Dominating this weekend's IRC event in Russia from the start to the finish, Škoda Auto's factory team Škoda Motorsport made up of two crews driving the Fabia S 2000 coped excellently with the challenging gravel track - Juho Hänninen with Mikko Markkula won, Jan Kopecký with Petr Starý came second, 1 minute and 20 seconds behind the winner.
Being faster than his opponent right from the start and winning all speed trials except one on Day 2 of the competition, Juho Hänninen indeed put in an excellent performance. Furthermore, his team-mate held the runner-up position from the start till the finish, too. As a result, Škoda Motorsport celebrate their first victory in their fourth IRC appearance and a historic “double”.
Commenting on the brand's achievement, Head of Škoda Motorsport Michal Hrabánek said: “We are all enormously happy, this is the best reward for the entire team, Škoda Auto and its partners involved in the Fabia Super 2000 project, big thanks to all of them. Obviously, this victory is a great impulse for further work and we are not going to rest on our laurels. Yet I believe that this milestone will boost the whole project and attract potential buyers of the Fabia Super 2000. I take my hat off to both our crews, selecting them for our team was apparently a good decision. We have known Jan Kopecký for a long time, he puts in stable performances and has improved a great deal. Juho Hänninen showed already in Monte Carlo this year in January that he could be pretty fast, too, and I am really glad that he's shown now how good he really is. We have done a great job in terms of promoting the Škoda brand, and I daresay that this has not been our last achievement. The next event takes place in Zlín, Czech Republic, where we will logically be under pressure, but we all look forward to it.“
Juho Hänninen: “My Fabia was fantastic throughout the race, I wish to thank the whole team for the excellent job they've done here. I felt right from the beginning that I was fast, but we had to be on the ball all the way, as the track was very stony, especially on Friday and Saturday. We enjoyed the race very much and once again – a big thank you goes to the entire team.“
Jan Kopecký: “I wish to thank the whole team for an excellent job and support, the car was really superb all the time. The track was very difficult, very bumpy, with some extremely stony places where the drivers simply could not go full blast. We were nowhere near beating Juho this time, his performance was excellent, he looks like he was born on this surface! This is indeed a great result for Škoda and I already look forward to the race in Zlín in August – I wish to invite all our fans, I am certain that it will be a fantastic race.“
Source text: Škoda Auto a. s.
Photo: Škoda Auto a. s.