Historic day for ŠKODA: The “Flying Finns” Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm are crowned World Champions. With their commanding victory at the Rally Australia, the ŠKODA works duo clinched the drivers’ and co-drivers’ title in the WRC2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) for the first time and were over the moon as they climbed onto the roof of the winning FABIA R5 after crossing the finish line.
ŠKODA Motorsport was also victorious in the team standings of the WRC2 and with this triple title celebrates one of the greatest successes in its 115-year history.
And the FABIA R5 was victorious again Down Under: With his victory in the final round of the world championship season in Australia, Esapekka Lappi catapulted himself to the top of the overall standings of the WRC2 with 130 points and as champion becomes the successor of Nasser Al-Attiyah. Second place in the drivers’ standings went to Lappi’s fellow Finn Teemu Suninen (120), who contested the season in a privateer ŠKODA FABIA R5 (Team Oreca). The championship victory is another milestone for ŠKODA: Juho Hänninen (FIN) was victorious in the S-WRC, the predecessor series of the WRC2, in the ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000 in 2011.
Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm’s victory was never in doubt on the approximate 280 classified kilometres of the Rally Australia on demanding gravel roads. With the best time on the first special stage on Friday, the Finns took the lead in the WRC2 and extended it steadily with further top times. Despite the dust and the heat, Lappi maintained a clear view at the wheel, won a total of 22 of the 23 stages, and finished with an impressive advantage of 4:35.8 minutes over brand colleague Nicolás Fuchs in a privateer ŠKODA FABIA R5. Esapekka Lappi set further milestones with his fourth win in a row. He gifted the ŠKODA works team its tenth victory and 25th podium for the FABIA R5 in the WRC2 since the new rally car made its debut at the Rally Portugal in May last year.
25-year-old Esapekka Lappi celebrates the greatest success of his career with the championship victory in the WRC2. He clinched the European Championship title in 2014, but this year’s victory over the best drivers and cars in the WRC2 class is to be rated even more highly.
|Rally Australia 2016 – WRC2 final results:|
|1.||Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm
|ŠKODA FABIA R5||2:53:38.0 hrs|
|2.||Nicolás Fuchs / Fernando Mussano
|ŠKODA FABIA R5||+ 4:35.8 min|
|3.||Hubert Ptaszek / Maciej Szczepaniak
|Ford Fiesta R5||+ 6:42.9 min|
The number of the Rally Australia: 4
Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm celebrated their fourth win in a row in the WRC2 category in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) at the Rally Australia, thereby clinching the drivers’ and co-drivers’ title. The spectacular winning streak began at home on gravel in Finland at the end of July, then came a victory on asphalt at the Rally Germany. At the Rally Great Britain, Lappi and Ferm were also unbeatable on muddy tracks, before they were crowned champions in Australia. But the season didn’t get off to a perfect start. Third place at the Rally Sweden was followed by ninth place at the Rally Italy on Sardinia and another third place at the Rally Poland. However, after that Lappi / Ferm were in a class of their own.