It was a premiere in high style. During China Rally Longyou ŠKODA Fabia R5 went through its debut in Asian-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) and despite difficult conditions the car was unbeatable. Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson won all the 13 special stages and with a strong lead they won even the overall classification of the rally.
Tidemand/Axelsson clinched their second important victory in two subsequent weekends. One week ago, they celebrated their maiden win for ŠKODA Motorsport team in World Rally Championship in WRC 2 category at the Rally Catalunya.
Regardless of demanding flight and seven hours of time difference they gave their rivals no chance during Rally China Longyou. The Swedes did the 230 kilometres of muddy gravel tracks and slippery concrete roads with deliberation and scored their fifth victory in six 2015 APRC events. Hard conditions are best illustrated by the number of the competitors forced to retire from the rally. One of them was Tidemand’s ŠKODA MRF team-mate Gaurav Gill, who retired already from the first leg.
“This rally demanded everything from us once again and showed what a fantastic tool we have in our ŠKODA Fabia R5,” said Tidemand delighted with the perfect end to the season. “Two such important wins in Spain and China within a week – Emil and I didn’t dare dream of that. Winning the title in the APRC is our highlight in a fantastic first year at ŠKODA. Thanks to the whole team.”
For the fourth time in a row, ŠKODA became winner of APRC manufacturers’ championship this year. Pontus Tidemand and Emil Axelsson became champions in APRC drivers and co-drivers classification.