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Skoda confirms IRC title defence

Juho Hanninn and Jan Kopecky to lead Skoda again in 2012 IRC Season
Skoda has confirmed that it's factory team will return to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge for the 2012 season in an attempt to secure the crown for a third straight season.

Juho Hanninen and Jan Kopecky will once again drive the two Fabia S2000 cars, with the pair also set to contest a number of events elsewhere.

Hanninen will take part in selected European Championship rounds while Kopecky will also contest the Czech national championship alongside his IRC commitments.

“Skoda's top priority will be to defend the IRC titles we have won in the last two years,” head of motorsport Michal Hrabanek said. “Three drivers in factory-prepared Fabia Super 2000s are going to fight for points in the Manufacturers category – Jan Kopecky and Juho Hanninen of Skoda Motorsport (factory team) and Andreas Mikkelsen of Skoda UK Motorsport.

“With future prospects in mind, we want to gain experience in selected events of the European Championship where we will be represented by Juho Hanninen and Mikko Markkula, one of our factory crews. Intending to become even more visible in the home market, the other factory crew, Jan Kopecky & Pavel Dresler, will appear on Czech tracks as part of the Czech Championship. Pavel Dressler has replaced Petr Starý who, unfortunately, has a long-standing health problem – in this connection, the whole team wishes Petr a fast recovery.”



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