Podium results in Austria, Slovakia and Romania, as the ŠKODA Fabia R5 continues to make its mark in championships across Europe.
Raimund Baumschlager battles to runners-up spot in impressive Rallye Weiz performance
In the fifth round of the Austrian Rally Championship at the Rallye Weiz, there was another impressive performance from Raimund Baumschlager (title photo above) who finished the rally in second place, just 20 seconds behind the eventual winner.
Baumschlager, who has won the last four editions of the Rallye Weiz, has a fresh challenge this season with the addition of WRC cars to the championship, but once again he more than held his own against his more powerful rivals.
Along with co-driver Thomas Zeltner, Baumschlager won the opening five stages of the first leg to finish the first day in the overall lead. He also won another three stages on the second day, but an error on stage 8 cost him the lead to championship rival Hermann Neubauer, he was unable to make up the difference and take his BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team ŠKODA Fabia R5 home in first place.
And they were not the only ŠKODA Fabia R5 to impress in the Rallye Weiz, as a hugely impressive performance from Albert von Thurn und Taxis and his co-driver Bjorn Degandt saw them finish in seventh place overall in only their third outing in the car.
The next round of the Austrian Rally Championship is the ŠKODA Rallye Liezen which takes place on 23rd and 24th September.
Pavel Valoušek builds Slovak championship lead with second place at the Rally Tatry
Pavel Valoušek and his co-driver Veronika Havelková remain at the top of the Slovak Rally Championship standings after finishing second at the Rally Tatry in the fourth round of the championship.
The rally, which was much changed from previous years, saw two ŠKODA cars competing for the lead for much of the event, as Valoušek’s ŠKODA Fabia R5, in the colours of the Energy Oil Motorsport team, pushed the more powerful ŠKODA Fabia WRC of the Xiqio Rally Team and driver Tomáš Ondrej all the way.
Valoušek ended up just 32 seconds behind, but with championship rival Grzegorz Grzyb failing to finish, it proved to be an excellent result.
There was also a strong showing from the KL Racing team of Tomáš Kukučka / Peter Vejačka who brought their ŠKODA Fabia R5 home in sixth place overall.
The next round of the Slovak Rally Championship is the Rally Lubeník which will take place between 12th and 14th August.
Dan Gîrtofan frustrated with the third place at the Transilvania Rally
The Transilvania Rally was the sixth round of the Romanian Rally Championship and it proved to be a frustrating weekend for the sole ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the field as Dan Gîrtofan and co-driver Tudor Mârza could only come home in third place.
They ended up one minute and thirty seconds behind the eventual winners and the result ensured that they will finish the season in at least second place in the championship standings. But with just two rallies remaining, it will take something really special for them to overcome the lead currently held by Simone Tempestini.
They will next try to close the gap on the championship leaders during the seventh and penultimate rally of the Romanian rally season, the Raliul Iasului, which takes place on 9th and 10th September.
COMING UP THIS WEEKEND
Székesfehérvár, south-west of Budapest, Hungary; 29th to 31st July; 5th round of Hungarian Rally Championship; asphalt event, 10 special stages.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 Teams:
Norbert Herczig / Igor Bacigál (Herczig Autósport); János Puskádi / Barnabás Gódor (Eurosol Racing Team Hungary)
Norbert Herczig is unbeaten this season in the Hungarian Rally Championship with four wins out of four so far; Herczig won this rally back in 2014 in a ŠKODA Fabia S2000, but came second last year by a margin of just 4.3 seconds, having incurred a 10 second penalty along the way too.
Rally del Alto Paraná
Alto Paraná, south-east Paraguay; 29th to 31st July; 4th round of Paraguayan Rally Championship; gravel event, 10 special stages, around 200km competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 Teams:
Gustavo Saba / Fernando Mussano; Pedro Fadul / Hans Thiede; Miguel Zaldivar / Victor Aguilera; Didier Arias / Hector Nunes
Didier Arias has finished in all three positions on the podium in the opening three rallies of the Paraguayan Championship; He also finished second at this event the last time it was run in 2014.
Horažďovice, south-west Czech Republic; 29th and 30th July; 3rd round of Czech Rallysprint Championship; asphalt event, 8 special stages, around 73km competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 Team:
Jan Sýkora / Štěpán Palivec (KL Racing Team); Tomáš Kostka / Ladislav Kučera (BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team); Matthias Kahle / Christian Doerr; Zdeněk Pokorný / TBC
Tomáš Kostka is a former circuit racing specialist who drove for the Czech National Team in former A1GP series and has competed in the Le Mans 24 hours race. But he is also an accomplished rally driver and achieved some fine results with the ŠKODA Fabia S2000 back in 2011/12. This is his first event in a ŠKODA Fabia R5; This event will be Matthias Kahle’s second rally in the Czech Republic this season, after Rallye Šumava Klatovy. As this is held nearby, it seems German ddriver is a big fan of this part of Czech Republic.