ERC A FULL 2013
Lappi sets sights on podium finish for ŠKODA in the ERC final in Switzerland
› Third ERC start of the year for the Finnish duo driving for ŠKODA
› APRC and ERC titles already in the bag for ŠKODA
› 287,84 kilometres over 18 special stages to be tackled in the Rallye International du Valais
Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic, 5 November 2013 – The fast Finn Esapekka Lappi and his co-driver Janne Ferm hope to secure a spot on the winners’ rostrum for ŠKODA in the final of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season. The pair plans to extend ŠKODA’s string of successes in the Rallye International du Valais to be held in the Swiss Alps from 7 to 9 November. It would be another highlight in an outstanding rally season for the Czech automobile manufacturer, to add to the European Championship title* of Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), its triumph in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)* and also five other national and regional titles.
Lappi recently caused a sensation by coming second in the ERC’s Rallye Sanremo and also contributed three race wins to ŠKODA’s title win in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). The Czech car maker has also already won the European Championship title* in what has been a highly successful rally season for the brand, thanks to its pairing of Kopecký as the driver and Dresler as the co-driver.
“Obviously, we want to match these successes when we compete in the ERC final in our Fabia S2000 in Switzerland. In particular, Janne and I have drawn a lot of self-confidence from our podium finish in Rallye Sanremo,” says Lappi, who then goes on to warn against anyone getting their hopes up too high: “But above all, we will focus on gaining more experience on asphalt.”
It will be the third ERC start of the season for last year’s Finnish rally champion, following on from the Barum Rally in ŠKODA’s native Czech Republic and the Rallye Sanremo. The current European championship has been dominated by his teammate Kopecký in the Fabia S2000, who clinched the ERC championship title before the season was even over by scoring six wins and making it onto the podium on two other occasions in the eight rallies held so far.
ŠKODA’s global successes in rallying are indicative of the brand’s class: in addition to the European champion* Kopecký, the brand also produced national champions with Raimund Baumschlager in Austria, Umberto Scandola in Italy, Dimitar Iliev in Bulgaria and Marouf Abu Samra in Jordan. Gustavo Saba of Paraguay likewise triumphed in a ŠKODA, in South America’s CODASUR championship.* And last weekend, Gaurav Gill (India) clinched the APRC title,* while Lappi did his bit for the triumph of the ŠKODA brand while competing in China.
The 54th Rallye International du Valais will once again be a very special touchstone for Lappi. The rally’s narrow asphalt tracks wind their way through the impressive mountains near to Lake Geneva. The rally, which is based around Martigny, comprises 18 special stages covering a total distance of 287.84 kilometres. Ice and snow can be a factor in this rally in early November – but hailing from Finland, Lappi is more than prepared for such conditions.
* Subject to official confirmation by the FIA
Media Skoda Motorsport
Photos:Tomáš Brčko Brázdil www.foto-brcko.cz by Rally Report Magazine Argentina and Skoda Motorsport https://www.facebook.com/motorsportskoda
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