› Kopecký wins, beating Bouffier by 0.5 sec
› Fantastic finish by Kopecký & Dresler after a tyre defect in Stage 15
› A new era of the European Championship (ERC) has started
› The Jänner is part of both the European Championship and the Czech Championship
› A difficult rally with tough on-track conditions
Freistadt, 5 January, 2013 – A thrilling spectacle in extremely difficult conditions that ended in ŠKODA Motorsport´s celebrations – that was the opening event of this year´s European Championship and Czech Championship, the Jänner Rally in Austria. ŠKODA Motorsport´s factory crew, Jan Kopecký & Pavel Dresler, put in a brilliant performance to win in the end by incredible 0.5 sec despite a tyre defect in Stage 15.
Jan Kopecký: “It’s been an extremely difficult rally, with a large number of dramatic duels and all kinds of weather. We made a good start and it looked like a comfortable win but then the tyre defect nearly killed our hopes. We did not give it up, though, and we did something that seemed almost impossible – catching up with Bouffier whose lead was more than comfortable at that moment. We are thrilled to bits now, because this rally has indeed been highly eventful.
I wish to thank all the members of our team for putting in hard work - everything worked absolutely perfectly!”
Kopecký & Dresler dominated the standings until Stage 15 when they had a tyre defect that cost them one minute and sent them down to third place, but Jan Kopecký showed a brilliant chase ride to catch up with leader Bouffier within the last three stages. The time board after Stage 18 showed: 1. Kopecký, 2. Bouffier +0.5 s. Ten times Austrian Champion Raimund Baumschlager in another Fabia Super 2000 finished third.
As is so typical of this event, also the 30th Jänner Rally saw snow, ice, rain, fog, evening-time stages, fast-changing on-track conditions and a tyre-choice lottery. The on-track conditions were often extreme, and the standings changed after basically every stage.
The European Championship (ERC) started a new era in Austria – its merger with the IRC has given rise to the FIA-ERC, a single championship whose new promoter is Eurosport.
- ŠKODA received 19 major awards last year, for its outstanding product and excellent customer service on top of the 18 awards ŠKODA received in 2011.
- ŠKODA has been in the top ten of the J.D. Power Survey of Customer Satisfaction for the past 20 years.
- ŠKODA Motorsport repeated its double win in 2012 as IRC Drivers’ & Manufacturers’ Champions, with Andreas Mikkelsen bringing home the IRC Drivers’ title for ŠKODA UK Motorsport in a factory–prepared Fabia Super 2000.
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