ERC A FULL 2013
China winner Lappi in the lead for ŠKODA in Switzerland too
9 November 2013
› ŠKODA duo Lappi/Ferm also impressive in the ERC final in the Alps
› A lead of 43.7 seconds ahead of final day of Rallye International du Valais
› APRC and ERC titles already in the bag for ŠKODA
Matigny, Switzerland, 9 November 2013 – He triumphed for ŠKODA in China last Sunday, and now he is in the lead ahead of the final day of the Rallye International du Valais too: the fast Finn Esapekka Lappi demonstrated his exceptional talent once again in the Swiss Alps. He and his co-driver Janne Ferm now have a 43.7-second lead ahead of the eight special stages that make up the final event of the current FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season.
Simply making it onto the podium 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 titles.
“We had a good day without a single problem. The ŠKODA was fantastic and the driving was a lot of fun today. The grip was much better in the afternoon, so I was able to pick up the pace,” said Lappi, who nevertheless remains cautious about his chances of winning: “Saturday will be the trickiest day. The most important thing is not to make any stupid mistakes, and then we’ll see what happens.”
The 22-year-old Finn didn’t show any signs of flagging, in spite of the seven-hour time difference to China, where he won the final race of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) last weekend. Lappi scored three fastest times in the ten special stages held so far on the winding and slippery asphalt tracks in the breathtaking mountain panorama that surrounds the rally headquarters in Matigny. His closest competitors lost time to this hugely talented driver during the Friday afternoon stages in particular, even though he is actually still something of a novice on asphalt.
Lappi recently impressed everyone by coming second in the ERC’s legendary Rallye Sanremo and also contributed three race wins to ŠKODA’s title win in the APRC. The Czech car maker has also already won the European Championship title* in what has been a highly successful year for the brand, thanks to its pairing of Kopecký as the driver and Dresler as the co-driver. The successful duo dominated the ERC season, scoring six wins and two additional podium finishes out of their eight event starts.
And now their teammate Lappi is comfortably on course to add another chapter to the ŠKODA success story. There are another eight special stages covering a distance of 146.30 kilometres to be tackled on Saturday in the 54th Rallye International du Valais. The highlight will be the Les Cols special stage, which is the longest, over a distance of 37.13 kilometres.
* 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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Rally Report Magazine Argentina
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