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APRC: KOPECKÝ CONTINUES ŠKODA’S WINNING RUN IN AUSTRALIA

FIA APRC A FULL 2014

APRC: Kopecký continues ŠKODA’s winning run in Australia

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› European Rally Champion leads in the APRC standings
› Third ŠKODA triumph in a row at the International Rally of Queensland
› ŠKODA extends lead in the APRC Manufacturers’ Championship
› ŠKODA wins in Belgium and Australia – 16,000 kilometres apart

23 June 2014

Caloundra, 22 June 2014 – A beaming Jan Kopecký (CZ) lifts the winner’s trophy aloft in Australia. The European Champion produced a flawless display at the International Rally of Queensland to present the works-assisted ŠKODA MRF team with its third win in three races in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). At the same time, the Czech driver also moved into the sole lead in the APRC. ŠKODA extended its lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship and remains on course to successfully defend its title. One day earlier, and a good 16,000 kilometres away, Freddy Loix (B) had already won the Belgian round of the FIA European Rally Championship, also in a Fabia Super 2000.

“I am very happy with this success in Australia, as it was an extremely tough rally. The roads were extremely slippery after the rain during the night. Furthermore, I was the first onto the route on Sunday and had to stop for some cows, which were in our way on the road. But that is part of the beautiful and wild nature here,” said Kopecký. Despite the loss of time, he and co-driver Pavel Dresler completed the 15 special stages 1:09.3 minutes quicker than locals Scott Padder/Dale Moscatt (AUS/AUS) on their first appearance in Australia.

32-year-old Kopecký produced a nerveless display to claim a fully-deserved FIA Pacific Cup. It was the third success in a row for ŠKODA in the APRC class of the International Rally of Queensland. Australian Chris Atkinson triumphed in a Fabia Super 2000 in 2012, while Finland’s Esapekka Lappi won in 2013. ŠKODA went on to win the title in the prestigious series on the back of both previous victories Down Under. And Kopecký is on course to continue this winning run: after three races in his rookie season in the APRC, the 32-year-old has two wins and a second place to his name. As such, he now holds a commanding lead in the overall standings, followed by team-mate Gaurav Gill (IND).

The defending champion had dominated the first three special stages alongside co-driver Glenn Macneall (NZ), but then skidded off the road and has to retire. “That is extremely bitter. The retirement cost us a place on the podium and important points in the title race. I feel particularly sorry for the team,” said Gill, who won the opening race in New Zealand. Chinese duo Jun Xu and Sheng Liu finished fifth in another ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. The next APRC race is scheduled for 15 to 17 August in Malaysia.

The number for the International Rally of Queensland: 10

ŠKODA drivers clocked the fastest times in the APRC class on 10 of the 15 special stages at the International Rally of Queensland. Defending champion Gaurav Gill won three stages, while Kopecký was the fastest man on seven occasions.

The 2014 APRC calendar:

11–13 April: Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand
16–18 May: Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie – New Caledonia
20–22 June: Rally of Queensland – Australia
15–17 August: Malaysian Rally – Malaysia
26–28 September: Rally Hokkaido – Japan
7–9 November: China Rally – China

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Karel Pokorny
Media Skoda Motorsport

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Photos:Tomáš Brčko Brázdil www.foto-brcko.cz by Rally Report Magazine Argentina and Skoda Motorsport https://www.facebook.com/motorsportskoda

Pablo MACHI

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Categories:   Rally Report Magazine Argentina 14 años

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