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WRC2 A FULL 2015

Rally Italy: Second big test for the ŠKODA Fabia R5 in FIA WRC.

Rally Italia Sardegna 6255

Rally Italia Sardegna 6255

ŠKODA out to make a mark again on second WRC outing with the Fabia R5
Two Fabia R5s line up on Sardinia; European Champion Esapekka Lappi gunning for second top result, World Championship return for Jan Kopecký
Awesome rally: 24 stages, 403 kilometres, and the iconic Micky’s Jump
Michal Hrabánek: “Ultimate test of man and machine”

12 June 2015

Mladá Boleslav, 8 June 2015 – After a dazzling WRC debut in Portugal, the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 is now set for its second outing in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2) this weekend (11th to 14th June). Two Fabia R5s from ŠKODA Motorsport will once again line up at the Rally Italy on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. At the wheel of ŠKODA’s new rally car will be European champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) and reigning Asia-Pacific champion Jan Kopecký (CZ).

​The Rally Italy is the sixth round of the current WRC 2 season. The three days on Sardinia will be a particularly tough test for the Fabia R5. The rally is notorious for its hard, dry gravel roads and a particularly challenging route. The drivers must tackle a total 402.88 kilometres, spread over 24 special stages. For comparison: the rally in Portugal consisted of “only” 15 stages.

Two weeks ago, the new Fabia R5 made an impressive debut in the FIA World Rally Championship, claiming two podium positions. Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN) finished runner-up at the Rally Portugal, followed by ŠKODA newcomer Pontus Tidemand (S) and his co-driver Emil Axelsson (S) in third place. “We are very happy with the successful WRC debut of the Fabia R5. Both cars ended the rally with a good result,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. “Results from the last few weeks show that we are on the right track with the ŠKODA Fabia R5. We want to play a major role again on Sardinia. However, this rally is a completely different beast to Portugal. The demands placed on man and machine are far greater,” said Hrabánek.

Esapekka Lappi is brimming with confidence: “The successful first outing in the ŠKODA Fabia R5 has made me hungry for more. We want to back up the good performances we have had so far, and to keep pace with the top times again. Utmost concentration is paramount, as any mistake is ruthlessly punished at this rally,” said the European Rally Champion from Finland.

The race on the Italian island in the Mediterranean is regarded as one of the most challenging rallies out there. It takes place on dusty gravel roads and narrow streets in the Sardinian capital Cagliari, as well as on a special circuit on the ‘Ippodromo di Chilivani’ racecourse. And there is one more, very special, highlight: the highest jump of the entire WRC season – the legendary Micky’s Jump.
Taking on this unique challenge at the wheel of the second Fabia R5 will be experienced rally driver Jan Kopecký (CZ). The 33-year-old will make his first WRC outing for ŠKODA since 2007 on Sardinia. “I am hugely looking forward to racing in WRC 2 with the new R5 – eight years after my last start in the World Rally Championship. So far, everything has gone entirely to plan with the new car in the Czech Rally Championship. We travel to Italy full of confidence, but aware that the rally will be a far greater challenge,” said Kopecký, who heads to Sardinia with the wind in his sails following two wins from two starts in this year’s Czech Rally Championship (MČR).

ŠKODA lines up with the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 at selected races in this season’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2 class). As well as Esapekka Lappi and Jan Kopecký, Sweden’s Pontus Tidemand will also be in action. One week after the Rally Italy, Tidemand will start for ŠKODA at the third round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). Tidemand will be aiming to successfully defend his lead in the APRC at the Rally Queensland in Australia.

FIA World Rally Championship 2 (WRC 2)

Event / Date
Rally Monte Carlo: 22.01.–25.01.2015
Rally Sweden: 12.02.–15.02.2015
Rally Mexiko: 05.03.–08.03.2015
Rally Argentina: 23.04.–26.04.2015
Rally Portugal: 21.05.–24.05.2015
Rally Italia: 11.06.–14.06.2015
Rally Poland: 02.07.–05.07.2015
Rally Finland: 30.07.–02.08.2015
Rally Deutschland: 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

Did you know …

… reigning World Rally Champion and current WRC leader Sébastien Ogier (F) made rallying history in a ŠKODA on Sardinia in 2012? Driving a Fabia Super 2000 back then, he finished fifth overall. At the time, this was the best result ever by a driver in a car from the S2000 class. Even more impressive was his achievement on the “Tergu-Osilo 1” stage, where the Frenchman made history: Ogier won the stage, leaving the massed elite in their World Rally Cars trailing in his wake. In 2012, Volkswagen used the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 to prepare for entering the FIA World Rally Championship. Since joining the series, Volkswagen has been the car to beat: the team won the Drivers’, Co-Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles in the WRC in both 2013 and 2014. This year, Volkswagen once again leads all three competitions in the WRC class.

… ŠKODA works driver Jan Kopecký (CZ) gained experience of the Italian round of the WRC on Sardinia nine years ago? Back in 2006, he finished 17th in the ŠKODA Fabia WRC.

… the Rally Italy has only been held on Sardinia since 2004? Before then, Sanremo had provided the venue of the Italian round of the World Championship since the WRC was launched in 1973. Incidentally, the iconic Rally Sanremo has been a happy stomping ground for Esapekka Lappi: in 2013, he finished runner-up at the rally, which forms part of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC).

… Pontus Tidemand is currently the best-placed ŠKODA works driver in the overall WRC 2 standings with 25 points to his name? After just one start, Esapekka Lappi currently lies tenth with 18 points. Five rounds into the season, Finland’s Jari Ketomaa leads the class with 55 points.

… ŠKODA already has one victory at the “Rally Italia Sardegna” to its name? Back in 2010, Juho Hänninen of Finland triumphed in the Fabia Super 2000. That year, the rally was making a one-off appearance in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC). Come the end of the season, Hänninen won the title ahead of fellow ŠKODA driver Jan Kopecký. Incidentally, Kopecký finished third that year, in his only start on Sardinia to date.

… Michèle Mouton (F) made history at the WRC round in Italy? It was here that she became the first and only woman to win a round of the World Rally Championship.

… the service park will reside in Alghero on the west coast of Sardinia for only the second time? The teams were previously housed in Olbia on the other side of the island. The rally gets underway on Thursday in Cagliari, in the south of the island.

… fewer than a third of the kilometres against the clock are the same as last year’s route? A large part of the stages around Oristano on Friday are new to the itinerary. 212.58 kilometres of special stage are scheduled for Saturday, making it the longest WRC leg since 2012. The competitors must also conquer the legendary Micky’s Jump on this day.

… Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily? Almost 1.7 million people live in an area of 24,000 km². The north of Sardinia is 202 kilometres from the Italian mainland – however, the south of the island is just 184 kilometres from Tunisia. The capital is Cagliari.

Rally Italia Sardegna 6252

Rally Italia Sardegna 6253














Karel Pokorný,
Communications Motorsport

Media Skoda Motorsport

Photos:Tomáš Brčko Brázdil by Rally Report Magazine Argentina and Skoda Motorsport


Media Andrea Privarova
Rally Report Magazine Argentina

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español




30 September 2015

Chris Atkinson has won the latest round of the Chinese Rally Championship in the VW Golf SCRC. Atkinson won comfortably by a minute and 40 seconds from Mark Higgins in the Subaru and Manfred Stohl in a Citroen DS3.

Chen Dean in the second Golf was fifth with Li ninth in the third car.

That makes it three wins from four events for Atkinson as the Championship heads to the next round Longyou at the end of October. Longyou was the debut event for the VW Golf SCRC last year when Atkinson to its maiden win.












Cedric Journel / Dongwei Zhang
Media & Comunication
Faw-Volkswagen Rally Team

Admin and Translation:

Rally Report Magazine Argentina

Ben Sayer
Media Prodrive Motorsport

Foto: Media Prodrive Motorsport

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español


La leyenda del rally Sébastien Loeb se une al “Dream Team” de Peugeot-Total.

Sebastien Loeb poses for a portrait in Peugeot Sport workshop, France, on September 21, 2015
Sébastien Loeb, el mejor piloto de rally de todos los tiempos, se enfrentará al mayor reto de su carrera al unirse por primera vez al equipo de Peugeot en el legendario Dakar del próximo mes de enero.


29 Septiembre 2015

El nueve veces campeón del WRC y plusmarquista del Pikes Peak se ha unido al equipo de Peugeot 2008DKR junto a Carlos Sainz para el Rally du Maroc del próximo mes (del 3 al 9 de octubre) antes de hacer frente al mayor reto de este deporte, el Dakar, durante 13 días en Argentina y Bolivia en 2016. Junto a él en Sudamérica también estarán Stéphane Peterhansel y Cyril Despres completando así el “dream team” de pilotos de Peugeot-Total.

El francés de 41 años, Sébastien Loeb, uno de los pilotos con más éxito de la historia de los deportes de motor con un porcentaje de victorias sin precedentes del 46,2% en el WRC dijo: “Descubrí los deportes de motor cuando tenía 18 años y empecé a competir en mis primeros rallys. Desde entonces me han interesado todo tipo de deportes de motor y el Dakar es uno de ellos. Creo que es un gran reto competir y conducir en el desierto”.

“El Dakar es completamente diferente a las carreras que hago en este momento. va a ser muy larga, más de dos semanas, y necesitas tener aguante para cuidar del conductor y del coche. Es una carrera con un enfoque distinto pero lo descubriré en enero”.

Hasta entonces, Loeb se unirá a Sainz en Marruecos para su debut en el competitivo Cross Country, aunque ya pilotó el rival de Peugeot a principios de año. Para Loeb ésta será una reunión muy especial pues ya fue compañero de equipo de Sainz durante su primera temporada completa en el Mundial de Rallys del 2003, hasta que el español se tuvo que retirar del WRC de 2004. En Marruecos Sainz pilotará el último Peugeot 2008DKR16 mientras que Loeb pilotará un coche con especificaciones de 2015.

“Cuando probé el PEUGEOT 2008DKR en junio me sorprendió muchísimo y por supuesto ha cambiado mucho desde entonces”, dijo Loeb -que en la actualidad está compitiendo en el Campeonato Mundial de Turismos de la FIA con Citroen.

“Lo que más me impactó fue lo diferente que es conducir el coche del Dakar, era una experiencia completamente nueva para mí. En el WRC acostumbro a rodear obstáculos pero con este coche puedes simplemente pasar por encima, ¡y cuesta tener la suficiente confianza en uno mismo para creer que puedes hacerlo!”

“ También estoy acostumbrado a tener notas de copiloto muy detalladas pero en el Cross Country tienes que abrirte paso e improvisar tu ruta. Esta, además, es la primera vez que he pilotado diferentes tipos de coche diesel en una competición por lo que tengo que aprender mucho pero tengo muchas ganas de hacerlo”.

Además de haber ganado más rallys, etapas especiales y campeonatos que cualquier otro piloto, Sébastien Loeb también se ha convertido en el “Rey del Peak” al batir el record del Pikes Peak Hillclimb con Peugeot y Red Bull hace dos años en América. Un triunfo épico que ya forma parte de la historia legendaria de los deportes de motor.

Ahora forma parte del mejor equipo que se haya enfrentado jamás al Dakar. Tal y como dijo el 11 veces campeón del Dakar Stéphane Peterhansel: “Sébastien Loeb es un referente del motor. Hay muy poco que yo o cualquier otro le pueda enseñar”.

El cinco veces campeón de motos Cyril Despres añadió: “Desde que cambié las dos ruedas por cuatro, la experiencia no ha hecho más que mejorar. Y saber que ahora Sébastien se une al equipo la remata aún más”.

El dos veces campeón del WRC y campeón del Dakar en 2010 Carlos Sainz, que será una vez más el compañero de Loeb en Marruecos dijo: “No tengo nada más que decir sobre Sébastien que no haya dicho ya. Por supuesto que el rally raid va a ser una nueva aventura para él, pero va a ser capaz de adaptarse sin problemas. Como yo mismo he podido comprobar aprende muy rápido”.

“El Dakar es algo que me llama, es una gran aventura”, añadió Loeb, quien ya dominó el Pikes Peak y el WTCC. “El rally en Marruecos me mostrará lo que es realmente el Cross Country, así que para mí esta es una oportunidad fantástica para aprender, en especial al lado de unos compañeros tan buenos”.

Tal y como pasó con sus nueve títulos mundiales y sus 78 victorias en el WRC hasta la fecha, Loeb tendrá como copiloto al campeón mundial de deportes de motor monegasco Daniel Elena. Marruecos marcará la vuelta de la pareja con más éxito jamás vista en la historia del motor que emprende una nueva aventura juntos tras 17 gloriosos años en los rallys.

Al igual que Loeb, el copiloto de 42 años Elena nunca ha competido antes en Cross Country, pero se ha preparado a fondo para las exigencias de la navegación más dura del mundo, en la que los equipos tienen que reaccionar rápidamente para conquistar el terreno offroad más sobrecogedor. Cuentan además con la ayuda de un sofisticado sistema de GPS que les guiará de punto a punto.

El director deportivo de Peugeot Bruno Famin comentó: “ Sébastien fue impresionante desde que se sentó en el coche, como ya sabíamos tras haber trabajado con él anteriormente. Adoptó ese enfoque calculado que tanto le caracteriza para entender el coche paso a paso, pero después su habilidad natural se encargó del resto. Tras mejorar diferentes aspectos del coche desde la última vez que estuvimos en el Dakar, el fichaje de Sébastien Loeb es la pieza que le faltaba al puzzle”.


The 2008 DKR 16 in Peugeot Sport workshop, France, on September 21, 2015








Cécile Estenave
Peugeot Sport France

Admin and Translation:

Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy

Rally Report Magazine Argentina
Comunity Manager 

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español


Rally Legend Sébastien Loeb joins “D-ream TEAM Peugeot-Total”.

Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena pose for a portrait during the Peugeot test in Erfoud, Morocco on September 16, 2015

Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena pose for a portrait during the Peugeot test in Erfoud, Morocco on September 16, 2015

29 September 2015

Rally Legend Sébastien Loeb joins “D-ream TEAM Peugeot-Total” © Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool

Velizy-Villacoublay, France
Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Sébastien Loeb, the greatest rally driver ever, will take on one of the biggest challenges of his illustrious career when he lines up as part of Peugeot’s dream team at the legendary Dakar in January for the first time.

The nine-time World Rally Championship winner and Pikes Peak record-holder has joined Peugeot’s 2008DKR line-up alongside Carlos Sainz for next month’s Rallye du Maroc (October 3-9) before facing the sport’s toughest challenge, the Dakar, over 13 days in Argentina and Bolivia in 2016. Joining him in South America will also be Stéphane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres, completing Team Peugeot Total’s dream team driver line-up.

The 41-year old Loeb, one of the most successful drivers in the history of motorsports, with an unprecedented 46.2% wins-to-starts ratio in WRC, said: “I only discovered motorsports when I was 18 and I started competing in my first rallies. Since then I have been interested in all types of different motorsports and Dakar is one of them. I think it’s a great challenge to go and compete there and drive in the desert.

“The Dakar is completely different from the racing I’m doing at the moment. It will be very long, over two weeks, and you need to have the endurance to look after the driver and the car. It’s another approach to racing but I’ll discover that in January.”

Before then, Loeb will line up with Sainz in Morocco next week for his competitive Cross Country debut – although he already tested Peugeot’s Dakar challenger in the country earlier this year. For Loeb, this will be a very special reunion: he was previously team-mates with Sainz for his very first full season in the World Rally Championship in 2003, until the Spaniard decided to end his WRC career at the end of 2004. In Morocco, Sainz will drive the latest PEUGEOT 2008DKR16 whereas Loeb will drive a 2015-specification car.

“When I tried the PEUGEOT 2008DKR out in June, it was immediately very impressive for me – and of course it has changed a lot since then,” said Loeb, who is currently competing in the FIA WTCC with Citroen.

“What struck me most of all is how the Dakar car was a completely new experience: in the WRC I have been used to going round obstacles but with this car you can just drive straight over them, and it takes some time to have the confidence to believe it!

“I’ve also been used to having very detailed pace notes: in Cross Country, you have to find the road for yourself and improvise your route. And this is actually the first time I have driven any type of diesel car in competition too. So there is a lot for me to learn, but I am eager to find out more.”

As well as winning more rallies, special stages and championships than any other driver, Sébastien Loeb also became ‘King of the Peak’ when he pulverised the Pikes Peak hill climb record with Peugeot and Red Bull two years ago in America: an epic feat that is already remembered as a legendary part of motorsport history.

Now he forms part of the greatest team ever to tackle the Dakar. As 11-time Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel said: “Sébastien Loeb is a reference in motorsport. There’s very little that I, or anybody else, can teach him.”

Five-time bike winner Cyril Despres added: “Since I made the switch from two wheels to four, the experience has got better and better. And to see Sébastien arrive in the team now, everything is complete.”

Two-time WRC champion and Dakar 2010 winner Carlos Sainz, who will be Loeb’s team-mate once more in Morocco, concluded: “There is nothing more I can say about Sébastien that his career hasn’t said already. Of course rally raid will be a new adventure for him, but he has every capacity to adapt to it with no problem. As I have seen for myself in the past, he is a quick learner in everything he does.

“Dakar is something that appeals to me; it is a huge adventure,” added Loeb, who has already mastered rallying, Pikes Peak and the World Touring Car Championship. “The rally in Morocco will give me a very interesting idea of what Cross Country is all about, so this is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn; particularly alongside such successful team-mates.”

Just as has been the case throughout his nine world titles and 78 WRC victories to date, Loeb will be co-driven by Monaco’s motorsport world champion: Daniel Elena. Morocco will mark the comeback of the most successful pairing ever seen in the history of motorsport, as they start a new adventure together following 17 magnificent years in rallying.

Like Loeb, the 42-year-old Elena has never competed in Cross Country before, but he has undergone intensive training to prepare him for the demands of some of the most challenging navigation in the world, where crews have to think instantly on their feet to conquer the daunting off-road landscape. They are aided by sophisticated GPS equipment, guiding their route from waypoint to waypoint.

Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin commented: “Sébastien was impressive from the moment he first sat in the car, as we knew would be the case after having had the privilege of working with him before. He took his usual measured approached to understand the car step by step: from there his natural ability took over. Having improved the car in several different areas since we were last at the Dakar, the signing of Sébastien Loeb is the final piece in the puzzle.”











Cécile Estenave
Peugeot Sport France

Admin and Translation:

Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy

Rally Report Magazine Argentina
Comunity Manager

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