Bastia/Corsica, 7 April 2017 – Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger-Synnevaag (NOR/NOR) storm into a convincing lead in the WRC 2 category in their ŠKODA FABIA R5. "In contrast to the works teams in the WRC, we have to drive in our category without the gravel crews that provide us with information on loose gravel and dirt on the road. Controlled risk is the order of the day. I’m really pleased that our ŠKODA FABIA R5 is running so well," said Mikkelsen at the end of the first leg in Bastia.
The second ŠKODA works team, Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE), suffered some unbelievably bad luck with their ŠKODA FABIA R5. They had a problem with the power steering from the first special stage onwards, meaning the Czech champion had to put in some strenuous work at the steering wheel in summer temperatures. Tyre damage in the penultimate test cost even more time. Nevertheless, Kopecký managed to bring his ŠKODA FABIA R5 back to the service park in Bastia, where the ŠKODA mechanics got feverishly to work. A highly motivated Kopecký commented: "This rally is far from over. I can still take some crucial points in the WRC 2."
Behind works team Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger-Synnevaag in second place in their category were privateers Stephane Sarrazin/Jacques Julien Renucci (ŠKODA FABIA R5), who are not eligible for points in the WRC 2. Also making a strong showing were Norwegian juniors Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjarmoen in 4th place with their privately run ŠKODA FABIA R5.
Current standings at the Tour de Corse (WRC 2)
1. Mikkelsen/Jæger-Synnevaag (NOR/NOR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 1:19:29,4 Std.
2. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, + 1.10,0 Min.
3. Rossel/Fulcrand (FRA/FRA), Citroën DS3 R5, + 2.00,6 Min.
4. Veiby/ Skjarmoen (NOR/NOR), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 2.18,3 Min.
5. Koci/Kostka (SVK/CZE), ŠKODA FABIA R5, + 2.22,4 Min.
6. Bergkvist/Sjöberg (SWE/SWE), Citroën DS3 R5, + 3.13,7 Min.
The 2017 calendar for the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2)
Rally Monte Carlo 19.01.–22.01.2017
Rally Sweden 09.02.–12.02.2017
Rally Mexico 09.03.–12.03.2017
Rally France 06.04.–09.04.2017
Rally Argentina 27.04.–30.04.2017
Rally Portugal 18.05.–21.05.2017
Rally Italy 08.06.–11.06.2017
Rally Poland 29.06.–02.07.2017
Rally Finland 27.07.–30.07.2017
Rally Germany 17.08.–20.08.2017
Rally Spain 05.10.–08.10.2017
Rally Great Britain 26.10.–29.10.2017
Rally Australia 16.11.–19.11.2017