After twisty vineyard stages on rainy Friday followed by sun-baked concrete tracks on the infamous military area of Baumholder, the last day of ADAC Rallye Deutschland offered mixed conditions on four very fast stages in the Saarland area close to Lake Bostal.
With a fast and controlled drive Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) secured their overnight second place in WRC 2 category. A possible win slipped through their fingers on Saturday when they suffered a puncture on the 42 kilometres long “Panzerplatte” stage on Baumholder. “That’s rallying. From there on we concentrated on bringing home the second place and used the rally as a kind of extra training for the Barum Rally next weekend,” said the reigning Czech Rally Champion.
For the Swedish pairing Pontus Tidemand and co-dodriver Jonas Andersson the challenge was different. “After a puncture on Saturday we were literally in the middle of nowhere, with a gap to Jan in front of us and a comfortable margin to the fourth position in the WRC 2 classification. On the last day, it was all about bringing the car to the finish in one piece in order to win the drivers’ title and give the team the reward it deserves,” commented the Swedish ŠKODA driver. After four wins (Sweden, Mexico, Argentina and Portugal) and a second place at Rally Poland, a third place at ADAC Rallye Deutschland was enough for Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson to secure the World Rally Championship (WRC 2) already three rallies before the end of the season.
On the podium at Lake Bostal ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek could celebrate not only the drivers’ title but as well the win of the Team Championship in WRC 2: “I am proud and happy for the whole team. Pontus and Jonas really deserve the title. And our ŠKODA FABIA R5, which so far is sold more than 160 times to customers worldwide, proved as well that it is the best rally car in its category.”
Final result ADAC Rallye Deutschland (WRC 2)
1. Camilli/Veillas (FRA/FRA), Ford Fiesta R5, 3:08:16.0 h.
2. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +48.1 sec.
3. Tidemand/Andersson (SWE/SWE) ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 1:50.7 min.
4. Gilbert/Jamoul (FRA/FRA), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 3:03.4 min.
5. Loubet/Landais (FRA/FRA), Ford Fiesta R5, 3:48.9 min.
6. Tempestini/Bernacchini (ITA/ITA), Citroën DS3 R5, 3:50.8 min.
Current standings WRC 2 after ten rounds
1. Pontus Tidemand (SWE), ŠKODA, 133 points
2. Eric Camilli (FRA), Ford, 77 points
3. Ole Christian Veiby (NOR), ŠKODA, 68 points
4. Jan Kopecký (CZE), ŠKODA, 67 points
5. Teemu Suninen (FIN), Ford, 60 points
Number of the day: 3
Already three rallies before the end of the season Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson secured the drivers’ titles and ŠKODA won the Team Championship in WRC 2.
The 2017 calendar for the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
Rallye Monte Carlo; 19/01/–22/01/2017
Rally Sweden; 09/02/–12/02/2017
Rally Guanajuato México; 09/03/–12/03/2017
Tour de Corse – Rally France; 06/04/–09/04/2017
Rally Argentina; 27/04/–30/04/2017
Rally de Portugal; 18/05/–21/05/2017
Rally Italia Sardegna; 08/06/–11/06/2017
Rally Poland; 29/06/–02/07/2017
Rally Finland; 27/07/–30/07/2017
ADAC Rallye Deutschland; 17/08/–20/08/2017
RallyRACC Catalunya – Rallye de España; 05/10/–08/10/2017
Wales Rally GB; 26/10/–29/10/2017
Rally Australia; 16/11/–19/11/2017