Esben Hegelund claims Danish championship with fourth successive victory, David Bogie finishes on the podium in Britain as ŠKODA FABIA R5 cars dominate Rallye Deutschland too.
Esben Hegelund crowned Danish Rally Champion after winning Sydhavsrally
Esben Hegelund and Karsten Isaksen, who were driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 (title photo above) prepared and run by the Wevers Sport team, claimed victory at the Sydhavsrally in the Danish Rally Championship. The win was their fourth in a row and ensured they will be crowned Danish Rally Champions in the 4WD division, even though there are still two further rounds to take place.
The win didn’t come easily for the duo. The Sydhavsrally had no fewer than 17 stages making it twice as long as some other events on the Danish calendar. But Hegelund kept the FABIA R5 ahead of the pack and overcame a number of challenges to claim his maiden Danish Rally Championship crown.
On finishing, he seemed surprised to learn the title had been won.
Remarkably, Esben Hegelund has only driven four rallies in his ŠKODA FABIA R5 and has won them all, as well as a national championship. He will no doubt be keen to keep this 100% record over the final two events of the Danish championship.
David Bogie claims podium place in British championship at rain-affected Ulster Rally
The British Rally Championship resumed last weekend with the sixth and penultimate round, the Ulster Rally, taking place in Northern Ireland. The Ulster Rally is always a long and challenging one, with 14 stages and more than 215 km of competitive distance. And this year, it was made even harder with torrential rain showers making driving conditions difficult and tyre choices even harder.
So in the circumstances David Bogie and his co-driver James O’Reilly, driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 run by CA1 Sport team, were satisfied with their third place finish in the British championship standings and fourth overall.
The other entered FABIA R5, driven by Desi Henry / Liam Moynihan, was forced to retire on the tenth stage, but there were still two other ŠKODAs which finished inside the top 10. Martin McCormack / David Moynihan were driving a ŠKODA FABIA S2000 of the Tiger Risk Rally Team and finished 5th in the British Championship standings and sixth overall. Meanwhile, Joseph McGonigle / Ciaran Geaney were also competing in a FABIA S2000, and they claimed a hugely credible ninth-placed finish overall.
The final round of the British Rally Championship is the Isle of Man Rally which takes place from 15th to 17th September.
NEWS IN BRIEF
- The Rallye Deutschland proved to be a huge success for ŠKODA. Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm claimed their second successive WRC2 win ahead of teammates Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler who ensured a one-two result for ŠKODA Motorsport team. Of the 13 customer teams running FABIA R5s, there was also great results, with Armin Kremer / Pirmin Winklhofer ensuring a ŠKODA-only WRC2 podium and five FABIA R5 cars finishing in the top 6 of the WRC2 category. For more details see our Customer Teams rally review.
- At the SM Ralli Turku in Finland, Mikko Lehessaari / Reeta Hämäläinen finished in seventh place overall in their FABIA R5 for Hannu’s Rally Team. They were just 23 seconds behind the winner and having been second going into the final stage, were left cursing their misfortune after an issue on the final stage saw them drop back. “I am very satisfied to our speed and how it has developed,” commented Mikko Lehessaari. “Yet I am equally disappointed with the result of this rally.”
COMING UP THIS WEEKEND
Barum Czech Rally Zlín
Zlín, eastern Czech Republic; 26th to 28th August; 8th round of FIA European Rally Championship, 5th round of Czech Rally Championship; asphalt event, 15 special stages, around 230 km of competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA FABIA R5s:
Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Motorsport); Jaromír Tarabus / Daniel Trunkát (T&T Czech National Team); Ralfs Sirmacis / Arturs Šimins (Sports Racing Technologies); Pavel Valoušek / Veronika Havelková (Energy Oil Motorsport); Hermen Kobus / Davy Thierie (Kobus Tuning); Jan Černý / Petr Černohorský (Mogul Czech National Team); Fabian Kreim / Frank Christian; Tomáš Kostka / Ladislav Kučera (Rufa Sport); Antonín Tlusťák / Ivo Vybíral (Tlusťák Racing); Cédric Cherain / Filip Cuvelier; Vojtěch Štajf / František Rajnoha (Klokočka ŠKODA Czech National Team)
Jan Kopecký is the most successful driver in the history of the Barum Czech Rally Zlín with five wins under his belt already. Ralf Sirmacis, driving ŠKODA FABIA R5 of Sports Racing Technologies team, won already two FIA ERC events (Acropolis and Estonia) this season.
Rally del Friuli Venezia Giulia
Gemona del Friuli, north-east Italy; 26th to 28th August; 6th round of Italian Rally Championship, 7th round of Central European Zone; 4th round of Slovenian Rally Championship; asphalt event, 11 special stages, around 152 km of competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA FABIA R5s:
Umberto Scandola / Guido D’Amore (Car Racing); Albert von Thurn und Taxis / Bjorn Degandt (Wevers Sport)
Umberto Scandola / Guido D’Amore won this event back in 2013 in a ŠKODA FABIA S2000 by a margin of almost 4 minutes.
Rallye Terre de Lozère – Sud de France
Lozère, southern France; 26th to 28th August; 5th round of French Gravel Rally Championship; gravel event, 11 special stages, around 143 km of competitive distance.
Entered ŠKODA FABIA R5:
Julien Maurin / Olivier Ural
Going into this event, Julien Maurin / Olivier Ural sit in second place in the French gravel championship, just a single point behind the current leader.