The factory supported Skoda Matador team of Jan Kopecky and Filip Schovanek have a new climax to the 2003 season. At the beginning of November they are to take part in the Rally of Great Britain, the final event of this year's FIA World Rally Championship.

For the young crew this will be their second time out this year in the Octavia WRC with the support of the Skoda Motorsport factory team.

Both members of the team enjoy great support from their fathers, who were active racers themselves and made their mark on the history of Czech motor sport several times. Pavel Schovanek formed part of an extremely successful duo with Vaclav Blahna, and as his co-driver was five-time national rally champion. In all he collected a total of six titles.

Josef Kopecky began his career in go-karts, before going on to circuits and uphill racing. In 1994 he won the European Championship in uphill racing and is still the only man to win the FIA cup in a Group N vehicle. In 1998, 2001 and 2002 he won the ?koda Octavia Cup. He was also double circuit racing and three-time uphill racing champion of the Czech Republic.

The duo of Kopecky-Schovanek juniors certainly have something to live up to, though their performances to date have already ranked them among the most talented crews in the Czech Republic.

Jan and Filip will line up for the start of Rally GB ten days after the final event of the Czech National Championship in T?eb??. In recent weeks they have shone with an excellent third place at the Barum Rally and a masterful victory in P??bram.

Team manager Josef Kopecky said: "Jan is just 21, and Filip just three years older, and they are both still gaining in experience. For them to continue to grow, they must have the chance of squaring up to the world elite. Rally GB is ideal for this in view of both its timing and the difficulty of the course, the majority of which is over gravel which you don't find in Czech Republic. We hope this will provide the boys with great motivation. The atmosphere of the rally itself is immensely important."

Jan Kopecky added: "I can hardly wait. As a factory supported team we've got the right to a relatively low starting number, so we will be competing practically from the start with the very best in the same car we are using for the Czech championship. For the basic configuration we are using information obtained by the Skoda Motorsport factory team from its previous starts at Rally GB. I've only seen Rally GB on television and I know that it's quite fast."

Co-driver Filip Schovanek continued: "I've talked to ex-Skoda Motorsport co-driver Milo? H?lka about the conditions we can expect and he's given me a lot of valuable advice and useful information. We are working closely with members of the Skoda Motorsport World Rally Team on the logistics for the event. It will be a demanding week in unpleasant and cold weather, so I have to ensure I am well prepared for it myself. The physical side of things, along with the rain, mud and cold, demand that we are all in absolutely peak condition. Personally I put the emphasis on stretching and relaxing exercises. The neck muscles and the back are particularly important. And it also takes a good state of mind, lots of vitamins and a good routine..."

The final round of 2003 World Rally Championship is to be held from the 6th to the 9th of November in Cardiff, Wales, UK.

 

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