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Hacked by prem7pun!sherFrom Skoda Press [ 01/04/2007 ].
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The Jan Kopecký-Filip Schovánek crew approached the second leg of the Rally de Portugal with an effort to achieve at least partial successes after yesterday’s jinxed leg. During yesterday’s initial super stage Jan Kopecký has retired as a result of a non-functional brake system caused by a manufacturer defect and the loss of the Czech Rally Team Kopecký following the first leg, as a result of penalties for arriving to the finish line of Friday’s special stages, was more than thirty minutes.

The initial stages today, contrary to the yesterday’s leg, were very slippery because the surface of special stages was wetted by a great downpour. Jan Kopecký has achieved three stage times in the top ten and his best time was in super stage ten, which he finished as the eighth fastest. During the second leg he moved up thirty positions, but still in Sunday’s leg he’ll again start only with the goal of running quality times in the individual special stages, because the loss from Friday’s stage does not allow for a chance of good result in the overall standings

“Understandably, it is much easier for me to talk about the course of today’s leg. Although Jan has not entered Saturday’s leg in an ideal fashion, he was able to gradually speed up and achieve times within the top ten. Especially split times in the fast sections of the special stages are very good.  Jan, in sections where the car is revved up to third, fourth and fifth gear, achieves very good split times. On the contrary, when coming out of slow turns and running uphill, we are losing significantly.

In the morning, all the drivers had problems with bad traction, because as a result of the downpour, there was a lot of mud on the track. Jan did not achieve times that would be satisfactory to us. It was partially caused by a worse adjustment of the chassis for such a slippery surface and even Jan was unable to ideally master such a muddy track condition.

Before second runs the track was able to dry out and by then Jan was happy with the traction of his Škoda Fabia WRC. The times achieved by our crew have improved significantly. The gap to the leading drivers is a bit greater than what we would wish, but those guys are running their own race in Portugal . In comparison with pilots of similar experiences as well as home pilots benefiting from the knowledge of conditions and track, Jan does not compare bad at all. Of course in the future, we want to compete with the fastest,” said the manager of the team Josef Kopecký following Saturday’s leg.

Rally de Portugal will finish in Sunday’s leg with five super special stages with a total distance of 81 kilometers.