Jan Kopecky has won round seven of the FIA European Rally Championship, the Barum Czech Rally Zlín. The Skoda Motorsport competitor drove a conservative final leg in his Fabia R5 to take victory by 27.3 seconds.
Kopecky took a lead of over half a minute into Sunday and the Czech driver knew that he didn’t need to push to the maximum to take the victory. He took a calm and smooth approach through the final six stages winning stage 11 in the process. He was able to hold onto the lead comfortably right through to the end.
“It has been really great weekend, thanks to the whole team and Skoda Motorsport.” said Kopecky, “The car is really strong and really fast and that is important for us.”
Vaclav Pech also took a conservative approach as he looked to consolidate his second place. The Mini John Cooper Works S2000 driver took a podium finish on the Barum Rally for the second year in a row.
Series leader Kajetan Kajetanowicz had a successful event in his Ford Fiesta R5. The Pole took a stage win and finished in the top three on every stage bar one on the final leg of the event. He finished 39.9 seconds off the winner. The result could prove crucial in his bid to become European Rally Champion.
Alexey Lukyanuk had a very encouraging performance on the tarmac stages, a surface which he has very little experience on compared to his rivals. The Russian driver finished in the top four on all today’s stages in his Ford Fiesta R5 and won the final three stages. Lukyanuk finished fourth, over a minute off the lead.
Pavel Valousek had a good drive to take fifth overall followed by fellow Czech driver Jan Cerny in sixth. It was a good recovery drive by Irishman Craig Breen as he overcame his puncture ridden leg 1. The Irishman recovered to seventh overall in his Peugeot 208 T16 and won stage 10 in the process.
In ERC2 David Botka has kept himself in contention for the title by taking the win in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX with series leader Voijech Stajf over a minute behind in second.
On the final leg of the 2015 ERC Junior series Emil Bergkvist capped off a brilliant year with victory in his Opel Adam R2. Ralfs Sirmacis was nearly three minutes behind in second with Aleksander Zawada in third.
The next round of the ERC takes crews to Cyprus at the end of September.