Simply Kopecky - Skoda wins on Acores

Simply Kopecky - Skoda wins on AcoresFrom Skoda Press [ 27/04/2013 ].
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Third rally, third victory – by winning on the Azores, ŠKODA and Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ) claimed the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season’s highlight event. Simultaneously Kopecký celebrated his maiden gravel victory. However, the victory champagne was hard-earned: Kopecký and ŠKODA needed to master extremely challenging gravel stages, adverse weather conditions and strong opposition to claim victory on the Azores with the Fabia S2000.

For ŠKODA the victory on the Azores marked a third win in the three ERC rallies contested to date this season, the marque having won the Jänner Rally and on the Canaries. The “Sata Rallye Açores”, the fourth round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), is one of the most challenging gravel rallies on the calendar. The special stages contested on the Atlantic island of São Miguel took in narrow passes and volcanic crater ridges with sheer drops of up to 600 metres – a route combining natural beauty and a true technical and driving challenge for rally teams. Wind, regular rain showers, thunderstorms and mist added to the challenge by demanding the highest levels of concentration.

“My first win on gravel, and on one of the most challenging rallies at that! I am overjoyed,” exclaimed Jan Kopecký afterwards, having taken the lead on Friday before winning six of a possible seven stages on the final day. “The Fabia S2000 performed perfectly from the start, and the team prepared it superbly for each day. In 2010 I lead the rally, then lost everything on the final stage – so this time I was on my guard right to the final metre. My compliments to my co-driver Pavel Dresler, who put in a superb job here. It was a great rally, but we were also blessed with some luck. That is also part of the sport. Third start, third win, and an increased ERC lead – it can’t get better.”

With its victory on the Azores, ŠKODA further extended its lead in the Drivers’ classification of the ERC. The next ERC event for ŠKODA and Kopecký/Dresler is the Rally Corsica on 16 to 18 May.