At the conclusion of the 2016 FIA WRC2 Season it was the Skoda Motorsport team of Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm who claimed the driver’s title.
It had been a dominant season from the Skoda Fabia R5 machine, claiming ten of the seasons thirteen victories. The teams Motorsport director, Michal Hrabánek described the end of the Kennards Hire Rally Australia as; “A day of celebration for the ŠKODA brand”
Lappi himself has enjoyed great success in the last three years, finishing runner-up in APRC back in 2013. Having already picked up wins for Skoda in the ERC that year, he committed to the championship for 2014, winning the title in his first full season.
Last season he and co-driver Ferm entered WRC2, picking up two wins on his way to third in the title before a successful run for the crown this year. The pair had struggled at the start of the season, but after finding their feet in Poland, went on to win the final four races of the year, collecting the title by 10 points after dropped scores.
“I am proud of the entire ŠKODA Motorsport team,” said Hrabánek.
“Naturally of Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm first and foremost, who rewarded the entire team for their fantastic performances this season here in the Australian heat.
“A big thank you also goes to the engineers and mechanics, without whom this success would not have been possible.”
While Lappi and Ferm had been behind in the standings going into the final round, it was champions drive from the Flying Finns who led 22 of the 23 stages, beating Nicolas Fuchs by over four and half minutes.
This gave them a season total of 132 points, which reduced by two after dropped scores. Behind them, it was a tie for second place as Teemu Suninen and Elfyn Evans, who each picked up three victories, settled for 120 points.