ŠKODA celebrated a commanding one-two-three-four result at the Rally Germany 2016 and thereby continued their impressive run of success in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Just as they did three weeks ago at the Rally Finland, the ŠKODA works duo Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm in the FABIA R5 brought home a commanding win in the WRC2 category.
Their team-mates at ŠKODA Motorsport, Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler, crossed the finish line in second place, thereby clinching the one-two result for the team from Mladá Boleslav.
Victory in the WRC2 category was decided on Saturday, the longest day at the Rally Germany. While the rally was characterised by twisting asphalt tracks through the Mosel vineyards around the rally centre of Trier on Friday and Sunday, Saturday was all about the legendary Panzerplatte. This is a section of track on the military training ground of Baumholder, which is characterised by medium-speed tracks on a mix of asphalt roads and slabs of concrete. On this stage, a clever tyre selection and a controlled offensive in changeable weather conditions saw Lappi quickly take the lead and go on to pull away from his rivals with several best times.
Team-mate Kopecký, initially slowed down by tyre damage on Friday morning, worked his way up from fifth place into second place during this phase. On the three closing special stages on Sunday, the two ŠKODA works drivers controlled the action and thereby clinched ŠKODA’s seventh successive victory in the WRC2.
Victory at the Rally Germany sees Lappi move up into third place in the WRC2 overall standings (82 points). ŠKODA Motorsport also took the lead in the team standings (125 points).
The ŠKODA works duo Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson, who also contested the Rally Germany in the FABIA R5, but are not registered for the WRC2 classification, were convincing in an impressive eighth place in the overall standings of the rally.
In addition to the ŠKODA works drivers, ŠKODA customer teams completed the Czech automobile manufacturer’s very good result at the Rally Germany. Armin Kremer / Pirmin Winklhofer in the FABIA R5 took the final spot on the purely ŠKODA podium at the award ceremony at Porta Nigra. The Belgian duo of Ghislain de Mevius / Johan Jalet finished in fourth place in their FABIA R5. Bernhard ten Brinke / Davy Thierie, also in a FABIA R5 competing in ŠKODA Motorsport’s customer racing programme, came sixth. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari / Killian Duffy finished in tenth place.
|Rally Germany 2016 – WRC2 final result:|
|1.||Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm
|ŠKODA FABIA R5||3h09m03.5s|
|2.||Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler
|ŠKODA FABIA R5||+ 1m07.4s|
|3.||Armin Kremer / Primin Winklhofer
|ŠKODA FABIA R5||+ 1m33.8s|
|4.||Ghislain de Mevius / Johan Jalet
|ŠKODA FABIA R5||+ 2m36.1s|
|5.||Pierre Loubet / Vincent Landais
|Citroën DS3 R5||+ 3m42.0s|
The number for the rally: 16
The ŠKODA FABIA R5 made its mark on the 2016 Rally Germany. Between Friday and Sunday, 16 special stages were held on the demanding asphalt and concrete routes around the rally centre in Trier – and the WRC2 category was won by a ŠKODA team on all 16 stages. Nine stage wins went to the second-placed ŠKODA works duo of Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler. The winners, their team-mates Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm, clocked the fastest time on six stages. Armin Kremer / Pirmin Winklhofer won two special stages, while the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland duo of Fabian Kreim / Frank Christian also achieved a stage win at their home rally. Remarkably, Kopecký and Lappi shared victory on two special stages, having clocked exactly the same time, right down to a tenth of a second.