FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (WRC2-2015): ŠKODA MOTORSPORT- WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP PREMIERE: GOOD START FOR THE ŠKODA FABIA R 5
WRC2 A FULL 2015
World Championship premiere: Good start for the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5.
› Tidemand third, Lappi fifth in the WRC-2 category of the Rally de Portugal.
› Ten thousand spectators cheer on the new rally vehicle from ŠKODA.
› Hrabánek: “Real hardness test for our new Fabia R5“.
23 May 2015
Oporto 22nd May 2015 – The new ŠKODA Fabia R5 has started well in its premiere in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in front of tens of thousands spectators. After the first two days at the Rally de Portugal, both high tech all-wheel drive vehicles from ŠKODA Motorsport are in the top five of the WRC-2 category and top of the list of R5 vehicles. Pontus Tidemand (S) in third place and Esapekka Lappi (FIN) in fifth are both going into the final two days with a chance of making it on to the podium.
”As expected, the Rally de Portugal is a real hardness test for our new ŠKODA Fabia R5. The vehicle and the ŠKODA team have been dealing well with the new challenge so far,“ said ŠKODA Motorsport Director, Michal Hrabánek. His team are seeing their return to the FIA World Rally Championship at Rally de Portugal after over two years.
Pontus Tidemand is in third place, 43.4 seconds behind WRC-2 leader and victor in Dakar, Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q). In fifth position after the first 104 kilometres of stages is European champion Esapekka Lappi. As the Ponte de Lima 2 stage was called off on Friday due to a nearby forest fire, not even a third of the total distance is completed so far. On Saturday and Sunday, there are another 220 kilometres on the rally schedule.
“We have found a good rhythm and quickly adjusted ourselves to the new vehicle. It’s a lot of fun driving the new Fabia R5 in any case,“ commented Tidemand. The newly committed ŠKODA Motorsport driver and his co-driver Emil Axelsson (S) are taking a look back over the most stressful arrival back into the world championship course of all the teams. The previous Sunday, the duo had defended their lead in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with second place in New Caledonia in their ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Almost 18,000 kilometres away, Tidemand put in a concentrated performance on the tough gravel track around Oporto on Thursday and Friday.
The same could be said for Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm (FIN), who presented themselves at the rally for the first time in a new ŠKODA Fabia R5, seven months after their title win. “I am happy, we have got back into the rally rhythm after our break. The rally still has a long way to go. At this point it’s important for us to use our heads when we’re driving. The atmosphere on the route is simply fantastic,“ said Lappi.
On Thursday evening, twenty-five thousand spectators provided the stadium with a really great atmosphere for the first special stage “Lousada.“ On Friday tens of thousands spectators lined the track to cheer on the nearly one-hundred drivers in their world championship run.
The number of the day at the Rally de Portugal: 4
A total of four times has a ŠKODA Fabia R5 succeeded in getting into the top three in the first six special stages of the WRC-2 category. Pontus Tidemand achieved a virtual podium finish in special stages one (third) and two (second), Esapekka Lappi in sections three and four (second in each).
Rally de Portugal – Intermediate standings WRC 2
1. Al-Attiyah/Baumel (Q/F), Ford Fiesta S2000 1:10.48.8 hr.
2. Al Rajhi/Orr (SA/GB), Ford Fiesta S2000 + 0.13.5 min
3. Tidemand/Axelsson (S/S), ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 0.43.4 min.
4. Lefebvre/Prévot (F/F), Citroën DS3 R5 + 1.05.4 min.
5. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA Fabia R5 + 1.05.6 min.
FIA World Rally Championship 2 (WRC 2)
Rally Monte Carlo 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexico 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italy 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Germany 20.08.–23.08.2015
Rally Australia 10.09.–13.09.2015
Rally France 01.10.–04.10.2015
Rally Spain 22.10.–25.10.2015
Rally Great Britain 12.11.–15.11.2015
Media Andrea Privarova
Rally Report Magazine Argentina
Categories: Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años