From Skoda Press [ 29/08/2010 ].
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The 40th Barum Czech Rally Zlín was dominated by Škodas Fabia Super 2000. The ninth Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) event and at the same time the sixth Czech championship event of this season was affected by fast-changing weather conditions, with sunny moments and strong rain taking turns all over the weekend. For the third time in this year's IRC series, the winner is Belgian Freddy Loix representing Škoda Motorsport, followed by his teammate Juho Hänninen and Pavel Valoušek of Škoda Delimax who came third. By dominating this event, Škoda has sealed its victory in the brand competition, as it can't be overtaken in this year's remaining three IRC events. Moreover, Juho Hänninen has reinforced his leadership in the IRC driver rankings. Pavel Valoušek, the best Czech this weekend, is near winning the Czech championship.
Michal Hrabánek, Head of Škoda Motorsport: “This is a unique achievement for the entire Škoda brand. We see the victory in the IRC Manufacturers competition as a great success and a result of the team's hard work throughout the Fabia Super 2000 project. It is indeed a unique milestone in the history of our sporting activities. The season is not yet over, though, and we will do our best to win the Drivers competition, too. Now we are going to start preparing for the San Remo Rally. I wish to thank all the crews that have won points for Škoda this season, and also the entire team, i.e. all our mechanics, engineers, and other people who have contributed to this achievement. And although Honza Kopecký ƒt Petr Starý were not lucky in this particular event, I want to point out that they have done a great job in terms of developing and testing our successful car“.
Freddy Loix: “This is my second victory here, and this one was certainly a lot more difficult than the one two years ago, due to the bad weather conditions this weekend. I have been feeling great since the first day, and even at the moments when I was not as fast as I would have wished to be I knew the most important thing was to avoid making a mistake. I would like to thank the sponsors and the Škoda Motorsport team for a chance to drive the top-class Škoda Fabia Super 2000“.
Juho Hänninen: “With the weather conditions as they were and the necessity to select the tyres really carefully, this was a fierce battle that remained undecided until the end. As far as the overall IRC rankings are concerned, the result of this event is great for our team, as well as for me and Mikko. An excellent event, a fantastic result and many fans alongside the track that indeed created a great atmosphere here, despite several heavy rainfalls. The car was prepared perfectly again - we had no technical problems“.
Jan Kopecký: “The weather conditions, especially today, forced us to go full blast all the time, because we never knew when the next rain would come and where we might lose contact with the leaders as a consequence. We made a mistake, though, and hit an embankment that set the car spinning. We were still able to go on, but then in the next section I braked a little too late, the car licked a metal rod and slid off the track to grass from where it was impossible to get back. Anyway, I wish to thank the whole team for their excellent work, and I believe that we will do better next time“.
Josef Kopecký, Head of Škoda Delimax: “We took advantage of being at home and having a top-class team behind us, and got near winning the Czech championship“.
Pavel Valoušek: “It's been a difficult weekend, a challenging event with some very difficult stretches. The key factors were that the car worked perfectly and that we, together with our team, chose the right tyres, especially on Sunday. It is great to see Škoda vehicles in the first three places. My result increases my chances of winning my first Czech championship title“.