ŠKODA secures Manufacturers title in Belgian Rally Championship, while Cédric Cherain wins East Belgian Rally on his debut in a FABIA R5. Umberto Scandola wins Rally di Roma Capitale to keep his Italian title hopes alive and Esben Hegelund wins fifth rally in row in Denmark.

Cédric Cherain charges to East Belgian Rally victory

This year’s Belgian Rally Championship has been all about Freddy Loix and rightly so as the FABIA R5 driver, along with his co-driver Johan Gitsels, won each of the opening six rounds to wrap up the title long ago.

However, at the East Belgian Rally, which was the 8th round of the championship, the story was all about another driver in a ŠKODA FABIA R5. It was Cédric Cherain and his co-driver Renaud Herman who took the victory; a remarkable feat given that this was their very first outing in this car.

And this was no fluke result. Cherain (title photo above) was in dominant form and but for a small error on the opening stage, he may have led the rally from start to finish. In the end, he finished 24 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Chris Van Woensel, who was driving a more powerful WRC car.

Freddy Loix / Johan Gitsels, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Duindistel. East Belgian Rally 2016
Freddy Loix / Johan Gitsels, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Duindistel. East Belgian Rally 2016

Meanwhile, Freddy Loix / Johan Gitsels still ensured a place on the podium with a third place finish after receiving a 30-second penalty. And in doing so they ensured that ŠKODA would win the constructor’s title for this year.

There is still one final round of the Belgian Rally Championship to go, the Rallye du Condroz-Huy, which will take place from 4th to 6th November.

 

Umberto Scandola / Guido D'Amore, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Car Racing. Rally di Roma Capitale 2016
Umberto Scandola / Guido D’Amore, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Car Racing. Rally di Roma Capitale 2016

Umberto Scandola wins Rally di Roma Capitale to keep title hopes alive

Umberto Scandola and his co-driver Guido D’Amore enjoyed a hugely successful weekend for the ŠKODA Italia Motorsport team at the Rally di Roma Capitale in the penultimate round of the Italian Rally Championship.

In a series, where points are won for the finishing positions on the two individual legs, they came 2nd in a desperately close first leg, in which they won the opening stage and then fell back before chasing down the leader Paolo Andreucci and finishing just 0.5 seconds behind.

They then won three of the five stages in the second leg to secure overall victory by a margin of just 5.9 seconds. The result leaves them firmly in contention for the Italian championship title, which will be decided in the final event of the season.

Umberto Scandola / Guido D'Amore, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Car Racing. Rally di Roma Capitale 2016
Umberto Scandola / Guido D’Amore, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Car Racing. Rally di Roma Capitale 2016

There was also a decent performance at the Rally di Roma Capitale from Tonino di Cosimo / Paolo Francescucci, who took their ŠKODA FABIA R5 to 8th in the first leg and 5th in the second leg to secure a 6th place overall.

The crucial final rally of the Italian Rally Championship season, the Rally Due Valli, will take place in Verona from 14th to 16th October.

 

Esben Hegelund / Karsten Isaksen, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Hegelund Motorsport.
Esben Hegelund / Karsten Isaksen, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Hegelund Motorsport.

Fifth win on the spin for Danish champion Esben Hegelund

ŠKODA FABIA R5 driver Esben Hegelund and his co-driver Karsten Isaksen won the Rally Roskilde in the Danish Rally Championship by a margin of 31 seconds in their ŠKODA FABIA R5 to continue their impressive dominance of the season and secure a fifth successive victory.

After a slow start by his high standards, which was put down to making the wrong tyre choice, Hegelund won 12 of the 14 stages to claim an emphatic victory which ensure his 100% record in the 2016 Danish championship continues.

He had already secured the championship title before the start of this rally and speaking afterwards, Hegelund seemed to have enjoyed a slightly stronger challenge in this rally.

 

Raimund Baumschlager / Thomas Zeltner, ŠKODA FABIA R5, BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team. ŠKODA Rallye Liezen 2016 (Photo: BRR / Harald Illmer)
Raimund Baumschlager / Thomas Zeltner, ŠKODA FABIA R5, BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team. ŠKODA Rallye Liezen 2016 (Photo: BRR / Harald Illmer)

Battling Raimund Baumschlager has to settle for third at ŠKODA Rallye Liezen

The ŠKODA Rallye Liezen was the 6th and penultimate round of the Austrian Rally Championship and saw a thrilling battle in which the BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team-run ŠKODA FABIA R5 of Raimund Baumschlager / Thomas Zeltner was just pipped for second place.

With the admission of more powerful WRC cars into the Austrian championship, Baumschlager, who has dominated the series in recent years, has faced much more of a challenge. But he has held his own against his more powerful rivals and nowhere was this more apparent than here in Liezen.

He won two stages and came second in four more as he held second place for a long time, before just losing out on the final stage after falling victim to an incident and having to settle for third.

Another BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team’s FABIA R5, driven by Christian Mrlik / Pirmin Winklhofer, was in contention for a top 5 finish before an accident on the penultimate stage forced them to retire.

There was also an impressive drive from Andreas Aigner / Martin Rossgatterer in their BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team FABIA S2000. They managed to win two stages as well and were also in contention for a podium finish before being forced to retire.

The final round of the Austrian Rally Championship, the Rallye Waldviertel, will take place from 17th to 19th November.

 

 

Gaurav Gill / Stéphane Prévot, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Team MRF. Rally Hokkaido APRC 2016
Gaurav Gill / Stéphane Prévot, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Team MRF. Rally Hokkaido APRC 2016

NEWS IN BRIEF

  • Gaurav Gill made it four wins out of four in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with victory at the Rally Hokkaido in Japan. Alongside co-driver Stéphane Prévot and driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 prepared and run by Racetorque Engineering, their margin of victory was 1 minute 50 seconds. Just behind them were their team-mates Fabian Kreim / Frank Christian, who ensured a third ‘one-two’ result for the ŠKODA FABIA R5 cars in the APRC this season. For more details, see our APRC Rally Hokkaido review article.
  • In his debut rally in a ŠKODA FABIA R5, Surhayen Pernía and his co-driver Carlos del Barrio finished runners-up at the Rallye Villa de Llanes in the Spanish Rally Championship. They were just 1 minute and 5 seconds behind the overall winner.
  • The Pirelli Ralli Tampere saw another impressive debut drive in a FABIA R5 as Ville Hatanmaa and his co-driver Lasse Hirvijärvi finished 7th in class and 9th overall. In a very tight rally, they were just 1 minute and 25 seconds behind the overall winner. Meanwhile, Mikko Lehessaari / Reeta Hämäläinen were forced to retire on the final stage whilst in contention for a podium finish.
  • In the sixth round of the Estonian Rally Championship at the Tartu Ralli, Janne Vähämiko / Jani Salo managed to win one stage, but had to eventually settle for a fifth-placed finish overall.
  • At the Rallye Régional des Noix de Firminy, Loïc Bisson / Yoann Fildier claimed victory by a margin of 32 seconds in their first outing in a FABIA R5.
  • In Italy, the Rally di Roma Capitale was also a round of the Coppa Italia and in those standings, Gianluca D’Alto / Mirko Liburdi secured a 3rd place finish in their FABIA R5 for the Casarano Rally Team, while Stefano Giallatini / Davide Luciani finished 6th and were only denied 4th by a 1 minute penalty.

COMING UP THIS WEEKEND

Julien Maurin / Olivier Ural, ŠKODA FABIA R5. ADAC Rallye Deutschland 2016
Julien Maurin / Olivier Ural, ŠKODA FABIA R5. ADAC Rallye Deutschland 2016

Rallye de France – Tour de Corse

Rally Information:
Ajaccio, Bastia and Porto-Vecchio, Corsica, France; 29th September to 2nd October; 11th round of FIA World Rally Championship; asphalt event, 10 special stages, around 391km competitive distance.

Entered ŠKODA FABIA R5s:
Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Motorsport); Julien Maurin / Olivier Ural; Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula (Team Oreca); Sylvain Michel / Jérôme Degout (Equipe de France FFSA)

Interesting Facts:
Find out more about all ŠKODA Customer Teams taking part at the Tour de Corse in our preview article on SKODA-Motorsport.com tomorrow.

 

Gustavo Saba / Fernando Mussano, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Saba Competition. Rally Santa Cruz 2016
Gustavo Saba / Fernando Mussano, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Saba Competition. Rally Santa Cruz 2016

Transchaco Rally

Rally Information:
Autodromo Rubén Dumot, Paraguay; 30th September to 1st October; 6th round of Paraguayan Rally Championship; gravel event, 13 special stages, around 311km competitive distance.

Entered ŠKODA FABIA R5s:
Gustavo Saba / Fernando Mendonca; Pedro Fadul / Hans Thiede; Miguel Zaldivar / Victor Aguilera; Didier Arias / Humberto Tiago Dominguez

Interesting Facts:
The Transchaco Rally is inspired by the Safari Rally in Africa and cars will take on similar challenges to those encountered in the African bush; Gustavo Saba and Fernando Mendonca finished second here last year, missing out on a win by just 33 seconds; A ŠKODA FABIA R5 has won three of the five rounds of the Paraguayan championship this year, and there has been at least one on the podium in every event so far.

 

Vojtěch Štajf / František Rajnoha, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Klokočka ŠKODA Czech national team. Rally Bohemia 2016
Vojtěch Štajf / František Rajnoha, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Klokočka ŠKODA Czech national team. Rally Bohemia 2016

Rally Příbram

Rally Information:
Příbram, central Czech Republic; 30th September to 2nd October; 6th round of Czech Rally Championship; asphalt event, 14 special stages, around 152km competitive distance.

Entered ŠKODA FABIA R5s:
Jan Černý / Petr Černohorský (Mogul Racing Team); Vojtěch Štajf / František Rajnoha (Klokočka ŠKODA Czech National Team); Jan Sýkora / Štěpán Palivec (KL Racing Team); Karel Trojan / Petr Chlup (Korno Motorsport)

Interesting Facts:
A ŠKODA FABIA R5 has won every round of the Czech Rally Championship this year, and with Jan Kopecký having already wrapped up the title, Jan Černý and Vojtěch Štajf will be competing here to secure the runners-up spot too.

 

János Puskádi / Barnabás Gódor, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Eurosol Racing Team Hungary. Rally Opatija 2016
János Puskádi / Barnabás Gódor, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Eurosol Racing Team Hungary. Rally Opatija 2016

Croatia Rally

Rally Information:
Poreč, north-eastern Croatia; 29th September to 1st October; 11th round of Central European Zone (CEZ) Rally Championship, 5th round of Croatian Rally Championship, 6th round of Slovenian Rally Championship; asphalt event, 12 special stages, around 185km competitive distance.

Entered ŠKODA FABIA R5:
János Puskádi / Barnabás Gódor (Eurosol Racing Team Hungary)

Interesting Facts:
János Puskádi finished second in the CEZ standings here last season in a FABIA S2000; The last ŠKODA team to win here were Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler who were driving for the official ŠKODA Motorsport team back in 2013, when the event was still part of the FIA European Rally Championship calendar.

 
 
 

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