Pontus Tidemand gives ŠKODA Motorsport the first win of the season in the WRC 2



› Two damaged tyres and still at the top: Works team Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) triumphs at the ultimate endurance test in Portugal

› One-two result for fast, reliable ŠKODA Fabia R5 at the second start of the season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

› Michal Hrabánek: "Great success for the ŠKODA brand"


Porto, 22 May 2016 – The speedy Swedes Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson passed the ultimate endurance test at the Rally Portugal and gave ŠKODA Motorsport their first win of the season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). Despite two damaged tyres on the 368 classified kilometres, the works duo got an emphatic win. ŠKODA Motorsport's second start of the season in the WRC 2 was a triumph for the ŠKODA Fabia R5: Behind Tidemand/Andersson, the customer team Nicolás Fuchs/Fernando Mussano (PE/PE) clinched a one-two result for the ŠKODA brand.

"This gravel rally in Portugal really took everything out of man and machine. Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson weren't thrown off course by the minor setbacks and showed a very strong performance in the face of fierce rivals. My congratulations go to the entire ŠKODA Motorsport team, who did a fantastic job. This is a great success for the ŠKODA brand," said Michal Hrabánek.

Exactly one year after the ŠKODA Fabia R5 made its WRC debut at the Rally Portugal, the ŠKODA Motorsport Director was able to enjoy another spectacular success for the new rally car: "Of the top ten drivers in the WRC 2, seven were in a ŠKODA Fabia R5. The Rally Portugal proved that we have developed a fast and reliable car. And our customers also benefit from this. These successes are what motivate us to keep working hard."

This was exactly the attitude that Pontus Tidemand displayed at the Rally Portugal on the gravel tracks riddled with sharp stones. A best time on the first stage on Thursday saw the Asia-Pacific champion take the lead in the WRC 2. However, the 25-year-old suffered tyre damage on both Friday and Saturday, and despite lightning-fast tyre changes, temporarily lost the lead to fellow ŠKODA driver Nicolás Fuchs, but fought his way back to the top impressively with phenomenal times. Then Tidemand claimed his second win for ŠKODA Motorsport in the WRC 2 in front of tens of thousands of delighted spectators on the legendary Fafe stage on Sunday. The Swede was also victorious at the Rally Spain last year.

"What a crazy rally! We are delighted with this hard-fought win after fantastic duels with our fellow ŠKODA drivers. Thanks go to the entire team, who once ageing gave us a great car to work with," said Tidemand. After second place at the home rally in Sweden

in February, the fair-haired racing driver finished on the winners' podium for the second time on his second start in the WRC 2 this year.

In the overall standings for the season in the WRC 2, with 43 points, Tidemand moved up into third place behind Britain's Elfyn Evans (62), who failed to pick up points in Portugal after a crash, and Nicolás Fuchs (55). The man from Peru won the Rally Argentina, and before that, Finland's Teemu Suninen was victorious at the Rally Mexico – the ŠKODA Motorsport works team did not compete in either of these rallies. Including Tidemand's triumph in Portugal, this means that each of the last three WRC 2 rallies have been won in a ŠKODA Fabia R5.

The second ŠKODA works team of Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) also delivered an aggressive, strong performance in Portugal. After two damaged tyres on Friday, the experienced rally drivers restarted the race at the weekend with the burden of a 14-minute penalty, and after a spectacular pursuit, ended up finishing in tenth place to pick up a point for the overall WRC 2 standings. "We got the best-possible result after our misfortune with the tyres and now need to look to the future," said Kopecký.

This Friday and Saturday, the Czechs and the winning duo Tidemand/Andersson will contest the Rally Český Krumlov in the Czech Rally Championship (MČR). Then from 9 to 12 June, the Rally Sardinia is the next WRC 2 task. In addition to Kopecký/Dresler, the third works duo of Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) will represent ŠKODA Motorsport.

Final standings Rally Portugal (WRC 2):

1. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S) ŠKODA Fabia R5 4:10:46.2 hrs.

2. Fuchs/Mussano (PE/PE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 1:28.8 min.

3. Aasen/Gulbæk (N/N) Ford Fiesta R5 + 3:19.7 min.

4. Pedder/Moscatt (AUS/AUS) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 3:19.9 min.

5. Campos/Magalhães (P/P) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 4:06.8 min.

6. de Mevius/Jalet (B/B) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 6:11.6 min.


10. Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 15:36.0 min.

The number of the Rally Portugal: 16

The ŠKODA Fabia R5 was the outstanding car of the WRC 2 category at the Rally Portugal. On 19 special stages, 16 best times went to the high-tech four-wheel drive from the Czech Republic. Works driver Tidemand topped the timesheet eight times. On top of this, four customers were added to the list of winners. Finland's Teemu Suninen was number 1 five times, Nicolás Fuchs, Scott Pedder (AUS) and Ghislain de Mevius (B) each got one best time.

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event Date

Rally Monte Carlo 21.01.–24.01.2016

Rally Sweden 11.02.–14.02.2016

Rally Mexico 03.03.–06.03.2016

Rally Argentina 21.04.–24.04.2016

Rally Portugal 19.05.–22.05.2016

Rally Italy 09.06.–12.06.2016

Rally Poland 01.07.–03.07.2016

Rally Finland 28.07.–31.07.2016

Rally Germany 18.08.–21.08.2016

Rally China 08.09.–11.09.2016

Rally Corsica 29.09.–02.10.2016

Rally Spain 13.10.–16.10.2016

Rally Great Britain 27.10.–30.10.2016

Rally Australia 17.11.–20.11.2016

ŠKODA Motorsport Overview:

ŠKODA has been 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 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.

In 2015, ŠKODA celebrated four victories in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) with their new ŠKODA Fabia R5 rally car. The high-tech 4x4 was homologated by the International Automobile Federation FIA on 1 April 2015. In the ŠKODA Fabia R5’s very first season, factory duo Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) secured the fourth APRC title in a row for ŠKODA. In addition, the brand claimed five national titles with their new winning model.

ŠKODA’s new Fabia R5 proudly continues the brand’s long tradition in motorsport. Its predecessor, the Fabia Super 2000, was the most successful model in ŠKODA’s 115-year motorsport history. With the 4x4 from Mladá Boleslav, factory duo Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) achieved the historic feat of becoming the first duo in history to win the drivers’ title in the ERC and the APRC in consecutive years. Between 2009 and 2014, ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 drivers won a total of 50 national and international titles around the world.

In 2016, the factory teams Pontus Tidem and/Jonas Andersson (S/S), Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler and Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (F/F) are competing with the ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2).

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