SKODA teams extend their lead at the Rally Finland



› One-two: Esapekka Lappi continues to hold a commanding lead over Pontus Tidemand

› ŠKODA Fabia R5 proves to be the best WRC 2 rally car at the fastest rally of the year

› Only 28.26 kilometres stand between the team and their second WRC 2 win


Jyväskylä, 1st August 2015 – ŠKODA put on a strong showing with the Fabia R5 on the penultimate day of the Rally Finland, winning all eight special stages and consolidating their position at the top of the overall standings. Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) go into the final day of their home event in a strong position, having built up a commanding lead over their team-mates Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) at the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). Only 28.26 kilometres stand between the ŠKODA works team and their second successive World Championship victory.

"We were able to stay in control. There was no need to take any risks but we kept up the fast pace. I really like our Fabia R5 and everything about it worked perfectly," noted Lappi. He was involved in a fascinating duel with his team-mate Tidemand, as the two drivers competed for the best times for each stage. The Swedish driver recorded the fastest time on four occasions, just bettering the achievement of reigning European champion Lappi. In special stage 12, both drivers clocked a time of 10:30.0 to share first place.

"This duel with Esapekka was a lot of fun and the results were often really tight. We also didn’t give it 100 per cent but it’s all about keeping a cool head," said Tidemand. Despite their composed driving styles, the two ŠKODA works duos in their Fabias were able to increase their lead over the competition. The most surprising event of the day was not the rain showers falling from the grey skies above Jyväskylä, but the appearance of a bear with her two cubs. She was in the vicinity of the Horkka special stage and had to be led away to safety by a helicopter.

Sunday’s stages on the gravel are expected to be even more exciting, as the fastest rally of the year comes to a conclusion with two attempts at the Myhinpää special stage. ŠKODA is in the perfect position to repeat the historic achievements at the Rally Poland four weeks ago, by celebrating another one-two victory.

Number of the day for the Rally Finland: 15

18 special stages have taken place so far at the Rally Finland, and ŠKODA has emerged victorious on 15 of these. This rally is providing clear proof that the Fabia R5 is the fastest car taking part in WRC 2. Esapekka Lappi posted the best time on ten stages, and Pontus Tidemand did so on four occasions. The ŠKODA works drivers also shared one first place, finishing with identical times.

Rally Finland – WRC 2 standings

1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5 2:26.53.2 hrs

2. Tidemand/Axelsson (S/S), ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 1.23.3 min

3. Lefebvre/Prevot (F/B), Citroën DS3 RRC + 3.03.3 min

4. Protasov/Cherepin (UA/UA), Ford Fiesta S2000 + 4.31.3 min

5. Pedder/Moscatt (AUS/AUS), Ford Fiesta R5 + 6.12.9 min

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)

Event Date

Rally Monte Carlo 22.01.–25.01.2015

Rally Sweden 12.02.–15.02.2015

Rally Mexico 05.03.–08.03.2015

Rally Argentina 23.04.–26.04.2015

Rally Portugal 21.05.–24.05.2015

Rally Italy 11.06.–14.06.2015

Rally Poland 02.07.–05.07.2015

Rally Finland 30.07.–02.08.2015

Rally Germany 20.08.–23.08.2015

Rally Australia 10.09.–13.09.2015

Rally France 01.10.–04.10.2015

Rally Spain 22.10.–25.10.2015

Rally Great Britain 12.11.–15.11.2015


ŠKODA Motorsport Overview

ŠKODA has been involved in the world of motorsport since 1901. The brand has taken home many trophies from the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) and several famous races, such as the oldest rally in the world – the Monte Carlo, which has taken place annually since 1911.

The Fabia Super 2000 rally car is the most successful model in ŠKODA’s 114-year history in motorsport. In 2014, ŠKODA won a hat-trick of titles in the Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ competitions in the APRC. The new reigning champions Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) achieved the momentous feat of becoming the first duo in history to win the Drivers’ title in the ERC and then the APRC in consecutive years.

In the ERC, ŠKODA Motorsport took the title for the third time in a row in 2014, thanks to Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) with the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Before Lappi, the Finn Juho Hänninen (2012) and Jan Kopecký (2013) had won the European title with the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000.

Between 2009 and 2014, ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 drivers won nearly 50 national and international titles.

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