Mladá Boleslav, 1 October 2019 – With a category victory at Wales Rally GB (03/10/–
06/10/2019), ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo crew Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (FIN/FIN) could
prematurely secure the WRC 2 Pro title of the FIA World Rally Championship 2019.
Competing in Wales for the very first time, teammate Jan Kopecký (CZE) is primary targeting
valuable championship points for ŠKODA Motorsport in the WRC 2 Pro manufacturers’
championship. He will be navigated by Jan Hloušek (CZE), who replaces long-time co-driver
Driving their usual ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo, Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen are
having match point for prematurely winning the WRC 2 Pro title for drivers at the upcoming Wales
Rally GB, twelfth round of the FIA World Rally Championship 2019. So far, the overall leading Finns
have scored four category wins, finished second twice and can also add the points for one third
place to their tally. As only the eight best results of in total 14 events count for the championship,
they could prematurely secure the title by repeating their last year’s victory in Wales. “I am not so
much focussed on points. After my mishaps in Germany and in Turkey, where I finished third in the
category, I want to have a clear run like last year, when I managed to win,” Rovanperä says. “I am
confident, my ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo performs very well and I like the nice and smooth gravel
tracks in the Welsh forests.”
For the reigning WRC 2 and Czech Rally Champion, Jan Kopecký, the upcoming Wales Rally GB is
a very special event. He will compete in the British WRC round for the first time, at the same time
his long-time co-driver Pavel Dresler will be replaced by Jan Hloušek. “I want to thank Pavel for his
professional work and commitment during the past eight years. He was an important key to
successes like winning the FIA European Rally Championship 2013, the FIA Asian Pacific Rally
Championship 2014 and finally, as an icing on the cake, the WRC 2 Championship in 2018,”
emphasizes Kopecký. “I am happy, that I could get the services of Jan Hloušek for Wales Rally GB.
Alongside Filip Mareš, Jan already collected loads of international experience and did an excellent
job by navigating him to the FIA European Junior Championship recently.”
ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek describes Jan Kopecký’s mission for Wales: “By winning
the category in Germany and finishing second in Portugal, Italy and Turkey, Jan already collected
valuable points for the manufacturers’ championship of the WRC 2 Pro category for ŠKODA. We
trust in his reliability and we are convinced, that he is able to provide us with additional important
points from Wales.”
Wales Rally GB gets on its way on Thursday (3 October) at 19h08 with a 3.58 kilometres long show
stage on the famous race track of Oulton Park. On Friday (4 October) the crews are facing nine
stages totalling 118.25 kilometres. The most challenging and longest leg of the rally with seven
stages over 152.50 kilometres awaits on Saturday (5 October). Sunday (6 October) finally features
five more stages over 38.42 kilometres. After a total of 312.75 kilometres in the race against the
clock, the winner will reach the podium in the seaside village of Llandudno at around 13h33.
Did you know...
...that run for the first time in 1932, the then called Royal Automobile Club Rally – in short RAC
Rally – attracted 341 competitors?
…that in 1960, for the first time the forests of Wales, the Lake District and the notorious Kielder
Forest were used for the special stages?
…that in 1990 for the first time pre-rally inspection of the special stages – commonly known as
“recce” – and pace notes were allowed? Before 1990 all stages had to be driven with rough
information only, the co-driver relying on nothing than a detailed road map.
…that in the past, the RAC Rally was a tough marathon test? In 1983 for example the rally covered
3,046 kilometres with 58 special stages totalling 844 kilometres. Winner Stig Blomqvist (Audi
Quattro) amassed a stage time of 8 hours, 50 minutes and 28 seconds. Ladislav Křeček/Bořivoj
Motl won the A5 class with a factory entered ŠKODA 120 LS finishing 25th overall.
…the start will take place at Liverpool’s historic waterfront and the event has been relocated from
Deeside to the coastal resort of Llandudno? Close to the service park, the notorious Great Orme
stage along the coast line has to be driven.
…that the first stage of the rally will take place at the famous race track Oulton Park on a mixed
surface of gravel and tarmac?
…that up to the year 2000, the British round of the FIA World Rally Championship usually used
stages in England, Scotland and Wales before it entirely moved to Wales?
The calendar of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2 Pro)
Great Britain 03/10/–06/10/2019
ŠKODA Motorsport Overview
2018 was the most successful year in the history of ŠKODA Motorsport so far. Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) became WRC 2 champions and managed to win the Czech Rally Championship (MČR) for the fourth consecutive time.
2017 WRC 2 winners Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson finished second overall, and youngsters Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (FIN/FIN) completed a pure ŠKODA podium in the final standings of the 2018 FIA World RallyChampionship’s WRC 2 category. For the fourth time in a row ŠKODA Motorsport won the WRC 2 Championship for Teams.
The success story of the Czech brand took place worldwide. The private ŠKODA driver Yuya Sumiyama and navigator Takahiro Yasui from Japan won the 2018 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), Manvir Singh Baryan/Drew Sturrock (KEN/GBR) took the title win in the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC). After winning the FIA South American Rally Championship (CODASUR) in 2013, 2016 and 2017, ŠKODA crew Gustavo Saba/Fernando Mussano (PRY/ARG) again were successful. On top of that, ŠKODA crews won 17 national championships.
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 ŠKODA Motorsport. Its predecessor, the FABIA SUPER 2000, won 50 national and international titles around the world.
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.