Happy Easter for Skoda

Happy Easter for SkodaFrom Skoda Press [ 19/04/2014 ].
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ŠKODA pulled off the Easter surprise they were hoping for: At the Circuit of Ireland Rally, the fourth round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), the brand from Mladá Boleslav celebrated a resounding one-two victory. The “Flying Finns” Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm won ten of the 18 special stages that took place on fast and extremely narrow asphalt streets around Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital city. Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) of Team ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland rounded off an excellent chase on Easter Saturday with second place. Fifth-placed Neil Simpson/Claire Mole (GB/GB) in their privateer Fabia Super 2000 ensured that three ŠKODAs finished in the Top 5.

“We are delighted that we won in Northern Ireland,” said Lappi. “The whole team worked hard for this success. Before the rally we didn’t think that we would lead from start to finish. It was a perfect rally for us. The speed and reliability of the Fabia Super 2000 were crucial in this rally that demands a lot of drivers and vehicles. Our intensive preparations paid off. Thanks and congratulations to the whole team.” With their second victory of the season following their triumph in Latvia, Lappi and Ferm have taken the lead in the drivers’ standings and the co-drivers’ standings of the European Rally Championship.

Wiegand won four special stages on day two of the rally to move up from fourth to second in the overall standings. “It’s a great weight off my mind,” said the 23-year-old from Zwönitz. “Our first podium finish in the ERC and even a one-two victory for ŠKODA. We’ve been working towards this since the start of the season. Thanks to the team, the lads gave us a perfect car. We improved over the two days, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to catch Robert Barrable. This will spur us on for the rest of the season.” Wiegand moved up to third in the drivers’ standings of the ERC.

The number of the Circuit of Ireland Rally: 3
Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN)’s victory sees ŠKODA recorded in the list of winners at the Circuit of Ireland Rally for the third time. In 2009, local hero Eugene Donnelly (GB) won with his co-driver Paddy Toner (GB) in the Fabia WRC, in 2012 the then ŠKODA works duo Juho Hänninen/Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN) in the Fabia Super 2000 finished first in the third oldest rally in the world.