IRC: Meeke tips Kopecky for Zlin victory

Jan Kopecky has been tipped to win the Barum Czech Rally Zlin, round eight of the 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, by the current leader in the IRC standings, Britain's Kris Meeke.

Twenty-seven-year-old Kopecky will drive a Skoda Motorsport Fabia Super 2000 on his home event and Meeke believes that Kopecky's pace will be hard to match.

"Jan showed in Ypres how quick he could be and I'm sure there will be no driver quicker than him," said Meeke. "He knows the event well and he will want to prove he's the top Czech driver."

Kopecky has yet to register his first IRC win but has finished on the podium on three occasions this season. His Skoda team-mate Juho Hanninen was victorious when the IRC visited Russia in July.

"I am certain this will be a fantastic rally for us and I am really looking forward to it," added Kopecky. "I wish to invite all our fans to come to the rally."

Meanwhile the Ralliart challenge on the event has been boosted by the addition of several star crews.

Ralliart is currently third in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge manufacturers' standings after seven events thanks largely to the efforts of Austrian Franz Wittman Jr.

The Interwetten Racing driver has had to shoulder the burden of the firm's expectations for much of this season. However, the Ralliart line-up will also include Dutch driver Jasper van den Heuvel and Czech Vaclav Pech when the IRC resumes next week.

"There will be great competition, I can't wait," said Wittman Jr, whose father Franz Sr won the event twice in the past. "Our goal is to close the gap to the Super 2000 cars. It's not easy because our car has less power and more weight but it's good we have more cars to help."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle. Peugeot 207 S2000. Belgium Ypres Rally. June 2009 [Pic credit: Peugeot UK]
Jan Kopecky
Jan Kopecky / Petr Stary. Skoda Fabia S2000. Belgium Ypres Rally. June 2009 [Pic credit: Skoda]
Jan Kopecky / Petr Stary. Skoda Fabia S2000. Rally Russia. July 09 [Pic credit: IRC]
3th place Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II)
1st place Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
2n place Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Michelin tyres
Robert Kubica

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