IRC: Kopecky takes sombre success

Jan Kopecky declared as winner of the latest IRC event in Sicily

Jan Kopecky has been declared the winner of round five of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge season in Sicily after the event was halted following the death of Craig Breen's co-driver Gareth Roberts.

The accident happened approximately eight kilometres from the start of the Cefalu' stage east of the service park in Termini Imerese on Saturday morning, with Roberts succumbing to his injuries despite medics being on the scene within seconds.

The remainder of the event was cancelled as a mark of respect, with the result declared at the end of the eighth stage.

Kopecky was therefore declared the winner of the event, having overturned a 4.5secs defecit to overnight leader Andreas Mikkelsen into a slender advantage having gone 5.3secs quicker through what would become the final stage.

Giandomencio Basso in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC was third ahead of Umberto Scandolo and six-time winner Paolo Andreucci.

“I feel very bad…very bad,” the Peugeot man said. “Unfortunately a very talented young man has gone.

“In the fullness of time, maybe we need to look more in detail at the causes and what exactly happened to see if we can learn anything. But for now though, I'm just thinking of Gareth, Craig and his family.”

Mikkelsen is now six points ahead of Kopecky in the championship.

Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale Di Sicilia - Top ten IRC positions (results declared after SS8)

1. Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler ŠKODA Fabia S2000 1h04m59.1s
2. Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene ŠKODA Fabia S2000 +0.8s
3. Giandomencio Basso/Mitia Dotta M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC +2.5s
4. Umberto Scandola/Guido D'Amore ŠKODA Fabia S2000 +23.5s
5. Paolo Andreucci/Anna Andreussi Peugeot 207 S2000 +33.3s
6. Matteo Gamba/Emanuele Inglesi Peugeot 207 S2000 +54.4s
7. Sepp Wiegand/Timo Gottschalk ŠKODA Fabia S2000 +1m08.7s
8. Alessandro Perico/Fabrizio Carrara Peugeot 207 S2000 +1m17.5s
9. Massimiliano Rendina/Mario Pizzuti Ralliart Lancer Evolution X +4m44.1s
10. Robert Consani/Nicolas Klinger Renault Mégane RS +4m58.6s

IRC Production Cup: Massimiliano Rendina/Mario Pizzuti (Ralliart Lancer Evolution X)
IRC 2WD Cup: Simone Campedelli/Danilo Fappani (Citroën DS3 R3T)

IRC standings (after round five of 13) - Top ten*

1. Andreas Mikkelsen 89pts
2. Jan Kopecký 83pts
3. Juho Hänninen 43pts
4. Sepp Wiegand 40pts
5. Bryan Bouffier 27pts
6. Dani Sordo 25pts
7. Craig Breen 18pts
8. Giandomencio Basso 15 pts
= Pierre Campana 15pts
= Luis Monzón 15pts

* - best eight rounds to count

IRC manufacturers' standings (after round five of 13)

1. ŠKODA 209pts
2. Peugeot 124pts
3. Renault 51pts
4. M-Sport 39pts
5. Subaru 31pts
6. Honda 22pts

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