Skoda Motorsport enjoyed a winning start to its 2012 season after Jan Kopecky secured victory in the Janner Rally in Austria.
Using the event as a warm-up for its Intercontinental Rally Challenge campaign, Skoda claimed a 1-2 finish as Kopecky beat team-mate Juho Hanninen to claim top honours, with Raimund Baumschlager fourth in a privately-entered Fabia S2000.
Hanninen had managed to lead the field at the end of day one, despite running first on the road in tricky conditions where the stages were covered in snow and ice.
However, sweeping the road again on day two worked against the Finn who saw team-mate Kopecky move into the lead on Saturday's third stage before wrapping up victory.
“The conditions were rough throughout this event, but our performance gradually got better,” the Czech driver said. “I'd like to thank the whole team for preparing the car perfectly. It's great that my new co-driver Pavel Dressler and I are celebrating victory in this difficult rally, right at the beginning of the new season.”
Despite the disappointment of missing out on victory, Hanninen wasn't too despondent with second place.
“We started day two as the leaders, but the heavy snowfall had a negative impact on our speed,” he said. “Anyway, the Janner Rally is a lovely but difficult rally, and finishing second here is certainly a good result.”