Mission accomplished! Once again, the ŠKODA Fabia R5 proved its notable reliability, while getting quicker with each rally. These ingredients are hard to beat not only on Czech rally circuit. Jan Kopecký with Pavel Dresler have shown it on ŠKODA’s home turf, when they won the popular Rally Bohemia for the third time in a row. This rally, ran in the vicinity of Mladá Boleslav, also moved the ŠKODA Motorsport works team much closer to the championship title.
The ŠKODA Motorsport planners didn’t have a hard time preparing team tactics for Rally Bohemia. The star trio Kopecký – Dresler – Fabia R5 took the easiest route to victory. They dictated the pace on Saturday and just checked the lead on Sunday. „With the lead we built on Saturday, I decided not to risk too much on Sunday and in some places, we were driving for spectators, laying rubber on the road“, Kopecký explained why he gave up three of the best times to his team colleague Lappi.
The Finn worked hard to erase the loss caused by the Saturday’s puncture. He did it so vigorously he reached the average speed of 122km/h at the „Lobeč“ special stage, cancelling its afternoon run. His pace meant that according to the rules, the safe limit for average speed was exceeded. This meant that the leg had only 5 stages instead of planned 6, but even that was enough for Kopecký and Dresler to finish their victory run and for Lappi and Ferme to move to the fourth place.
Václav Pech with his Mini Countryman had to settle for silver, having already given up any hopes to go for victory on Saturday. He knew that this time, he can’t match his biggest rival Kopecký and his 51-second lead. „I don’t know what they did to the car, but it was something that made it incredibly quicker“, wondered Pech about the furious pace of Kopecký’s green-white R5. Jan Dohnal was on the way to a great result, but in the final part of the rally, his ex-works Focus WRC stopped. This meant unexpected bronze medal for Štěpán Vojtěch and his aging Peugeot 206 WRC which, unlike Dohnal’s Focus, withstood the frenzied pace. Pavel Valoušek traditionally managed to bring the fastest Fabia Super 2000 to the finish line. Of the ten first places in the Rally Bohemia, five are occupied by ŠKODA cars. Not a bad score on home turf, isn’t it? The Czech championship continues with Barum Czech Rally Zlín at the end of August.