Kopecky fends of Solberg for 10th

Kopecky fends of Solberg for 10thFrom Skoda Press [ 09/04/2006 ].
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The Czech Rally Team Škoda-Kopecký crew of Jan Kopecký and Filip Schovánek came tenth in the challenging asphalt rally of the Tour de Course. The game plan for the final part of the rally was to close the gap on Galli and challenge Sarazzin. However, the efforts of Jan and Filip were complicated by a cracked rear stabilizer right at the start of Sunday's leg, as a result of which Peter Solberg overtook Jan. By putting in a superb performance in the final two stages, Jan Kopecký beat Solberg to reclaim tenth place.

'Of course I'm very happy that we beat Peter Solberg in the eleventh and twelfth stages and regained tenth place.

Although Corsica is an asphalt event, it is very difficult - it is a very rugged terrain with many corners one after the other. The stages in this complex mountainous terrain are more than 30 kilometres long; the type of asphalt changes constantly, and large stones are churned up on the route - two of which we struck today.

The Škoda Fabia WRC handled excellently. Filip and the car were faultless and I really enjoyed the end of the Tour de Course. I'm genuinely looking forward to the next event in the World Rally Championship,' said a satisfied Jan Kopecký at the finish of the Tour de Course.

'The difficulty of the course is underlined by the scope of rally notes - almost twice as many for the individual stages in Corsica compared to Spain - instead of 25 pages of notes we had up to fifty here.

With the Tour de Course we have completed the first part of the season. Most of the events have been on asphalt, and now we have to gear up for the gravel events, where we don't have so much experience. We are now entering a "training period", because we have hardly driven on gravel, and not at all in the Škoda Fabia WRC,' added Filip Schovánek.

'The event went very well apart from the cracked stabilizer on the rear axle at the start of Sunday's leg. As a result of this problem, Peter Solberg caught up with Jan. After the tenth stage, they had exactly the same times, and the crew had to come to terms with the fact that instead of fighting for points they were in for a battle to keep the world champion at bay. With his fantastic performance at the end of the competition, Jan reclaimed tenth place.

We do not consider the cracked stabilizer to be a technical defect because this sort of problem can easily happen on a route like the Tour de Course. Large stones are churned up and hit the stabilizer, which then cracks.

The Tour de Course has been our most difficult asphalt rally to date, so we are satisfied with the overall result.

The Škoda Fabia WRC drove very well, and our thanks belong to the whole team for preparing the car before and during the rally,' said the team manager Josef Kopecký.