Rally Italia Sardegna: ŠKODA drivers Kopecký and Veiby fighting for WRC 2 victory on the Mediterranean island

Rally Italia Sardegna: ŠKODA drivers Kopecký and Veiby fighting for WRC 2 victory on the Mediterranean island

› Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA FABIA R5) aim for third season win in

the WRC 2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship

› On the gravel tracks of Sardinia, ŠKODA juniors Ole Christian Veiby and Stig Rune

Skjaermoen want to move up in the WRC 2 Championship rankings

› In 2018 ŠKODA has won already five out of six rounds of the WRC 2 Championship

› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “At the up-coming Rally Italia Sardegna our

successful ŠKODA FABIA R5 is again the most popular car in its category.”

Mladá Boleslav, 4 June 2018 – ŠKODA factory driver Jan Kopecký (CZE) can definitely be

called “Mister 100 per cent”. Together with his navigator Pavel Dresler (CZE) he won all

rallies up to now he started in 2018. The ŠKODA crew won all three rounds of the Czech

Rally Championship and on top of that the WRC 2 category of the World Championship

rounds Rally Monte-Carlo and Rally France-Tour de Corse. At the up-coming Rally Italia

Sardegna (07/06/–10/06/2018), they want to continue their winning streak and reduce the gap

to WRC 2 overall leader and teammate Pontus Tidemand, who as planned is not competing

on the Mediterranean island. ŠKODA juniors Ole Christian Veiby and Stig Rune Skjaermoen

(NOR/NOR) are competing in the factory team’s second ŠKODA FABIA R5. In 2017 the two

Norwegians finished second behind winner Kopecký and are again among the top favourites

for victory on Sardinia’s tough gravel stages this year.

After dominating all three past rounds of the 2018 Czech Rally Championship (MČR), Jan Kopecký

and Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) are returning to FIA World Rally Championship. After victories at

Rally Monte-Carlo and Rally France-Tour de Corse the Czech crew is currently occupying second

place in the WRC 2 category standings. “Although a lot of people think, I am a pure tarmac

specialist, I succeeded in winning in Sardinia last year. I am looking forward to a return to that

island,” underlines Jan Kopecký. One of his toughest opponents is young O.C. Veiby, who finished

second in WRC 2 on Sardinia last year. “I feel well prepared for the sandy, but rough tracks. My

participation at Rally Argentina, where I finished second in RC 2 class, will help me a lot and we are

now aiming for another good result,” he commented.

ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek is more than happy with the performance of ŠKODA

Motorsport in the 2018 season. “Reaching halftime of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship we

were able to achieve five out of six possible wins in the WRC 2 category so far. On top of that, we

delivered more than 200 ŠKODA FABIA R5 to customers. Among the twelve entries in the WRC 2

category at Rally Italia Sardegna, the ŠKODA FABIA R5 again seems to be the most popular car,”

emphasizes Hrabáek.

Rally Italia Sardegna offers 20 special stages totalling more than 313 kilometres on rugged and

sun-baked gravel roads. Not only the tough gravel roads, but as well the temperatures are a

challenge for the crews. While it has 28 Centigrade outside, the temperatures inside the rally cars

can easily raise up to 68 degrees. After the Super Special Stage on Thursday at the rally cross

circuit of Ittiri, Friday features four stages in the north of the island, each run twice. Saturday is

again the longest day of the rally with seven special stages covering over 146 kilometres. Sunday

will bring the final decision with four stages close to the coast north of the host town of Alghero.

Did you know...

... the event today known as Rally Italia first took place in 1928 under the name “Rally of the

Flowers” and was a part of the FIA World Rally Championship ever since its inauguration in 1973?

…that the Italian round of the FIA World Rally Championship until 2003 was hold on the mainland

of Italy and was based in Sanremo before it moved to the island of Sardinia?

…Michèe Mouton became the first –and until today only – woman to win a WRC round when she

came first at the Sanremo Rally in 1981?

…that the iconic stage “Monte Lerno” of Rally Italia Sardegna features a famous jump, comparable

to the Fafe jump in Portugal, which is called “Micky’s jump”?

The calendar of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event Date

Rallye Monte-Carlo 24/01/–28/01/2018

Rally Sweden 15/02/–18/02/2018

Rally Mexico 08/03/–11/03/2018

Rally France 05/04/–08/04/2018

Rally Argentina 26/04/–29/04/2018

Rally Portugal 17/05/–20/05/2018

Rally Italia Sardegna 07/06/–10/06/2018

Rally Finland 26/07/–29/07/2018

Rally Germany 16/08/–19/08/2018

Rally Turkey 13/09/–16/09/2018

Rally Great Britain 04/10/–07/10/2018

Rally Spain 25/10/–28/10/2018

Rally Australia 15/11/–18/11/2018

ŠKODA Motorsport Overview

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.

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 ŠODA Motorsport. Its predecessor, the

FABIA SUPER 2000, won 50 national and international titles around the world. In the FIA World Rally Championship

(WRC 2) 2016, Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) won the title for the Czech car maker. In total, ten of the 2016

season’s races in the World Rally Championship were won by a ŠODA FABIA R5. ŠODA drivers Gustavo Saba

(PRY) and Gaurav Gill (IND) also won the continental championships in South America and the Asia-Pacific region at

the wheel of the successful ŠKODA FABIA R5. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) was unbeatable in the Middle East Rally

Championship (MERC), while a further ten national titles also went the way of ŠKODA drivers.

2017 was the most successful year in the history of ŠKODA Motorsport. Works duo Pontus Tidemand/Jonas

Andersson (S/S) became WRC 2 Champions, ŠKODA Motorsport won the Team Championship. Jan Kopecký/Pavel

Dresler (CZ/CZ) won the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) for the third time in a row and are the spearhead of in total

14 crews winning their country’s national titles. Furthermore the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), the FIA

South American Rally Championship (CODASUR) and the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) have been won by

teams competing in a ŠKODA FABIA R5.

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