Driving a factory ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen dominated the WRC 2 Pro competition at Rally Wales GB right from the start. Only a puncture during the second but last stage on Friday made them drop to second position temporarily. They moved back into the category lead on Saturday morning, defending that position right to the finish line on Sunday. After WRC 2 Pro victories at the WRC rounds in Chile, Portugal, Sardinia and Finland, it was season win number five for the Finnish crew. With a points total of 176 and only the WRC rounds in Spain and Australia remaining, they cannot be caught in the WRC 2 Pro driver’s standings any more.
Despite a puncture and a roll, Jan Kopecký and co-driver Jan Hloušek ended Wales Rally GB in second place of the WRC 2 Pro category, helping ŠKODA Motorsport to further enlarge the lead in the category’s manufacturers’ standings. Both ŠKODA factory crews nursed their ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo cautiously over the five stages of Sunday, which covered 38.42 competitive kilometres. “I think, we just need to enjoy the stages and bring the car carefully to the finish,” Kalle Rovanperä said. And so he did, cheered by the team of ŠKODA Motorsport on the podium in Llandudno for winning the category and also prematurely securing the drivers’ title of the WRC 2 Pro category.
“It is simply a great day for all of us. I have to thank Kalle, Jonne, both Jans, the whole team of engineers and mechanics and all persons, who with their efforts made this success possible. I am happy, that we could master this challenging event so well and that our ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo was performing without any weaknesses,” ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek emphasized.
*subject to the publication of the official results by the FIA
Result Wales Rally GB (R5 cars)
1. Rovanperä/Halttunen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, 3:11:49.1 h**
2. P. Solberg/Mills (NOR/GBR), VW Polo GTI R5, +45.0 sec.*
3. Cave/Furniss (GBR/GBR), Hyundai i20 R5, +59.7 sec.
4. Loubet/Landais (FRA/FRA), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +1:03.8 min.*
5. Gryazin/Fedorov (RUS/RUS), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +1:08.9 min.
6. Katsuta/Barrit (JPN/GBR), Ford Fiesta R5 MK II, +3:21.5 min.
7. Fourmaux/Jamoul (FRA/BEL), Ford Fiesta R5, +3:35.6 min.*
8. Bulacia-Wilkinson/Cretu (BOL/ARG), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +3:53.9 min.*
9. Andolfi/Inglesi (ITA/ITA), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +4:37.9 min.*
10. Kopecký/Hloušek (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, +4:47.0 min.**
**Factory nominated crews eligible to score points in the WRC 2 Pro category
*Private teams nominated for the WRC 2 category
Championship Standings WRC 2 Pro/Drivers (after 12 of 14 rounds)
1. Kalle Rovanperä (FIN), ŠKODA, 176 points
2. Gus Greensmith (GBR), Ford, 125 points
3. Mads Østberg (NOR), Citroën, 120 points
4. Jan Kopecký (CZE), ŠKODA, 97 points
Championship Standings WRC 2 Pro/Manufacturers (after 12 of 14 rounds)
1. ŠKODA, 300 points
2. Ford, 247 points
3. Citroën, 120 points
Number of the day: 2
With two rounds remaining in the FIA World Rally Championship 2019, ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo crew Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (FIN/FIN) cannot be caught in the WRC 2 Pro championship any more.
The calendar of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2 Pro)
Great Britain 03/10/–06/10/2019