to have won this rally that was a great unknown for us at the beginning. We decided to be on guard all the time which proved to be the right tactics”.
Concurrently with the Croatia Rally, ŠKODA Motorsport's other crew, Jan Kopecký&Pavel Dresler, appeared at the Český Krumlov Rally in South Bohemia. Like in the previous three rallies of this year's Czech International Championship, Kopecký&Dresler proved to be the hottest favourites for winning the whole series, and only a tyre defect stopped them from winning all of the special stages of this rally. Yet the account of their results in the Czech Republic this year is indeed impressive - four appearances, four victories and a clear championship lead.
Commenting on his string of home victories, Kopecký says: “We have been doing fantastically well in the Czech Republic this year, so we are absolutely satisfied. Like last time in Šumava, we scored our first victory here in Český Krumlov. The drivers in the Czech top league are pretty fast and I therefore find this victory very valuable”.
Looking back at this weekend, Head of ŠKODA Motorsport Michal Hrabánek says: “Appearing in two different rallies at a time is a challenge for the whole team, and we therefore really appreciate the great results our crews have achieved”.
European Championship standings after three events:
1. Hänninen/Markkula 89 points
2. Basso/Dotta 39 points
3. Kopecký/Dresler 35 points
Czech Championship standings after four events:
1. Kopecký/Dresler 200 points
2. Kresta/Gross 105 points
3. Pech/Uhel 95 points