The fifth and penultimate race of the MČR season also forms a round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). As such, ŠKODA will face some big names from all over Europe at its home rally in Moravia. The result of the Barum Rally is classified with a coefficient of 1.5, meaning any points scored in the Czech Republic will be multiplied by 1.5. Before then, however, the drivers must complete 229.21 kilometres against the clock, spread over 15 special stages.
“With its spectacular asphalt routes, thousands of fans and unpredictable weather, the Barum Czech Rally Zlín is one of the highlights of the Czech Rally Championship,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “We have a chance of winning the Czech Rally Championship, and want to produce another top performance with our Fabia R5. We are also looking forward to some thrilling battles with many top European drivers.”
With four wins from four starts in the MČR, the Fabia R5 has proven to be a fast, reliable and winning car this season. ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký tops the overall standings in the MČR and holds a big lead over his closest rival Václav Pech (CZ). “We love the Barum. We want to win and convert this ‘match point’ to claim our first title with the Fabia R5,” said Kopecký.
Crowd favourite Kopecký already has three victories at the Barum Czech Rally Zlín to his name. His wins have come in a biennial rhythm: 2009, 2011 and 2013. Were this run to continue, the 33-year-old would be set to secure victory number four.
Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
Rally Šumava Klatovy; 24.04.–25.04.2015
Rally Český Krumlov; 22.05.–23.05.2015
Rally Hustopeče; 19.06.–20.06.2015
Rally Bohemia; 10.07.–12.07.2015
Barum Czech Rally Zlín; 28.08.–30.08.2015
Rally Příbram; 02.10.–04.10.2015
Did you know …
… the iconic Trojak special stage is the longest stage of the rally, at a length of 23.01 kilometres? The drivers tackle this stage twice on Sunday. After the 4.71-kilometre qualifying stage, the Rally officially gets underway on Friday with the traditional city stage through the centre of Zlín. The 9.51-kilometre stage will be lined by thousands of spectators.
… throughout the history of this iconic rally, there have been two incidences of one car winning the rally five times in a row? It goes without saying that both cars were ŠKODAs. Between 1976 and 1980, the winner was always at the wheel of a ŠKODA 130 RS. From 2009 to 2013, the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 was the victorious car. Last year, Sepp Wiegand (D) finished runner-up in the Fabia Super 2000.
… the Barum Czech Rally Zlín will be held for the 45th time this year? The rally made its debut in 1971. The first winner was Czech driver Jan Halmazňa – at the wheel of a ŠKODA (the 1100 MB) of course.
… the Barum Czech Rally Zlín was included in the Czechoslovakian Rally Championship for the first time in 1972? It also formed part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) for many years, and was even spoken of as a potential round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2005. Following the merger with the IRC, this year’s rally forms part of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), as it did in 2013.
… the Barum Czech Rally Zlín was a massive 1200 kilometres long in 1974? This remains the longest distance in the history of the rally. For comparison: ‘only’ 229.21 kilometres of special stage are scheduled this year.
… the industrial city of Zlín has a population of over 75,000 and is almost 700 years old? The oldest written record of Zlín is from 1322. In socialist times, between 1949 and 1990, the city was called Gottwaldov.