Jan Kopecký was the latest driver in a rotating cast of factory Skoda drivers to take victory in the WRC2 class, cruising to victory by over two minutes from nearest challenger Ole Christian Veiby.
tKopecký’s victory means Skoda Motorsport retain their record of winning every WRC2 event this season, with previous victories shared exclusively between Pontus Tidemand and Andreas Mikkelsen before last weekend.
Despite the comfortable victory, Kopecký was not entirely happy with his performance. He went into the final day only tenths apart from Eric Camilli, who was competing in a Ford Fiesta R5 that was not registered for WRC2 championship points. Camilli, without any championship obligations, was able to edge ahead and win the battle for pride.
“It would have been nice to stay ahead of Camilli, but he was pushing to the limit while I had to drive without taking unnecessary risks to secure WRC 2 victory and valuable championship points”, he explained afterwards.
Almost five minutes behind Veiby’s privateer Skoda was Takamoto Katsuta, taking his first ever WRC2 podium. While Katsuta was driving a Fiesta R5 like Camilli, he is a member of the Toyota Gazoo development programme, his entry being one of two in the Tommi Mäkinen Racing junior stable.
The other half of the TMR garage did not have such a positive weekend. Hiroki Arai hit a rock on Sunday’s second stage, breaking his Fiesta’s steering, forcing him to retire. His weekend had already been an uphill struggle beforehand, running in seventh and last place before the incident.
Yohan Rossel, Pierre-Louis Loubet and Łukasz Pieniążek were the only other finishers, who took advantage of Fabio Andolfi‘s accident on the first day. The Italian had been in the podium places on the first day of action, but crashed his Hyundai and was unable to continue past Friday due to the damage caused.
|1||Jan Kopecký||Skoda Motorsport II||3:36:36.5|
|2||Ole Christian Veiby||Printsport||+2:16.4|
|3||Takamoto Katsuta||Tommi Mäkinen Racing||+7:01.9|
|4||Yohan Rossel||Yohan Rossel||+10:44.9|
|5||Pierre-Louis Loubet||Pierre-Louis Loubet||+23:49.7|
|6||Łukasz Pieniążek||TRT Peugeot World Rally Team||+37:05.2|