Norbert Herczig is crowned 2016 Hungarian Rally Champion as he extends his perfect season with a fifth successive win, as Gustavo Saba also seals another win in Paraguay.
Norbert Herczig scores the fifth win of the season at the Székesfehérvár Rallye
At the Székesfehérvár Rallye, Norbert Herczig and his co-driver Igor Bacigál claimed their fifth victory in five Hungarian Rally Championship events to secure the championship with three rallies still to go.
Herczig, who was driving a FABIA R5 prepared by the BRR team for ŠKODA Rally Team Hungaria (title photo above), faced a stern test from János Tóth at the start of the rally, which saw him running second for a large part of the event. The two were nip and tuck until stage 8, when puncture damage saw Tóth forced to retire, and Herczig regained the lead with a comfortable advantage over the rest of the field.
In the end, the margin of victory was 50.1 seconds, and saw Herczig continue his perfect season in the ŠKODA FABIA R5. He also ensured no other driver can catch his points total as he wrapped up his third Hungarian Rally Championship title.
Norbert Herczig’s quest for a perfect season in the Hungarian Rally Championship will continue from the 9th to 11th September, when the sixth round sees drivers head across the border to Slovakia for the Rally Košice.
Success for Saba in Paraguay as he secures second successive win
In Paraguay, the Rally del Alto Paraná was dominated by Gustavo Saba and his co-driver Fernando Mussano. They won no fewer than twelve of the fourteen special stages over the two legs of the event and led from start to finish to claim a second victory in a row in the Paraguayan Rally Championship.
They encountered a few minor technical problems with their ŠKODA FABIA R5 during the shakedown, but with their mechanics in constant communication with ŠKODA HQ throughout the rally they kept the car performing to its limit. It finished with an impressive average speed of close to 127 km/h.
It is another ŠKODA FABIA R5 team, Didier Arias / Hector Nunes, who currently lead the way in the championship and they secured a fourth consecutive podium finish here after coming home in third place. They were pushing hard for second throughout, but wound up less than three seconds behind Thiago Weiler. One place further back in fourth was the ŠKODA FABIA R5 of Miguel Zaldivar / Victor Aguilera.
The fascinating battle for the Paraguayan Rally Championship will continue with round five, the Rally Acosta Ñu, which takes place from 12th to 14th August.
COMING UP THIS WEEKEND
Rzeszów, southern Poland; 4th to 6th August; 7th round of European Rally Championship, 3rd round of Polish Rally Championship, 6th round of CEZ Championship; asphalt event, 13 special stages, around 214 km competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 Teams:
Raul Jeets / Andrus Toom (Sports Racing Technologies); János Puskádi / Barnabás Gódor (Eurosol Racing Team Hungary); Antonín Tlusťák / Ladislav Kučera (Tlusťák Racing); Filip Nivette / Kamil Heller
Filip Nivette won the previous round of the Polish Rally Championship, the Rally Gdańsk, and currently sits third in the championship after two rallies.
Rali Vinho de Madeira
Madeira, island off south-west Portugal; 4th to 6th August; 5th round of Portuguese Rally Championship; asphalt event, 19 special stages, around 201 km competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 Teams:
Pedro Meireles / Mário Castro; Miguel Campos / Victor Calado; Miguel Barbosa / Miguel Ramalho (BP Ultimate ŠKODA Team)
Pedro Meireles / Mário Castro finished second in the Portugal Championship standings at this event back in 2013; In 2010, the ŠKODA FABIA S2000 secured a podium lockout at this event, with Freddy Loix tasting victory ahead of runner-up Jan Kopecký, with Juho Hänninen in third place.
Eisenach, central Germany; 5th to 7th August; 7th round of German Rally Championship; asphalt event, 18 special stages, around 120 km competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 Team:
Armin Kremer / Pirmin Winklhofer (BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team); Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari / Killian Duffy
ŠKODA Fabia R5 driver Fabian Kreim has won the last three German Rally Championship events, but misses this rally as he is travelling to compete in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) at the Rally China this weekend.