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ŠKODA MOTORSPORT: “RALLYE INTERNATIONAL DU VALAIS”: ONE-TWO LEAD FOR ŠKODA AT THE END FIRST DAY

ERC A FULL 2014

“Rallye International du Valais”: One-two lead for ŠKODA at the end of the first day.

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› Two ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000s at the top after the opener of the “Rallye International du Valais”
› ŠKODA driver Sepp Wiegand leads ahead of brand colleague Esapekka Lappi after the first of three days
› There are still just over 227 kilometres of special stages to go at the penultimate race in the European Rally Championship

24 October 2014

Sion, 23 October 2014 – Good opener for ŠKODA at the “Rallye International du Valais”: After the first three of a total of 19 special stages in the penultimate race of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season, Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (D/D) from the ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team are at the top of the standings. Just 4.4 seconds behind them are their Finnish brand colleagues Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm in second place. The ŠKODA works duo won the rally in the Swiss canton of Valais last year and are currently at the top of the ERC overall standings – ahead of Wiegand and Christian.

​“Leading the rally after the first three stages is a great feeling. This is the first time we have led an ERC race at the end of a day,” said Wiegand. “However, it was only the opener – there’s still a long way to go in the rally. The slippery tracks were often difficult to gauge. Sometimes it felt like we were aquaplaning, but it was mostly sheet ice. The rally and conditions here are completely new to me, but it can carry on like this.”

Lappi also experienced the surprises that the changeable track conditions in the Swiss mountains had in store. “The conditions changed constantly. As soon as it was wet anywhere, I took my foot off the accelerator,” said Lappi. “It wasn’t always pleasant, but as it turned out everything went okay for me.”

The largest – and most difficult – part of the rally still awaits the participants. A total of 16 special stages over 227.82 kilometres need to be mastered on the second and third days of the penultimate ERC race this season. While the drivers and co-drivers battle for every second on the track on Friday afternoon, the mechanic crews will also be racing against the clock. After the lunchtime service on Friday, the teams will head from Sion to Martigny, about 25 kilometres away, to set up their tents at the CERM exhibition centre in a few hours, ready for the final day of the “Rallye International du Valais”.

Number of the day: 1

A first: For the first time, Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian end the day of an ERC race in the lead. The first day of the “Rallye International du Valais” got off to a somewhat unusual start – nixing the tactical plans of both ŠKODA crews. After qualifying, the stewards decided to reduce the second special stage, 11.66-kilometre “Crans-Montana”, to just four kilometres due to bad track conditions. Snow and ice from the middle section of the stage onwards may have resulted in unpredictable – and possibly unfair – conditions for the participants.

“Rallye International du Valais” – intermediate results after day 1

​1. Wiegand/Christian (D/D), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 ​15.55.1 min.
​2. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 ​+ 4.4 sec.
​3. Abbring/Marshall (NL/GB), Peugeot 208 T16 ​+ 6.3 sec.
​4. Burri/Ferrero (CH/F), Ford Fiesta R5 ​+ 13.1 sec.
​5. Hirschi/Landais (CH/F), Peugeot 208 T16 ​+ 17.4 sec.
​6. Carron/Revaz (CH/CH), Peugeot 207 S2000 ​+ 17.8 sec.
​7. Kajetanowicz/Baran (PL/PL), Ford Fiesta R5 ​+ 18.0 sec.
​8. Consani/Vilmot (F/F), Peugeot 207 S2000 ​+ 24.2 sec.
​9. Tarabus/Trunkát (CZ/CZ), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 ​+ 31.0 sec.
​10. Althaus/Ioset (CH/CH), ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 ​+ 37.6 sec.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karel Pokorný,
Communications Motorsport

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