WRC »

IRC: Kopecky leads Barum Czech Rally

Fourth place is held by the second works Skoda Fabia of Juho Hanninen, who won last night's city centre stage in Zlin and won again on SS6, but struggled to maintain his pace in between these two victories. He has nevertheless recovered and is now battling to hold off the Peugeot of three-time Barum Czech Rally Zlin winner Roman Kresta.

“It was really difficult this morning because the competition was so fast and I just wasn't comfortable on the asphalt roads, which are so narrow and bumpy in the forests,” Hanninen said. “But as the day went on I got more comfortable with it all and we're in a good position for tomorrow.”

A dramatic exit from the rally meanwhile befell Abarth team leader Giandomenico Basso, the winner of the previous IRC round in Madeira earlier this month. Despite an encouraging start to hold third place, Basso had said that rainfall would work against the handling of his car on the slippery Czech asphalt

When the downpour began on SS7 he came off but continued having dropped only a few seconds. As the rainfall became torrential on SS8, however, Basso and co-driver Mitia Dotta suffered an enormous impact from which they emerged unscathed – but which forced officials to cancel the stage.

Having initially struggled to acclimatise to his new Peugeot 207 S2000, BF Goodrich Drivers Team entry Martin Prokop duly got up to speed, climbing to sixth place at the overnight halt. The newly-crowned Junior World Rally Championship winner's pace grew with his confidence in the guest car for this event, and he holds his position in front of Citroen's teenage World Rally Championship driver, Russian star Evgeny Novikov, who has privately entered a Skoda.

The final points-winning position changed places several times before Luca Rossetti claimed it overnight in the surviving works Abarth, ahead of the leading Ralliart contender, local man Vaclav Pech.

For the all-new Proton cars, however, there was little joy to be found in the Czech Republic as computer software problems in the engine management system eliminated both of the promising Satria Neo S2000 cars of Bryan Bouffier and Guy Wilks on the opening night.

In the IRC 2WD Cup local man Egon Smekal leads the way, after fellow Honda competitors - Dutchman Marcel Piepers and Norwegian Martin Knudsen - both crashed out. Smekal leads fellow Czech driver Jiri Skoupil by the narrowest of margins in his Abarth, with another Honda belonging to Hungary's Laszlo Vizin lying third.

Sunday's final day begins at 08.00 hours and runs through six special stages before the finish in central Zlin at 16.00 hours [all times local].




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Scene. Barum Czech Rally Zlin. [Pic credit: IRC]
Jan Kopecky / Petr Stary. Skoda Fabia S2000. Barum Czech Rally Zlin. [Pic credit: IRC]
21.05.2017 - 1st place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team, 2nd place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Fabio Andolfi (ITA) Manuel Fenoli (ITA) HYUNDAI i20 R5, ACI TEAM ITALIA
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - TEEMU SUNINEN (FIN) - MIKKO MARKKULA (FIN) FORD FIESTA R5, M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - JEAN-MICHEL RAOUX (FRA) - THOMAS ESCARTEFIGUE (FRA) CITROEN DS3 WRC
21.05.2017 - Valeriy Gorban (UKR)-Sergei Larens (EST) BMW‐Mini John Cooper Works, Eurolamp World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.