Sun and fun, rain and pain, fog and blue sky, dust and mud: The 2018 Rally Italia Sardegna offered all kind of weather and road conditions for the crews facing 20 stages totalling more than 314 kilometres on the beautiful Mediterranean island. ŠKODA works crew Jan Kopecký (CZE) and Pavel Dresler (CZE) held a comfortable lead of more than three minutes going into the last day of the rally. Their young teammates Ole Christian Veiby and Stig Rune Skjaermœn had recovered from their Friday’s mishap, when they were delayed by a suspension issue. During Saturday they already stormed from eighth to third position with a string of six fastest times. But on the final day of the rally, they clearly wanted more. On the remaining four stages over 42 kilometres, they tried to close a 28.2 second gap to second place in the WRC 2 category.
And “O.C.” Veiby and Stig Rune Skjaermœn launched their attack proper on the first Sunday stage being a full 12 seconds quicker than second placed Hyundai driver Ciamin, closing the gap down to 16.2 seconds! While Jan Kopecký admitted “I am nearly driving around every stone on the track and want to bring my ŠKODA FABIA R5 and the victory home”, Ole Christian Veiby continued his massive attack. On the 6.96 kilometres long 18th stage he was again 11.6 seconds quicker than his rival and reduced the gap to 4.6 seconds. One stage later, Veiby finally managed to conquer second place, eventually bringing it to the finish in Alghero. With this amazing result, he moved into third position of the interim WRC 2 championship standings.
ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek concluded: “What a fantastic performance from Jan and O.C. alike, which makes me proud and happy! Now we won six out of seven rounds of the WRC 2 category in 2018 and we are on a good way to defend our titles. Concerning the driver’s championship, Pontus and Jan will do the same number of events until the end of the season and will have an equal chance in the title fight – may the best win!”
Final Result Rally Italia Sardegna (WRC 2)
1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 3:42:33.3 h
2. Veiby/Skjaermœn (NOR/NOR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +3:02.6 min.
3. Ciamin/de la Haye (FRA/FRA), Hyundai i20, +3:18.7 min.
4. Andolfi/Scattolin (ITA/ITA), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +6:32.2 min.
5. Pieniazek/Mazur (POL/POL), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +7:11.3 min.
Current championship standings WRC 2 (after 7 of 13 rounds)
1. Tidemand (SWE), ŠKODA, 93 points
2. Kopecký (CZE) ŠKODA, 75 points
3. Veiby (NOR), ŠKODA, 45 points
4. Greensmith (GBR), Ford, 40 points
Pieniazek (POL), ŠKODA, 40 points
Number of the day: 11
At Rally Italia Sardegna, ŠKODA junior O.C. Veiby won eleven out of 20 stages in the WRC 2 category and finished his impressive race in second place behind winner and ŠKODA teammate Jan Kopecký.
The calendar of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
Great Britain 04/10/–07/10/2018