Mladá Boleslav, 20 August 2019 – After four WRC 2 Pro victories in a row on gravel,
including their home game at the recent Neste Rally Finland, WRC 2 Pro Championship
leaders Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen (FIN/FIN) are facing the challenging
tarmac stages at ADAC Rallye Deutschland (22/08/–25/08/2019). Driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5
evo in the Saarland and the Rhineland Palatinate Region, they want to extend their category
lead on German tarmac. ŠKODA teammates Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, who on the
weekend before ADAC Rallye Deutschland secured another Czech Rally Championship title
with a victory at Barum Czech Rally Zlín, are again aiming for a top result after two second
places at the WRC rounds in Portugal and Italy. In 2018, they topped the category in
Germany, setting a cornerstone for eventually winning the WRC 2 Championship.
The tenth round of the FIA World Rally Championship 2019 in Germany offers a challenging menu
of 19 tarmac stages with constantly changing characteristics. The crews have to face tricky and
small roads with a lot of hairpins in the vineyards along the river Mosel as well as gruelling and fast
tank tracks on rough concrete on the military area of Baumholder, which are extremely abrasive,
slippery and also lined by concrete blocks, the infamous “Hinkelsteins”.
Kopecký’s priority: avoiding punctures
2018 ADAC Rallye Deutschland WRC 2 category winner Jan Kopecký emphasizes: “It’s all about
avoiding a puncture. Last year, I was leading WRC 2 until I collected a puncture on the notorious
‘Panzerplatte’ stage on the military area of Baumholder. Nevertheless, I could win the category
thanks to a successful race to catch up. My aim this time is not to repeat this mishap, but to win
again. That’s something I definitely want to repeat.” Jan Kopecký comes to ADAC Rallye
Deutschland after winning the Czech Rally Championship at Barum Czech Rally Zlín just the
ŠKODA junior Kalle Rovanperä, who last year in Germany mastered his first pure tarmac rally for
the official SKODA Motorsport factory team when he finished second in the category and gained
valuable experience, is looking forward with confidence. “I had a good pre-event test and I like the
challenge of ADAC Rallye Deutschland. At the recent Rally Bohemia, I could demonstrate my
tarmac skills in a nice fight with Jan – which I eventually won. At ADAC Rallye Deutschland, I
expect the toughest competition to come from him. After all, he won the category already in 2015
and 2018. But there are also a lot of other strong drivers and tarmac specialists aiming for the
victory,” Rovanperä says.
ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek emphasizes: “So far, Kalle and Jan managed to score
two double victories in the WRC 2 Pro category in Portugal and Italy. While Jan’s speed on tarmac
is beyond any doubt, Kalle already proved that he can be quick on the black stuff as well. We are
looking forward to an interesting fight for victory. Nevertheless, both drivers know that we need a
good result and championship points for ŠKODA Motorsport to defend our lead in the
manufacturers’ standings of the WRC 2 Pro championship.“
ŠKODA again strongest brand in the field of R5 cars
Six new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo and seven cars of the predecessor model make ŠKODA again by
far the strongest brand among the 29 R5 entries at the tenth round of the FIA World Rally
Championship 2019. In the WRC 2 category for private teams, ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland
supports two former German champions, both driving the new ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo. Fabian
Kreim, winner of the national title in 2016 and 2017 as well as actually leading the 2019
championship, and co-driver Tobias Braun face reigning German Champion Marijan Griebel and
co-driver Pirmin Winklhofer.
ADAC Rallye Deutschland starts on Thursday (22 August) at 19h08 with a short stage in the area
around the service park at Bostalsee. Friday (23 August) features six stages in the vineyards along
the river Mosel and on fast roads in the Saarland region. On Saturday (24 August) eight special
stages, four of them on the military area of Baumholder, have to be driven. Sunday (25 August)
tops up to a total of 19 tests covering 344.04 kilometres. The winner will reach the podium at
Bostalsee on Sunday at around 14h00.
Did you know...
…that in 2002 only, ADAC Rallye Deutschland joined the WRC after former ADAC Rallye
Deutschland and AvD Hunsrück Rallye merged into one event?
…that in 2017, rally centre and service park were moved from the historic Roman city of Trier to the
holiday region Bostalsee in the federal state of Saarland and stayed there ever since?
…that the changeable road conditions and mixed tarmac surfaces require a suitable compromise in
the cars’ suspension setup and tire choice?
…that the big jump called “Gina”, allowing 40 metres of flight, on the longest special stage in
Baumholder is named after the famous Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida?
…that around 280 ŠKODA FABIA R5 have been sold to customers around the world and since July
already 13 pieces of the successor ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo have been delivered. Four of them
compete at ADAC Rallye Deutschland, additional two cars are entered by the factory team.
The calendar of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2 Pro)
Great Britain 03/10/–06/10/2019
ŠKODA Motorsport Overview
2018 was the most successful year in the history of ŠKODA Motorsport so far. Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) became WRC 2 champions and managed to win the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) for the fourth consecutive time. 2017 WRC 2 winners Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson finished second overall, and youngsters Kalle Rovanperä/ Jonne Halttunen (FIN/FIN) completed a pure ŠKODA podium in the final standings of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship’s WRC 2 category. For the fourth time in a row ŠKODA Motorsport won the WRC 2 Championship for Teams.
The success story of the Czech brand took place worldwide. The private ŠKODA driver Yuya Sumiyama and navigator Takahiro Yasui from Japan won the 2018 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), Manvir Singh Baryan/Drew Sturrock (KEN/GBR) took the title win in the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC). After winning the FIA South American Rally Championship (CODASUR) in 2013, 2016 and 2017, ŠKODA crew Gustavo Saba/Fernando Mussano (PRY/ARG) again were successful. On top of that, ŠKODA crews won 17 national championships.
The ŠKODA FABIA R5, a high-tech 4x4, was homologated by the International Automobile Federation FIA on 1 April 2015. ŠKODA’s new FABIA R5 is successfully continuing the long tradition of ŠKODA Motorsport. Its predecessor, the FABIA SUPER 2000, won 50 national and international titles around the world. ŠKODA has been successful on the motorsport scene since 1901. Be it on the circuit or in rallies, ŠKODA has celebrated victories and won titles all around the world. Historical highlights include winning the title in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) for the first time in 2016, numerous title wins in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) and the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), as well as the victory in the European Touring Car Championship in 1981. ŠKODA teams have also triumphed in the world’s oldest and most famous rally, taking several class victories in the legendary Monte Carlo, which was first held in 1911.