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Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler continued to control the competition in the WRC2 category at the world championship Rally Italia Sardegna. Since they moved in front after the second stage, they were never in danger to lose the lead in WRC2. After the last stage of the day, Kopecký even took ninth position overall by a margin of 0.9 seconds. Meanwhile their young stablemates Ole Christian Veiby / Stig Rune Skjaermœn, driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 from private Printsport Team, scored their third WRC2 stage win of the rally.

It was an early wake up call for the teams who are competing in the seventh round of the World Rally Championship (WRC). At five o’clock in the morning, even before sunrise, the first car left the beautiful village of Alghero, situated on the northwest coast of the island of Sardinia.

Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler, ŠKODA FABIA R5, ŠKODA Motorsport. Rally Italia Sardegna 2017

The first stage in the north was a tough 15 kilometres warm up for the teams. Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler were fully awake and scored the first fastest time of the day, followed by Ole Christian Veiby / Stig Rune Skjaermœn. On the next test, the 28 kilometres of Monti di Ala, Norwegian youngster Veiby achieved his third best time of the event.

The famous Monte Lerno stage and its 28 kilometres of rock-strewn gravel saw a lot of teams in trouble.

Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler, ŠKODA FABIA R5, ŠKODA Motorsport. Rally Italia Sardegna 2017
Jan Kopecký

He was nevertheless fastest in WRC 2 category. His young stablemate O.C. Veiby got caught in some dust.

Ole Christian Veiby / Stig Rune Skjærmoen, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Printsport Oy. Rally Italia Sardegna 2017
Ole Christian Veiby

In the WRC 2 category, only the two ŠKODA Teams at the top of WRC2 had a trouble free run, while their competitors from other brands had to pay tribute to the tough gravel roads on the Mediterranean island.

The afternoon saw the repetition of the three stages of the morning, the gravel roads promising to be even more rutted for the second passage. Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler went out from the service park in Alghero in an attacking mood to catch RC2 class leader Eric Camilli (Ford Fiesta R5). With three fastest times in a row, Kopecký did not only increase his lead in the WRC2 category to more than one and a half minutes. He also moved into the lead of RC2 class and into ninth position overall only 0.9 seconds ahead of Camilli.

The final decision of the Rally Italia Sardegna will come on Sunday close to the coast north of the host town of Alghero. Four more stages covering about 42 kilometres are on the itinerary.

2017 Rally Italia Sardegna – WRC2 standings after Leg 2:
1. Kopecký / Dresler (CZE/CZE) ŠKODA FABIA R5 3:06:30.2 hrs
2. Veiby – Skjærmoen (NOR/NOR) ŠKODA FABIA R5 +1:31.3 min
3. Katsuta / Salminen (JPN/FIN) Ford Fiesta R5 +5:58.3 min

Number of the day: 0.9

On the last stage of the day, Jan Kopecký conquered ninth place overall with a margin of 0.9 seconds.