The start list includes ŠKODA Motorsport’ both factory crews. ŠKODA and its drivers have a chance to get very near winning the IRC, ERC and MMČR titles. ŠKODA to present its new Motorsport Park concept.
The climax of this season is here – starting this Friday in the surroundings of Zlín, theBarum Czech Rally is expected to draw thousands of motorsport fans. The start list includes three factory ŠKODAs in total – the complete team of ŠKODA Motorsport (Kopecký & Dresler and Hänninen & Markkula) and the reigning IRC champions Andreas Mikkelsen & Ola Floene.
The Barum Rally is part of all of the three championships in which the drivers of ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000s have the ambition to win both the Manufacturers and the Drivers categories – the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), the European Championship (ERC) and the International Czech Championship (MMČR). ŠKODA is currently in the lead of all these championships, and one of the hottest favourites for winning the Barum Rally is two times winner of this event (including last year) Jan Kopecký for whom this event is very special: “We are looking forward to the Barum Rally a great deal, because the fans always create a great atmosphere here. It is a big challenge for us, and the fact that this is our home event makes us all the more motivated to win. Our ambition is to put in the best possible performance to seal our position in the Czech Championship as well as in the Manufacturers category of the IRC series.” Kopecký & Dresler have won all of this year’s Czech Championship rallies.
The ambition of Juho Hänninen & Mikko Markkula in Zlín is to make the final step to winning the European Championship: “We are very much looking forward to the Barum Rally. With its narrow forest roads and a lot of jumps, this event is one of the most difficult asphalt rallies in general and therefore requires absolute concentration. I am sure we will see many tough duels, because this is the most competitive event of this season.”
ŠKODA’s ambition in Zlín is to win some more points in the Manufacturers category of the IRC. After nearly two thirds of this season, ŠKODA has a good chance of winning its third consecutive IRC title.
Besides its factory team, ŠKODA is coming up with a very special attraction in Zlín this year – taking up an area of 2,600 m2, the ŠKODA Motorsport Park will offer anentertainment programme to include an attractive show and a multitude of original activities. Taking place in T.G. Masaryk Square in Zlín, the ŠKODA Motorsport will be open from Friday till Sunday, and the admission is free. An autograph session with Fabia Super 2000 factory crews is scheduled for Friday at 4:00 PM – the fans will have a chance to meet with Jan Kopecký & Pavel Dresler, Juho Hänninen & Mikko Markkula and Andreas Mikkelsen & Ola Floene.
For the first time in history, the Barum Rally will be covered live by Eurosport and selected special stages also by ČT4 – the sports channel of the Czech public service TV is going to offer Stages 2 and 4 in Slušovice on Saturday (10:00-11:00 and 13:00-14:00, respectively) and, at exactly the same times, Stages 12 and 15 (Maják) on Sunday (Stage 15 is the final stage of the event).
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