WRC »

IRC: Dominant win for Kopecky on Barum

Jan Kopecky strode to a dominant victory on the Barum Czech Rally Zlin on Sunday, round eight of the 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

In so doing the 27-year-old became the first Czech driver in a Czech car to win the biggest motor sport event in the Czech Republic for eight years, enveloping the enormous crowds that lined the stages in celebration.

At the wheel of a works Skoda Fabia S2000, Kopecky took the lead from his team-mate Juho Hanninen on SS2 and never looked back - his winning margin at the finish being almost exactly one minute after 15 fast and gruelling stages over two legs.

“This has been the perfect event for me and everyone involved,” Kopecky enthused amid an emotional reception in host city Zlin. “The car never missed a beat and I was able to concentrate the whole time on keeping an advantage. The atmosphere has been fantastic all week, the fans have given such amazing support I am so proud for them and for Skoda to bring home the win.”

Second place fell to championship leader Kris Meeke after a remarkable comeback drive from 33rd position on Friday night. The Peugeot UK driver started the rally with a five point advantage over Kopecky and worked hard all weekend in order to keep his seat at the top of the points' table. His championship hopes were aided when two of the other main contenders hit trouble - Abarth team leader Giandomenico Basso crashing out on SS8 during torrential rain and Benelux Peugeot ace Freddy Loix suffering a puncture that put his car out of commission on SS10.

“There is so much to like about this rally, from the atmosphere to the stages themselves, which really ask some big questions of you as a driver,” said Meeke. “We were unlucky to pick up the puncture on the first stage that dropped us back, but I have to admit to making a few mistakes along the way that fortunately didn't cost us anything except a chance to really pressure Jan for the lead.”

The podium was completed by the second Skoda Motorsport Fabia of Juho Hanninen, the Finnish gravel expert finding himself gaining confidence on the bumpy and fast asphalt around Zlin as the rally progressed.

“I wasn't too optimistic that we could finish this high before the start,” he said. “But then we won the first stage! After that things were a bit more normal for me, the pace was incredible over the first day and so I decided not to take risks and build up my pace, which worked well in the end. I had a spin today and dropped to fourth but we were lucky and got it back.”

Hanninen's result elevates him to fifth in the IRC points table, passing defending champion Nicolas Vouilloz. The Frenchman - Loix's team-mate in the Benelux Peugeot team - started the rally strongly but was forced out of second place on SS4 when his 207 S2000 caught fire.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jan Kopecky / Petr Stary. Skoda Fabia S2000. Barum Czech Rally Zlin. [Pic credit: IRC]
Scene. Barum Czech Rally Zlin. [Pic credit: IRC]
Jan Kopecky. Skoda Fabia S2000. 2009 Barum Czech Rally Zlin winner. [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

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.