Rally Portugal: Dramatic day for leader Pontus Tidemand

 

 

› ŠKODA one-two: works team Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (S/S) overcome puncture to lead fellow ŠKODA duo Nicolás Fuchs/Fernando Mussano (PE/PE) by 32.0 seconds

› Five ŠKODA Fabia R5s in the top six of WRC 2 standings - Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) working their way up through the field

› Iconic Fafe stage awaits at end of round five of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

 

Porto, 21 May 2016 – At the end of a dramatic day, flying Swedes Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson lead the Rally Portugal going into Sunday’s final leg. The ŠKODA works duo suffered a puncture on Saturday’s penultimate stage. Despite this, they still take a lead of 32.0 seconds over fellow ŠKODA pair Nicolás Fuchs/Fernando Mussano (PE/PE) into the final four special stages on Sunday. These include two runs of the iconic Fafe stage. The ŠKODA Fabia R5 continues to dominate the WRC 2 class at round five of the FIA World Rally Championship: five of the top six drivers are at the wheel of the rally powerhouse from the Czech Republic.

"That was a really tough day, with highs and lows! We established a nice cushion in the morning, but the puncture then undid all that good work. However, that is rallying for you – and we managed to fight our way back into the lead," said Tidemand. The morning first witnessed the retirement of British driver Elfyn Evans – the current leader in the WRC 2 championship, who was running second at the time – after a crash on the longest special stage, Amarante 1 (37.67 kilometres). Asia-Pacific champion Tidemand clocked a magnificent fastest time on this stage in the morning loop.

After that, the Swede’s lead over Nicolás Fuchs had grown to over one and half a minute. However, Tidemand then suffered a puncture in the first kilometre of the Marão 2 stage. Fuchs consequently took a slender 2.6-second lead into the final special stage of the day, but Tidemand hit back emphatically when the duos returned for a second crack at Amarante. Both Tidemand and Fuchs are driving a Fabia R5.

"We may have a small lead again, but it will still be a tough battle. Anything is possible at this rally. As such, we must remain fully-focussed and keep a cool head right down to the final seconds," said Tidemand. The competitors already have over 300 kilometres of special stage behind them, and face a further 67.32 kilometres against the clock on Sunday. Excitement is guaranteed, as the icing on the cake is the Fafe stage. Tens of thousands of fans will make the pilgrimage to the route, where they will watch the rally cars tackle one of the most famous jumps in the rallying world.

The second ŠKODA works team, Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), re-joined the rally on Saturday, following their double puncture on the opening day. The experienced pair was able make great inroads in the overall standings, thanks to some impressive times. "We will continue to do our best to climb the standings and gain valuable experience for the coming rallies," said Kopecký.

Interim standings Rally Portugal (WRC 2):

1. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S) ŠKODA Fabia R5 1:32:45.3 hrs

2. Fuchs/Mussano (PE/PE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 0:32.0 min

3. Aasen/Gulbæk (N/N) Ford Fiesta R5 + 2:56.8 min

4. Pedder/Moscatt (AUS/AUS) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 3:07.0 min

5. Campos/Magalhães (P/P) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 3:14.0 min

6. de Mevius/Jalet (B/B) ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 4:33.3 min

The number of the day from the Rally Portugal: 5

The faith in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 is paying dividends. Including the leading works driver Pontus Tidemand, the top six in the WRC 2 standings features five high-tech four-wheel drive powerhouses from the Czech Republic. Nicolás Fuchs is second, followed in places four to six by Scott Pedder (AUS), Portuguese favourite Miguel Campos and Ghislain de Mevius (B). And the other Fabia R5 drivers are also proving to be quick: Finland’s Teemu Suninen was among the stage winners on Saturday.

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).

ŠKODA AUTO

is one of the longest-established vehicle production companies in the world. In 1895, the Czech headquarters in Mladá Boleslav began producing bicycles, followed by the production of motorbikes and cars.

currently offers the following models in the range: Citigo, Fabia, Rapid, Octavia, Yeti and Superb.

delivered more than 1 million vehicles to customers worldwide in 2015.

has belonged to Volkswagen since 1991. The Volkswagen Group is one of the most successful automotive groups in the world. ŠKODA, in association with the Group, independently manufactures and develops vehicles, as well as components such as engines and gear transmissions.

operates at three locations in the Czech Republic. It also produces in China, Russia, Slovakia and India, mainly through Group partnerships, as well as in Ukraine and Kazakhstan through local partners.

employs more than 26,600 people globally and is active in more than 100 markets.

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