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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




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WRC2 A FULL 2015

“Formula 1 in the forest”: ŠKODA Fabia R5 to contest the fastest rally of the year.


› Rally Finland: Average speed well above 100 km/h
› After the first WRC 2 victory for the Fabia R5, Esapekka Lappi is looking forward to his home rally – Pontus Tidemand at the wheel of the second ŠKODA rally car
› Michal Hrabánek: “Rally Finland enthrals fans and drivers”

28 July 2015

Mladá Boleslav, 28th July 2015 – Next stop, Rally Finland: ŠKODA is hoping to add another chapter to the success story of the new Fabia R5 at the “Formula 1 in the forest”. Three and a half weeks after the historic first WRC 2 victory for the new high-tech rally car, the ŠKODA works duos Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) and Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) take on the fastest rally in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). In addition to a perfectly tuned car, the 319.38 kilometres of this rally demand courage and driving precision.

​“The Rally Finland is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the year. It enthrals fans and drivers alike, because it has everything that rallying is about,” said ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek. Its high average speed of well over 100 kilometres per hour and large sections driven at full throttle mean that the Rally Finland is also dubbed “Formula 1 in the forest”. Ideal terrain for the new ŠKODA Fabia R5 and the two works drivers Lappi and Tidemand, who brought home an acclaimed one-two victory at the Rally Poland, which is also extremely fast.

“This victory confirmed that we are on the right track with our new ŠKODA Fabia R5. But the success is no reason for us to rest on our laurels. Naturally we want to be up there fighting for podium spots again at the Rally Finland,” said Hrabánek. European Champions Lappi/Ferm are particularly motivated, after all the Rally Finland is an emotional home event for them. Many Finnish rally drivers became national heroes on legendary stages such as ‘Mökkiperä’ and ‘Myhinpää’.

After a year off, the legendary ‘Ouninpohja’ stage is back on the rally schedule this year; some of the drivers jump further than 50 metres in their cars on this stage. “Plenty of full throttle and long jumps: I love this rally in my home country,” said Lappi. “You need a lot of courage at the Rally Finland and can’t afford to make even a minor error. We are really looking forward to our home rally and want to delight the fans,” he said, with his sights set on another win: “Naturally we will try to bring home the next victory. The last rally in Poland demonstrated that the Fabia R5 has all the important qualities of a winning car.”

Pontus Tidemand is also a fan of the fast gravel tracks through the Finnish forests and past the proverbial 1000 lakes. “I drove onto the podium here as a junior, the high-speed passages and jumps are just magnificent. There probably won’t be much of a gap between the drivers. That means you need to find just the right mix of calculated risk and clever driving,” said ŠKODA’s second Scandinavian driver.

Both Lappi and Tidemand could continue to make up ground in the WRC overall standings with another top result at the Rally Finland. Although the two ŠKODA drivers have only contested three of the seven events of the season so far, they are already in fifth and sixth place. The new Fabia R5’s success rate is also impressive: In the WRC 2 classification of the FIA WRC, ŠKODA has already bagged five podium positions, including one win, in three starts.

In the Czech Rally Championship (MČR), Jan Kopecký (CZ) and co-driver Pavel Dresler (CZ) have celebrated four wins in four races with the new car so far. The most recent chapter in the success story: An acclaimed home victory at the 42nd Rally Bohemia in the region around ŠKODA headquarters in Mladá Boleslav.

FIA World Rally Championship (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 that …

… Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm are real Rally Finland experts? On their debut start in 2011, they finished in 32nd place in the overall standings. This year will be the fourth time that the successful duo contests their home rally. It is also a mini anniversary: Lappi/Ferm are competing in their 10th event in the FIA World Rally Championship.

… Pontus Tidemand also has experience of the Rally Finland? He contested the rally as part of the WRC Academy and the FIA Junior World Rally Championship in 2012 and 2013, and finished on the podium twice. Tidemand won the Junior World Champion title in 2013.

… the two ŠKODA works drivers Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand are on the advance in the WRC 2 overall standings, even though they have each completed only three of the seven rallies of the season so far? Lappi catapulted his way into fifth place with 45 points after his win in Poland. Tidemand is right behind him with 43 points. Finland’s Jari Ketomaa is in the lead with 67 points. Including Finland, there are six WRC rallies to go this year, with 25 points up for grabs for each win.

… the Rally Finland was held for the first time back in 1951? At that time it was the Finnish drivers’ qualifier for the legendary Rally Monte Carlo.

… the Rally Finland was part of the World Rally Championship for the first time in 1973? Back then it was known as the Rally of 1000 Lakes, the name was changed in 1994 at the main sponsor’s request.

… the majority of the route is the same as last year? Thursday’s opening stage, the 2.27-kilometre ‘Harju’ through the streets of Jyväskylä is new.

… the legendary ‘Ouninpohja’ stage celebrates its return this year after a year off? Its spectacular leaps make it the ultimate test of courage in the rally world. The record for the furthest jump was set by Estonia’s Markko Märtin back in 2003: He flew 57 metres in his rally car!

… Friday is the most challenging day at the Rally Finland? A total of 157.63 kilometres are scheduled, including two passes of the 34.39-kilometre ‘Ouninpohja’ stage. It is the longest stage of the whole rally. The cars must get through the entire day without a service.

… the university city of Jyväskyla is the centre of the rally? Thousands of fans flock to the Paviljonki service park each year. Matti Nykänen is probably the most famous person to come from the city, he is one of the most successful ski jumpers of all time.










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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