Hänninen in 2nd is the best ŠKODA

Hänninen in 2nd is the best ŠKODAFrom Skoda Press [ 08/10/2011 ].
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Scheduled to extend over three days, the last-but-one event of this year's IRC Championship started on Friday with two identical stages, 8 km each. The start list includes all the top-ranking drivers of the IRC, and the fastest of them on Day 1 was Guy Wilks in a Peugeot, the winner of the 2009 Rally of Scotland. Appearing in the IRC after a short pause, ŠKODA Motorsport's Juho Hänninen is second, 4.4 seconds behind Wilks. Quite surprisingly, the third place is occupied by P.G. Anderson in a Proton who is only 0.2 sec. behind Hänninen. ŠKODA UK Motorsport's Andreas Mikkelsen is sixth (+6.8 sec), Jan Kopecký of ŠKODA Motorsport is ninth (+11.8).

Scotland is known for heavy rains all over the year, and the days right before the event confirmed that. Today's weather was surprisingly steady and the sky not completely cloudy, but the tracks have remained soaked, anyway. More rains are forecast for the weekend, which will make the rally even more difficult for all on the gravel surface. Juho Hänninen: “We didn't quite catch the right rhythm, but I believe we will improve, this rally will be a long one. The tracks are very muddy, so it's definitely more difficult than last year.”

Jan Kopecký: “We have only appeared once on gravel this year and we feel that, but we have to bite the bullet and do our best. Mud is simply everywhere.”

The rally continues on Saturday with six stages (112 kilometres). The points to be won in Scotland will be multiplied by 1.5.