Hustopeče, 17 June 2017 – The fourth round of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR), held in the region of South Moravia, saw a fierce competition for victory. However, the fourth win in a row for ŠKODA Motorsport factory team Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) was no surprise. The Czech champions only briefly lost the lead at the Rally Hustopeče, after the fourth stage when they suffered a puncture. But two stages after they moved into the lead and controlled the rally up to the finish line in Hustopeče where they were cheered by enthusiastic fans. ŠKODA teammates Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson fought back to fifth position after collecting a puncture on the last stage of the first leg.
Friday afternoon Jan Kopecký scored the fastest time on both of the first two stages before loosing the lead after stage four. A puncture cost him more than 20 seconds. "It happened under braking in a compression. I didn’t hit anything, but unfortunately the tyre got deflated", Kopecký wondered. Ford driver Václav Pech suffered from the same mishap allowing Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (ŠKODA FABIA R5) to move into the lead. But in the sixth stage, the Swedish pair got a puncture as well. They had to drive more than ten kilometres with a flat tyre and lost nearly one and a half minute. While Tidemand/Andersson consequently dropped down to ninth position, ŠKODA teammates Kopecký/Dresler inherited the number one spot again.
On the final day of the rally, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler controlled their lead in a dominant way and drove to a well-deserved victory. The reigning Czech Rally Champions scored five fastest times in total and are now in a strong position to achieve their target of winning the championship for the third consecutive time.
ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek was delighted: "Soon after their win at the WRC 2 Rally Sardegna Italia, Jan and Pavel proved to be nearly unbeatable on home soil. Pontus and Jonas on the other hand improved their driving on tarmac for the upcoming German round of the World Rally Championship."
At the finish line, Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler celebrated their victory in style. "It was really a challenging rally, but I have again to thank my team which provided me with such a great car," emphasized Kopecký. Teammate Pontus Tidemand draw the following conclusion: "I really enjoyed the great special stages and the fantastic atmosphere of the Czech Rally Championship."
Rally Hustopeče (MČR) final standings
1. Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 1:27.17.5 h.
2. Pech jun./Uhel (CZE/CZE), Ford Fiesta R5, +41.2 min.
3. Jakeš/Ehlová (CZE/CZE), Ford Fiesta R5, +51.5 min.
4. Valoušek/Havelková (CZE/CZE), Ford Fiesta R5, +54.3 min.
5. Tidemand/Andersson (SWE/SWE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +1:53.0 min.
6. Dohnal/Michal (CZE/CZE), Ford Focus WRC 06, +1.54.6 min.
Number of the day: 13
Since the Rally of Wales 2016 and for more than eight months, ŠKODA Motorsport won in total 13 rallies in a row in both World Rally Championship (WRC 2) and Czech Rally Championship (MČR).
The 2017 calendar of the Czech Rally Championship (MČR)
Valašská Rally 25/03/–26/03/2017
Rally Šumava Klatovy 21/04/–22/04/2017
Rally Český Krumlov 19/05/–20/05/2017
Rally Hustopeče 16/06/–17/06/2017
Rally Bohemia 01/07/–02/07/2017
Barum Czech Rally Zlín 25/08/–27/08/2017
Rally Příbram 06/10/–08/10/2017