› With 27 wins, ŠKODA is the most successful brand in the history of the IRC
› With 11 wins, factory driver Juho Hänninen is the most successful driver in the IRC
› With 7 wins, his teammate Jan Kopecký is the second most successful driver in the history of the IRC
› San Remo Rally: Kopecký second, Hänninen did not finish
› ŠKODA Motorsport´s factory drivers have won three championship titles this year
San Remo, 13 October, 2012 – ŠKODA is celebrating another great achievement after winning its third consecutive Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) title in the Manufacturers category. The brand has sealed its hat-trick of titles at the San Remo Rally, the penultimate event of this year´s IRC. With 27 wins, ŠKODA has become the most successful brand in the IRC and, with 11 wins, Juho Hänninen & Mikko Markkula are the most successful crew. Furthermore, Hänninen & Markkula have become the European Champions and Kopecký & Dresler the Czech Champions this year.
Summarising the brand´s successful appearance in the IRC, Head of ŠKODA Motorsport Michal Hrabánek says: “We have won a valuable hat-trick of IRC titles and made a historic achievement with the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 by becoming the most successful brand of the IRC Championship. Furthermore, our drivers have achieved the largest number of victories. This is indeed the best reward for all the team members in return for the top-class work they have been putting in throughout this successful period. The end of this season is still ahead of us, though, and our ambition is to win also the title in Drivers category.”
With 11 wins, Juho Hänninen is the most successful driver in the history of the IRC: “I am glad that we have helped ŠKODA achieve this great hat-trick of titles by winning three events this year (Ireland, Belgium, Czech Republic). We have had an excellent car all the time, and that was the key to our success.” Juho Hänninen & Mikko Markkula are the only crew worldwide to have won the IRC (2010), the World Championship (SWRC, 2011) and the European Championship (2012).
Jan Kopecký, three times IRC Vice-champion in 2009, 2010 and 2011, has won two IRC events this year – in the Canary Islands and Sicily: “I am really grateful for the opportunity to be part of this great team and drive this superb car. Considering the tough competition, i.e. the existing number of top-class drivers, we are very pleased with the results we have achieved.” Jan Kopecký in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 has comfortably won this year’s Czech Rally Championship.
Andreas Mikkelsen of ŠKODA UK Motorsport tops the current standings before the final IRC event that is scheduled to take place in Cyprus over 2-4 November, and is thus quite likely to repeat his last year´s victory in the Drivers category. Just like last year, the Cyprus Rally offers a double number of points for grabs. Mikkelsen was fastest in the Azores Islands and Romania this year. Drivers of ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000s celebrated the title in the last two years – Juho Hänninen and Mikko Markkula in 2010 and Andreas Mikkelsen & Ola Floene last year.??Jan Kopecký & Pavel Dresler finished second in San Remo to achieve their best result in this rally that is usually dominated by home drivers. Juho Hänninen and Mikko Markkula retired after an accident in Stage 4.