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Burak Cukurova claims first win for ŠKODA FABIA R5 in the Turkish Rally Championship after winning the Yeşil Bursa Rallisi. Kalle Rovanperä extends his lead in the Latvian Rally Championship with a third win of the season at the Rally Latvija. Thierry Monnet claims his first win in a FABIA R5 in the French Cup, while Efrem Bianco wins his first rally in a FABIA R5 at the Rally Città di Schio in Italy.

Burak Cukurova claims FABIA R5’s maiden Turkish win at the Yeşil Bursa Rallisi

The ŠKODA FABIA R5 has its first ever win in the Turkish Rally Championship after Burak Cukurova secured victory at the Yeşil Bursa Rallisi (21st to 23rd July) last weekend. Cukurova and his co-driver Vedat Bostanci were driving for the BC Vision Motorsport team in a FABIA R5 prepared and run by the Topp-Cars Rallye Team and finished two minutes and seven seconds ahead of their closest challengers.

Burak Çukurova / Vedat Bostanci, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Top Cars. Yeşil Bursa Rallisi 2017

Cukurova began modestly and allowed rival Yagiz Avci a lead of around seventeen seconds. The two drivers were neck-and-neck throughout the middle part of the rally, with Avci maintaining his lead. But Avci had a disastrous penultimate special stage, losing more than two minutes which allowed Cukurova to take the lead, which he extended in the final SS to secure what was - on paper at least - a comfortable victory.

Burak Çukurova

Cukurova was not the only FABIA R5 driver to finish on the podium either as Uğur Soylu / Aras Dinçer came home in third place, just seven seconds away from a FABIA R5’s one-two finish.

Uğur Soylu

The result means Burak Cukurova remains in second place in the overall Turkish Rally Championship standings but closes the gap on Yagiz Avci at the summit. Uğur Soylu remains in third place in the overall standings.

The next round of the Turkish Rally Championship will be the Istanbul Rallisi which takes place on 9th and 10th September.

Kalle Rovanperä roars to another win at the Rally Latvija to extend his championship lead

There was yet more success for the young Finnish rallying prodigy Kalle Rovanperä in the Latvian Rally Championship as he claimed his third victory of the season at the Rally Latvija (22nd to 23rd July), the fourth round of the season. Rovanperä, the defending champion, who alongside co-driver Risto Pietiläinen was driving for the TGS Worldwide OU team, came into this event after victories at the opening two rounds of the year, the Rally Alūksne and the Rallijs Sarma, and only missing out on a third win at the Rally Talsi by 0.8 seconds.

Kalle Rovanperä / Risto Pietiläinen, ŠKODA FABIA R5, TGS Worldwide OU. Rally Latvija 2017

Conditions were about as perfect as they could get and Rovanperä will have been in confident mood as he set out to defend his crown after winning this event last year at the age of just fifteen. And his victory was rarely in doubt as the now sixteen-year-old won all but one of the twelve special stages and led the rally from start to finish.

Kalle Rovanperä

The other FABIA R5 taking part just missed out on a podium place as the Lithuanian duo of Benediktas Vanagas / Agnė Vičkačkaitė-Lauciuvienė finished in fourth place. Driving for the General Financing Team Pitlane, they finished second in the opening special stage, but then problems on the following two stages saw them fall back to eighth. But some fast times over the rest of the rally helped them climb back through the field, although they couldn’t quite find enough to get onto the podium.

Benediktas Vanagas / Agnė Vičkačkaitė-Lauciuvienė, ŠKODA FABIA R5, General Financing team Pitlane. Rally Latvija 2017

The result means Kalle Rovanperä continues to lead the way in the Latvian championship standings and with just three rallies remaining, few would bet against him retaining his title.

The next round of the Latvian Rally Championship will be the Lõuna-Eesti Ralli which takes place on 25th and 26th August in neighbouring Estonia.

Marijan Griebel and Bernhard ten Brinke to drive a FABIA R5 at the Rallye Deutschland

There will be two different names competing in a FABIA R5 in the World Rally Championship (WRC) at the Rallye Deutschland next month.

Marijan Griebel, the reigning Junior ERC Champion and current European Rally Championship front-runner will be competing in his debut event in the WRC2 Championship. As a teenager, the young German stood in the crowd and watched the first World Rally Championship event in Germany in 2002 whilst dreaming of one day emulating his heroes. This year, for the first time, he will have the opportunity to do so in a FABIA R5 prepared and run by the BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing team. He will be supported by co-driver Stefan Kopczyk.

Marijan Griebel / Stefan Kopczyk, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Marijan Griebel. Rally Islas Canarias 2017
Marijan Griebel

Meanwhile the Dutchman Bernhard ten Brinke will also be driving at the Rallye Deutschland in what will be his first start since the RallyRACC Catalunya - Costa Daurada last year. He will also compete at one more round of the 2017 WRC, which has yet to be determined, as well as the Eurol Hellendoorn Rally in Holland. Together with his regular co-driver, Belgian Davy Thierie, ten Brinke will be driving a FABIA R5 for the Wevers Sport team, in what will be his fourth season of competition at the highest level.

Bernhard Ten Brinke / Davy Thierie, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Wevers Sport. ADAC Rallye Deutschland 2016
Bernhard ten Brinke

The Rallye Deutschland takes place in and around Trier from 17th to 20th August. 

NEWS IN BRIEF

The Rallye Weiz (21st to 22nd July) was both the fifth round of the Austrian Rally Championship and the third round of the FIA Central European Rally Trophy (CRT). It saw the German pairing of Dominik Dinkel / Christina Kohl finish in fourth place overall for the Brose Motorsport team in a FABIA R5 prepared and run by the BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing team. Meanwhile Vojtěch Štajf / Markéta Skácelová were driving a FABIA R5 for the ACCR Czech Team and finished sixth overall and second in the CRT standings, while Antonín Tlusťák / Ivo Vybíral were ninth overall and fourth in the CRT standings for the Tlusťák Racing team.

There was more ŠKODA success in the French Cup at the Rallye Régional de Matour (22nd July) where Thierry Monnet secured his third podium finish and first victory in three FABIA R5 drives this season for the Rally Service Racing team. Alongside co-driver Thomas Monnet, he finished 22.5 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

At another French Cup event, the Rallye National de Saintonge (22nd July), there was a third place finish for Stéphane André / Samuel Passetemps. They were also driving a FABIA R5 for the Rally Service Racing team and finished just 4.4 seconds behind the overall winners.

At the Rally Città di Schio (22nd to 23rd July) in Italy, Efrem Bianco secured his first ever overall victory in a FABIA R5 for the DP Autosport team. Alongside regular co-driver Dino Lamonato, he finished 45 seconds ahead of his closest challenger. Meanwhile there was also a fourth place finish for Luciano Cobbe / Fabio Turco in their first ever drive in a FABIA R5 for the Meteco Corse team in a car prepared and run by P.A Racing.

Elsewhere in Italy, the Moscato Rally - Rally delle Langhe (22nd to 23rd July) saw Patrick Gagliasso / Enrico Ghietti finish in second place overall for the Turismotor's team in a car prepared and run by the Roger Tuning team. It was just Gagliasso second rally in a FABIA R5.

COMING UP THIS WEEKEND

Date Rally Surface
27-30 July Rally Finland World Rally Championship Round 9 Gravel
27-29 July Rally del Alto Paraná Paraguay Rally Championship Round 5 Gravel