The ŠKODA Motorsport works team confirmed its multiyear dominance in Czech Rally Championship and claimed a double victory in Rally Bohemia. This was the first outing in the Czech Republic for the Finnish crew of Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen.
Rally Bohemia is one of the traditional rounds of the Czech Rally Championship. As it takes place around Mladá Boleslav, it is considered to be ŠKODA Motorsport’s home rally. From its beginning in 1974 until the mid-1980s it was actually called Rally ŠKODA, but it was renamed Rally Bohemia because the FIA rules forbid rally names connected with a carmaker. On the winding tarmac roads, the spectators could watch some real jewels of rally cars: Fast Ford Escorts roamed here, the Audi Sport works team took two victories here and several other Group B cars appeared here, like the Lancia 037 and the Opel Ascona 400.
Since the 1970s, the fans have also been able to see the best of ŠKODA’s works team. All the best Czech crews raced here, as well as the many international drivers who have represented the ŠKODA name on the world stage. Names like John Haugland, Stig Blomqvist, Bruno Thiry, Juho Hänninen, Esapekka Lappi and many others appear on the entry lists, showing off all the ŠKODA rally cars at full pace.
The ŠKODA 130 RS took the laurels five times, the ŠKODA OCTAVIA WRC four times, the ŠKODA FABIA WRC two times, the FABIA S2000 five times and the FABIA R5 five times - so far! In 2004, the reigning WRC 2 Champion Jan Kopecký claimed his first victory with a WRC car in factory colours. Since then, he has managed to bring his total number of victories to nine. This year, his teammate Kalle Rovanperä, who is currently at the top of WRC 2 Pro overall standings, blocked him from rounding that number up to ten when he became the youngest ever driver to win a rally in the Czech Rally Championship.
After two victories in Portugal and Sardinia, the ŠKODA Motorsport works team came to Rally Bohemia with its strongest line-up yet, and for the first time offered the Finnish crew an opportunity to taste a traditional home rally. How did Kalle like the Czech stages, and how did he enjoy the battle with Jan Kopecký? Watch our video!