Surrounded by the team of ŠKODA Motorsport on the podium of the recent Wales Rally GB, newly crowned WRC 2 Pro World Champion* Kalle Rovanperä expressed a clear goal: “Let’s bring the manufacturers’ title to Mladá Boleslav as well.” The signs are bright and clear. Last year in Spain, Rovanperä together with co-driver Jonne Halttunen scored WRC 2 victory, while teammate Jan Kopecký secured a category double win for ŠKODA Motorsport, at the same time becoming WRC 2 Drivers’ Champion.
This year, the task is crystal clear for both works crews. They want to secure prematurely the WRC 2 Pro manufacturers’ title of the FIA World Rally Championship 2019. ŠKODA Motorsport is leading before Rally Spain the overall championship standings with 53 points from M-Sport Ford.
In the WRC 2 category for private teams, a fierce battle is expected between three ŠKODA crews: championship leaders Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais (FRA/FRA) and their pursuers Benito Guerra/Daniel Cué (MEX/ESP) and Nikolay Gryazin/Yaroslav Fedorov (RUS/RUS). 12 ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo and ŠKODA FABIA R5 among the 28 R5 cars on the entry list make ŠKODA again the strongest brand of the category.
The RallyRACC Catalunya-Rally de España, so the full name of the thirteenth round of the FIA World Rally Championship 2019, offers a special challenge for the crews. The Spanish WRC round is the championship’s only mixed surface rally. The first leg on Friday (25 October) is held on gravel roads with some tarmac sections. On Saturday and Sunday (25/26 October), all stages are entirely run on asphalt. The teams have to face 17 special stages totalling 325.56 kilometres of racing against the clock. The winner will reach the podium at the rally’s host town Salou in the south of Catalonia’s capital Barcelona at 14h00 local time on Sunday (27 October).
*subject to the publication of the official results by the FIA
Did you know…
…that on Friday evening the service time is 1:15 hours and thus 30 minutes longer than usual, allowing the teams to convert the cars from gravel into tarmac spec?
…that RallyRACC Catalunya-Rally de España was first run in 1957, became a round of the European Rally Championship (ERC) in 1975 and in 1991 for the first time was part of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)?
The calendar of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2 Pro)
Great Britain 03/10/–06/10/2019