The ŠKODA Fabia R5 cars dominance of the Czech Rally Championship continues as Teemu Suninen extends ŠKODA’s WRC2 run to five successive victories.
Vojtěch Štajf impresses as Jan Kopecký claims fourth successive Rally Bohemia win.
The Rally Bohemia was the fourth round of the Czech Rally Championship and saw ŠKODA Motorsport pairing Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler claim their fourth successive win at this event, and their fourth of the season, to move closer to defending the title they won last year.
Their ŠKODA Fabia R5, which had an all-black livery to mark the 35th anniversary of cult Czech film Ferat Vampire, overcame the treacherous conditions caused by a huge storm just before the start of the rally which delayed the opening stage because of fallen trees, to win by a minute from their nearest rivals.
Behind them, there was another impressive drive from Vojtěch Štajf / František Rajnoha, who brought their Klokočka ŠKODA Czech National Team Fabia R5 (title photo above) home in fourth place overall. The pair endured a difficult opening leg in tough conditions but recovered steadily throughout the rest of the rally.
The next ŠKODA to make it home was actually a ŠKODA Fabia S2000, driven by Jan Jelínek / Petr Machů, who were in sixth place, one spot ahead of the German team Fabian Kreim / Frank Christian. They were pushing hard for a podium place in the opening three stages before a puncture on stage four saw them lose almost two and a half minutes and ten places before a solid second leg helped them climb back up to seventh.
Further down the field, Karel Trojan / Petr Chlup, driving for the Korno Motorsport team, came home in eleventh place overall.
There will now be a break before the next and penultimate round of the Czech Rally Championship, the Barum Czech Rally Zlín, which takes place from 26th to 28th August.
NEWS IN BRIEF
- Last weekend, the Rally Poland, the seventh round of the World Rally Championship, took place and it saw a fifth consecutive ŠKODA Fabia R5 victory in the WRC2 category. It was Finnish team Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula, driving for Team Oreca, who claimed their third win of the season to move within five points of the top of the WRC2 championship standings.
- In Ireland, Desi Henry drove an impressive rally at the ALMC Stages to finish in fifth place overall. He was the highest placed non-WRC car, and was competing in preparation for the next round of the British Rally Championship, the Nicky Grist Stages 100, which takes place this weekend (see preview below).
- In Romania, Dan Gîrtofan / Tudor Mârza were competing in the Rally Moldovei, the 5th round of the Romanian Rally Championship. They had won the first four stages and had a lead of 21.1 seconds before an incident on the fifth stage forced them to retire. They remain second in the Romanian Championship standings.
- Fabrice Bect / Arnaud Michal won the Rallye National de Saint-Marcellin in France by a comfortable margin of three minutes in their ŠKODA Fabia R5 ahead of a ŠKODA Fabia S2000 driven by Christophe Ganguet / Emmanuel Frison. The other Fabia R5 of Ludovic Gal / Olivier Belot succumbed to an accident.
- Still in France, the Rallye Régional de la Vallée du Prunelli saw Jean-Matthieu Leandri / Anthony Gorguilo steer their ŠKODA Fabia R5 to second place overall.
- Both Armin Kremer and Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari have confirmed they plan to take part in the Rallye Wartburg, the seventh round of the German Rally Championship, which takes place on 5th and 6th August, in preparation for the Rallye Deutschland, which takes place from the 19th to 21st August.
COMING UP THIS WEEKEND
Nicky Grist Stages 100
Builth Wells, Mid Wales; 9th and 10th July; 5th round of British Rally Championship; asphalt/gravel mixed event, 18 special stages, around 172km of competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 Teams:
David Bogie / Kevin Rae; Desi Henry / Liam Moynihan; Thomas Preston / Jack Morton
The Nicky Grist Stages 100 is the only mixed surface event on the British Rally Championship calendar; David Bogie won a maiden British victory for the ŠKODA Fabia R5 earlier this year in the Red Kite Stages, which took place on part of the same course as the Nicky Grist Stages 100.
Rallye Aveyron Rouergue – Midi Pyrénées
Rodez, southern France; 7th to 9th July; 5th round of French Tarmac Rally Championship; asphalt event, 10 special stages, around 206km of competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 Teams:
Sylvain Michel / TBC (Team 2C Yacco); Pierre Roché / Martine Roché (Team FJ Elf); Ludovic Gal / TBC (Team FJ Elf)
Pierre Roché / Martine Roché won this event back in 2011, and finished on the podium in third place in 2013; Sylvain Michel will be looking to extend his record of finishing on the podium in every round of the French Tarmac Rally Championship so far this season.
Rali do Faial / 100 à Hora
Madeira, Portuguese-administered island in the north Atlantic; 8th and 9th July; 6th round of Madeira Rally Championship; asphalt event, 7 special stages, around 60km of competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 Team:
Pedro Meireles / Mário Castro
This is the first time Pedro Meireles has competed in the Rali do Faial / 100 à Hora.