„We’re looking forward to the highlight of the Czech Rally Championship! Rally Bohemia has always been especially important to the ŠKODA brand because it is held right on its doorstep in Mladá Boleslav. Following a hat-trick of wins in the first three events of the season, we hope to extend our run of success and treat all the ŠKODA staff and the fans to a good show,“ says ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. And the black ŠKODA FABIA R5 driven by the commanding championship front-runner Jan Kopecký will be a real eye-catcher over the eight special stages covering a distance of 153.28 kilometres.
The livery of the turbocharged four-wheel drive vehicle is a nod to the legendary ŠKODA 110 SUPER SPORT (Ferat), which achieved cult status in what was then Czechoslovakia thanks to the film Ferat Vampire. The black supercar prototype was designed by the Czech artist Theodor Pištěk, who went on to win an Oscar for best costume design in the box office hit Amadeus. ŠKODA is marking the 35th anniversary of the release of the horror science fiction film Ferat Vampire with its black FABIA R5. The successful rally vehicle and the ŠKODA 110 SUPER SPORT (Ferat) are both on display at the ŠKODA Museum during Rally Bohemia.
„This is a great move. I think our black ŠKODA FABIA R5 will offer the fans a unique motif for photos. But for us, the focus is on being just as successful in Rally Bohemia as we have been so far and on extending our lead in the Czech championship. A fourth win of the season is what we’re aiming at,“ says Jan Kopecký. If he wins the rally, the experienced 34-year-old would achieve the feat of making it his fourth consecutive win in ŠKODA’s home rally, adding to his hat-trick of wins from 2013 to 2015. ŠKODA remains unbeaten at Rally Bohemia since 2009.
Also being supported by ŠKODA Motorsport, the German youngster Fabian Kreim will make his Czech Rally Championship debut at Rally Bohemia. He will be behind the wheel of a FABIA R5 provided by the team of the Czech rally legend Roman Kresta. On the same weekend as Rally Bohemia, the ŠKODA duos Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) and Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) will be competing in the other FABIA R5 vehicles belonging to ŠKODA Motorsport in Rally Poland, which is part of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2).
‘I’ve had some pretty eventful weeks, starting with the International Rally of Queensland in Australia, then the Stemweder Berg Rally at home, and now Rally Bohemia. But ŠKODA’s home rally will undoubtedly be the highlight, and I look forward to seeing lots of fans in the Czech Republic,’ says Kreim.
The rally fans can look forward to quite a special programme in the ŠKODA park. As is customary at the Czech Rally Championship, there will be the opportunity to win a ŠKODA OCTAVIA RS 230 for a year. There will also be special activities at the ŠKODA Museum to mark the anniversary of the cult film Ferat Vampire.
Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
Rally Šumava Klatovy; 29.04.–30.04.2016
Rally Český Krumlov; 27.05.–28.05.2016
Rally Hustopeče; 17.06.–18.06.2016
Rally Bohemia; 02.07.–03.07.2016
Barum Czech Rally Zlín; 26.08.–28.08.2016
Rally Příbram; 30.09.–01.10.2016
Did you know …
… that Dagmar Veškrnová-Havlová has a leading role in the film Ferat Vampire? She is the widow of the former Czech president Václav Havel, who died in 2011. The cult film was made at the Barrandov film studios in Prague and was directed by Juraj Herz.
… that various special goings-on are planned during Rally Bohemia to mark the film’s 35th anniversary? Among other things the film itself will be shown at 19:00 on Friday, ahead of the start of the rally.
… that a total of five ŠKODA FABIA R5 vehicles are in the list of starters for this year’s Rally Bohemia? The ŠKODA customers Vojtěch Štajf (CZ), Jan Sýkora (CZ) and Karel Trojan (CZ) are lined up to compete in the Czech brand’s very latest rally vehicle, in addition to Jan Kopecký and Fabian Kreim.
… that the longest stage of Rally Bohemia is 32.28 kilometres long? The Radostin stage will be completed twice on the Sunday.
… that ŠKODA has now racked up six consecutive wins in Rally Bohemia? Juho Hänninen of Finland won in the FABIA SUPER 2000 in 2009 and 2010, followed by Freddy Loix of Belgium in 2011. There was no official end result in 2012, but ŠKODA driver Jan Kopecký subsequently won the rally in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
… that Rally Bohemia was originally called Rally ŠKODA from its inaugural year in 1974 until 1985? The Czech automotive brand initiated the rally to test the quality and endurance of its models under extreme conditions. The first rally held 40 years ago was an impressive 1,800 kilometres long, with the special stages taking place all over what was then Czechoslovakia. 152 teams entered the rally, 72 of which came from abroad.
… that Rally Bohemia was part of the European Rally Championship and the European Rally Cup for many years? The current ŠKODA driver Jan Kopecký scored three victories in total, in 2004, 2005 and 2013.
… that, in addition to Mladá Boleslav being where the ŠKODA headquarters are based, there is a tower nearby with a lean similar to that of the tower in Pisa? The iconic tower, which is part of the ruins of Castle Michalovice, is said to lean due to treasure hunters disrupting the foundations.