Veiby victorious again in Finland, Herczig continues 100% start to the season in Hungary and Saba seals CODASUR win in Rally de Catamarca, as successful season continues for the ŠKODA Fabia R5.
Ole Christian Veiby impresses in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 again with victory at the Enset Oy SM-Ralli
19-year-old Ole Christian Veiby (title photo above) took the win at the Enset Oy SM-Ralli, the fourth round of the Finnish Rally Championship. This victory made it back-to-back successes for the Norwegian and his co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen in the Finnish championship and was also just the second overall victory of Veiby’s fledgling career.
Both of these wins have come in just five events behind the wheel of a ŠKODA Fabia R5 and he was in a class of his own at this event, as he claimed victory by a margin of almost one minute. He won six of the nine stages and led the event from the second stage to the finish.
“This event was perfect, and it all went according to plan,” said Ole Christian Veiby. “It was a bit unusual at first. I had to spend the first two special stages getting going. But throughout the day, I found a nice rhythm, and I had the pace too.”
Ole Christian Veiby now sits joint top of the Finnish Rally Championship, but it is not yet clear how many more events he will be taking part in. The next round of the Finnish Rally Championship is the Ralli Turku, which takes place on 19th and 20th August.
Norbert Herczig overcomes conditions to continue his 100% record at the Veszprém Rallye
The ŠKODA Fabia R5 continued to dominate the Hungarian Rally Championship as Norbert Herczig and Igor Bacigál secured a fourth successive win of the season in the Veszprém Rallye and continued their 100% start to the season.
The fourth round of the Hungarian championship, consisted of 176 kilometres of competitive distance divided into 13 special stages and saw Herczig win seven stages, and overcome a modest start to lead from stage 5 to the end of the rally. They had to control their approach to cope with difficult conditions caused by a huge rainstorm on the evening of the first day. It almost cost them in the last stage when an incident saw them lose their front bumper, and brakes. They lost a minute but were still able to cling on for the win.
“We knew that this rally will be very difficult, but we did not expect the incredibly difficult conditions we had to contend with,” explained Norbert Herczig afterwards. “On the first day there were sunny sky and dry stages, and we were able to build up a big advantage. But after the rainstorm, it was a really nightmare to drive. The incident in the final stage cost us a minute, but everything is good in the end.”
Further down the field, János Puskádi and co-driver Barnabás Gódor finished in 20th place overall for the Eurosol Racing Team Hungary. Speaking afterwards, János was in an upbeat but realistic mood.
“This was our first experience with the new car on gravel,” said János Puskádi. “We enjoyed it very much, but it is clear that we still have a lot to learn.”
The next round of the Hungarian Rally Championship is not for another six weeks now, with the Székesfehérvár Rallye taking place from the 29th to 31st July.
Gustavo Saba wins Rally de Catamarca to secure another strong ŠKODA’s CODASUR result
Paraguayan Gustavo Saba won the Rally de Catamarca, the 3rd round of the CODASUR championship, to continue the ŠKODA Fabia R5’s excellent performances in the championship so far.
After Marcos Ligato and Didier Arias secured second and third places in the opening round, the Rally Trans-Itapúa, and Saba himself finished runner up in the Rally Internacional de Erechim, the first Fabia R5’s win of the season was secured here after a dramatic tussle with fellow Paraguayan driver Diego Dominguez.
It was Saba, ably assisted by co-driver Leonardo Suaya, who prevailed with a winning margin of just 9.5 seconds, and speaking after the race he was understandably elated.
“I’m very happy with this victory,” Gustavo Saba said afterwards. “Catamarca is a classic Argentinian rally and it was tough for us in our first drive here. But the car was amazing and we had no problems throughout the rally, which was crucial given the margin of victory. We have no time to celebrate through, as we must now prepare for the rescheduled Rally de La Madera next weekend.”
That event will be Gustavo Saba’s next outing, while the CODASUR championship returns on 26th August with the Rally Santa Cruz in Bolivia.
Dan Gîrtofan grinds out second place in the Danube Delta Rally
The 4th round of the Romanian Rally Championship took place over the weekend with the Danube Delta Rally and Dan Gîrtofan and co-driver Tudor Mârza gave everything they had before eventually finishing second overall.
They avoided incidents throughout and pushed the eventual winners all the way. In excellent conditions, the Romanian duo tried everything they could think of to overcome the Italian Simone Tempestini in the lead, but in the end had to settle for the runners up spot.
“It was a beautiful and interesting rally for us,” said Dan Gîrtofan at the finish. “We were blessed with excellent weather and we tried to keep a fast pace to stay in touch with Simone. We managed that, especially on the second day, but we just couldn’t quite find those extra resources to get ahead of him. It is still a great result for us though and we continue to fight for the championship.”
They remain in second place in the championship standings. The next event will be the Raliul Bacaului which takes place on 1st and 2nd July.
NEWS IN BRIEF
*** The World Rally Championship continued last weekend with the Rally Italia Sardegna, which saw a ŠKODA Fabia R5 win the WRC2 category for a fourth consecutive round. It was the Finnish team Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula, who tasted victory in a Team Oreca’s car, as four ŠKODA Fabia R5 finished in the top 5. You can read more in our rally review article. *** Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan took victory in their ŠKODA Fabia R5 at the Carlisle Stages in the UK by a margin of 38 seconds. The event, which is seen as a warm up for the next round of the British Rally Championship, also saw Thomas Preston/Jack Morton finishing eighth overall. *** In Paraguay, the Super Prime Autodromo Ruben Dumot event saw a ŠKODA Fabia R5 driven by Miguel Zaldivar/Fabrizio Zaldivar take the overall victory. *** Jean-Luc Roché/Alexandra Robin-Roché finished 2nd overall in the Rallye Régional du Lochois, a tarmac event which took place over a competitive distance of only around 40 km. It was Roché’s first rally behind the wheel of ŠKODA Fabia R5. *** In the regional Rally van Wervik in Belgium, there were two ŠKODA Fabia R5s on the podium as Hermen Kobus/Davy Thierie claimed second place, just over four seconds ahead of Melissa Debackere and Cindy Cokelaere in third.
COMING UP THIS WEEKEND
Rally Information: Žemaitija, north-west Lithuania. 17th to 18th June. 4th round of Lithuanian Rally Championship, 6th round of Latvian Rally Championship. Gravel event, 9 special stages, around 122 km of competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 teams: Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (TGS Worldwide OU); Kalle Rovanperä/Risto Pietiläinen (TGS Worldwide OU); Martynas Samuitis/Ramūnas Šaučikovas (RIMO Martin Sport)
Interesting Facts: Although technically the 4th round of the Lithuanian championship, and 6th round of the Latvian championship, with both competitions seeing two events cancelled so far, it is actually only the 2nd and 4th time respectively teams have competed this season. Kalle Rovanperä has won two of the first three events of the 2016 Latvian Rally Championship and currently sits first in the standings.
Rally Information: Hustopeče, Czech Republic. 17th to 18th June. 3rd round of Czech Rally Championship, 3rd round of Slovak Rally Championship. Tarmac event, 10 special stages, around 150 km of competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 teams: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Motorsport); Pavel Valoušek/Veronika Havelková (Energy Oil Motorsport); Vojtěch Štajf/František Rajnoha (Klokočka ŠKODA Czech National Team); Tomáš Kukučka/Peter Vejačka (KL Racing Team)
Interesting Facts: Jan Kopecký is the most successful driver in the history of the Rally Hustopeče, having won the event on four separate occasions, most recently last year. Jan Kopecký is looking to extend his 100% record in this year’s Czech Rally Championship.
Rallye du Limousin
Rally Information: Limoges, central France. 17th to 18th June. 4th round of French Tarmac Rally Championship. Tarmac event, 13 special stages, around 195 km of competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 teams: Sylvain Michel/Lara Vanneste (Team 2C Yacco); Pierre Roché/Martine Roché (Team FJ Elf)
Interesting Facts: Sylvain Michel has finished on the podium in all three events of French Tarmac Rally Championship this year and holds first place in the championship’s provisional classification.
Rally de La Madera
Rally Information: Caaguazú, central Paraguay, 180 km east of Asuncion. 17th to 18th June. 3rd round of the Paraguayan Rally Championship. Gravel event, 11 special stages, around 175km of competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 teams: Gustavo Saba/Leonardo Suaya; Didier Arias/Hector Nunes; Miguel Zaldivar /Claudio Bustos
Interesting Facts: This event has been rescheduled after inclement weather forced its cancellation on the original dates of 27th to 29th May. Gustavo Saba won this event in 2013 driving a ŠKODA Fabia S2000.
Rally della Marca Trevigiana
Rally Information: Montebelluna, near Venice, north-east Italy. 17th to 18th June. 4th round of Campionato Italiano WRC. Asphalt event, 9 special stages, around 120 km of competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 teams: Efrem Bianco/Dino Lamonato (Palladio); Walter Lamonato/Rudy Pollet (Rally Team SRL)
Interesting Facts: This is just the third event in which Efrem Bianco has driven a ŠKODA Fabia R5, while Walter Lamonato is making his first start in the car.