After last year’s cancellation, the Czech Rally Championship returns to foothills of the Bohemian Forest (also known as Šumava), where this year’s second round will take place. Among the 85 entrants fighting for the best times, there are 16 crews with a ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 or a Rally2 evo.
Although the ŠKODA Motorsport factory team will take part in this year's Czech Championship only at the home event Rally Bohemia, the involvement of the ŠKODA brand in the championship will start at the Rally Šumava Klatovy and will continue throughout the season. ŠKODA Czech Republic supports 7 dealer teams, which will fight for the Czech Rally Champion title in eight ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 and Rally2 evo cars. The foremost favourites in the upcoming battle on Šumava’s rally stages are two dealer crews, Jan Kopecký/Jan Hloušek and Filip Mareš/Radovan Bucha, who are currently top of the championship standings. Jan Kopecký is an especially experienced driver, who started his successful rally career at Rallye Šumava 2001, driving a ŠKODA OCTAVIA WRC.
The Rallye Šumava Klatovy 2021 will, as always, offer various challenges. First of these is the unpredictability of the weather. Even though the forecast promises cloudy weather with no rain, Šumava’s foothills can surprise you with unexpected rain showers or other weather changes. The crews must sometimes react during the stages, which can turn tyre selection into a lottery. The second challenge is the tarmac roads, which are often narrow and broken, forcing the drivers to cope with uneven grip. This is very demanding on the cars’ suspensions, especially the shock absorber settings. Thirdly, the crews will face brand new special stages which will test their ability to prepare precise pacenotes.
The rally starts, unusually, on the morning of Saturday, 8th May, with a half-circuit stage of Čínov, followed by three more stages, which the crews will complete on the Saturday afternoon. Overall, the first leg will offer 7 special stages, totalling 88 km. Sunday’s programme is slightly shorter, with 62 timed kilometres in two stages, driven in two runs each. Unfortunately, the whole rally must be run without spectators, who will be barred from both stages and the service park. The organizers will at least provide the experience via live footage and the latest rally events will also be shared on the ŠKODA Motorsport social media accounts.