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ŠKODA Motorsport will compete at the upcoming RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España (05/10–08/10/2017) with two ŠKODA FABIA R5 driven by reigning Czech Rally Champions Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler and 20 years old Juuso Nordgren from Finland, joined by co-driver Tapio Suominen. While Kopecký is aiming to repeat his last year’s WRC2 victory at the Spanish round of the FIA World Rally Championship, 2015 Finnish Junior Champion Nordgren is the first young gun to be tested by ŠKODA Motorsport as a possible candidate for a factory drive in 2018.

Michal Hrabánek

At RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España, 2015 Finnish Junior Champion Juuso Nordgren and co-driver Tapio Suominen will be part of the ŠKODA factory team alongside regulars Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler.

Juuso Nordgren
Michal Hrabánek

Norwegian junior team Ole Christian Veiby / Stig Rune Skjaermœn can still win the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with their MRF ŠKODA FABIA R5. They also demonstrated their skills on WRC level by winning WRC2 in Poland and finishing second at Rally Italia Sardegna.

Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler, ŠKODA FABIA R5, ŠKODA Motorsport. RallyRACC Catalunya - Costa Daurada 2016

At RallyRACC Catalunya all eyes are on Juuso Nordgren who will find his teammate Jan Kopecký as a benchmark inside the ŠKODA factory team. In 2015 Kopecký finished this rally second behind his teammate Tidemand. Last year he could beat the 2017 WRC2 Champion and won the category.

The Spanish WRC round offers a special challenge to the drivers, being the championship’s only mixed surface rally. The first leg on Friday is held on gravel roads with some tarmac sections. On Saturday and Sunday, all stages are entirely run on asphalt. In total, the teams have to face 19 special stages totalling 312 kilometres of rallying against the clock. The winner will reach the podium at the rally’s host town Salou in the south of Catalunya’s capital Barcelona at around 14h00 on Sunday.

Did you know...

...that RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España was first run in 1957, became a round of the European Rally Championship (ERC) in 1975 and in 1991 for the first time was part of the World Rally Championship (WRC)?

…that RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España is the only WRC event with a mix of gravel and asphalt stages, so the cars’ suspensions have to be changed after the first leg on Friday evening?

…that at RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España the cars in WRC 2 category are allowed to use a maximum of 10 gravel tyres and 24 asphalt tyres plus an extra of four tyres for the shakedown?

…that at RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España the service park is hosted by the PortAventura World Theme Park, featuring the spectacular Dragon Khan Roller Coaster with eight loops and a top speed of more than 110 kph?