Czech driver Jan Kopecky has admitted he was astonished to secure a fifth win on his home event the Barum Czech Rally Zlin, a counting round of the FIA European Rally Championship. Kopecky who won the event in his Skoda Fabia R5 enjoyed a close battle with Russian driver and European Rally Championship contender Alexey Lukyanuk.
I’m really astonished.” said the Czech driver after the event,”I have no words to describe this feeling, to win here for the fifth time. I’m always really happy to be here, and I’m really happy to have achieved so much on this rally. The atmosphere here is always perfect.
Kopecky also paid respect to his rival Kukyanuk after their titanic fight, Lukyanuk was fastest on five stages, never more than nine seconds behind Kopecký for the duration of their duel and briefly took the lead near the end of the first leg. He went into the deciding stage less than five seconds adrift, but damaged the steering on his Ford and lost 10 minutes handing victory to Kopecky. “Kudos to Alexey Lukyanuk and Alexey Arnautov, who made things really difficult for us this weekend,” he said.
The next round of the series takes crews to Latvia for Rally Liepaja. The Eastern European event was due to start the season as a snow event but had to be postponed due to unseasonable weather conditions. It will now run as a gravel event in mid September