A dominant Pontus Tidemand’s win in Sweden, positive Rallye de France – Tour de Corse result for Julien Maurin, while Vojtěch Štajf and Jan Černý deliver in Příbram in the Czech Rally Championship.
Julien Maurin digs in to post solid Tour de Corse result
The eleventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) took place last weekend, with the Rallye de France – Tour de Corse drawing drivers, teams and fans from across the globe to Corsica. And with Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler finishing in second place in the WRC2 standings for the ŠKODA Motorsport team, there was also some good performances from our customer teams.
Julien Maurin and his co-driver for this event Gilles Thimonier finished in fourth place with the FABIA R5 prepared and run by the 2C Compétition team (title photo above), missing out on a podium place by just 30 seconds. Having won in the WRC2 standings here last year, Maurin drove a sensible and composed rally in the opening two legs, surviving both a puncture and a spin and posting some fast times towards the end of the second day.
On the final day, he also pushed hard, coming third in the WRC2 standings on the penultimate stage, but still had to settle for fourth place overall.
Just behind Maurin were Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula. The Finnish drivers, who were competing for Team Oreca, were not entered into the WRC2 for this event but ended up 5th amongst the RC2 class vehicles.
They had to work hard too after struggling with a new approach to breaking on the first leg, but a strong showing on the final day brought them up to a respectable finish by the end.
The other FABIA R5 taking part, which was also not entered into the WRC2 standings, was driven by Sylvain Michel / Jérôme Degout under the Equipe de France FFSA banner. They were actually forced to retire on the opening day of the event but were allowed to rejoin the event on Day Two under Rally2 rules.
With nothing to lose they threw themselves into the final two legs with gusto and posted some hugely impressive times on the way to a seventh place finish in the RC2 standings.
The next round of the FIA World Rally Championship will be the RallyRACC Catalunya – Costa Daurada, which takes place from 13th to 16th October.
Pontus Tidemand cruises to dominant victory in guest appearance at Rally Uppsala
The Rally Uppsala was the seventh round of the Swedish Rally Championship and saw a convincing win on home soil for ŠKODA Motorsport’s driver Pontus Tidemand and his co-driver Jonas Andersson.
This guest appearance was their first Swedish event since the weather-affected Rally Sweden back in February. And they showed some world class speed to secure victory by a margin of more than two minutes and 30 seconds.
Tidemand was using the event as a warm-up for the next round of the FIA World Rally Championship in Spain and it was billed as a battle between him and former WRC driver Per-Gunnar Andersson, who was driving a ŠKODA FABIA WRC. But after his rival was forced out of the event in the opening stage, Tidemand didn’t rest on his laurels.
After the opening two stages of the rally, which took place in the Friday evening darkness, Tidemand already had a lead of 40 seconds. And he extended this by winning all eleven stages to claim an extremely comfortable victory.
Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson will next be competing in their FABIA R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship at the RallyRACC Catalunya – Costa Daurada, which takes place from 13th to 16th October.
Vojtěch Štajf claims podium finish at Rally Příbram as Jan Černý wraps up second place in Czech championship
The Rally Příbram was the sixth and final round of the Czech Rally Championship and with Jan Kopecký having already secured the title and not taking part here, it was down to the other FABIA R5 drivers to battle it out instead.
It was Vojtěch Štajf / František Rajnoha, who performed best, securing a podium spot with a third-place finish overall; a result which also ensured they end the season in third place in the overall championship standings.
They were totally consistent across the first half of the rally, which was impressive given that Štajf was suffered from the effects of pneumonia. After treatment, they stepped up their pace and a win and two second places in the final four stages secured the Klokočka ŠKODA Czech National Team driver his podium finish.
Meanwhile, Jan Černý and his co-driver Petr Černohorský finished just outside the podium places in fourth; a result which ensures they will finish runners-up in this year’s Czech Rally Championship driver standings.
Driving for the Mogul Racing Team, they found themselves engaged in a number of duels throughout the event, including with Vojtěch Štajf, whom they ended up just 21 seconds behind. But it was enough to ensure they finished second behind Jan Kopecký in the championship.
Elsewhere, the other FABIA R5, driven by Karel Trojan / Petr Chlup for the Korno Motorsport team, finished the Rally Příbram in sixth place overall.
NEWS IN BRIEF
- In the Trofeo Rally Terra in Italy, at the Rally Costa Smeralda – Sardegna, Federico Della Casa and his co-driver Domenico Pozzi claimed overall victory in a ŠKODA FABIA R5 for the 3 Antenne Sport Racing team. They won 7 of the 13 stages to finish 45 seconds ahead of the ŠKODA FABIA S2000 of Daniele Ceccoli / Cristiana Biondi. Ceccoli retains the lead in the championship standings with one rally to go, but Della Casa can also still win the title.
- At the Croatia Rally, János Puskádi / Barnabás Gódor were competing in their FABIA R5 for the Eurosol Racing Team Hungary. They finished in seventh place overall and were fairly happy with their showing. “It was a great event, without any technical issues,” said János Puskádi afterwards.
COMING UP THIS WEEKEND
Nicosia, central Cyprus; 7th to 9th October; 10th round of FIA European Rally Championship; mixed surface (gravel/asphalt) event, 14 special stages, around 214km of competitive distance
Entered ŠKODA FABIA R5s:
Ralfs Sirmacis / Arturs Šimins (Sports Racing Technologies); Marijan Griebel / Pirmin Winklhofer; Nikolay Gryazin / Yaroslav Fedorov (Sports Racing Technologies)
Back in 2011, ŠKODA secured a ‘one-two-three’ finish at this event. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Fløene took the win for ŠKODA UK, ahead of Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler for ŠKODA Motorsport, with Patrik Sandell / Staffan Parmander for ŠKODA Sweden ensuring, that there were three ŠKODA FABIA S2000s on the podium.
Rallye Terre des Cardabelles – Millau – Aveyron
Millau, southern France; 7th to 9th October; 6th round of French Gravel Rally Championship; gravel event, 10 special stages, around 158km of competitive distance
Entered ŠKODA FABIA R5:
Julien Maurin / Olivier Ural
Julien Maurin can secure the French Gravel Rally Championship title at this event; Maurin hasn’t driven this rally since 2008 when he finished 4th overall.
Polanica-Zdrój, south-western Poland; 6th to 8th October; 5th round of Polish Rally Championship; asphalt event, 12 special stages, around 160km competitive distance
Entered ŠKODA FABIA R5s:
Grzegorz Grzyb / Robert Hundla; Filip Nivette / Kamil Heller
Grzegorz Grzyb is currently top of the Polish Rally Championship standings, but this will be his first drive of the season in a FABIA R5.