Kopecky scores two 4th best times

Kopecky scores two 4th best timesFrom Skoda Press [ 21/01/2007 ].
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Jan Kopecký and Filip Schovánek are within reach of their first point in the driver standings in the opening event of the 2007 World Rally Championship. After the fourteenth stage, the crew of the Czech Rally Team Kopecký were eighth; in advance of Sunday's final 'super-stage', the Czech crew, driving a Škoda Fabia WRC has clocked up more than a minute's head-start.

Through almost the whole of Saturday, there was a riveting fight for eighth place (with a championship point up for grabs) between Jan Kopecký and the Finnish driver Jari-Matti Latvala. Both young men put in a superb performance during Saturday's stages, as evidenced by the two fourth-best times achieved by Jan Kopecký over the day. Jan Kopecký fought off the Finnish pilot's assault and, with a safe head-start, can now transfer from the centre of this year's Rallye Monte Carlo - unconventionally the town of Valence - to Monaco with peace of mind. On Sunday, the final super-special stage will be held on part of the circuit known from Formula 1 racing, and should not bring too many changes in the current standings of the Rallye Monte Carlo.

'Of course, we won't know the final result until the car reaches the finish, but our team is making the switch to Monaco with a feeling of a job well done. The Škoda Fabia WRC suffered no complications during the stages, and Jan and Filip handled the pitfalls of the mountain stages of the Rallye Monte Carlo superbly. The crews now face a final stage of just under three kilometres, and our crew will be starting this final section with a good head-start. We are confident that no unexpected situations will arise on Sunday and that we will complete this event which has passed off so well.

Saturday was a very demanding day for Jan, especially because the Finnish driver Jari-Matti Latvala made a full-scale assault on eighth place. However, Jan coped excellently with this attack and I really admire the two fourth-best times, and in particular the absolutely flawless driving during today's leg.

The experience gained from the past was reflected today in that Jan chose ideal tyres for today's leg. This quality decision also deserves recognition,' said Josef Kopecký, the team manager, at the end of Saturday.