Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA FABIA R5) laid the foundation for their resounding victory in the Rally Šumava Klatovy in the first stage on Friday. The Czech champions drove four convincing best times, with the fifth special stage abandoned for safety reasons due to oil on the road left behind by one of the vehicles participating in the historic category. Kopecký and Dresler finished the day with a comfortable lead of around half a minute.
Kopecký and co-driver Dresler (ŠKODA FABIA R5) turned in five more best times on Saturday, despite heavy rain transforming the morning’s fast stages around Klatovy into treacherous slippery roads.
Brand stablemates Jan Černy/Petr Černohorský in their private ŠKODA FABIA R5 had pushed their way into second place and were locked in a thrilling duel with Ford team Vacláv Pech/Petr Uhel. On their way to a refuelling stop between the eighth and ninth stages, Kopecký’s co-driver Dresler and Černy’s navigator Černohorský misinterpreted an unclear instruction in the roadbook and missed a junction. As a consequence, both teams reached the refueling station via a route other than the one specified and each were penalised 15 seconds. While Jan Kopecký continued on his way unaffected at the top of the leader board, the penalty was enough to lose Jan Černy the battle for second place.
Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler drove the remaining stages with their ŠKODA FABIA R5 with a controlled speed, safely bringing home their second win of the season and extending their lead in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR).
Rally Šumava Klatovy (MČR) final standings
1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 1:19.49,5 h.
2. Pech jun./Uhel (CZE/CZE), Ford Fiesta R5, +47,1 s.
3. Černy/Černohorský jun. (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +1.12,5 min.
4. Szeja/Szeja (POL/POL), Ford Fiesta R5, +2.06,7 min.
5. Drohnal/Ernst (CZE/CZE), Ford Focus RS WRC 06, +2.38,0 min.
6. Tarabus/Machu (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA S2000, +3.00,2 min.
The 2017 calendar for the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
Valašská Rally; 25.03.–26.03.2017
Rally Šumava Klatovy; 21.04.–22.04.2017
Rally Český Krumlov; 19.05.–20.05.2017
Rally Hustopeče; 16.06.–17.06.2017
Rally Bohemia; 01.07.–02.07.2017
Barum Czech Rally Zlín; 25.08.–27.08.2017
Rally Příbram; 06.10.–08.10.2017