“Kudos to Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, and to Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson, who once again delivered a highly focussed performance at the Rally Český Krumlov. Every member of the ŠKODA Motorsport team contributed to this one-two result,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “The many fans in our brand home of the Czech Republic made the rally very special once again. Our ŠKODA Fabia R5 worked perfectly again. But we won’t rest on our laurels: After all, it is less than two weeks until the Rally Italy on Sardinia in the WRC 2.”
The performance at the Rally Český Krumlov was flawless. A ŠKODA works duo won on all six of Friday’s special stages. Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler claimed five stages, while Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson got one stage best time. Arch-rival Václav Pech (CZ) was still in third place at this point, but he did not contest the second part of the rally.
On Saturday, a hailstorm forced the second and fifth special stages of the day to be cancelled amid concerns for safety. The remaining kilometres had a similar outcome to the previous day’s stages: Kopecký/Dresler and Tidemand/Andersson each won three of the six special stages up for grabs. In the end, it was Kopecký/Dresler who celebrated a commanding win, just like at the season opener at the Rally Šumava Klatovy.
Jan Kopecký not only clinched his second win of the season at the Rally Český Krumlov, he also won the legendary rally for the third time after his victories in 2012 and 2015. “It was another step on the way to successfully defending the title. These fantastic fans played a large part in our success,” said the 34-year-old. He has now won the last seven rounds of the MČR in which he has competed in his ŠKODA Fabia R5 spanning this season and last.
Pontus Tidemand, who won the Rally Portugal in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) last weekend, was delighted with second place: “A fantastic result for us. Congrats to Jan on his win. He really feels at home on the asphalt tracks and is very hard to beat here.“
The ŠKODA customer teams also performed well. Vojtěch Štajf/František Rajnoha (CZ/CZ) were in action for the Klokočka ŠKODA Czech National Team, who also compete in the internationally successful high-tech four-wheel drive Fabia R5. Štajf finished in sixth place with a deficit of 4.22.5 minutes to the top.
In addition to the sporting highlights, ŠKODA also entertained the fans in the ŠKODA Park. The brand organised a competition in which all participants were in with a chance of winning a ŠKODA Octavia RS 230 for a year.
The next rally in the Czech Rally Championship is the Rally Hustopeče, which will be held on 17 and 18 June. However, before this is the Rally Italy on Sardinia in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2), which takes place from 9 to 12 June. Where, in addition to the Krumlov winners Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) will also represent ŠKODA Motorsport.
The number for the Rally Český Krumlov: 12
The two ŠKODA works duos Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler and Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson in the Fabia R5 won all twelve timed special stages at the Rally Český Krumlov. There were even nine one-two results for the ŠKODA drivers. A further two special stages were on the schedule; however, the two passes of the “Malonty” stage had to be cancelled on Saturday. This was due to severe storms with heavy hail at times. The roads on the 22.66-kilometre special stage were extremely dirty and safety could not be guaranteed.
Rally Ceský Krumlov – Final Overall Classification
1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ) ŠKODA Fabia R5 1:13.55,4 hod.
2. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 0.39,8 min.
3. Jakeš/Ehlová (CZ/CZ) Citroën DS3 R5 + 2:51,9
4. Odložilík/Tureček (CZ/CZ) Ford Fiesta R5 + 3:25,9
5. Štajf/Rajnová (CZ/CZ) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 4:22,5
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