Jan Kopecký with Pavel Dresler became the 2015 Czech Champions. And what’s even more important, ŠKODA Fabia R5 is, in its premiere season, the most successful rally car in its home country, as proven during Barum Czech Rally Zlín – the peak of the Czech rally season. The dream year continues.
Heat, heat and more heat. The Barum Rally was truly a difficult one, with temperatures inside the cars rising even over 70 degrees Celsius. The works crew coped well with the searing heat and their green-white Fabia R5 missile stayed in the lead for the whole duration of the race. The Saturday’s first leg was about building the lead. On Sunday, it was enough to just keep the pace. “We don’t have to win all the stages, now it’s just about finishing”, Kopecký said about the change in tactics before second leg.
And he did like he said. He used clever, fluid driving without unnecessary risk to maintain his half-minute lead against the biggest foe, Václav Pech. He did not pursue the victory in each and every stage too viciously, but he still managed to achieve one. Pech got one victory as well and likewise, he focused just on keeping the position. The last place on the podium belonged to Kajetan Kajetanowicz from Poland, fourth place went to Belarus driver Alexey Lukyanuk. Kajetanowicz cemented his lead in European Championship, as his biggest rival Craig Breen only managed to get to the 7th place after a series of punctures. Pavel Valoušek and Jan Černý, both driving ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, ended up on very decent 5th and 6th place, respectively. Cars from Mladá Boleslav comprised whole half of the first ten runners, with Hermen Kobus from Netherlands driving his ŠKODA Fabia R5 to the 8th place and Jan Jelínek with ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 finishing tenth.
Kopecký’s win means that the driver from Kostelec nad Orlicí became a record holder on famous Barum Rally. He won it for the fourth time, a feat no one managed before. At the same time, he secured the Czech championship title for himself. Out of 5 championship rallies in our country, he won all 5 and he can’t be defeated anymore, even though the’re one race left i the Championship – a rally sprint in the vicinity of Klatovy. “It was a great weekend, thanks to the whole ŠKODA Motorsport team. Our car is really fast and reliable, which is important for us”, conclude Jan Kopecký after “tropical” Barum Czech Rally Zlín 2015, as well as his highly successful rallye season.