While both Jan Kopecký and Kalle Rovanperä are preparing for a rally that is quite likely to bring them to the biggest successes of their respective careers so far, the rest of the team is focusing for the other aspects of the event. Tyre-eating tarmac. Dust. A change from gravel to tarmac settings in just 75 minutes.
And then, if everything goes well, it’s time for celebrations – Jan Kopecký will become the WRC 2 champion for the first time in his career, and Kalle Rovanperä still has a chance to complete an unprecedented 1-2-3 season victory for the team.
We asked the people in behind the scenes, the team’s technical chief Eric Mommey and team manager Pavel Hortek, about their thoughts on the upcoming rally.
On Friday, you will have just 75 minutes to completely change the car’s setup. Is it a big challenge? What’s hardest about it?
Technical chief Eric Mommey: Our mechanics are very well trained, and it is really no problem for us to change the car from gravel to tarmac setup. The bigger challenge is for the drivers to change from gravel to asphalt mood.
Which is more difficult – finding the right setup for gravel leg of the rally, or for the tarmac ones?
Eric Mommey: Thanks to our experience and the continuous work to improve our ŠKODA FABIA R5, the car copes very well on all kinds of surfaces.
Are you doing any special preparations based on weather forecast? They say that Catalunya eats tyres when its hot.
Eric Mommey: As I said, we have a lot of experience on this kind of roads and weather conditions. We are well supported by our tyre supplier Michelin and have all the data we need to make the right decisions. For sure it is up to the drivers to keep the tyres in good shape, especially on long stages, order to be fast from the start to the finish.
Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Will you have any time to go into the city’s streets
Team manager Pavel Hortek: It is really a shame that although Barcelona is really beautiful city, we have absolutely no time for sightseeing on the rally weekend
Are you planning any celebrations after the rally?
Pavel Hortek: First of all, we are focused on the rally and we would like to finish our 2018 WRC 2 campaign in style. It has been a very successful year for us so far and we will definitely celebrate it accordingly.
Interested what ŠKODA Motorsport drivers think about the rally? Read our previous article!