ŠKODA wins all titles in WRC 2 Pro and WRC 2 in the
FIA World Rally Championship 2019

› ŠKODA takes WRC 2 Pro manufacturers’ title of the FIA World Rally Championship 2019
› ŠKODA works crew Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen from Finland become WRC 2 Pro drivers’ and co-drivers’ champions
› WRC 2 championship for private teams goes to the ŠKODA customer crew Pierre-Louis Loubet and co-driver Vincent Landais from France
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “Winning all titles of the WRC 2 Pro category and in the WRC 2 championship for private teams is the well-deserved reward for the whole team.”

Mladá Boleslav, 11 December 2019 – A long season came to a successful end for ŠKODA Motorsport. After Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen prematurely won the drivers’ titles of the new WRC 2 Pro category at Rally Wales GB, ŠKODA Motorsport rounded up the season by also taking the WRC 2 Pro manufacturers’ title of the FIA World Rally Championship 2019. ŠKODA customer crew Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais won the WRC 2 championship for private teams.

“Finally, I can say: mission accomplished. We achieved every target we set ourselves for 2019. We successfully brought the new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo to the market, Kalle and Jonne took the WRC 2 Pro drivers’ titles and on top of that secured together with both Jans the necessary points to win the WRC 2 Pro manufacturers’ championship,” ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek emphasized and added: “This success only was possible due to the strong commitment and support from our board of management, our engineers, mechanics and all the ŠKODA employees, who supported us, making motorsport a successful part of the ŠKODA DNA. I am on top of that delighted to see how successful our customers are and that Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais could win the Title in the WRC 2 category for private teams with our rally car made in Mladá Boleslav.”

Rally Spain 2019

The 2019 season at a glance:

Monte-Carlo Rally (24–27 January 2019)

It was a cold and icy night when the crews headed out from the city centre of Gap to the first special stage in the French Alps. Finnish youngster Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen got caught during the very first special stage. Driving a privately entered ŠKODA FABIA R5, they slid off the road into a ditch and even hit another car stranded in exactly the same place.

Giving up was never an option for Rovanperä and Halttunen. In the pitch-dark night they had to carry out emergency repairs including replacement of two broken wheels. Due to a time loss of more than twelve minutes, they temporarily dropped down to last position. Thanks to an impressive race to catch up, they finished 8th among the WRC 2 Pro and WRC 2 competitors in the end and collected valuable championship points for the second place in the then new WRC 2 Pro category.

Final result Monte-Carlo Rally (WRC 2 Pro/WRC 2)
1. Greensmith/Edmondson (GBR/GBR), Ford Fiesta R5, 3:34:20.5 hours*
2. Bonnato/Boulloud (FRA/FRA), Citroën C3 R5, +51.9 sec.
3. Fourmaux/Jamoul (FRA/FRA), Ford Fiesta R5, +2:58.8 min.
8. Rovanperä/Halttunen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +13:27.8 min.*

*Factory nominated crews eligible to score points in the WRC 2 Pro category

More images can be found here

Rally Sweden (14 –17 February 2019)

On their first season appearance with the ŠKODA Motorsport factory team, Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen experienced mixed emotions during their very first participation at Rally Sweden. They lost all chances of a possible category victory as they had to pay greenhorns’ tax for two time‑consuming visits to snowbanks. Nevertheless, despite their lack of experience of the fast snow tracks in Swedish and Norwegian forests, they scored valuable points for second place in WRC 2 Pro.

Their Finnish compatriots Eerik Pietarinen/Juhana Raitanen, also nominated by ŠKODA Motorsport to score points of the WRC 2 Pro category, had even more of bad luck. They hit a stone during the last stage and had to retire from fourth position with a broken rim.

Final result Rally Sweden (WRC 2 Pro)
1. Østberg/Eriksen (NOR/NOR), Citroën C3 R5, 2:55:54.5 h
2. Rovanperä/Halttunen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +3:19.2 min.
3. Greensmith/Edmondson (GBR/GBR), Ford Fiesta R5, +4:48.9 min.
4. Pieniążek/Heller (POL/POL), Ford Fiesta R5, +57:02.2 min.

More images can be found here

Rally Mexico (07–10 March 2019)

As planned, the ŠKODA factory team skipped Rally Mexico. Nevertheless, customer teams successfully represented the colours of the Czech brand in the WRC 2 category. After a thrilling fight, Benito Guerra and co-driver Jaime Ortega Zapata (MEX/MEX) won ahead of Marco Bulacia-‑Wilkinson/Fabian Cretu (BOL/ARG).

Final result Rally Mexico (WRC 2 Pro/WRC 2)
1. Guerra/Zapata (MEX/MEX), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 3:52:43.5 h
2. Bulacia-Wilkinson/Cretu (BOL/ARG), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +3:16.2 min.
3. Pieniążek/Heller (POL/POL), Ford Fiesta R5, +29:47.6 min.*

*Factory nominated crews eligible to score points in the WRC 2 Pro category

Rally France/Tour de Corse (28–31 March 2019)

While ŠKODA works crew Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen, this time driving a privately entered ŠKODA FABIA R5, had to retire from leading the WRC 2 Pro category after an accident, two private crews secured a double win for ŠKODA in the WRC 2 category. In the penultimate stage, Nikolay Gryazin/Yaroslav Fedorov (RUS/RUS) took the WRC 2 lead from Fabio Andolfi/Simone Scattolin (ITA/ITA). But during the final test, the Italian crew fought back and secured the well-deserved victory.

Final result Rally France/Tour de Corse (WRC 2 Pro/WRC 2)
1. Andolfi/Scattolin (ITA/ITA), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 3:34:08.6 h
2. Gryazin/Fedorov (RUS/RUS), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +3.9 sec.
3. Kajetanowicz/Szczepaniak (POL/POL), VW Polo GTI R5, +2:53.3 min.
4. Katsuta/Barrit (JPN/GBR), Ford Fiesta R5, +3:51.9 min.
5. Yates/Morgan (GBR/GBR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +3:58.5 min.
10. Pieniążek/Heller (POL/POL), Ford Fiesta R5, +18:11.1 min.*

*Factory nominated crews eligible to score points in the WRC 2 Pro category

More images can be found here

Rally Argentina (25–28 April 2019)

As planned the ŠKODA factory team did not enter Rally Argentina. ŠKODA privateers Benito Guerra and co-driver Jaime Ortega Zapata (MEX/MEX) finished third in their class ahead of their Brazilian stablemates Paulo Nobre/Gabriel Morales.

Ergebnis Rallye Argentinien (WRC 2 Pro/WRC 2)
1. Østberg/Eriksen (NOR/NOR), Citroën C3 R5, 3:52.23,1 Stunden*
2. P. Heller/Marti (CHL/ESP), Ford Fiesta R5, +5.46,0 Minuten
3. Guerra/Zapata (MEX/MEX), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 15.20,8 Minuten
4. Nobre/Morales (BRA/BRA), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 16.57,0 Minuten

*Factory nominated crews eligible to score points in the WRC 2 Pro category

Rally Chile (09–12 May 2019)

For the first time, Rally Chile was part of the FIA World Rally Championship. Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen, again driving a private ŠKODA FABIA R5, chose a smart and careful approach, learning as much as possible on the new and challenging gravel stages of the South American country. After some mishaps and setbacks during the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship so far, the Finnish pairing conquered their first season win in the WRC 2 Pro category after a clever performance.

Rain made the tracks muddy and tricky. 18 years old Marco Bulacia-Wilkinson, who was driving a privately entered ŠKODA FABIA R5 but was registered to score points for ŠKODA Motorsport in the WRC 2 Pro category, handled the tough conditions well. He finished fourth, securing his maiden category points.

Final result Rally Chile (WRC 2 Pro)
1. Rovanperä/Halttunen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 3:23:46.3 h
2. Østberg/Eriksen (NOR/NOR), Citroën C3 R5, +23.6 sec.
3. Greensmith/Edmondson (GBR/GBR), Ford Fiesta R5, +3:49.0 min.
4. Bulacia-Wilkinson/Cretu (BOL/ARG), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +5:42.3 min.

More images can be found here

Rally Portugal (30 May–02 June 2019)

The new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo trouble-free won its WRC 2 Pro debut at Rally Portugal. While Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen took first position of the category, teammates Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZE(CZE) secured a double win for ŠKODA.

Therefor history repeated itself at Rally Portugal. In 2015, the first generation ŠKODA FABIA R5 celebrated a successful debut at the Portuguese WRC round. Exactly four years later at the same event, the successor ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo was unbeatable.

Thanks to French privateers Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais, ŠKODA teams conquered the top three positions among the initially 32 entries strong field of R5 cars.

Final result Rally Portugal (WRC 2 Pro/WRC 2)
1. Rovanperä/Halttunen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, 3:30:57.0 h*
2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +1:07.7 min.*
3. Loubet/Landais (FRA/FRA), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +2:12.1 min.
4. Bergkvist/Barth (SWE/SWE), Ford Fiesta R5, +3:54.2 min.
5. H. Solberg/Minor (NOR/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +4:20.3 min.

*Factory nominated crews eligible to score points in the WRC 2 Pro category

More images can be found here

Rally Italia Sardinia (13–16 June 2019)

It was time to celebrate on the podium in the beautiful harbour of Alghero: Driving two ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen and teammates Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler scored a one-two in the WRC 2 Pro category. Both works crews delivered a faultless performance and gave ŠKODA Motorsport the second double victory of the 2019 WRC 2 Pro season. Rovanperä even achieved a hat trick on Sardinia after his recent wins in Chile and Portugal.

Rally Italy 2019

Although the landscape at the Sardinian coastline was simply breath-taking, both ŠKODA works crews wasted no time with any sightseeing. As Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen and Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler were heading the WRC 2 Pro category and also heading the field of the 37 entered R5 cars with a comfortable margin, it was all about finding the right speed in order to be on the safe side and not to lose concentration. And so both crews did.

In the WRC 2 category for private teams, French ŠKODA privateers Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais had lost the category lead on the last stage of Saturday when they suffered a puncture. But they fought back to the lead and like in Portugal won the category from Kajetan Kajetanowicz/ Maciej Szczepaniak, who drove their first rally with a ŠKODA FABIA R5. At the end, the top four positions among the initially 37 R5 cars were conquered by ŠKODA crews.

Rally Italy 2019

Final result Rally Italia Sardegna (WRC 2 Pro/WRC 2)
1. Rovanperä/Halttunen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, 3:40:51.8 h*
2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +24.6 sec.*
3. Loubet/Landais (FRA/FRA), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +2:48.4 min.
4. Kajetanovicz/Szczepaniak (POL/POL), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +3:30.1 min.
5. Tempestini/Itu (ROM/ROM), Hyundai i20 R5, +3:43.0 min.

*Factory nominated crews eligible to score points in the WRC 2 Pro category

More images can be found here

Neste Rally Finland (01–04 August 2019)

The ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo crew of Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen led the WRC 2 Pro competition from start to finish and scored their fourth category victory in a row on a round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship. On top of that, Russian crew Nicolay Gryazin/Yaroslav Fedorov won the WRC 2 category for private teams with the predecessor model ŠKODA FABIA R5, proving that both generations of the ŠKODA FABIA are the fastest cars of the R5 class.

Behind Rovanperä/Halttunen, the WRC 2 category for private crews saw a strong performance by French ŠKODA pairing Pierre-Louis Loubet and co-driver Vincent Landais. Rallying the new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo for the first time, they initially were in control of their class. But they left the road during the last stage of Saturday and lost valuable time. As a consequence, Russian ŠKODA privateers Nicolay Gryazin/Yaroslav Fedorov took a well-deserved victory with the predecessor model ŠKODA FABIA R5.

Rally Finland 2019

Final result Neste Rally Finland (WRC 2 Pro/WRC 2)
1. Rovanperä/Halttunen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, 2:38:34.4 h*
2. Gryazin/Fedorov (RUS/RUS), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +2:34.6 min.
3. Huttunen/Lukka (FIN/FIN), Hyundai i20 R5, +2:48.6 min.
4. Kristoffersson/Skjaermœn (SWE/NOR), VW Polo GTI R5, +4:38.4 min.
5. Camilli/Veillas (FRA/FRA), Ford Fiesta R5 MKII, +4:47.0 min.*

*Factory nominated crews eligible to score points in the WRC 2 Pro category

More images can be found here

ADAC Rallye Deutschland (22–25 August 2019)

Scoring their best result of the 2019 season, Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler powered their ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo to WRC2 Pro victory at ADAC Rallye Deutschland. Teammates Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen recovered from a setback on Saturday, when they slipped off the road, to third place of the category.

Again, the Czech rally car also was dominant in the WRC 2 category for private teams. German champions Fabian Kreim (2016 and 2017) and Marijan Griebel (2018), both being supported by ŠKODA Auto Deutschland, secured a double victory on their first event with the new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo.

Final result ADAC Rallye Deutschland (WRC 2 Pro/WRC 2)
1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, 3:27:24.1 h*
2. Kreim/Braun (GER/GER), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +52,6 sec.
3. Griebel/Winklhofer (GER/GER), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +1:11.1 min.
4. Kajetanovicz/Szczepaniak (POL/POL), VW Polo GTI R5, +1:14.1 min.
5. Camilli/Veillas (FRA/FRA), Ford Fiesta R5 MKII, +1:19.1 min.*
6. Rovanperä/Halttunen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +2:54.0 min*
7. Østberg/Eriksen (NOR/NOR), Citroën C3 R5, +3:36.5 min*

*Factory nominated crews eligible to score points in the WRC 2 Pro category

More images can be found here

Rally Turkey Marmaris (12–15 September 2019)

Rally Turkey Marmaris again proved to be the toughest gravel rally of the FIA World Rally Championship 2019. 17 tests totalling 309.86 kilometres over gravel and stones – except the short show stage in the city on Marmaris, which was on tarmac – were a true test for man and machine.

Despite a tire mishap on Saturday, Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler brought their ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo home second in the WRC 2 Pro category. Teammates Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen, after being forced to retire on Friday due to three punctures, re started on Saturday. By eventually finishing third in the category, they collected valuable points for ŠKODA in the manufacturers’ WRC 2 Pro championship, at the same time consolidating their own lead in the WRC 2 Pro drivers’ championship.

Driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5, Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL) and co-driver Maciej Szczepaniak (POL) won the WRC 2 category for private teams.

Rally Turkey 2019

Final result Rally Turkey (WRC 2 Pro/WRC 2)
1. Greensmith/Edmondson (GBR/GBR), Ford Fiesta R5 MKII, 4:05:30.8 h*
2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +29.4 sec.*
3. Kajetanovicz/Szczepaniak (POL/POL), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +29.6 sec.
4. Bulacia-Wilkinson/Cretu (BOL/ARG), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +2:09.5 min.
5. Andolfi/Inglesi (ITA/ITA), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +9:43.4 min.

*Factory nominated crews eligible to score points in the WRC 2 Pro category

More images can be found here

Wales Rally GB (03–06 October 2019)

ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo crew Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen won the WRC 2 Pro category, thus securing the WRC 2 Pro drivers’ titles already two rounds before the final of the FIA World Rally Championship 2019. They dominated the WRC 2 Pro competition right from the start. Only a puncture during the second but last stage on Friday made them drop to second position temporarily. They moved back into the category lead on Saturday morning, defending that position right to the finish line on Sunday. Despite a puncture and a roll, Jan Kopecký and co-driver Jan Hloušek ended Wales Rally GB in second place of the WRC 2 Pro category.

Finishing second in the WRC 2 category with their ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, privateers Pierre-Louis Loubet and Vincent Landais also collected valuable championship points.

Final result Wales Rally GB (WRC 2 Pro/WRC 2)
1. Rovanperä/Halttunen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, 3:11:49.1 h*
2. P. Solberg/Mills (NOR/GBR), VW Polo GTI R5, +45.0 sec.
3. Loubet/Landais (FRA/FRA), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +1:03.8 min.
7. Kopecký/Hloušek (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +4:47.0 min.*

*Factory nominated crews eligible to score points in the WRC 2 Pro category

More images can be found here

RallyRACC Catalunya-Rally de España (24–27 October 2019)

Mission accomplished: In Spain, Jan Kopecký/Jan Hloušek and their ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo teammates Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen finished second and third respectively in WRC 2 Pro. With these results, they prematurely secured the WRC 2 Pro manufacturers’ title of the FIA World Rally Championship 2019 for ŠKODA already ahead of the season’s final.

Inside the WRC 2 category for private teams, championship leaders Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais had a heart-breaking moment during the final day of the Spanish WRC round. Having led the category after the first day of the rally, they put their ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo into a ditch on the second of the Sunday stages, lost valuable time and dropped to fourth category position. Luckily, they nevertheless defended the category lead.

Final result RallyRACC Catalunya (WRC 2 Pro/WRC 2)
1. Østberg/Eriksen (NOR/NOR), Citroën C3 R5, 3:16:04.2 h*
2. Camilli/Veillas (FRA/FRA), Citroën C3 R5, +22.6 sec.
3. Kopecký/Hloušek (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +54.7 sec.*
4. Rovanperä/Halttunen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +1:29.1 min.*
5. Lindholm/Korhonen (FIN/FIN), VW Polo GTI R5, +2:03.1 min.

*Factory nominated crews eligible to score points in the WRC 2 Pro category

More images can be found here

Rally Australia / cancelled

Due to heavy bushfires Rally Australia had to be cancelled. Thus, ŠKODA privateers Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais were finally crowned WRC2 Champions. With this result, ŠKODA Motorsport and ŠKODA teams had won every title in the WRC 2 Pro and WRC 2 category.

Championship result WRC 2 Pro/Drivers
1. Kalle Rovanperä (FIN), ŠKODA, 176 points
2. Mads Østberg (NOR), Citroën, 145 points
3. Gus Greensmith (GBR), Ford, 137 points
4. Jan Kopecký (CZE), ŠKODA, 115 points

Championship result WRC 2 Pro/Manufacturers
1. ŠKODA, 333 points
2. Ford, 259 points
3. Citroën, 145 points

Championship result WRC 2/Drivers (private teams)
1. Pierre-Louis Loubet (FRA), ŠKODA, 91 points
2. Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL), ŠKODA/VW, 88 points
3. Benito Guerra (MEX), ŠKODA, 75 points

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Zbyněk Straškraba
Communications Motorsport
T +420 605 293 168
zbynek.straskraba@skoda-auto.cz

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