Kopecky criticises muddy superspecial

Kopecky criticises muddy superspecialFrom Skoda Press [ 01/06/2007 ].
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The World Rally Championship circuit continues with one of the most demanding races of the entire championship, which the Greek Acropolis Rally without a doubt is. The dusty special stages on hard gravel surface will thoroughly test the race cars and especially their tires.

Czech Rally team Kopecký starts in Greece with the same Škoda Fabia WRC car that it used to take part in Rally d'Italia Sardegna. The car on its way from Italy to Greece has undergone a tune up at a local Škoda dealership in Italy and is ready for the demanding gravel contest.

This time the crew Jan Kopecký-Filip Schovánek has not performed any special on location test before the race and that is why all the modifications to the chassis were verified in Thursday's official shakedown. Jan Kopecký went through six runs at this shakedown today and before the start of the BP Ultimate Acropolis Rally, he was happy with the selected car setup.

In the evening the crews entered the Greek Rally with a super special stage, which was prepared at the horse racing racecourse Markopoulo Mesoganias which was constructed for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The organizers, as a result of their fears of high dustiness, have significantly watered the surface of the special stage before the start of the first pair of race crews and thus the racetrack very quickly simply turned to mud. Unfortunately, Jan Kopecký entered the Rally with his Estonian competitor as the first pair. His ride and especially the achieved time were significantly influenced by the soaked track. However, the surface dried very quickly and was becoming quicker with each run. For this reason the Jan Kopecký-Filip Schovánek crew did not achieve the expected place in the spectator super special stage.

"Although I was in a very good mood after the official shakedown, in the end I am unbelievably disappointed today. Our mechanics on the premises of the Italian Škoda dealer have done a great job of preparing the car and during the official shakedown we were able to find an optimal car setup for the harsh Greek conditions. On top of all the organizers were able to select a section that faithfully simulates the BP Ultimate Acropolis Rally special stages.

Since we have not undergone a test in Greece before start of the race, we started off on the shakedown track six times and I was very happy with the car's driving qualities. I was very much looking forward to the start of the spectator super special stage, but the organizers had a shocking surprise in store for us. They considerably wetted the track before the start and the track was literally soaked. Since we started right in the first pair and it was clear to us that we have distinctively toughest conditions. Already at the start we've lost a few seconds because the car could not start to move on the layer of mud. In each turn the car was very hard to handle and the achieved time corresponds to the given conditions. Since the surface dried very quickly, the each run track became noticeably faster with each run. We've brought the Škoda Fabia WRC car to the finish line with about a fifty kilogram of mud weight, which we have all over. We've parked the car in a closed parking lot and we'll have to spend most of the morning service on just removing mud from the car," said the driver Jan Kopecký.