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RALLY FINLAND: ŠKODA SETS THE PACE AT THE START

WRC A FULL 2016

Rally Finland: ŠKODA sets the pace at the start.

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› Last year’s winners Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm make a dominant start to their home rally and lead the WRC 2 class
› Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson in the second ŠKODA FABIA R5 from ŠKODA Motorsport are also on course for the podium
› Three ŠKODA FABIA R5s in the first three places
› 14 special stages are scheduled to take place in the forests south of Jyväskylä on Saturday and Sunday, over a total of 184.44 kilometres

29 July 2016

Jyväskylä, 29 July 2016 – A promising start to the Rally Finland for ŠKODA. In the FABIA R5 from ŠKODA Motorsport, Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN)
won nine of the 11 special stages on Friday and are leading the WRC 2 standings, 42.5 seconds ahead of their nearest rivals. Their Swedish teammates
Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson finished the day in third position (+ 43.8 seconds). Teemi Suninen/Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN) squeezed in between the two ŠKODA works duos, having already won three of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) races in a FABIA R5 from the ŠKODA customer sport programme.
“We couldn’t have had a better start to our home rally,” said Lappi. “The FABIA R5 worked absolutely perfectly. It was so much fun to drive today – a superb day for us.

We
had resolved to drive as clean a line as possible, and not to take any unnecessary risks.
This strategy paid off and we want to continue in this vein.”
During the course of Friday afternoon, team-mate Tidemand continued to improve on the ultra-fast gravel tracks situated west and north of the university city of Jyväskylä, and engaged in a thrilling duel with ŠKODA brand team-mate Suninen. The two were
separated by just a few tenths of second on many special stages. “I was a bit too tense today. Maybe I’m thinking a bit too much,” said Tidemand. “We’ve got a new battle plan for Saturday, to get us past Suninen again.”
The Rally Finland started on Thursday evening with a special spectators’ stage for thousands of fans in the Jyväskylä rally centre – and Lappi was fastest here too. Bathed in sunshine, and with temperatures reaching 25 degrees Celsius, the teams completed eleven more special stages on Friday, over a total distance of 146.85 kilometres. Eight stages are scheduled for Saturday, including two visits to the legendary “Ouninpohja” section.

Classifications Rally Finland (WRC 2) after 12 of 24 stages:
1. Lappi/Ferm (FIN/FIN) ŠKODA FABIA R5 1h 15m 24.0s
2. Suninen/Markkula (FIN/FIN) ŠKODA FABIA R5 + 42.5s
3. Tidemand/Andersson (S/S) ŠKODA FABIA R5 + 43.8s
4. Kruuda/Jarveoja (EST/EST) Ford Fiesta R5 + 1m 19.6s
5. Solberg/Minor (N/A) Ford Fiesta R5 + 2m 5.1s

The number of the day: 9
ŠKODA Motorsport and Esapekka Lappi won nine of 11 special stages in the WRC 2 class on Friday. Thanks to this flawless performance, the “flying Finn” finished ahead of nine teams competing with more powerful World Rally Cars and has reached tenth place in the overall standings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Haidinger
Communications ŠKODA Motorsport

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