Jan Kopecky will start the Barum Czech Rally Zlin, round seven of the IRC, determined to make up for the disappointment of last season when he crashed out while leading on the final day of the event.

The Czech hero, the winner in Zlin in 2009, is second in the 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge drivers' standings and determined to end his winless streak in the series, which stretches back to May 2010.

Kopecky, who is co-driven in his Skoda Motorsport Fabia Super 2000 by countryman Petr Stary, said: "This is our home rally, and I and Petr are looking forward to it very much.

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"We were the fastest crew here in the last two years, but we had bad luck last year and flew off the track. We expect strong support from our great fans, but we know we will be under pressure, because we are expected to succeed here."

Team-mate Juho Hanninen, the current IRC leader, is also expected to run at the front on the challenging asphalt event.

"We have been doing well at the Barum Rally over the past few years, and we want to continue this trend," added the Finn. "This is a difficult rally with many tricky places and one of the climaxes of the season, one of the reasons being the great fans here."

A total of 14 Fabia S2000s will be in action on the event, which gets underway with the first of 15 stages tonight.