Rally Turkey: ŠKODA’s Kalle Rovanperä and Jan Kopecký are facing with their ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo toughest WRC rally of the year

› WRC 2 Pro category leaders Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen (ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo) compete for the first time on the gruelling gravel roads of Marmaris area
› Last year’s WRC 2 winners Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler want to win the category again at the eleventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship
› ŠKODA Motorsport currently leads both WRC 2 Pro drivers’ and manufacturers’ championship

Mladá Boleslav, 10 September 2019 – Kalle Rovanperä, co-driver Jonne Halttunen (FIN/FIN) and the ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo travel as solid leaders of the WRC 2 Pro category to the eleventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship, the Rally Turkey Marmaris (12/09/–15/09/2019). Together with their teammates Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE), who won the category at the toughest WRC gravel event last year, they are fighting to score maximum points for ŠKODA Motorsport in the WRC 2 Pro manufacturers’ championship. Since homologation in April 2019, the ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo of the factory team are unbeaten whenever they appeared in competition.

Last year, Rally Turkey Marmaris was for the first time part of the FIA World Rally Championship. The area around the holiday resort of Marmaris impressed with tough gravel roads, which proved to be a real test for men and machines. “On some stages, it was just about to survive and bring the car in one piece to the finish. But I have good memories looking back on last year’s event. By winning the category, I could lay a cornerstone for my 2018 WRC 2 title win”, says Jan Kopecký, who recently together with co-driver Pavel Dresler won the WRC 2 Pro category at the German WRC round.
 
Overall, ŠKODA works crew Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen is in a commanding lead of the WRC 2 Pro category after four category wins, two second places and one third position. “I have a big respect towards the tough gravel roads of Turkey, which I know so far only from studying video footage. It looks like it is all about avoiding punctures. But the new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo already proved to be ultra-reliable on the similar demanding gravel tracks of Rally Portugal and Rally Italy/Sardinia. Of course, I wish to win, but I know Jan and Pavel will sell their lives dearly”, Rovanperä says. Rally Turkey will be the 25th start for Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen together.
 
Rally Turkey Marmaris starts on Thursday (12 September) at 20h08 with a two kilometres long show stage in downtown Marmaris. Friday (13 September) features the longest leg of the rally with six stages totalling 159.04 kilometres. Saturday (14 September) brings six more stages over 110.10 kilometres. After 17 tests totalling 310.10 kilometres, the winner will reach the podium in Marmaris on Sunday (15 September) at around 14h15. In the field of the 17 R5 cars, ŠKODA is with 12 entries by far the strongest brand.
 
 
Did you know,
 
…that Turkey held its first international rally back in 1972, starting and finishing in Istanbul?
 
…that in 1999, the idea of creating an all-new event as WRC candidate was born and the first Rally Turkey took place in 2000, based in Izmir?
 
…that Rally Turkey, based in Antalya/Kemer, debuted in 2003 as part of the FIA World Rally Championship with only 26 of 60 entries finishing?
 
…that in 2010 the rally moved to the region near Istanbul and left the championship afterwards, returning to the WRC calendar in 2018 as a replacement for Rally Poland?
 
The calendar of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2 Pro)
 
Event/Date                                        
Monte-Carlo 24/01/–27/01/2019
Sweden 14/02/–17/02/2019
Mexico 07/03/–10/03/2019
France 28/03/–31/03/2019
Argentina 25/04/–28/04/2019
Chile 09/05/–12/05/2019
Portugal 30/05/–02/06/2019
Italy 13/06/–16/06/2019
Finland 01/08/–04/08/2019
Germany 22/08/–25/08/2019
Turkey 12/09/–15/09/2019
Great Britain 03/10/–06/10/2019
Spain 24/10/–27/10/2019
Australia 14/11/–17/11/2019

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