Armin Kremer cruises to Rallye Wartburg win, Mikko Lehessaari copies his result at the Xerox Ralli in Finland and Gaurav Gill clinches third victory in row in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship in China.
Armin Kremer raises WRC hopes with dominant win at the Rallye Wartburg
At the Rallye Wartburg, the seventh round of the German Rally Championship, there was a great performance from Armin Kremer / Pirmin Winklhofer (title photo above). Kremer, a three-time German rally champion, took victory by a margin of 28 seconds from his nearest rival and put in a hugely dominant performance throughout the event.
The German duo, who were driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 of the BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team, won a remarkable fifteen of the event’s eighteen stages and led from start to finish.
They were taking part in preparation for the upcoming ADAC Rallye Deutschland in the World Rally Championship (WRC), and will go into that event on a high after excelling this weekend.
And it was not just Kremer, who will be pleased with the outcome of this event. There was another ŠKODA on the podium, as Dominik Dinkel / Christina Kohl continued to impress in their ŠKODA FABIA S2000 of the Brose Motorsport, finishing third. They also remain third in the championship standings.
And Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari / Killian Duffy, who were also taking part here ahead of the next round of the WRC, will also be pleased to have brought their ŠKODA FABIA R5 home in fifth place overall. It was only one error, on stage 15 (the Power Stage) which cost them what would probably have been a podium finish too.
With German Rally Championship leaders Fabian Kreim / Frank Christian missing this event to drive in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, their lead was cut to just 9 points. All eyes will now be on the next round of the championship, the Rallye Niedersachsen, which will take place on 9th and 10th September.
Mikko Lehessaari secures Xerox Ralli win as Finnish rally season revs up again
At the Xerox Ralli in Finland, there was a very impressive drive by Mikko Lehessaari and his co-driver Reeta Hämäläinen.
They were driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 of Hannu’s Rally Team and looking to get some time behind the wheel after a two-month break, ahead of the re-start of the Finnish Rally Championship. And they secured a comfortable victory by a margin of more than 40 seconds.
It was a dominant performance from the Finnish duo, who have had mixed fortunes in their debut season in a FABIA R5, but will be keen to build on their dominance here.
The next round of the Finnish Rally Championship will be the Ralli Turku on 19th and 20th August.
NEWS IN BRIEF
- In the third round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) at the China Rally Zhangye, Gaurav Gill / Glenn Macneall clinched their third consecutive APRC victory to extend their championship lead. They finished second overall in their ŠKODA FABIA R5, which has been prepared by Racetorque Engineering and run under the banner of ŠKODA MRF team. Fabian Kreim / Frank Christian finished third in the ARC standings. Read more in our rally review article.
- It was the first time the Rally Rzeszow had been on the European Rally Championship calendar, and unsurprisingly home drivers dominated the leaderboard. Raul Jeets / Andrus Toom finished ninth for the Sports Racing Technologies team in their ŠKODA FABIA R5, one place ahead of Antonín Tlusťák / Ivo Vybíral. And just behind them in eleventh were Filip Nivette / Kamil Heller.
- At a really tight Rali Vinho da Madeira, Miguel Campos / Victor Calado finished just 40 seconds of the leader, but in fifth place. Pedro Meireles / Mário Castro came seventh, while Miguel Barbosa / Miguel Ramalho came ninth for the BP Ultimate ŠKODA team.
- In the UK, Thomas Preston and Jack Morton were using the Tyneside Stages Rally to prepare for the next British Rally Championship (BRC) event. They set impressive times in the stages and ended up fourth overall. “Overall I am really happy with the performance from last weekend, especially as it’s only the second time out in tarmac in the car,” said Thomas Preston. “I feel that we can go faster still and I am now really looking forward to the next BRC round at Isle of Man Rally next month.”
- At the Ronde AC Brescia – Memorial Gianmario Mazzoli event in Italy, Ilario Bondioni / Elia Ungaro finished in second place in their ŠKODA FABIA R5 of the DP Autosport team.
COMING UP THIS WEEKEND
Rally Acosta Ñu
Cordillera region, east of Asunción Paraguay; 12th to 14th August; 5th round of Paraguayan Rally Championship; gravel event, 10 special stages, around 175 km of timed sections.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 Teams:
Gustavo Saba / Fernando Mussano; Pedro Fadul / Hans Thiede; Miguel Zaldivar / Victor Aguilera; Didier Arias / Hector Nunes
Gustavo Saba’s co-driver Fernando Mussano came third in this event last year, alongside Miguel Zaldivar Sr, the father of the Miguel Zaldivar who will be driving another ŠKODA FABIA R5 this year.
Lubeník, central Slovakia; 12th to 14th August; 5th round of Slovak Rally Championship; asphalt event, 8 special stages, around 90 km of timed sections.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 Teams:
Pavel Valoušek /Veronika Havelková (Energy Oil Motorsport); Tomáš Kukučka / Peter Vejačka (KL Racing); Jan Černý /Petr Černohorský (Mogul Team Racing); Věroslav Cvrček / TBC (L Racing)
Back in 2013, ŠKODA cars managed to claim all three podium places at this event. Grzegorz Grzyb won in his ŠKODA FABIA S2000 ahead of Pavel Valoušek in second, while Matthias Kahle came third in his ŠKODA FABIA WRC.
Rally van Staden
Staden, north-west Belgium; 15th August; Belgian regional event; asphalt event, 12 special stages, around 110 km of timed sections.
Entered ŠKODA Fabia R5 Team:
Vincent Verschueren / Veronique Hostens
It was a ŠKODA FABIA R5 which won this event last year, driven by Hermen Kobus / Erik de Wild.