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Hacked by prem7pun!sherFrom Skoda Press [ 02/04/2007 ].
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The Jan Kopecký-Filip Schovánek crew has completed their first start in the Rally de Portugal in twenty second position. After a jinxed entry into the race, when the Czech Rally Team Kopecký crew had to retire as a result of a technical breakdown from Friday’s leg, Jan Kopecký focused on running quality times in the individual special stages. During the eleven special stages on Saturday and the entire Sunday’s leg he accomplished six times in the top ten and in the final eighteenth special stage, he arrived at the finish line of Rally de Portugal with seventh best stage time.

„Although we have not accomplished the expected result in Rally de Portugal as far as the final overall position, which was caused by the faulty of the left rear brake valve, we are leaving Portugal satisfied. In Saturday’s and Sunday’s special stages our Jan Kopecký-Filip Schovánek crew put in a very good performance, comparable with crews, which at this phase of crew development should be a measure for Jan and Filip.

When evaluating, it is necessary to take into consideration what continuously developing technology our competitors have at their disposal and what technical lead they have before our crew. The track’s profile and race parameters also have their significant place in the evaluation and I am trying to analyze and evaluate them thoroughly. Although these parameters are the same for all cars, the individual cars react to them differently.

The entire Czech Rally Team Kopecký fabulously worked on preparation as well as testing before the Rally de Portugal, but unfortunately what was proven true was the slogan that you cannot command technology. Friday’s technical breakdown has convinced us of such, when the faulty material on the brake valve forced Jan to retire from Friday’s leg. The rear brake circuit, including the hand brake, was completely non-functional as a result of the leaked out brake fluid and the front brakes also very rapidly lost their effect,” said the manager of the team Josef Kopecký following the end of Rally de Portugal.  

“Of course I was sorry that the Rally de Portugal essentially ended for us even before it really started. We did not have a shot at a better overall position, but did not give up the race. We tried to run quality times in the individual special stages and we have accomplished that.

I was very pleased by the interest from fans of our team and especially the Škoda brand, and there were really a lot of those in Portugal . The meeting with Škoda Auto a.s. representatives as well as with our other partners, who came to support us in the service zone and at the special stages, was very pleasant. I thank all not only for their encouragement not only at the location of the race, but mainly for their great support throughout the whole season, without which we could not participate in the select races classified in the Rally World Championship circuit,” added the pilot Jan Kopecký.

“Rally de Portugal is typical for its enormous interest from the passionate fans. Following the unfortunate development of the race, we focused only on collecting experience in a race and region unfamiliar to us”. We’ll try to utilize the knowledge gained in Portugal in the future gravel races,” added the co-pilot Filip Schovánek.