“I really enjoy every metre in this car. We tried to defend our lead cleverly today without taking too many risks,” said Kopecký. As on Friday, when he got all eight of the best times in the WRC 2, the 33-year-old was extremely fast. In particular, he demonstrated his top performance on the 45.61 kilometres of the longest stage of the Rally Germany on the military site Panzerplatte.
“We had one or two major drifts. But I expect that the fans loved that,” said Kopecký with a smile. And it wasn’t only the fans: The ŠKODA development board member Dr. Frank Welsch was at Panzerplatte and the service park in Trier to get a feel for the performance of the ŠKODA Motorsport team.
The current championship front-runners Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) also showed their class again on Saturday, after their mistake on day one of rallying put paid to any chance of them winning the overall standings. Lappi topped the time sheets in WRC 2 a total of six times on Saturday. “After the bitter experience on Friday we tried to look forward and put in great performances,” said the Finn. He won the two previous WRC rallies in Poland and Finland on gravel. Only 57 timed kilometres, which must be mastered on four stages on Sunday, stand between the ŠKODA Fabia R5 and its debut win on asphalt in the WRC.
Also in on the action in ŠKODA’s new rally car are two customer racing teams. Reigning WRC 2 champion and Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q) worked his way up into fourth place. 22-year-old ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland driver Fabian Kreim (D) also hinted at his great potential with times in the top 5.
Number of the day for the Rally Germany: 45.61
That was the distance of the Panzerplatte stage, which had to be driven twice on Saturday. The track on a military site is not only one of the longest in the WRC, but also one of the most famous. There are 103 changes of direction in total on the 45.61 kilometres. The cracked asphalt and concrete streets are lined with massive menhirs, which are a barrier that withstands even tanks. The best times on the two passes went to the two ŠKODA works drivers Jan Kopecký and Esapekka Lappi.
Rally Germany – WRC 2 standings
1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia R5; 3:05:05.8 hrs.
2. Camilli/Veillas (F/F), Ford Fiesta R5; + 4:01.5 min.
3. Giordano/Sarreaud (F/F), Citroën DS3 S2000; + 5:39.8 min.
4. Al-Attiyah/Baumel (Q/F), ŠKODA Fabia R5; + 6:20.1 min.
5. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN), Ford Fiesta R5; + 6:21.9 min.
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany: 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia: 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France: 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain: 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain: 12.11.–15.11.2015