After Saturday’s stages on the gruelling military area of Baumholder, the final leg of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, tenth round of the FIA World Rally Championship, lead the teams back to the lovely Mosel vineyards. Four stages on a sunny Sunday morning had to be mastered. The 28.06 kilometres of “Grafschaft” were an early wakeup for the crews.
The challenge for the two ŠKODA works crews was clear: Recently crowned Czech Rally Champions Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler had to defend their lead in the WRC 2 Pro category. Also driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen, who had been in the category lead until a small off-road excursion on Saturday morning, had to secure their third category position and valuable championship points.
On the opening stage of the day, Kopecký started cautious but could nevertheless extend his category lead. “The stage was hard – there was a lot of gravel on the road and some muddy parts in the forest. So I really had to be careful,” he said. His young teammate Rovanperä added: “In the morning, it was quite slippery on hard tyres. I was cautious, but it was good.” Having said that, he emerged as the quickest driver of the category.
Eventually, Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler defended their lead until the finish and conquered their first WRC 2 Pro category win of the FIA World Rally Championship 2019. Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen took no risks with their ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo. With a third place in the WRC 2 Pro category they secured valuable championship points in both drivers’ and manufacturers’ overall standings.
In the WRC 2 category for private teams, Fabian Kreim (German champion 2016 and 2017) and reigning German champion Marijan Griebel, both being supported by ŠKODA Auto Deutschland, secured a double victory on their first event with the new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo.
ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek was delighted at the podium near Lake Bostal: “Congratulations to Jan and Pavel for bringing home this victory thanks to a great performance. We are proud, that our new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo remains undefeated in its category in the FIA World Rally Championship. This is a big reward for the great work the whole team has done. After their mishap, Kalle and Jonne made the most of the situation by finishing third in the WRC 2 Pro category and collecting valuable championship points!”
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. Kajetanowicz/Szcepaniak (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
Championship Standings WRC 2 Pro/Drivers (after 10 of 14 rounds)
1. Kalle Rovanperä (FIN), ŠKODA, 151 points
2. Mads Østberg (NOR), Citroën, 110 points
3. Gus Greensmith (GBR), Ford, 85 points
4. Lukasz Pieniazek (POL), Ford, 74 points
5. Jan Kopecký(CZE), ŠKODA, 61 points
Championship Standings WRC 2 Pro/Manufacturers (after 10 of 14 rounds)
1. ŠKODA,224 points
2. Ford, 195 points
3. Citroën, 110 points
Number of the day 4
Since its debut at Rally Portugal, the new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo remains undefeated in its category, scoring the fourth category victory in a row in the FIA World Rally Championship 2019.
The calendar of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2 Pro)
Great Britain 03/10/–06/10/2019