Kopecky ready for the twists and turns

Kopecky ready for the twists and turnsFrom Skoda Press [ 07/04/2006 ].
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Following their highly successful performance in Spain two weeks ago, where they came fifth overall, the crew of the Czech Rally Team Škoda-Kopecký, Jan Kopecký-Filip Schovánek, are making their return to stages on the asphalt lanes of Corsica in the next event of the World Rally Championship. The Tour de Course is considered to be one of the sternest asphalt tests in the whole series. The route takes the cars from corner to corner, and a quality result is the fruit not only of extensive experience, but also a perfectly prepared crew breakdown. The Tour de Course offers a certain edge to the more experienced crews, because the stages of this rally have become something of a tradition over the past few seasons.

Jan Kopecký and Filip Schovánek will be trying to earn points, but the Tour de Course is a very tricky and unfathomable event. During the official shakedown, the focus was on getting the settings right for the Škoda Fabia WRC, but even so the crew still managed a commendable eighth fastest time in the official test stage.


'This is the second time we are starting the Tour de Course, but this time it is taking place in a different season of the year. All our equipment was moved to Corsica straight from Catalonia, which was a very successful rally for us.

The route of the official shakedown was the same as for last year's test, and on the seven-kilometre stretch we recorded a time of 4:22.4. We were concentrating on making changes to the way the Škoda Fabia WRC was tuned, and there was quite a lot of work to do in this area today. The basic settings were based on the first day of our three days of tests before the Rallye de Catalunya, but we made certain observations that we were keen to try out before the start of the rally itself.

We set off on the shakedown route only after the group of factory team drivers had gone round, so there was a lot of dirt on the track. However, we have to expect the same conditions during Friday's initial leg. I have respect for the difficult parts of the Tour de Course, but I am really looking forward to the rally itself. I hope the spectators and drivers are not let down in the difficult conditions by rain, which would make things worse. I would prefer to drive on dry asphalt because that will make the choice of tyres easier,' said Jan Kopecký.

'The weather is a major influence on the rally. So it is very important and essential to choose the right tyres. The stages run along mountain roads at high altitude, but the choice of tyre mix and tread must take place about two hours in advance in the service zone by the sea, at zero altitude.

This year there is a lot more gravel on the road, and therefore it will be very important to establish excellent cooperation with the exploratory crew, which describes the current state of the track. Jan and I are looking forward to the support of Czech fans, who made their presence felt even during the official shakedown,' added Filip Schovánek.